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Parent Resources

If you are an existing CEFA Parent, you may find some of our commonly referenced policies and articles of interest below. Please refer to your Parent Handbook for more complete information and details. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your school’s Principal.

Illness Policy

Children with certain illnesses and infections must stay at home to ensure they receive appropriate care. This will also help prevent the infection from spreading to other children and staff in the school.

Children must not be at school if they have:

  • An illness that prevents them from taking part in all of the daily activities
  • An illness that requires more care than teachers can provide without affecting the health and safety of other children and staff
  • A very infectious disease, such as:
    • Food borne illnesses (all causes, ie; Salmonella)
    • Diphtheria
    • Giardiasis
    • Hepatitis A, B and C
    • German measles (Rubella)
    • Bacterial or viral meningitis
    • Hemolytic Uremic syndrome (the E Coli toxin of Hemorrhagic colitis or hamburger disease)
    • Meningococcal disease (Bacteraemia or Meningitis)
    • Chicken Pox
    • Whooping cough (Pertussis)
    • Impetigo
    • Scabies
    • Lice

Please notify the school immediately if your child develops any communicable disease, including any listed above.

Your child may be sent home if an undiagnosed skin rash develops while at the school. The school will need a note from the Doctor to ensure clearance they are not contagious and that the child is well enough to be at the school.

In the case of a communicable disease, please have a physician’s approval prior to returning to school. Your child may return to school with a note from the doctor specifying it is safe to return to class, when the child is able to participate in all class activities.

If your child has been prescribed antibiotics, they may not return to school until 24 hours have passed from the time they took the first dose. After that time the antibiotics can be administered by a teacher, as long as it is a doctor prescribed medication and the necessary forms have been completed and submitted to the school. Over the counter medicines will not be administered by any staff at CEFA, unless we have written permission from your doctor and the necessary forms have been completed and submitted to the school. If your child requires medication, he/she may not be well enough to attend school.

Please plan ahead by making arrangements for alternative care for your child, as it is common for children to become ill and require care at home, especially younger children (cefababy and Junior Kindergarten One age group). Please ensure that your emergency contact information is up to date at the school in case we need to contact you should your child become ill while at school.

We also require that you keep your child at home until 24 hours have passed from the last time he exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • fever (see guidelines below)
  • on-going vomiting or diarrhea
  • cold, cough, or sore throat.
Fever

Guidelines for normal temperature range:

Measurement method Normal temperature range
Mouth 35.5°C to 37.5°C (95.9°F to 99.5°F)
Armpit 34.7°C to 37.3°C (94.5°F to 99.1°F)
Ear 35.8°C to 38°C (96.4°F to 100.4°F)

The teacher will call you to pick up your child, if their temperature is higher than the normal temperature range in this chart, as it would be considered a fever.

Colds

Young children get many colds, sometimes, as many as 8 to 10 each year before they are 2 years old. Colds tend to be more common in the Fall and Winter when children are indoors and in closer contact with each other, so it may seem like your child has cold after cold all Winter long. Young children have more colds than older children and adults because they have not built up immunity to the more than 100 different cold viruses that exist. Typically by the time they start primary school, children who have attended group activities will have fewer colds than other children.

Is it just a cold or something more?

  • Typical cold symptoms can include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and a mild sore throat
  • Colds can sometime cause a fever
  • Colds last about a week, but can last as long as 2 weeks
  • Some respiratory viruses that cause colds in older children and adults may cause more serious illness when they infect infants and toddlers. These illnesses include croup, bronchiolitus, sore eyes, sore throat and neck gland swelling.
  • The influenza virus can cause high fever, cough and body aches, strikes more quickly than a cold and causes an infected person to be sicker.

When to take your child to the doctor

  • Although red eyes and watery discharge are common with a cold, pus is a sign of an eye infection, and should be treated by a doctor. The child will need to stay at home until after 24 hours of being on the prescribed antibiotic
  • It is common to have thick or discolored (yellow, green) discharge from the nose with a cold. However, if it lasts for more than 10 to 14 days, contact your doctor

Summer Activities for Preschoolers

8 Ideas for Warm-Weather Fun that Help Build Important Skills

A beautiful summer day is motivation enough to get outside and play with your preschooler, but whether you realize it or not, games and activities that are staples of summer — playing catch, jumping rope and pumping on a swing — can help your child develop important physical abilities like hand-eye coordination and gross and fine motor skills. So grab a few bottles of water, slather on some sunscreen and get ready to try some of these summer activities for preschoolers.

This list is aimed at kids ages 3-5, but remember every child develops differently so choose and modify activities based on your child’s abilities.

1. Ride a Bike (or Trike)
Riding a bike, whether it’s a tricycle or a “big kid” bicycle with or without training wheels is a great way to help your little one develop his gross motor skills and eye hand coordination. Plus, it’s a fun family activity that gets you all moving.When it is mastered, bike riding is an easy task, but when your child is first learning, it can be a challenge so make sure she’s on a bike that is age- and size-appropriate and she’s wearing the proper safety gear. Be sure to discuss bike safety and the rules of the road (even if you’ll be on a sidewalk or at the park).

2. Play Catch
Playing with a ball offers all sorts of opportunities for kids to utilize different skill sets, whether she throws, catches or kicks.

Catching and throwing: For the most part, kids don’t master catching and throwing until they hit about five. Eye-hand coordination is important here and it takes a little while to develop that skill. In any case, it’s fun to practice. Use balls of different sizes (or even beanbags) and take turns throwing and catching. Don’t use a ball that is too hard. Start off close together and gradually move further apart.

