Membership Information Guide
Children’s Recreation & Development Programs Membership Information Parent/Guardian Guide Executive Director, Children’s Recreation Programs 9025670240
Welcome to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club.
Thank you for choosing to register your child as a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club. We have developed this information guide to give you an overview of the Children’s Recreation & Development Programs and the expectations that you can have of the program and staff. It will also outline what expectations we have of parents and members so that we can provide the best possible experience for your child.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club exists to provide the opportunity for all children in our community to experience recreational, social, and educational programs in a safe, enjoyable, and supportive atmosphere. All of our programs and interactions with members are designed to promote the development of self-esteem. We will endeavor to schedule programs to ensure all children have access to the Club, including those families in which the parent(s) are working outside the home or going to school.
1. To provide a sense of belonging by getting to know each child as an individual.
2. To allow a child freedom to express feelings, thoughts, and ideas at all times.
3. To provide hands-on experience through the availability of safe, age-appropriate materials and equipment.
4. To implement programs that will aid the children in self-chosen activities that enhances social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills.
5. To provide a safe and secure environment.
6. To encourage and support children, and staff to demonstrate respect for one another.
7. To provide an atmosphere this builds self-esteem and acknowledges the child’s successes.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Executive Director of Children’s Recreation Programs, Chester Borden at 902-567-0240.
Members can choose to register for 1 to 5 days per week.
Our programs offer a wide range of activities that develop social, intellectual, and physical skills as well as broaden children’s interests. Children can be involved in programming that includes arts & crafts, drama, community involvement, leadership, healthy living and less structured free choice activities. We also provide the opportunity for children to work on their homework in our Power Up! Home Work Club. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club supports the integration of the Developmental Assets Model developed by the Search Institute. Parents wishing more information about Developmental Assets may contact any staff person.
Programs are offered throughout the school months, September through to June.
All Clubs open their doors at 2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. We provide a nutritious snack afterschool and offer pre-program activities until core program time starts. Children separate into their programs, which run through to 5:00 p.m. Parents may pick up their children at the end of core program time. If you require an early pick-up time for your child, on any given day, please let the Program Coordinator or program staff knows in advance so that arrangements can be made to ensure your child is on site when you arrive for pick-up. At the end of core program time the Club reopens from 6:00PM until 8:00PM for Evening Programs, where children are able to participate in less structured programming such as, Hip Hop Dance, Drawing Class and other activities in the club or outside, and/or previously registered speciality programming.
The Club is closed over the Christmas holidays, all-statutory holidays, Easter Monday and opens 9AM- 5PM on some District In-service days. We may offer March Break programming when there is a demand and Summer Programs.
If your child is not attending programs on their designated program day, a parent/guardian must contact the Program Coordinator or Executive Director prior to 2:00pm. We operate our programs on individual school in-service days. In the case of a recurring failure to inform, families may lose the opportunity to access programs.
Transfer of Care
When children are scheduled to attend, and are using the pick-up service provided by the Club, children must go directly after school to the predetermined pick-up location at their school. While waiting for the van/bus children are not supervised by Club staff. Once children are picked up by the van they are considered in our care and will be supervised at all times by Club staff. If children do not meet the van driver at the predetermined location the driver will contact the Program Coordinator who will contact the school to determine if the child was in attendance. If the child was not in attendance the Program Coordinator will contact a parent to confirm the child is safe and remind parents to contact the centre to inform when their child will be absent. If it is confirmed that the child attended school that day, staff will ask to have the child paged. If the child has not arrived at the van run by 2:30pm, a staff person will go into the school to speak with school personnel and look for the child. If the child has not been located the driver will contact the Program Coordinator who will contact the parents/guardians or alternatively the emergency contact. If a parent/guardian or an emergency contact is unreachable the Police will be called. If the police are contacted the Program Coordinator will go to the school.
Children are not supervised by program staff while walking from school to the Club. If children have not arrived at the club by 2:40pm, staff will contact the school to determine if the child was in attendance. If the child was not in attendance the Program Coordinator will contact a parent to confirm the child is safe and remind parents to contact the centre to inform when their child will be absent. If it is confirmed that the child attended school staff will ask to have the child paged. If the child as not arrived by 3:00pm, a staff person will go into the school to speak with school personnel and look for the child. If the child has not been located the Program Coordinator will contact parents/guardians or alternatively the emergency contact. If a parent/guardian or an emergency contact is unreachable the Police will be called.
