General Policies & Procedures

Admission Policies

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center has an open enrollment policy, and accepts all families and children equally. Children must be at least 3 months of age to be enrolled in the program. At times there are waiting lists; children are accepted on a first-come/first-served basis. Before a child is enrolled, we ask that the family come by for a visit and an opportunity to get acquainted with the staff and the daily schedule. Registration forms must be completed at least 48 hours before attending. These forms must be turned in with the annual registration fee and the first week’s tuition prior to your child’s first day in the program.

At the time of enrollment, the parent needs to specify the days and hours that the child will be in attendance. The child may only attend on those days specified in the enrollment agreement unless the Director is able to make alternative arrangements for special situations or for seasonal class activities. Parents need to schedule a first-time conference with their child’s teacher within the first four weeks of attendance. A second conference is schedule in February of each year.

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Tuition and Payment Policies

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning and Development Center operates solely from the tuition fees for each child. Therefore, it is essential that your fees be paid promptly and regularly. In order to ensure proper credit to your account, your check or money order should be made payable to The Sandbox and in the Memo section of your check, please write the name of your child and the week of payment. Receipts will be given for cash payments and always on-request if payment is made by check. We accept Visa and MasterCard payments as well. Parents will not receive a bill; they are expected to just make their regular weekly or monthly payments at the front desk.

Tuition is due in advance, to be paid on Friday for the upcoming week. Tuition will remain the same during periods with days that are closed for holidays. The exception to this policy is during the week between Christmas and New Year’s when we are closed and an additional Floating Vacation week, where no tuition will be charged (please see section entitled “Hours of Operation”). There are no refunds or credits of tuition if your child is absent; tuition is paid based on your child’s registered schedule.

Non-payment of tuition will result in immediate late fees and dismissal of your child from the program. Delinquent accounts will be referred to a Collection Agency and all additional costs incurred in the collection of delinquent tuition will be the responsibility of the debtor. There is a $25 handling fee for a returned check; a second returned check will result in the same fee, and all future payments will be required to be made in cash or money order. All returned checks must be repaid with cash only within 24 hours notice that it was returned.

Any time a child is gone for more than two weeks without payment of the regular weekly tuition, the child will be dropped from the enrollment list and the vacancy may be filled. If an opening is available, the child may be re-enrolled with a new registration fee to be paid.

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The Sandbox will be closed on the following holidays:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day (Third Monday of January)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday of May)
  • Independence Day – July 4th (Closed the entire week)
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Holiday (Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, depending on the year)

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center will not charge tuition for the two weeks that the Center is closed (Independence Day week and the Christmas holiday).

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Daily Closing Time Policy

Various sessions during the day have specific closing times, and it is expected that all children will be picked up at or before that time. A $1.00 per minute late fee is charged for any child not picked up after their scheduled end of session. If an emergency delays you and you are not able to pick up your child, please call the centers before your scheduled session ends. In the event that your child is still at The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center after closing time (6:00pm) and we have still not heard from you, we take the following actions:

  • Attempt to reach you at the numbers listed on your enrollment information form.
  • Attempt to contact those listed on the blue emergency card (NOTE: you must designate two different contacts/telephone numbers on your card. If you are new to the area, you must specify 911 and Child Protective Services as your emergency contact.)
  • Call the authorities or, if the Director feels is in the best interest of the child, a designated staff-person will take the child home for the evening until the parent arrives or emergency persons are contacted to provide a better arrangement. If you do not agree with this policy and wish that your child be delivered to the authorities (Tucson Police Department or Casa De Los Niños), please put this request in writing to leave in your file at The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center office.

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Daily Drop-Off/Pick-Up Daycare Tucson

We would like to assist you as much as possible with your morning drop off. When entering the facility, please take your child directly to their classroom, wash their hands, put away their lunch, meet and greet your child’s teacher, etc. Your child is your responsibility until you have put away their belongings and made contact with their teacher. Before departing, please sign your child in at the front office.

When retrieving your child at the end of the day, please sign him/her out before picking up your child. Be sure to collect all of their belongings and make contact with your child’s teacher regarding his/her day. Once you have collected your child, he/she is your responsibility for the remainder of time that you are at the center.

As mentioned above, it is expected that you drop-off and pick-up your child on time. We will not release a child to any adult who appears impaired in any way. If you have any concerns or need help in any way, please discuss with your child’s teacher or the office. For a child with any disability that needs additional assistance, please discuss individualized care to make drop-off and pick-up a safe and pleasant procedure.

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Withdrawal and Termination

If you no longer need childcare at The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center, please provide us with two weeks written notice of your child’s last day in the program and the reason for leaving. Due to our frequent waiting lists, we ask your cooperation in this matter to help facilitate the entry process for another child. Parents will be asked to fill out an “Exiting Evaluation” when their child will no longer be attending.

On rare instances, it is necessary for The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center to terminate services for a child due to the following reasons:

  • Non-payment of tuition fees and/or lack of adherence to our tuition payment policies.
  • Lack of cooperation from parents with the program’s efforts to resolve differences and/or to meet the child’s needs through parent/staff meetings.
  • Abusive behavior and/or verbal threats by parents toward staff or other parents or children.
  • Parents in any way disciplining children other than their own.
  • Parents disciplining their own child in a manner which the staff feels is abusive.
  • The child exhibits special needs or needs related to a serious illness that would place a hardship on the center to provide adequate care.

