Parent Handbook

Dear Families,
Welcome to Especially for Little Folk (ELF) operated by Think Link Discovery Center.  ELF programs operate in La Grande and North Powder Oregon. We are happy that you have chosen us to educate your children. We hope that this handbook will help introduce you to ELF and Think Link Discovery Center.

Our mission:

Think Link Discovery Center exists to provide the community with a variety of novel thought provoking, educational experiences to expand curiosity inventiveness and global awareness.

Our goals are:

• To provide affordable, convenient, preschool  services

• To create a preschool setting for social, cognitive, and physical development

• To provide a nurturing environment

• Provide science and humanities based learning experiences for our children

Our staff of warm, caring, professional  providers maintains a positive and stimulating atmosphere where your child is cared for and respected. Your child is very special, and it is our goal to attend to all of his/her needs, personal and developmental.

Sincerely, ELF Staff and Think Link Discovery Center Board of Directors

Center Organization

Think Link Discovery Center and ELF is a non profit organization operated by a Board of Directors.

Days and Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. four days a week with options to participate three or four days a week.


The following must be completed to enroll your three to five year old child:

• Permission and release form

• Immunization card

• Signed ELF contract

Preschool Teachers

All of our employees are trained in Pediatric CPR, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogens.

Especially for Little Folk (ELF) Guidance Policies

Children do display and will occasionally be exposed to aggressive behavior. This

may take the form of biting, hitting, pushing, or kicking. The staff uses various

techniques to limit and correct such behavior, but parents must understand that when

children are in a group setting, the exposure to aggressive behavior is greater than it

might be at home. The purpose of guidance is to help children learn acceptable behavior and develop inner controls. When re-directing or guiding a child’s behavior, the age, intellectual development, emotional make-up, and past experiences will be considered and consistency will be maintained in setting rules and limits for children. Corporal punishment is not consistent with this objective and is prohibited at school.

The following is a list of some alternative forms of discipline that will be used:

Model appropriate behavior.

Tell the child what he/she can do.

Establish eye contact with the child when talking to him/her.

Give the child choices whenever possible.

Encourage the child to problem solve and try to work out conflicts.

Re-direct a child to another activity.

Remove the child from the situation.

Isolate the child from the group for no longer than a minute per year of age

in a separate area which is supervised by a staff member.

Call a parent to come for the child if the child cannot regain control of self.


You may not hurt others.

You may not hurt yourself.

You may not damage school equipment.

If a child is having more difficulty than usual with discipline in the classroom, the

behaviors displayed by the child will be discussed with the parents along with specific techniques being used by the staff to help guide the child to more appropriate behavior.

All aggressive behaviors that are harmful to other children, teachers, or to the child him/herself will be addressed. The Think Link Discovery Center Board of Directors will be involved in any final decision to remove the child from the preschool if the behavior continues to be harmful to other children and/or staff.
Snow or other Bad Weather Cancellations

The Think Link Discovery Center and ELF will follow the public school schedule.  Please listen to the local radio stations if there are concerns related to increment weather. If the facility must close during operating hours because of snow or storm, the teachers will notify families by telephone.

Registration Fee and Tuition

A non-refundable registration fee is charged each year to cover the paper work and other costs involved in registering each child. The current registration fee is $25.00.

Discharge Policy

Your child may be discharged if:

• A problem continues which negatively affects other children in attendance at ELF, such as threats directed towards children, staff or self

• There has been no payment for the previous month

• Failure to meet ELF policies


If you desire to cancel enrollment you must give two weeks written notice.

Health, Well Being and Illness

We strive to prevent the spread of illness, and your cooperation with our policies will be of great help. If your child has:

• A fever of 100 or greater before child care, accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness-until medical evaluation indicates inclusion in the Center

• Symptoms or signs of possible severe illness, such as; uncontrolled coughing, irritability, persistent crying, unusual lethargy, wheezing, or other unusual signs

• Strep throat until 24 hours after an antibiotic started

• Diarrhea; runny, watery, or bloody stools within the last 12 hours

• Vomiting 2 or more times in the last 24 hours

• Rash with fever or behavior change

• Scabies or other infestations

• Impetigo 24 hours after treatment has begun

• Chicken pox 5-7 days after blisters appear

• Pertussis, mumps, rubella, shingles, herpetic gingivostomatitis

• I hepatitis A- until 1 week after onset

• Sore throat with fever

• Eye discharge (white or yellow) or pink eye; until 24 hours after starting treatment; if treatment is not sought then when the discharge clears

• Child is irritable, continuously crying or requires more attention from a caregiver than what they can provide without hurting the health and safety of other attending children

• Mouth sores with drooling

• Respiratory illness
please keep him/her home, in all fairness to all the other children.

Your child may return when:
1. When the above suggestions are meet
2. They are fever or symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to daycare
3. They have been treated by a doctor or a doctor permits them to return to the Center.
You can return with a signed doctor’s note.

If your child becomes ill while at the center, then you will be called to come pick up your child within 2 hours.