Once children are scan/signed into the program centre they will not be allowed to go back to the school unless supervised by program staff.
Children arriving to the Club by other means, it is expected that the child go directly into the Club to scan/sign-in. Once the child is signed in they will be supervised by Club staff. On occasion a parent/guardian may request a specialized transfer of care plan. In this case the agreed upon plan must be in writing and consistent with our practices in this area.
Programs are staffed by qualified Child and Youth Workers who have a variety of educational and training backgrounds. A skilled team of staff and volunteers develop and deliver the programs to the members. All staff and volunteers have successfully completed a Criminal Records Check, Child Abuse Registrar Checks and all staff has a valid First Aid and Food Safe Certificate. As well, staffs regularly participate in professional development opportunities to enhance their skills.
The Membership Fee for children to attend programs will be determined by the Board of |Directors of the BGCCB, WPYC. See Staff for Details. Effective Feb 2017.
No child will be refused participation due to an inability to pay the membership fees. Please speak to the Executive Director if this applies to you.
Other fees may apply for special events.
Friends of the Whitney Pier Youth Club general memberships are also available to the general public who would like to pay it forward. Please contact Program Coordinator or Executive Director for more information.
Reduction of Program Participation or Withdrawal from the Club
In order to ensure maximum availability of Club programs and to use the capacity of the programs effectively for all the members, we request families to notify the Program Coordinator if your child’s attendance level needs to change. We are then able to fill vacant spaces with wait-listed children. If a member will not be attending their program on a particular day, please notify the Program Coordinator or the Executive Director at the BGCB, WPYC. If we are unable to contact the family about unexplained absences, we may have to change the member’s status to “inactive” or give the space to another child. Please note that we maintain significant waitlists for some of our programs and we reserve the right to re-allocate your space in the event of several unexplained absences.
All drivers possess a Class IV or Class II Driver’s license. In exceptional circumstances, we may need to transport a member in a staff member’s personal vehicle. All Class IV or Class II drivers provide a driver’s abstract to the Club that ensures their suitability as a driver for transporting members.
Whitney Pier Youth Club:
Transportation is provided in Club vehicle by Club staff and the CBVRSB bus for children that have no other means of transportation to the Club after school.
Transportation is provided from the following:
Harbourside Elementary School
The Bus/van run picks children up at one school each day. As a result, children must wait at their school until the Bus/van arrives. When children are not at the pre-designated place for pick-up, we must look for that child until they are located which results in the Bus/van run being held up and late.
Members who will be using Club transportation to get to the Club after school must go directly to the pre-designated meeting place for pick-up by the Club’s staff and Club vehicle immediately after school. Children must be dismissed on time in order to “catch the Bus/van”. If your child must remain after school for a detention or for a school activity, the Club must be notified prior to the designated pick-up time or the parent will need to make alternate arrangements for transportation to the Club.
If your child is not attending programs on their designated pick-up day, a parent/guardian must contact the Program Coordinator prior to 2:00pm. We do not operate our Bus/van run service on individual school in-service days. In the case of a recurring failure to inform, families may lose the opportunity to use the Bus/van run service.
Leaving the Club at the End of Programs
We are concerned about the safety of all our members, therefore, whenever possible, we request that parents or guardians pick-up their child (ren) at the Club at the end of their day. For some families this may not be possible, and at a parent’s discretion, other arrangements can be made. If you are sending an alternate pick-up person please contact the Club to inform us of the person(s) name.
There are strict procedures regarding your child leaving the centre and each of the following procedures must be followed:
· An alternate will be allowed to pick-up your child (ren) ONLY if the parent/guardian gives written or verbal authorization. The alternates must be listed in your child (ren)’s registration form. If the staff is not familiar with the alternate, they will ask for picture ID to confirm their identity.
· This ensures that only the properly pre-designated parties have consent to pick-up your child (ren).
· The parent/guardian or designated alternate party picking up the child (ren) must sign the child (ren) out with Club staff.
· We advise you or your alternate, not to consume any alcohol prior to the pick-up. Should this situation arise, you will be asked to provide an alternate or a taxi will be called on your behalf.