If for any reason the program is found to be unsatisfactory for a particular child, we will make every effort to discuss this with the parents in order to arrive at a solution which will be in the child’s best interest. The goal will be to help the child make adjustments here first; if this is not possible, the parent and/or the program may choose to terminate the child’s attendance.

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Lunches and Snacks

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center will provide both a morning and afternoon snack for the children, and a copy of the weekly snack menu will be posted in the office and in each classroom on the Parent Board.

Lunches must be provided by the parent, in either a disposable paper bag or a reusable soft-sided lunchbox, either of which must be clearly marked with the child’s name. Parents are to put their child’s lunch in the appropriate refrigerator and any food that must be micro-waved (again, in a clearly marked container) in the designated “food to be warmed” bin as indicated by your child’s classroom teacher. Drinks and utensils for lunch will be provided by us, please do not send any type of juice or juice box. Three-year olds and up will send a toothbrush in their lunchboxes each day. The children will use water to clean their teeth after their lunch meal.

All reusable soft-sided lunchboxes will be placed in containers in front of the classroom, as indicated by your child’s teacher. Due to health and sanitation regulations, our center cannot refrigerate leftover food in lunchboxes after the child’s meal; they will go into their outside cubbies. Lunches are scheduled from 11:00am to 12:30pm depending on your child’s age and classroom.

Please refer to the USDA GUIDELINES provided at registration as you prepare a well balanced lunch for your child. Soda pop and gum are not allowed at the center and candy is discouraged. If your child has a special food need due to allergies or medical conditions, please have your health care provider give the program an Individualized Care Plan that is prepared in consultation with family members and specialists involved in the child’s care. Soymilk brought from home must come is sippy cup or thermos daily, we cannot store. Parents are discouraged from sending hot dogs, grapes, nuts, popcorn, raw peas, hard pretzels, peanut butter, or chunks of raw carrots. Please discuss with child’s teacher for more detailed explanations.

Children enjoy celebrating their birthday at the center with their classmates. You may want to send a special snack for the day, such as mini-cupcakes or ice cream and fruit, but feel free to discuss other items with your child’s teacher, such as party favors, piñatas, etc. The State of Arizona Health Regulations does require that these shared snacks be store-purchased. There will also be times throughout the year when The Sandbox and/or your child’s teachers may provide snacks or treats for special occasions, such as holidays.

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Clothing & Belongings

Each child is given a cubby in which to keep his or her belongings during the day. All items and belongings must be clearly labeled with your child’s name; they must be “larger than your foot” yet small enough to fit in your child’s cubby. Cuddly toys for naptime are an exception to this rule.

If your child needs a special blanket for naptime, please make sure it is clearly marked and leave it in your child’s naptime cubby. Blankets are sent home for washing as the teacher or parent deem necessary. We wash the sheets once a week in our washing machine.

It is also requested that you provide a weather-appropriate change of clothing for your child to leave in the cubby. When used clothing should be replaced by a clean set for unexpected accidents. Jackets and swimsuits/towels bags will be left in designated areas assigned by your child’s teacher.

Your child will spend some time outside every day and should dress appropriately for the weather. During cold weather, please dress your child in layers that can be removed as it warms up during the day. When the weather is inclement, the staff will provide large motor activities inside. Well-worn and comfortable clothing is suggested for floor activities, arts and crafts and any other messy, playful experiences.

For those children not yet potty-trained, you will be required to provide classroom staff with enough diapers and wipes for the week. You will be notified when your supplies are running low. Please discuss any diapering concerns or ideas with the staff before making any changes.

Lost and found boxes are located inside the front office. Any lost item not claimed within a reasonable time frame will be given away. If your child has a particularly difficult time keeping track of his or her belongings, they will be discouraged from bringing items to school. The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center will make every effort to help keep track of items; those lost usually turn up within a day or two. Again, all items must be clearly marked with your child’s name.

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Transportation is provided at the center for those children needing before and after school care. Parents are required to sign an authorization form for the child to be taken in the school van with an experienced staff driver. The proper safety measures, including seat belts, First Aid equipment and bottled water are carried in the van. For children who, by law, must be in a properly installed child safety seat, The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center uses booster seats for restraints.

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Field Trips

The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center offers many supervised excursions to appropriate sites around the city, such as parks, bowling, roller skating, and special holiday events. Parents must sign and have notarized an authorization to transport their children upon enrollment. Parents must also sign an individual permission slip for each event, and are encouraged to accompany their child if possible. Some field trips will require the students to carry their lunch with them; on those days please provide your child’s lunch in a disposable paper bag and ensure that all food can be eaten at room temperature. Most field trips are free; however, some trips may have a small entrance fee. The number of children going on a field trip determines how many adults are required for supervision. The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center always maintains state ratios for each event, and each event is supervised by a First Aid/CPR certified staff member.

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The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center maintains accident and liability insurance policies for all aspects of its operations. Our Department of Health Services file is in the office and available to any interested parents upon request. Please provide us with your child’s insurance provider and policy number for the file.
Our early childhood school provides an environment rich in space and materials, as well as qualified staff who encourage child-initiated discoveries while emphasizing experimentation and exploration through hands-on activities.

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