Parent Handbook

About Our Staff

Constance Sholar- Cherry/Owner and Primary Early Childhood Practitioner– is a wife and mother. She has been in the early childhood education field since 1997, with over a decade of experience in working with children and youth, ages 6 weeks -12 years old. She has been a lead Toddler teacher, After school teacher and a Preschool teacher, and now Daycare Owner and Director. Her passion for teaching is easygoing, repetitive and always professional.

Her training consists of TECTA (Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance) Personal Safety, Food Preparation, CPR/AED and 1st Aid, Social Work and Nonprofit Management and many Developmental Trainings.

She is an honor graduate of Whitehaven High School. After working 9 years at a center, she chose to fulfill her purpose starting Creative Home Academy. She earned her degree in Social Work and Nonprofit Management in December 2009 from the University of Memphis School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Certification in American Humanics in December 2009 and received her Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA)in April 2010. She has also achieved accreditation from the National Association of Family Child Care in May 2011 and ongoing. She is a T.O.P.S.T.A.R. mentor with the Tennessee Department of Human Services since 2018, passing along her knowledge and skills to other inspiring childcare agencies.


Additional Staff


Only qualified, appropriate candidates will be used as Substitutes/Assistant EC Practitioner for replacement of the family child care provider during emergencies or professional development, jury duty, etc.

Responsibility & Accountability

The owner/operator of this family child care home is responsible for the implementation of this policy and procedures.


In order to ensure the employment of qualified and appropriate substitutes/assistant teachers, the following will be implemented.

  1. All substitutes/assistants who are hired will meet Tennessee required credentials and complete required professional development annually including pediatric first aid.
  2. All substitutes /assistants will complete child abuse clearances, criminal checks (state and FBI) and an annual health examination.
  3. All substitutes/assistants will be given a job description that outlines their responsibilities and be trained on all aspects of the operation of this family child care home.
  4. All substitutes/ assistants will know how to access the weekly lesson plan and step into the role of teacher to provide care and learning activities to the children.
  5. A list of qualified staff will be provided annually to you and also posted on the family bulletin board.
  6. All substitutes/assistants will be compensated at market rate and receive benefits as eligible.
  7. Volunteers will not be used to replace me; only qualified staff will serve in emergencies.
  8. If I cannot secure a qualified substitute during an emergency, you will be asked to make arrangements to pick up your child (ren) and the program will close for the remainder of the day.
  9. A copy of the letter notifying you of our procedure will be kept in each child’s file which is monitored annually by the State of Tennessee.

**Please know that all staff must have a background check, fingerprinting, reference check and physical, prior to employment.


            At Creative Home Academy, our mission is to provide the best early care and to have a positive influential effect on the children we serve.  We will strive for excellence to ensure that your child is not only ready for school, but to also be successful in life.  We strongly believe that when everyone plays their part, (parent, child and teacher) that a bright future awaits them.


            Our vision and goal are to ensure that each child enrolled in our care will receive the best quality of learning and care.  Our goal is to change the lives of our future by being role models of excellence.


            It is imperative that we set positive examples for our children.  We must at all times conduct ourselves as professional child care providers, (not baby-sitters) and we expect no less from our parents.  Should there be a problem/concern, we ask that you remain respectful in handling the matter by, phone conference, appointment, or letter.  Problems or concerns will not be handled in the presence of the children.  For this matter we will only conduct business with the legal persons responsible for enrolling the student.  Our home is used as a business; however, we simply ask that you respect it as our home first.  Any violations of this may result in the termination of your child and/or proper authorities called to handle any misconduct.  This is a profession for us and we will strive to operate it as such.


            Upon enrolling in our program, your child will be assessed. This will help us in placing your child with the appropriate curriculum.  Frequent evaluations will be given and progress reports sent home in order to measure successes/non-successes.

            In order for the program to be effective, all parents/legal guardians are required to participate by attending parent meetings, activities, field trips, complete and return assignments, etc.  Failure to comply may result in your child’s termination from the program.  In the event that you are unable to attend an activity, we strongly recommend that you designate someone to attend on your behalf. Annually we will conduct an evaluation renewal to determine if your child will be approved for re-admittance.

