Discovery Station Early Learning & Childcare
We welcome you to Discovery Station Childcare & Preschool! Our program includes many activities such as arts and crafts, music, sensory play, table toys, block and housekeeping areas and more. We believe that children learn through play! With that philosophy we support and facilitate their learning through play and positive interactions & relationships. We also offer a big outdoor area for large muscle development and group activities in addition to a well prepared indoor environment to promote every area of development your child needs. Our program maintains enough structure so that your child is secure and safe, but not so much that he or she feels pressured. We allow the children the opportunity to play inside or outside in a balanced schedule and offer planned group activities, which reinforce your child’s positive social interaction.
**Please see the HOME page for our complete Curriculum Philosophy**
Your child is provided with lots of individual attention from their teachers. We are available to meet with you at any time to discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have. Realize that it may take two or three weeks for a child to adjust to a new school, even if they have been in daycare before. It is understandable that at first your child may feel uneasy, unsure or possibly even cry when you leave. This is normal behavior during the adjustment period and will easily be overcome with your understanding and patience.
Please be sure to check your child’s cubby each day. Your child’s artwork is showing you that they are growing, learning and mastering new skills. Take time to notice their work and discuss it with them. Praise the accomplishments, as they are very proud of them. Messages, information and questions from teachers will be placed on their cubby for you if they are unable to speak to you directly. You are always welcome to call and speak to your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns.
We share in your desire that you child’s school experiences be enjoyable and rewarding ones. We want to work with you in providing the best for your child and hope that Discovery Station becomes a ‘second home’ for them. We look forward to having your child at Discovery Station Childcare & Preschool and hope you and your child enjoy all we have to offer!
Shellie Guirsch Owner/Director
Discovery Station Childcare & Preschool Inc. is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We ask for your cooperation in keeping within these hours. Please notify us in the event you are detained. There will be a late charge of $1.00 per minute, per child if you are late past our closing time. This will be due at the time you pick-up your child, paid directly to the closing teacher. By 6:00 p.m. your child has had a long day as well as our teachers. Continued lateness will be cause for termination.
All arriving children must be escorted into and out of the center. Walk your child to their room and do not leave until a staff member has greeted you and your child. If your child is going to be later or earlier than your scheduled time, please let us know. In the event your child will not be attending daycare for the day, we ask that you call and let us know by 9:00 a.m. Your child must arrive by 10:30 a.m. Any arrival after this time will not be permitted. Drop off and Pick up is not permitted between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. due to napping times. You may be asked to return later unless prior arrangements are made and noted.
When picking up your child, we ask that you enter the room that they are in at that time Please do not call to your child from the front desk or ask a teacher to get them. This allows for more parent/teacher interaction and more opportunity to see what you child has been doing.
Please be sure your child is ready for school by being completely dressed for the day (not in pajamas). And has a jacket and shoes for outdoor time. We are a facility that focuses on education and we want to get started on our day as soon as possible and have all children ready to do so!
Only people authorized on the enrollment form and at least 18 years of age will be allowed to pick up your child. Those who arrive to pick up your child and are not on the enrollment form or at least 18 years of age will not be allowed to take your child. Only custodial parents/guardians can add names to the enrollment form. If someone on your list is going to pick up your child, please notify us in advance. Also, be sure they have picture I.D. We will ask for it.
We are happy to use several social media sites to communicate with you! Brightwheel is an App we use for daily communication when needed. We also have a Facebook and an Instagram page for info, updates and general fun postings!
We must ensure that any child being picked up has appropriate and safe accommodations within the vehicle in which they are to travel. This means a spot in the vehicle that contains working safety belts; and for those younger, booster seat and infant carriers and bases until the age arises that they no longer require them by law. If in the event we become aware that these safety requirements are not being met, we will ask that you immediately rectify that problem or we are mandated to report the situation immediately.
All children must be signed in and out each day and with a full signature is required. Also, a phone number for that day will be required at time of sign in. Discovery Station will not be responsible for a child who has not been signed in.
For their safety, please do not leave children unattended in the car. Under no circumstances should a child be allowed to enter the building alone or be allowed to get in the car without you.
*Parents may stop in to visit the daycare at any time without prior notice*
Admission and Enrollment Requirements
Discovery Station provides care for children 1 month through Kindergarten. We do not discriminate against any race, creed, religion, color or national origin.