If any child is not picked by Club closing time every effort will be made to contact the individuals listed on the child’s membership form. If we are not successful with all of the telephone numbers provided on the membership form, the staff will contact the Children’s Aid Society who will arrange for the child’s care until a parent/guardian can be contacted.
As partners with parents in advocating for children/youth, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club conscious of its role and responsibilities in the protection of children/youth and the prevention of child abuse.
Duty to Report
Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected has a legal duty under the Nova Scotia Child Protection Act to report the matter. The Boys & Girls Club staff has a further duty to report any incident regarding abuse to the Cape Breton Children’s Aid Society. In the case of an allegation of child abuse against a Boys & Girls Club staff or volunteer, the Boys & Girls Club will support the staff/volunteer until it is satisfied that, in fact, the allegation is well-founded. The responsible Boys & Girls Club supervisor will remove the staff/volunteer from all activities involving supervision of children/youth. After consultation with the Executive Director, a course of action will be established regarding employee or volunteer experiences during the course of the investigation. Club staff will comply with the Cape Breton Children’s Aid Society and the Police in the course of any investigation that may be required.
All programs at the Boys and Girls Club offering or including food service must adhere to food policy. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club children’s programs offer scheduled nutritional snacks and meals in accordance to Canada’s Food Guide. Menu and snack plans are posted in each facility for parents to view, a copy may be provided at the request of the parent/guardian. If your child has special dietary requirements a care plan must be completed with the program supervisor. The Boys and Girls Club will adhere to the specific directions of the agreed upon care plan. During snack and meal service children are offered a safe, clean space to eat with an appropriate time frame and supervision. Snacks and meals will include sufficient quantity and quality to meet the developmental needs of the child, having regard to the child’s age, the number of hours your child is in our care and the child’s food preferences and cultural background. Drinks are offered when food is served, which may include water, milk and/or juice. It is our staff and educators role to ensure that a variety of nutritional food is offered to children during snack and meal times however, it is not our role to force children to eat. In the case that a child refuses to eat what is offered, staff and educators may offer the child different food choices when possible. If refusal to eat is recurring, we will inform the child’s parent/guardian, which may result in the development of a care plan to ensure health and wellness. Staff and educators will not use food as a reward for, or consequence of, behaviour at any time.
Medical Information /Emergency
All children who attend Club programs, as a member, must have a current membership form completed. Parents/Guardians must provide the Club with an up-to-date photo and immunization record. It is imperative for parents/guardians to inform the Club of any changes to your membership information.
Children who have infectious illness such as colds and flu are not permitted to attend the Club. The Club must be informed immediately if your child is ill or suspected of having been in contact with any communicable diseases.
· If your child becomes ill during the course of the day, he/she will be supervised in a quiet area, away from other children, until a parent/guardian or a designated alternate person comes to pick up the child. It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to notify the Club in writing regarding any medical conditions of your child.
· If your child requires medication to be administered during program time, parent/guardian(s) must contact the Program Coordinator or Executive Director to make arrangements. No medication will be administered by staff.
In the event of a medical/dental emergency, parents will be phoned immediately. Alternate parties will be contacted thereafter in the event the parent(s) cannot be contacted. If necessary, your child will then be taken to the nearest emergency service.
Field Trips and Outings
All field trips and excursions will be carefully pre-planned and supervised by Club staff. All parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed about these trips in advance with the exception of outings within the City limits. If your child is not to take part in one of the field trips or outings, you must inform the centre in writing. Transportation will be provided in Club’s vehicles, by public transportation or properly insured staff vehicles where necessary.
We recommend that your child (ren) wear comfortable, washable, labelled clothing and dress in accordance with the weather as children will be required to go outside regularly. During the winter months, please ensure that your child arrives prepared with proper snow boots, mittens, snow pants, warm coat and a toque. If these items are not provided regularly Club staff will be reminding parents. If parents/guardians advise our staff that they do not have the financial resources to supply these items, then the Club staff will do everything possible to support/supply your child with the item(s).
Children’s Personal Property
Children’s personal property, coats, clothing, school bags, etc. should be cleared from the Club’s space on a daily basis. We recommend that children not bring money, toys, food or other items not necessary for the activities in the program. Staff will ensure that children store their belongings in the appropriate area, and we will encourage children to store items in an orderly manner. The Club and staff cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen articles.