        We expect for all parents to attend the quarterly parent meetings and yearly parent and teacher conferences. If you cannot attend, please have a representative present. You will have an advance two-week notice for each.



               All fees are due on Friday (a week in advance) by 6:00p.m.  Payments not received by 6:00p.m. will incur a late fee of $30.00. Parents who make payments monthly must pay by 6:00p.m.; the last day of the month for the upcoming month. Payments will be accepted in the form of cash, check or money order.  Returned checks will also incur a $40 fee and any other fees that we may incur from the bank.  Further, checks will be unaccepted and future payments may only be made in the form of cash or money order.

            Any child left after our scheduled closing time will incur a fee of $1 per minute after the closing time. This fee is due at time of pick up to the staff person on duty.  Unpaid fees will be added to your child’s weekly fee.  Failure to comply will result in immediate termination.  Should your child be left in our care for more than 30 minutes, State Law requires that we contact juvenile court for pick up of your child (ren).  Please give us a courtesy call in the event that you’re running late. This however does not dismiss any late fees.

            There will be no partial payments. Full payment is expected whether your child attends the center 1 day, 3 days or a full week.  This includes school days, holidays and vacation, unless otherwise indicated.  As long as your child’s name is on the role and occupies a space, full payment is due.  Payments becoming 2 weeks delinquent will result in termination of your child and he/she will not be allowed to return until full payments are made.  Payment plans may be made either, WEEKLY, BI-WEEKLY OR MONTHLY.  NO REFUNDS!!! A CREDIT WILL BE GIVEN.

            ***We do require a two-week notice in writing if your child is removed.  All payments should be in good standing before dismissal. ***

         Our hours of operation are 6:00am- 6:00pm, Monday through Friday. Parents day or night out are offered occasionally. Fees are as follow: 6 weeks -2 years old $150.00, 3 years – 5 years old $135.00, School age 5 years old – 12 years old $120.00(summer camp/school out), School age 5 years old – 12 years old $100.00 (school in). Annual application fee is $45.00 per child. Annual activity fee is $50.00 per child. Registration fee is $45.00 per child. Annual summer registration fee is $45.00 per child. Annual supply fee is $50.00 per child.

Before & After Care

            Before Care is offered to school-age children however, we do not provide transportation to/from school. Parents are responsible for transportation arrangements.  Students arriving by our breakfast time (8:00a.m.) will receive breakfast. All others after that time must be fed, prior to entering daycare.  Homework assistance is not offered during the a.m. hour, as this takes away from our breakfast preparation/receiving our full-time students.

            After/Extended Care- parents are also responsible for transportation for after care students.  Once arriving, students receive a snack and start on homework.  All children are responsible for having homework assignments.  We do not search for assignments.  Homework goes until 5:15p.m.  Parents are responsible for incomplete assignments at home.  We provide the basic homework supplies for students- pencils, tablets and crayons.  Any additional items must be accompanied with your child.  Major homework projects must be completed at home.

            We are implementing an after care for our full-time students.  Students needing care after the 9-hour instructional/work period will incur $50.00 per child/per week fee.  This entity of our program will be most beneficial to those parents who need child care while they care for their personal needs after work, such as shopping, nail care, work-out, etc. Scheduled after care fees should be made with your tuition fees. This additional service is a flat rate and daily prorated fees will not be allowed. After care students will receive one additional snack. If extended care is needed it must be made in advance prior to late pickup. If late pick up is needed without prior notification you will incur a charge of a $1.00 per minute after scheduled 9-hour day is over.                   


            We do accept drop-in/part-time students.  Fees for drop-in/part-timers are due in advance at the time of drop off in the form of cash or money order for the week. The fee is $45.00 per child, per day.  There is an Annual Application fee of $45.00 as well.  Drop-in/part-time students who attend 3 or more days in a week will incur the full weekly fee for their particular age and are only allowed to be in center for 9 hours a day.  Students exceeding 9 hours are required to pay the additional $50.00 per child/per week fee for after care. This fee does not allow for daily prorates. It is a flat rate fee.  Please check with director, as some benefits that apply to full time students may not apply to part-time/drop-in. An absent day may be credited for a future day of attendance, if you do not have a schedule set for your drop-in days.  Please call to ensure space availability for additional days.