Enrollment is for a minimum of two days per week and three hours per day (except infants and toddlers, which are full time only). Please familiarize yourself with our absence, lateness, and vacation and withdrawal policies at Discovery Station at time of enrollment.
All children are enrolled on a three-week trial basis. Continued enrollment will be based on the suitability of this daycare to you child and visa-versa. The compatibility of all the children is very important. If the child does not adjust to the center, the director and/or teacher will notify the parent so that other arrangements can be made. This policy is enforced fairly and in the best interest of you child and those at Discovery Station.
State Assisted (DSHS) Families
If you are a family that falls under our state funded childcare programs it is your responsibility to be sure the following requirements are met. Your child and your child’s enrollment must follow all other polices listed in this handbook. This is additional information for your family.
We do require a $25.00 payment to hold your spot up to 2 weeks. This will be credited to your account if you start as agreed.
*Before beginning care, we must have written authorization from a case worker. This information tells us your child’s start date and days they can attend your co-payment and the duration of your coverage.
*You must be actively working, in school or participating in the covered activity that allows you to receive child care coverage during those hours. If you are not at the specific activity, your child is not covered..
*It is your responsibility to keep your authorization for childcare current. When you receive an update notice, attend to it immediately. DSHS will not back date applications which means that if you miss your renewal date, care is not authorized past your last authorized date until you get all information in. Without an update, we can not continue care until it is done. (This could result in a loss of your child’s spot).
All co-pays are due in full on the 1st of every month. (Late payments and termination policies apply to co-pays just as they do for private pay families). None payment is a reportable circumstance to DSHS and could result in services being stopped. *You are required to give the same 2 weeks notice to terminate care as all other families. Failure to do so will result in you being charged personally for any care now covered under DSHS.
*DSHS does not provide meal re-imbursement for lunches. (Puyallup location Only, Spanaway location is covered under the food program). If you choose to participate in our hot lunch meal, it will be billed to you. (You can always choose to pack a balanced lunch that meets requirements for your child).
*You must sign in every day to provide proof of childcare. Signature must be one signature for each child and must be legible. Without this, DSHS could request re-imbursement from us and in return you will be billed for those days not covered.
We encourage positive behavior by modeling respect and understanding each other’s needs. Happy, busy children usually have few discipline problems. However, if a problem arises and discipline is necessary, we will base it on each child’s need and stage of development.
We use positive methods of discipline. First we give a warning. We then will offer choices. We will be consistent and we will not argue with the child. Upon displays of unacceptable behavior, we explain why this behavior will not be tolerated. If the child continues, they will be removed from the group and take a “time out” for one minute for each year of their age. The child will then be asked to rejoin the group when ready. When the child returns we try to reinforce good behavior. Staff members will not use corporal punishment. NO corporal punishment of any kind will be tolerated on the center premises.
Meal and Snacks (Spanaway Location is covered under the food program)
Children may bring their own lunches or purchase a school lunch for $3.00 per meal & .50 for milk only or for us to add a fruit or a vegetable to complete your child’s meal. If more than one item is missing from your child’s lunch from home, a complete lunch will be order and charged to you. This may be paid either combined with your tuition or the morning of the meal. Menus are posted of meals we will be serving, in the entry of the center.
The State of Washington requires that if you send your child their own lunch, that it contains a complete and balanced meal including the following: a protein, one each of vegetable and fruit, a bread item and a dairy product. For complete meal details, please ask to see one of our “sack lunch” brochures that will provide more details and ideas. If yours is not complete we will substitute the meal and you will be charged.
When sending a lunch for your child, please be sure it contains an ice pack if it is needed. Refrigerator space is not available for lunches/beverages. Meals need to be ready to eat and not required preparation by the teachers. (Microwaving only of meals to heat is available and teachers are happy to accommodate).
The center provides a nutritious breakfast, which is served at 8:00 a.m. No breakfast will be served after 8:30 a.m. Please be sure that if your child is not present for breakfast that they have eaten before arriving. Breakfast food from home is prohibited. We will ask you to take it with you if your child arrives with food in the A.M.
To be counted for a hot lunch, children must be present by 10:30 a.m.
An afternoon snack is also provided by the center.
Parents must provide all bottles, milk, and/or baby food & formula for Infants.