Exposure to communicable diseases and any infectious illness should be reported promptly to the center, so our staff can look for any early symptoms. The center will notify parents when a child has been exposed to an infectious disease.

ELF has the final say about when your child can return. We reserve the right to have precedent over the physician.

Medication Policy

Medication prescribed or ordered by a physician or dentist will be administered during the time the child is at preschool. Parents will need to give written authorization and instructions by filling out a Medication Permission Form. This form needs to be filled out before the child will be given any medication at the center. All medications brought to the center should be in its original container. They need to be properly labeled

• with the child’s name

• medication name

• and amount to be administered. Over the counter medication will be given according to the instructions on the label. Over the counter medication can only be given 5 consecutive days at ELF.

Child Accident Form

Our staff take every effort to ensure the safety of your child. Unfortunately accidents do occur. In case of that event, an accident form will be filled out by ELF staff for every detected injury that occurs. A copy with your signature will be retained for your child’s file. A child coming into ELF with injuries may require an accident form, so that both the parent and ELF staff are aware that it did not occur at the center.

Child Incident Form

An incident form will be filled out by ELF staff if your child exhibited behavior that is not acceptable. A copy of this form with your signature will also be kept in your child file.

Authorizing Individuals to pick up your Child

On the enrollment form, you will find a line asking for the names of the individuals who are authorized to pick up your child. You may authorize as many individuals as you wish in writing on your form. You must leave a written note in the morning or tell the staff member if such a situation arises. We will not allow your child to leave with an unauthorized person, this is for the safety and protection of your child. We will check the ID of the person listed to pick up your child. Please remember to keep this form updated with your current phone number and address changes.

Arriving and Leaving the Center

It is required that all children be escorted inside the center and that the arrival time is recorded on the attendance sheet. When picking up your child please be sure to notify a staff person and record the departure time on the attendance sheet. It would be appreciated if the center is notified when your child will absent from the center.

To reduce costs families are asked to sign up to provide snacks for the classroom.  It is important that healthy snacks are provided.

Birthday, holiday treats, or special treats are permitted. Please check with your child’s teacher so you know how much to bring and what is an acceptable treat.

Family Involvement

There will be a monthly ELF newsletter. Look for that in your child’s cubby. It will include information upon upcoming events and information about activities. It may also include messages or requests for families.

Informal parent participation in the center is always welcome. Parents are invited to visit the center at any time. On some occasions, such as field trips, parent’s help may be requested.

A volunteer Board of Directors provides leadership and direction for ELF. This board meets monthly and consists of community members and parents. If you would like to be a member of this board please contact the Think Link Discovery Center.


Think Link Discovery Center and ELF Preschool encourages volunteers! Volunteers are important and can often serve as a mentor in your child’s life. All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check.

On occasion there may be students who are in need of training for required courses. These students will be doing extras for your child, such as reading stories, art activities, and helping with your child’s development. We welcome parents and grandparents to observe at any time. They may even share an interest with the children such as a hobby or a book.


Please dress your child according to the weather with appropriate hats, mittens, and coats during the winter months. Mark all items with your child’s name. Be sure your child has indoor shoes to wear. This helps keep our center clean!

Dress your child in appropriate clothing so that they feel free to participate in all activities. We are not responsible for damaged clothing.

Please leave an extra set of clothing at the preschool in case accidents do occur.


Elf and Think Link Discovery Center wants to be affordable for all parents. It also wants to maintain good caregivers to provide for your family. ElF and Think Link Discovery Center opens its doors to donations of toys, books, etc. All donations will be noted and appreciated.


From time to time ELF may do fundraisers to raise money for needed toys, supplies, and educational materials. ELF hopes for your support during our fundraisers. Fundraisers are a positive way to show community support and family support for early childhood education.

Emergency Plans

Emergency plans for fire and tornado are posted by each exit door in each classroom and are practiced monthly, so that your child is familiar with the drill and not alarmed in case of a real emergency.

In case of a real fire the children will be taken to the school and parents will be contacted immediately, if phone lines are operable.

Other plans such as intruder, intoxicated parent, are practiced routinely and/or they are gone over by staff. This prepares them in case the need should arise.

In the case of a medical or dental emergency the parent of the child will be notified.

Waiting List

In an event that an age group should be full at any time, the child’s name would be placed on a waiting list. As vacancies occur, pre-registered children would have first priority.

Your Child’s Development

Your child’s development is important to us. We want to work with parents to make this the best experience you child can have. Resources are available to parents to help with promoting healthy development or child-rearing. Feel free to discuss any topic of concern with your child’s teacher, we are here to help. Parent/teacher conferences are offered as requested.

Written curriculum plans are posted. Our curriculum plans are based on developmentally appropriate practices and individual learning styles and needs.

Our daily schedule provides a balance of quiet and active, indoor and outdoor activities and child and adult initiated activities, as well as promoting gross and fine motor skills. Our planned activities take into account the development of the children.

After Hours Fee:

Special Provisions Fee: Please notify Teachers of any special provisions.