Full time students who leave with a 2-week notice and in good standing, may return to CHA. They will have to update their enrollment contract, pay $45.00 application fee and bring necessary supplies. They are treated as new students and lose any time accumulated towards their vacation time.


            Parents we are asking that you limit your drop-off/pick-up time to a minimum of 5 minutes, unless you are attending an activity/conference.  We are striving to offer professional services to all our parents. In order to do this, we are asking that all conversation with staff or other parents be kept to a minimum or away from the facility.  Prolonged conversing causes major distractions of our attention from remaining children.

            Students have been instructed not to run in the house once parents arrive.  They must remain in one room using an inside voice tone until departure.  We ask that you not block the driveway during drop-off/pick-up. Vehicles with oil leaks please park on street.


            All infant/toddlers in diapers or pull-ups are changed prior to leaving.  Once your child has been signed out, parent is responsible for all diapering needs.

        All children must arrive before 9:00am; no child will be accepted after 9:00am without a doctor’s statement. We start class promptly at 9:00am and disturbances cause a breakdown in the learning process.


            We expect all parents to assist with behavior. Children are not allowed to disrespect our staff in any manner.  Hitting, spitting, kicking, tantrums, talking back or destruction of any property will not be tolerated.  If a problem should occur with your child’s behavior, we will inform you by letter or phone call and set up a conference if necessary, to resolve the issue. Parents will be responsible for any damages made by their child.  Should the behavior continue and parent refuses to cooperate with rectifying the child/behavior, the child will be first suspended for 2 days (without reimbursement) or dismissed.

            Our method of discipline is time out/sit and watch and loss of special activities such as Movie Day Friday.  When we exhaust all other forms of discipline first and parents will be informed if we have had to take another form of action with their child. Children, who exhibit behavior that becomes threatening, distracting or disturbing to the majority of enrolled students, may be dismissed once a conference has been requested to rectify the issue and there is no improvement., in a timely manner. This applies to each child.  If there are personal issues that your child/home may be dealing with please inform us immediately and this will allow us to monitor or be more sensitive to the behavior.


            We do not provide transportation at all.  Parents are responsible for drop off and pick up at the designated time.  No child will be accepted before the designated opening time. 


            Applicants will be placed on a waiting list should we have an overflow of children.  If you have children in school and they will be out please be reminded that if your child on our role will not be in attendance his/her full payment is still due. Failure to comply will result in the loss of your child’s slot on the roster.  We do offer referrals to parents on the waiting list to other family child care providers whom we know are professional, capable and trusting with children.


            Upon enrolling your child in our program all information will be verified.  You are required to keep information current and notify us of any changes in case of an emergency.  If we can’t contact you we will make contact with a listed family member or emergency contact person on your child’s behalf.  If your child should need to be transported by EMS, you/emergency person will be contacted and responsible for picking up or meeting your child at the designated hospital facility. Please ask for the Emergency Information Update Form.


            We will serve breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack daily.  Breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00a.m.  Your child must be signed in by this time in order to receive breakfast. Infants 6weeks – 12 months are fed as needed.  Lunch is served at 11:30pm. – 12:00p.m.  Outside food is not permitted unless approved by staff. Birthday parties must be authorized by staff as well.  Small parties are permitted only during snack time (2:45 p.m. – 3:00p.m.), consisting of pizza, cake, cupcakes, ice cream or 100% juice or punch.  Please give us a week notice. For birthdays in the same month, we will permit the child whose actual date of birth falls on the day to take precedence first.  Those with birthdays on the same day, we ask that you cooperate with us and have one celebration.  Please inform us of children with allergies.

