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Parent Handbook


Hearts & Hands Preschool is a full-day, year-around program that is open to all children regardless of race, gender, religion, or country of origin.

Ages Served - Children ages two and nine months to six years of age as long as they can toilet independently.


Days of Operation - Monday -Friday. Closed for national holidays, Winter, Spring and Summer Break and 2 days of In-Service for Teachers. We attempt to follow the Calistoga Elementary closure dates as closely as possible. (Please refer to the Appendix for this year’s Calendar of closing dates)


Hours of Operation - 7:30 a.m. –  5:30 p.m.


Special Needs - Hearts & Hands Preschool makes every effort to support families with children who have special needs. We work closely with county services and are committed to doing all we can to provide services. If the needs of the child are greater than we can provide, Hearts & Hands Preschool reserves the right to refer families to other centers and resources.


Licensing - Hearts & Hands Preschool is licensed by the State of California and is monitored by the State Community Care Licensing Board located in Rohnert Park. Our preschool is subject to periodic unscheduled inspections by licensing representatives. In addition, without prior notification, parents/guardians have the right, upon presentation of ID during regular hours of operation, to enter and inspect Hearts & Hands when their child is receiving care (please refer to the application form titled “Parents Rights”).

Reporting Child Neglect and/or Abuse - Failure to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect on the part of mandated reporters (teachers and child care providers) within 36 hours, is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Because of this, marks on your child that have not been pointed out to the school personnel upon arrival at school can be reported to the authorities.

Program - Hearts & Hands Preschool teachers plan weekly for activities, projects and discovery experiences based on the themes listed in our Yearly Curriculum. Activities and projects include the following:

  • Sensory materials for a variety of tactile experiences

  • Art projects for experimentation in a variety of media encouraging creative self-expression

  • Science, nature objects and books that promote discovery and exploration

  • Math experiences using manipulative materials for spatial and matching exercises

  • Reading and language experiences using media such as books, stories-on-tape and felts

  • Dramatic play areas for dress-up, role-play and social interaction promoting language and socialization

  • Writing experiences enhanced by cutting, coloring and drawing


Snacks and Lunch It is important that nutritious food is provided from home. Snack items must be placed in a separate bag from lunch food. Please slice fruit and sandwiches.

Perishable foods must be packed with ice-packs. Soups, meats and other hot foods need to be stored in a heat-keeping thermos or other insulated and tightly sealed container. Please do not send foods that need to be re-heated OR cooked.

Please, NO juice, gummy snacks, soda, candy, cookies or flavored milk. These items will be put into the parents’ box to be returned home. 

Clothing - Your child will need comfortable clothes and shoes for both indoor and outdoor activities. Closed toe, rubber soled shoes are the safest. We also ask that two sets of extra underwear, clothes and socks be brought in case clothes get wet with play or accidents. All clothes, sweaters and jackets should be labeled with your child’s name or initials.


Cubbies - Your child will have his/her own cubby in which to store extra clothes, finished class work and projects. We will remind you with notes if your child needs extra clean clothes, shoes or other items.


Toys from Home - We have learned that toys brought from home bring more sadness than joy. We have many toys and ask that everything else stays home. The one exception is a soft item for nap-time, and then only if absolutely necessary.


Transportation and Field Trips - All transportation to and from school is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.


Walking Field Trips in the neighborhood may include visits to Pioneer Park, the Koi fish pond or simply a walk around the block. “Off Site Field Trips”(including but not limited to private properties)require permission slips for each child which will be sent home in advance and must be signed and returned before the trip.


Birthdays - We enjoy celebrating each child’s birthday. With photos you bring from home, we see how your child has grown each year since birth. Special treats such as fruit juice popsicles or 100% fruit juice sweetened snacks are encouraged instead of cake or cookies. We will serve these during afternoon snack time. If you would like to provide a special lunch for the children, we can celebrate during lunch time as well. Because we want to protect the feelings of all the children at school, invitations to “home” parties should remain family matters and should not come to school.


Orientation - Because transitions can be difficult for children and parents alike, we encourage parents to visit our school with their children before enrolling. Depending on the needs of your child, for the first few days of enrollment please plan on an extra 10 minutes with him/her each day after signing in and before leaving.  For children who have not been in child care before or away from home for an extended period of time, we recommend a minimum of three half days a week to begin with. These are general recommendations. Some children are so enthusiastic they hardly need reassurance. We are committed to making each transition as easy as possible


Communication: Staying in Touch - It is extremely important to us that teachers and parents work together.

  • WE will send important notices, monthly statements, accident reports and announcements home to parents. Please check for these items from us every day!

  • YOU need to tell us if there is anything happening at home that affects your child. We need to know if he/she was ill during the night, or had an injury when they weren’t at school.

  • PLEASE notify the school if your child will be absent for any reason. We need to know between 8-9a.m. on or before the day your child will be gone. If you can’t notify us in person, please call 707-942-1224 and leave a message.

  • The Director has regular office hours and is eager to talk with you regarding your child or any concerns you might have.