Kicking: Again, play around with balls of different sizes and degrees of hardness. Encourage your child to switch feet when he kicks. Try running and dribbling the ball up and down the yard.

3. Blow Bubbles
Seems simple enough, but blowing bubbles is actually a tricky skill for preschoolers to master. Their lips have to be in just the right position and they have to blow the correct way in order to form bubbles. Most kids aren’t able to do this proficiently until about age 3 or so. Handling the wand and the bottle can also get frustrating for kids — both can get slippery and can spill easily.

So start off easy. Offer a variety of homemade wands (fly swatters, berry baskets and pipe cleaners all work well) and show your child how to dip the wand and wave it to make bubbles.
Also a fun family activity — making your own homemade bubble solution!

4. Hula Hoop
Admittedly, using a hula hoop the way it was designed to be played with can be frustrating for a preschooler (and many adults!). But there are a lot of ways to play with a hula hoop that offer your little one a chance to develop physical skills (and his creativity). Here are just a couple of fun games you can play with hula hoops:

  • Toss beanbags into hula hoops that are staggered around your yard.
  • Encourage him to use the hula hoop as steering wheel — see what types of adventures he takes you on!
  • Lay a bunch of hula hoops side-by-side in a path. Have your preschooler jump, skip, hop on one foot or even crawl between them.
  • Using hoop holders, grownups or other children, hold hoops up so kids can crawl through the hoops like a tunnel.
5. Make the Outdoors Your Canvas
Art projects take on a greater magnitude outside. With sidewalk chalk and paint, help your child to create — hopscotch boards, race tracks, a storefront and more. Practice tracing one another and then draw faces and clothing on the empty forms. Got an old easel in the garage? Bring it outside for an al fresco art show.

Without the worry of a mess to clean up, let them paint, colour and create to their heart’s content.

6. Go for a Walk

Whether you take a stroll around the neighbourhood, the local park or even through your sprinkler, walking and running develops leg muscles and gets your little one moving. When it’s appropriate, take off her shoes and socks for a sensory experience — let her feel the cool grass, the grainy sand or even the rough sidewalk (make sure nothing is too hot before tender feet touch).

Plan a hike with a picnic or just a quick jaunt around your block. While walking, change your style — pretend to be airplanes that fly or cars that drive fast or even a fish swimming through the sea.

7. Jump Rope

Chances are your little one won’t be able to jump rope until she’s about five or six, but that doesn’t mean she can’t try. Start off with the basics — just jumping. Kids will love jumping over cracks in the sidewalk, rocks on the driveway, into puddles or off of curbs, even on one foot.

When you are ready to introduce the rope, lie it flat on the ground at first and have her jump over it, eventually raising it slightly off the ground — careful not to make it too high, you don’t want her to trip and fall. When she’s ready, add the jump rope to the mix, having her step over it at first and eventually jumping.

8. Take a Swing

An obvious choice, playgrounds offer a host of activities. A favourite of many children are the swings, but learning to pump can be difficult as the motion requires balance, strength and good timing. To teach your child to pump, you may want to hop on the swings yourself at first to demonstrate the technique. Then when it is his turn, describe what it is that you want him to do. Say something like, “Push your legs out and pull them in.” Move your position, sometimes standing behind your child, sometimes in front while you push him, encouraging the correct motion.

Before your child gets on the swing, be sure to remind him that it can be dangerous to walk in front of or behind a swing and show him the correct way to approach them.

Back To School Special: Easing that “back to school” anxiety in your child.


Some children are happy school will begin soon, while others wish summer would last longer. Both attitudes are normal and perfectly okay. But what if back to school mode brings tears, stomach aches and sleepless nights in your house? The solution for parents may be to stop, listen and perhaps “lighten the load”.

Moms Like Me member Lisa DeMichael says her children do get a bit nervous as the start of school approaches. One daughter loses her appetite at breakfast. Signs of typical back to school anxiety include: nervousness, changes in sleep, and appetite. These symptoms typically subside once your child settles into their new school routine. Signs of severe anxiety include unexplained headaches, dizziness and stomach aches too. If a pediatrician rules out a physical cause, it might be time for moms and dads to do an emotional check-up of their own.

First, talk to your child about school. What makes them nervous? It’s important to listen and not interrupt as they talk.

Also, ask them 3 things that they like about school, and why they like them. Role play scenarios that make them nervous. Always keep the lines of communication open. Find time to talk each day.

“Just that time for bonding that’s amazing”, said Natacha Beim, founder and CEO of CEFA Early Learning. Beim recommends sitting with your child during homework time. “You are just sitting down chatting about things. You might chat about work. Homework might take a bit longer but you will get all the information that you need.”

Understand that tears can be helpful. It’s a good stress reliever. It’s hard to see your child crying, and first instincts may be to help them stop as soon as possible. But after the tears have all come out, your child may be in a particularly open and receptive mood for talking and sharing. Be there as sympathetic ear, but consider letting the crying take its course.

Increasingly, overscheduling can play a role in back to school anxiety. After a day of classroom sitting, listening and concentration it is important for kids to have time each day, to just relax. “Instead of working on homework after school we might break it up. Or if we have too much going on, we just try to cut back on what we do”, Lisa said. Beim recommends limiting after school activities. No more than one a day. It’s most important that your child have time to relax. And if you are stressed shuttling them from activity to activity, it’s a good bet they will be stressed too.
It’s also important to know when to seek outside help. Look for major changes in friendships, sleeping, eating, attitudes and behaviour. If you’ve established a good rapport with your child and he suddenly doesn’t want to talk, that’s a sign of trouble as well.

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