The purpose of this guidance policy is to ensure a safe, caring and consistent atmosphere.
What you can expect from Club Staff
· Letting children know they are welcome. All children will be encouraged to participate in Club activities. We will strive to ensure children feel apart of the Club by including their ideas in program planning and encouraging them to take an active role in creating a positive environment for everyone. We have a Parent/Volunteer Committee, Information bulletin Board and a Community Resource bulletin Board, website (www.bgccb.ca) and Facebook page to keep parents informed about what is happening at the Club and in the community.
· This is a safe place. Guidelines for expected behaviour are discussed with each member upon their arrival into the programs. We follow many strict policies and procedures relating to the safety of our members. The safety of all Club Members is our highest priority.
· We trust you to make good decisions. All children are given choices throughout their time at the Club. We encourage children’s input in the development of our program activities. All children are supported with decision-making and we strive to empower children to make their own positive and healthy choices. Children are given the opportunity to be independent by choosing constructive activities for themselves during less structured times at the Club.
· You can have fun here. Different kinds of play experiences, challenging activities and learning opportunities are provided on a rotating basis so that resources are available for exploration as well as fun. Cultural and ability differences are highlighted and celebrated.
· You can seek help here. There is an open door to staff or volunteer space so that children can find one-to-one time with adults when they need it.
Our expectations of Club Members:
· Treat others with respect.
· Use Club facilities and equipment safely and appropriately.
· Adhere to our “no violence” guideline to ensure the safety of all our members.
· To use appropriate language at all times.
· Listen to Club leaders to support an safe environment for all
Any inappropriate behaviour will be handled by Club staff, using a number of different strategies:
· Calm and respectful approach
· Positive reinforcement
· Review of Club guidelines
· Problem solving
If the inappropriate behaviour continues, the parent will be called for a meeting to discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator or Executive Director. During this discussion the Director and parent(s)/guardian(s) will develop a behaviour care plan which best supports the child.
The Boys and Girls Club supports a policy of least intrusive intervention to manage behaviour in our programs. In a crisis situation where a child’s behaviour is escalating by either showing signs of stress, becoming agitated or verbally aggressive, staff will respond by the use of verbal intervention in an attempt to calm the child. However, when this approach is not effective and a child begins to act out physically to a level that poses risk to the child, other children or the caregivers, it may be necessary to intervene with more intrusive measures that may include, physically blocking kicks, redirecting strikes and possibly the use of restraints. In this case, only staff persons who are trained and certified in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention would participate in either a two person restraint or a one person child restraint. Every effort will be taken to ensure the safety of the physically acting out child, other children and staff. If a child participating in Club programs presents extreme behaviour resulting in this action a care plan will be put in place before the child can return to the Club after an incident.
Our expectations of Club Members’ Parents/Guardians
· To share information of any behaviour challenges and strategies implemented at home or school to best support the child in which we may implement at the Club to provide a smooth transition when appropriate.
· To participate in the development of care plans with Club staff, to provide guidance and resource and to follow through with objectives whenever possible.
· To support our program’s Guidance Policy and seek clarification when necessary.
· To report immediately to the Club if we call you to pick-up your child.
If your child is attending programs with an external support worker, a meeting with the Program Coordinator or Executive Director is required to discuss the child’s needs and expectations of all parties involved prior to the support worker attending programs. All external support workers must provide us with a recent successful criminal record search and child abuse registrar checks prior to their start in programs.
We reserve the right to request that a child withdraw from the program if necessary.
Families and Children attending any Club programs have access of additional services provide by other community partners that assist and support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cape Breton, Whitney Pier Youth Club. Services offered may include Boys and Girls Club Program referrals, community program/agency referrals, care plans, advocacy, etc. To find out more about this service please speak with the Program Coordinator or Executive Director at 902-567-0240.
Our programs have an open door policy. We invite parents/guardians to join the group on special outings or to spend time in the program with us. If you have a hobby or special talent, we welcome you to share it with us. If the parent/guardian is unable to make time during the day, we encourage other involvement. For example: providing recyclable items for crafts, and/or volunteering for special events. Parents may also make cash and in-kind donations that may be eligible for a charitable donation receipt. We have an expectation that parents will also support special event fundraising activities to the best of their ability.