  • The Preschool Board of Directors meets monthly during the school year. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss established policies and procedures and to review any concern a parent might have. Any parent or guardian is welcome to attend the meetings.

Hearts and Hands Preschool Policies


 Registration is open all year. The registration fee of $60 is payable in full and is non-refundable. In order to get the full benefit of our program, we expect a minimum attendance of three full days a week on an ongoing basis. Any exceptions must be agreed to by the Director. Please refer to the admission agreement for the tuition fees.

 Admission to Hearts & Hands Preschool may happen only with:

  1. Fully completed registration forms

  2.  A completed Physician’s Health Report OR Dr. Appointment for no later than 30 days from starting.

  3. Up-to-date immunizations. Licensing requires a copy of the following immunizations on file before your child may attend the preschool.

    4. A signed Parent Handbook Acknowledgment and Agreement form.

    5. Commitment to Small Hands Big Hearts Auction participation OR the payment of the $350 fee for opting out of working

  the date of the auction.

    6. First month’s tuition and registration fee


Billing and Fees

Monthly Tuition for Full Day Attendance (between 7:30 and after 3p)

  • Days/wk - $900, Four Days/wk - $720, Three Days - $540

Billing is in the form of an email or invoice placed in the parent box during the last week of every month. Tuition is due on the first day of the month. .  After the 5th of the month tuition is considered “overdue” and a late fee of $25 will be assessed unless previous arrangements have been made with the Director.


It is our goal to make sure tuition doesn’t become a burden. For this reason, if payment cannot be made within 4 weeks from the due date, your child will be un-enrolled and may not attend until the tuition amount is paid.


Tuition is on a month to month contract basis and is expected in full regardless of illness or vacation days taken, whether the school is closed for Holidays, Professional Development, Breaks or unforeseen reasons (See Emergency Closures). If an adjustment in tuition for absences taken outside the center’s scheduled closures is desired, two weeks’ notice is required.


Scholarships and Discounts

We offer 25% and 35% discounts for children based on the household’s yearly income. Refer to the application packet for the qualifications. This is on a first-come-first served basis and must be applied for. After receiving a scholarship, there must be a re-application and evaluation of qualification after the first three months of attendance and every six months after that. This is to ensure that we are able to offer scholarships to as many children as possible. We also offer a 10% discount per month for the second child of a currently enrolled family.


Insufficient Funds

Checks returned due to insufficient funds will incur a $30.00 charge. If two checks within a six month period are returned, money orders or cashier checks will be required.


 Depending on available space, we welcome enrolled children for extra day/s of attendance outside the contracted number for that month. . The charge for each extra day is $45.00


Parent Participation

We hold regular parent meetings which include parent input and ideas, current Early Childhood Educational bulletins, school happenings and fundraising news. We will look for at least one parent of each child to attend each of these important meetings.


Tuition alone does not cover the expenses of our center.This participation includes getting donations from employers and businesses you support, selling raffle tickets, and especially volunteering at the fundraising events.


20% or more of the yearly operating costs of Hearts & Hands Preschool is raised at the each year. Free childcare is provided during the hours worked. We do provide an option of paying a $350 fee to opt out of the work on this date but the other duties associated with the auction are still required.


Arrival & Pick-Up Time

For the benefit of your child and respect for other families, arrival is very important! Please notify the school if there will be a late drop-off because there are days when teachers plan an impromptu walk and arriving late will require the parent to locate the teachers in the neighborhood for drop off.


We close promptly at 5:30 pm daily. The adult picking up the child will be required to sign the Late Pick-Up Form at that time and the fees will be collected or added to the next tuition invoice.


Signing In and Out

Licensing requires that each child be signed in and out daily by a parent or authorized parent representative, 18 years or older. There will be a fine of $25 anytime a parent or guardian forgets to sign a child in or out, AND the fine must be paid before the child can be dropped off again. Hearts & Hands could be charged as much as $1,500.00 for failure to follow these regulations and in that case, we would have no choice but to pass the cost on to the parent.

Any person picking up your child for the first time must have a photo ID and their name on the registration papers.  We must receive a note or phone call in advance from you if this person has not picked your child up before.


 Discipline Plan

First and foremost in our school, teachers commit themselves to being conscious of potential problems and using to help children who are unhappy or making poor choices.


When these steps aren’t enough and the teacher has made two or more attempts to resolve the problem, your child will be sent to the Director who will discuss the situation with the parents at the earliest opportunity. An incident report will be made (see a copy of the form in the Appendix).

  • After three incident reports without resolution a staff and parent conference will be held.

  • If behavior hasn’t improved after this, for the sake of your child and Hearts & Hands preschool, there will be a termination of enrollment.

NOTE: In extreme situations when a child hits, kicks or otherwise places her or himself, other children or staff in harm’s way, parents will be called and required to immediately pick-up the child. Acceptance back to school will depend on an action plan and agreement between the parents and Director.


Health and Safety


Nap Time

Rest is the single most important factor in keeping our immune system healthy. For this reason we expect all children to . Our definition of rest is lying on cots, quietly relaxed for at least 40 minutes. The school provides a cot sheet. Parents must provide a blanket large enough to cover their child and a pillow if desired. After 40 minutes of quiet, if your child has not fallen asleep, s/he may read, or do other quiet activities until naptime is over.