            We are participants of Karamu Nutrition, Inc.  This means that we are reimbursed for the food that we serve.  Each fiscal year it is required that parents/guardians of children ages birth- 12 years complete the renewal forms in order for your child to continue in the program.   We encourage you to comply with us during the renewal process; otherwise parent will be solely responsible for full payment for all meals. After Care students will receive one additional snack.

       Breast feeding is encouraged for nursing mothers on site. Infants will have a feeding plan on file, which is completed by the parent/parents and facility as a team to address their unique feeding patterns. We will ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including adequate time for meal consumption.  Adequate time for meals and snacks will be allowed for all children, and will be included in classroom schedules. We will ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including appropriate portion sizes. Appropriate portion sizes will be assured through staff training and adherence to portion sizes as found in child care licensing regulations. All eating opportunities should consist of a respect for the child and promoting a positive attitude toward food.  Food shall never be used as rewards for children.


            If you are approved for DHS certificates, please be sure to keep your certificate up to date/current.  Your child will not be permitted to attend once certificate has expired and you haven’t provided us with a current one.  You will be responsible for any co-payments not covered by DHS.     

            As a courtesy we will give you a 30-day notice prior to expiration of your certificate, however, it is solely your responsibility to ensure that certificate is renewed in order for your child to continue in the program.


            In the event of inclement weather such as snow, hail, ice, heavy rains or thunderstorms, please call our business number for more information about school closings or watch your local news channel.


            On your application we require that you list all persons that you permit to pick up your child (ren).  If someone other than a person on the list will pick up your child, please inform us because we will not release your child.  Picture identification may be required and kept on file for all persons picking up your child.  We ask that you inform all family members/friends of this policy, as well as the late fees.

            In the event of custody trials/disputes, please provide us some form of legal or certified court documentation to keep in your child’s file.


            All children must be appropriately/completely dressed upon arrival.  We require that each child has a set of extra clothing in the event of an accident. This includes top, pant, underwear and socks. All children are capable of spills/accidents. In order that clothing items don’t get confused, please mark your child’s initial in the tag area of each item.

If your child should have an accident and no extra clothing is available, we will contact you for the items or immediate pick up. Do not send your child to school in new clothes, we have messy art activities and/or we go outside on a daily basis. We are not responsible for and damage to new clothing.


            All children are expected to be present daily.  If your child will be absent, please call and inform us.  If the child is sick, you will need to provide a doctor’s statement showing the date, illness, diagnosis, medications and return to school date.

            Should your child become ill in our care, we will contact you for immediate pick up if necessary.  Children contracting communicable diseases such as ringworm, mumps, chicken pox, diarrhea, etc. will not be permitted to remain in center or return without a doctor’s statement. 

            No child is accepted in the center after 9:00a.m.  If your child is tardy please call and get approval before bringing him/her.  Students with doctor’s appointments, please provide us a copy stating the date and time your child was seen.  We will not accept any child after 10:00am.; with or without a doctor’s appointment.  Please call before arrival.  If lunch has been served, you will need to feed your child before bringing him/her to the center.

            Reminder, full payment is due whether your child is present or absent as long as his/her name is on the role.  We encourage you to have your child in attendance daily and on time.


            All medical emergencies will be transported to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.  Family members/EMS will be notified if we are unable to contact a parent.

            If your child is on medication, whether OTC or prescription, the medications form must be completed and signed by parent daily.  Failure to properly complete will result in our staff not administering the medication.  Please remember to list the dosage, name of medication, time and possible side effects.


            Creative Home Academy has a zero tolerance for violence, drugs, or any other harmful acts that may cause injury. We are non-smoking facility. Smoking is not allowed on the childcare property. Please do not send your child to school with hazardous objects. (i.e. guns, knives) This includes hazardous toys.

Conflicts should be handled in a professional manner; otherwise we will have all disturbances removed from property accordingly.

      We require you to respect all policy and procedures addressed in manual. If you are not in compliance with policy and procedures, we cannot render services to you. We run a respectable business and expect for parents to comply in a respectable manner.

       If your child or you destroy property, you are expected to replace property in a timely manner. Please be courteous and respectable. If you do not replace or repair property it could result in termination of services from Creative Home Academy.