Hand Washing Policy
Discovery Station requires that all who enter our facility to sanitize when entering and before joining a classes or activities. Adults can either use the hand sanitizer provided at the front counter or wash using soap and warm water in one of our bathroom facilities. Children CANNOT use the hand sanitizer. They must be assisted by the person dropping them off by washing with soap & warm water in one of our bathroom facilities. Any time someone enters the facility whether it is adult or child OR dropping off or picking up, please be sure to help us in our quest to eliminate germ and illnesses in our center and from spreading them to our families by being diligent about our policy. Thanks!
This is where he social media apps are the most helpful!!
In the event a weather issue arises, (i.e. High winds, dangerous snow etc.) that affects our opening or continued operation for a business day, the center Director will make any closure decisions. This may include late arrival/opening, closure and early closure.
All decisions are made in the interest of all of our families and staff safety. We must, in order to function safely and within health regulations, have the following (but not limited to); electricity, running water, heat in cold weather and air conditioning in extreme hot temps. All attempts will be made to make prior arrangements and give advance notification. In the rare event that we are unable to, we will notify you by one of the following methods: A recorded phone message at the center, a posted notification at the center, a phone call or a staff member fielding calls. We recommend that you call prior to arriving in these uncommon situations. It is our goal to be available to you and your family as much as it is possible. These are charged closures. Again, these are very rare events that we hope we never have to act on
If a child is too sick to play or participate, they are too sick to be at daycare. For the protection of the children in our care and staff members, we will not accept or keep a child that has any of the following:
1. A fever of 101’ or higher in the past 24 hours
2. Vomiting one or more times in the past 24 hours
3. Diarrhea one or more times in the past 24 hours
4. Draining rash (must have had no draining rash & be on meds for 24+ hours)
5. Eye discharge or ‘Pink eye’(have no eye discharge & meds for 24+ hours)
6. Lice or Nits
7. Fatigue that prevents participation
8. Any communicable diseases
If your child has been ill during the night or over the weekend, please notify us so that we can be alert for any signs of a repeat bout. If your child becomes ill during the day, your child will be isolated and we will call you to pick up your child or so you can arrange for someone else to. If your child is sent home for any of the above symptoms, your child may not return the following day. Please do not bring them in if they are sick. We cannot maintain a healthy environment if sick children are permitted to attend. Note: A child with a cold has a clear nasal or throat discharge. When the discharge becomes discolored, it indicates there is a secondary infection that requires treatment by a doctor. Children with a secondary infection will not be accepted back until a doctor has seen them and the proper medication is prescribed. Children with communicable diseases will need a note from their doctor stating that they are no longer contagious. If a child’s communicable disease continues for more than 5 days, any days thereafter the tuition will be cut in half for the duration of the illness.
*If you are asked to seek medical attention for your child for any reason, we will require a statement from your child’s physician indicating that they have been seen, what the diagnosis is and what action or treatment is prescribed. They cannot be admitted back into care without this documentation. This is not only for your child’s health but also for everyone that enters our center and we would not ask if we did not feel it was important. It is your responsibility to always have some back-up care available to you for times your child is ill and we cannot take them.
*We appreciate your help in keeping our daycare healthy and happy for all the children.*
In the event that an animal is present as a center pet, a sign will be present in the corridor of the center and will include:
Type of animal and which class it is located
Any known health risks associated with the animal.
Care plan for the animal and who is responsible for the care of the pet
Hand washing policy
Use of Pesticides
If pesticide use is necessary for extermination of pests, a notice of forty-eight hours will be given to parents by posting the details on the front desk. The notice will include:
*Intended date and location of application
*Name of company applying pesticide and the name of the pesticide
*Type of pest to be controlled
*Name & number of person to contact with any further questions
After application of pesticide, a marker will placed at the primary point of entry to the center with all information and will be in place for at least 24 hours.
Medications can be administered providing:
1. The medication is in the original container with clear instructions.
2. Container must include child’s first and last name.
3. We have written authorization from physician regarding the proper administration of medication.
4. Medication form is completed.
5. Medication is labeled for your child’s age and/or weight.
Some non-prescription medications such as sunscreen, diaper ointment, cough syrup etc. will be administered only if we have written permission from the parent.
DO NOT leave medications in diaper bags or backpacks where they can be overlooked and can be dangerous to children. We will store all medications in a sealed container out of reach of children. This includes Chapstick, lotions etc. Any item that can or is intended to be applied on the skin or taken must have an authorization form completed and turned into a staff member.