California State law requires that we check each child for signs of injury or illness every day upon arrival. A child who has the following symptoms will not be allowed to stay. If s/he develops these symptoms during the day, s/he will be isolated, a parent will be notified and the child will need to be picked up within the hour.

  • Fever of 100 or higher

  • Discharge from the eyes or nose that is yellow or green

  • Pink/red eyes

  • Cough which produces mucous

  • Complaints of ear pain

  • Severe sore throat

  • More than one episode of vomiting and/or diarrhea


Illnesses can actually be a positive thing because this is the body’s way of building up its immune system. For this reason, we will only call if we believe your child would truly be better off at home or we need to protect the others from contagions.  When your child becomes sick at home, PLEASE CALL AND INFORM US OF HIS/HER ABSENCE.  They may return only after 24 hours (one full day) without any fever. There must be a 48 hour or 2 day space between the last episode of diarrhea and returning to school.


Medication Policy

The only medications Hearts & Hands Preschool teachers will administer are:

  • Prescription Antibiotics AFTER your child has been home for the first 24 + hours of illness

  • Oral, Topical or Inhaled Medications

  • EpiPen or EpiPen Jr.


The following requirements must be met before medication is administered.


  • The child’s authorized representative is responsible for giving the medication and supplies to the center’s teachers directly. Children are never to transport medication to and from the facility; this includes a lunch bag or backpack.

  • The child’s authorized representative must complete the MEDICATION AND ADMINISTRATION REQUEST AND RECORD before leaving the medication.

  • Medication, supplies and equipment must be in the original labeled container with the child’s name on it and may not be expired.

Care and Storage

  • Medication will be stored in a secure, clean location inaccessible to children. Medications that require refrigeration will be stored in a designated area of the refrigerator and will be inaccessible to children.

  • Medications that have expired or are no longer being used will be returned to the child’s authorized representative. If the medicine has not been picked up within one week of the date of the request, then the medication must be disposed of by the staff.

Administration and Documentation

  • Facility will have trained staff that will be appointed and properly trained on the various Incidental Medical Services the center provides.

  • Facility will maintain documentation of medication and Incidental Medical Services on a log after every medication or service is administered.


Dairy allergies will require parents to bring alternative drinks when milk is served for snack and there may be times when parents will wish to supply alternative food. If there is a child with severe peanut or other severe food allergies,


Injury or Accidents

Anytime your child gets injured, you will be informed by having an Accident Report filled out and placed in your Parent Box (see copy of the form in the Appendix). If there is a serious injury of a medical or dental nature, immediate first aid will be given, 911 called and the parent notified. In this case an “Unusual Incident Report” will be created for documentation purposes.


Emergency Drills

We regularly conduct Fire and Earthquake drills with the children. This is to acquaint them with evacuation procedures and enable an actual crisis to be met with calm and efficiency. Please see the copy of our emergency procedures in the Appendix.


Emergency Closures

Major Disaster- In the event of a major disaster which requires evacuation of the Hearts & Hands Preschool facility, our back-up location for picking up your child will be the Calistoga Elementary School.

Local Emergency –When nearby fires cause City evacuation orders Hearts and Hands Preschool will close and remain closed until those orders are lifted. Closures may also take place if staff members cannot work due to evacuation orders. Only under the most severe air quality conditions will the school close. The severe conditions would be a city-wide alert to remain indoors at all cost and Air Quality index of over 200. In such a case the school will remain closed until the forecast calls for that number to drop below 190.   During “Unhealthy Air”, when the Air Quality Index is between 101 and 200 the children will remain indoors.


For the safety and comfort of the children, in case of flooding, loss of electricity or loss of running water for more than one hour, the Director will close the school until the situation is resolved.  Parents will be notified as soon as possible. For this reason, it is IMPERATIVE that CONTACT NUMBERS be kept CURRENT!


All tuition is required in the event of unforeseen closures.


Tobacco Policy

Hearts & Hands Preschool is a Tobacco Free Environment. We do not have a designated smoking area and require that ANY smoking be done 40 or more feet away from the building and yard. This rule applies to staff and parents alike.


Walking Field Trips

Parents will be notified for approval prior to visiting any private property while on a walking field trip.



Parents must plan ahead if they want to bring a pet to school to share with us. Other parents will be notified for approval for their children prior handling any pets.



Hearts & Hands Preschool follows strict confidentiality rules with regard to all family and staff records. Files are kept confidential and locked at all times in a file cabinet. Only the Director has access to these records and will release NO information unless given written permission by the family.


As extensive as this Handbook may seem, there may be circumstances which have not been covered. Our commitment to you is to first maintain open communication at all times, second, be honest, and third, to always work with you until we find the best possible situation for you and your child.

Please do not hesitate to voice any concerns or questions. We are glad you’ve chosen Heart and Hands Preschool and we treasure your child!



Yoanna Contreras, Director


Hearts and Hands Preschool Inc. Board of Directors

Get in Touch

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