All children must be up to date on their immunizations before they can be admitted to Discovery Station and must have a physical examination by a physician every year. Immunizations must be updated as required by the Department of Social and Health Services under Washington State law. Parents must provide all information to update files yearly.
Scratches and scrapes are inevitable when children play. They will be treated according to injury. Most require soap, water, TLC and an occasional bandage. For anything more serious, you will be notified. In case of emergency, an ambulance will be called and it is expected that you meet your child at the hospital. All staff members are CPR/First Aid certified. All incidences requiring treatment will be recorded in our injury book and/or and injury report requiring a parent signature will be prepared for their file.
Infants Freshmen Sophomores Juniors Seniors
1 mos.-12 mos. 1 yr-2 yr. 2 yrs-3 yr. 3 yrs-4 yr. 4 ½+
(Approx. age) (Potty trained)
Hourly: N/A N/A N/A $55.00 $55.00
(MINIMUM 3 HOURS FOR HOURLY CARE)
Monthlly $1050.00 $975.00 $975.00 $900.00 $900.00
Infant-3 years old (potty trained) positions are full time only spots.
School Age: Before and after school (during the school year). 5 hours or less: $30.00.
Preschool Only $26.00 (9:00-11:30) Minimum of 2 days per week required. Includes mid-morning snack.
The minimum fee for part timers is 3 hours. Anything over 5 hours is considered full time. Minimum days required for each week is 3 days (this minimum does not apply to Infant through potty-trained positions.) Full time positions take precedence over part time positions.
Infants will be promoted to the Sophomore (1-2’s) class when they are developmentally ready. Readiness will be determined after Director, teachers and parents consult. A transition plan will be provided to you at that time. Infant rate will be charged until child is permanently promoted. Readiness such as exclusively eating table food, napping routine, interacting with other children, general daily practices etc. will be considered. As with any move, space must be available to move your child into the new age group.
ALL PAYMENTS ARE DUE IN ADVANCE. Your payment schedule can be arranged one of two ways. Your choice.
1) Monthly. (due on the 1st of each month). $5.00 per day late past the 1st and no care will be provided if not paid by the morning of the 5th of the month.
2) Bi-Monthly on 1st and 15th of each month. $5.00 per day late past the due date. Care will not be provided if not paid by the morning of the 3rd day and by the morning of the 20th.
Co-pays are due on the 1st of every month in full. $5.00 per day late past the 1st and no care will be provided if not paid in full by the 3rd day of the month.
Both payment arrangements require that payments are due in the AM, at the time of drop off on your due date. (Or first day following that date if it falls on a weekend.) Both arrangements require continued payment for missed days due to non-payment. Non-payment will result in loss of position and 2 week notice is still required and charged.
There is a $5.00 per day late fee for payments not received on the due date. There will be a $50.00 charge on all returned checks. Continued late payments or returned checks will result in termination.
*Accounts past due by 15 days or more will be sent to our collections company and a $50.00 collection fees and any attorney ,filing, court and legal fees will be your responsibility and will be added to your account.
The state prohibits children from being in care longer than 10 hours each day. If care exceeds ten hours in a day, you will be charged the hourly rate of $15.00.
*You will be charged for each day your child is scheduled. This also applies if you or your child is sick or emergencies occur. We have reserved space for your child and the staff was scheduled accordingly.
*Please keep your payment receipts or cancelled checks for tax purposes*
Year end balances are your responsibility to tally and report.
A non-refundable registration fee of $125.00 per child or 150.00 per family will be charged when you child is first enrolled. This is a non-refundable fee and holds a spot for up to 2 weeks.
*The registration fee is yearly and due on January 15th of each year. *
*Yearly Supply of $50.00 is due every July 1st*
We are open year round except the following days:
New Year’s Day Thanksgiving Day & the Friday Following
Memorial Day Christmas Day (Closed Mon. after if it falls on a Sunday)
(Closed Friday prior if Christmas falls on a Saturday)
Day following Christmas: Open at 9:00 AM on years we are open.
Labor Day 4th of July (Independence Day)
Presidents Day (February)
On Christmas Eve and New Years Eve we will close at 3:00 p.m.
Preschool program: 9:00-11:30 Monday through Friday
$26.00 per day per child
(Full time children receive the preschool program at no extra charge).
Directed learning activities.
Minimum of 2 mornings enrolled per week.
Field Trips Children will not be taken off the premises without permission from the parents. We will try to arrange field trips. You will be notified in advance and you are welcome to accompany us and submit any ideas.
Daily Schedule This is a rough idea of a typical schedule for our classes. Each class has a slightly different daily routine and it is posted in each classroom for your review.
6:30 Open-Free Play 12:00 Rest Time
8:15 Breakfast 2:00 Start getting up from naps
9:00 Preschool begins 2:30 Afternoon snacks
9:30 Outdoor play 3:00 Music/Activity Time
10:00 Arts and Crafts time 4:00 Outdoor play time (varies by classroom)
10:30 Circle time 4:45 Story time
11:30 Lunch time 5:00 Free choice/play/start clean-up
* Puzzles, table toys, books(quiet time)
General Policies and Information
No drop off are permitted after 10:30 am without prior arrangements.
*Each family will be given a copy of our disaster plan for emergency situations, such as earthquake or storms.
*In the even you are contacted to pick your child up for any reason we require that you are someone on your enrollment form will do that with-in 1 hour. We would not call if it was not necessary and important.
*School bus Kindergarten transportation is available at:
Puyallup for Naches Trail, Clover Creek and Elk Plain Elementary.
Spanaway for Evergreen, Camas Prairie and Elk Plain Elementary.
*Parents MUST accompany all arriving/departing children in the building.
*Children may only be picked up by parents or authorized persons 18 years old or older as recorded on the enrollment form.
*It is very important that your child and your child’s clothes always be clean.
*Children must be completely dressed (including socks and shoes & jacket if necessary) and not in pajamas. We want them to come ready to learn.
*Because we encourage outdoor play, children should have adequate outdoor clothing. This would include a hooded jacket or warm hat and mittens/gloves in the winter. Label your child’s clothing (such as coats, sweaters, backpack, shoes, etc.) to eliminate problems with lost clothing. We cannot be responsible for lost items.
*An extra set of clothes should be left at the center in a 1 gallon Ziploc, just in case there is an “accident”
Please update them seasonally. Potty trainers, please bring a few extras.
*For children still in diapers, parents are required to provide disposable and baby wipes. This policy is essential for the sanitation of the center. If we have to use our diapers, you will be charged $.50/diaper. If your child is LOANED a diaper from another child that has plenty to spare, you will be replacing it to them when you bring diapers in for your own child. For children who are in the process of being potty trained, we so require plastic pants for the sanitation of the center.
*Bottles brought to the center must have a lid, label showing the child’s name and the date when the bottle was prepared. Bottles will be refrigerated immediately upon arrival at the center; contents will be discarded if not used within twelve hours. Baby food must be provided by parents and labeled with child’s name.
*A Infant Care policy will be given to all infant families at time of enrollment for more details.*
*Staff in prohibited from baby-sitting or providing any sort of care outside of the facility or accepting you accepting or contacting you on any social media site.. So please do not ask. They run the risk of termination in doing so.
*Parents must inform center of any changes in information such as telephone numbers, emergency names and numbers, people authorized to pick up your child, immunizations etc.
*Please do not allow your child to bring food or snacks in the a.m. before breakfast. It’s hard for the other children. We offer a nutritious breakfast for all that are here during breakfast.
*Children are not allowed in the kitchen at any time without an adult.
*We discourage children from bringing toys from home with the exception of their Show & Tell days which will be theme oriented. Violent toys or toy guns are prohibited at all times.
*In case of an actual fire or disaster, we use our sign in sheet for a head count. For your child’s safety, please sign your child in and out each day.
*To help your child adjust to nap time, you may want to send a favorite blanket or something that makes your child feel more secure. All blankets, pillows etc. must be taken home each Friday to be laundered. Please do not drop off you child during nap hours (12:00-2:00). You will be asked to return later. This disrupts children who really need their rest.
*All daycare fees are non-refundable and require a two-week written notification of withdrawal.
*We are required by state law to report any suspected case of child abuse or neglect. We are all mandated reporters and will do so in any event we feel falls into this category.
*A biting policy/plan can be created for children attempting to bite or biting. Each case is reviewed and handled on an individual basis. And geared to the specific child. Children biting repeatedly will be sent home for the remainder of the day for the safety of all. Continues biting may result in termination.
* All balances past due by 15 days will be submitted to our collection company and a $50.00 collection fee will be added to your account along with any late fees that may apply.