****See attached sheet in enrollment folder****

Health/Medical Records

       Please provide us with an updated copy of immunizations for your child at enrollment and each doctor’s visit.  This is required for your child’s file.  We will need to be informed of any medical problems and history.  If your child is on medication for a terminal illness such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, ADHD, etc; we require a statement from a professional health care specialist/doctor. We will not be held responsible for illnesses/incidents that we are not made aware of.  Furthermore, files not kept current or in compliance, will be terminated.

Sick Child Policy


    • Pain – any complaints of unexplained or undiagnosed pain
    • Fever (100°F/38.3°C or higher)
    • Sore throat or trouble swallowing
    • Headache or stiff neck
    • Unexplained diarrhea or loose stool combined with nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramps. The child will be kept at home until all symptoms have stopped.
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Sever itching of body and scalp
    • Known or suspected communicable diseases.


    • Is suffering from one or more of the above symptoms
    • Is not well enough to take part in the activities at the daycare


Parents will inform the daycare within 24 hours of a diagnosis of a serious illness or contagious disease of a communicable nature in the family.  This is to protect my family and the other families who attend the daycare.  Failure to do so is grounds for immediate termination of care.

Parents agree that a child will be symptom free, without the aid of symptom reducing medications such as Tylenol, for a full 24 hours prior to returning to daycare.  We reserve the right to ask for a note from your family doctor, depending on the illness/disease.


Prescription medications will only be given to a child in care with the following conditions:

    • Parent gives written permission to the caregiver, with full instructions as to dosage, and times to administer medication. (forms are available from the daycare for this purpose)
    • All prescribed medications must have the child’s name on the prescription bottle.
    • Non-prescription medications will be administered as per recommended dosages on medicine bottle.


When a child becomes ill, I will make the child comfortable in a quiet place where he/she can rest and will be closely supervised.

Parents will be notified immediately and agree to begin to making alternate work arrangements or arrangements for alternate care. If your child is seriously ill, you or an alternate must come for the child IMMEDIATELY.  If I cannot reach a parent, I will call an emergency contact listed on the registration form or the child’s doctor may be contacted depending on the seriousness of the illness.

***If I become sick alternate care is the responsibility of the parents. I will give you a 24 hour notice if the need arise.

Gold Sneaker Policy

      Physical Activity- Children ages 12 months or older attending a full day program are offered at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, either indoors or outdoors. For children ages three and older, this physical activity is a balance of free play, teacher-directed activities, and music and movement.  Viewing of television, videos and other visual recordings are limited to no more than 60 minutes per day of educational programs or programs that actively engage child movement. Children are not allowed to remain sedentary or to sit passively for more than 60 minutes continuously, except for scheduled rest or naptime. Physical activity is a positive experience and is never used negatively or to control behavior. Education is provided to each family (i.e., via parent meetings, provider newsletter articles, sharing of educational video resources, etc.) twice each year that addresses the importance of limiting screen time according to current American Academy of Pediatrics policy and the development of a Family Media Plan.

      Creative Home Academy ensures appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including breastfeeding. All educators shall be trained to: advocate for breastfeeding, safely prepare expressed breastmilk for feeding, feed infants according to their individual needs, and store expressed breast milk properly. We publicly display our support for breastfeeding infants and mothers by posting signage. We are an approved “Breastfeeding is Welcome Here” facility. We ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including adequate time for snack and meal consumption and age-appropriate portion size. We also provide education to families twice each year (i.e., via parent meetings, provider newsletter articles, sharing of educational video resources, etc.) that addresses nutritional learning experiences, with a focus on adequate time for snacks and meals and age-appropriate portion size. All eating opportunities shall consist of a respect for the child and promotion of a positive attitude toward food. Creative Home Academy applies evidence-based early food preference learning strategies such as introducing healthy foods, repeatedly pairing new healthy food choices with foods children already like and modeling consumption and enjoyment of healthy foods.

       We have a campus free of all tobacco and tobacco-related products, including smoking, smokeless and electronic products. The campus is inclusive of all vehicles used to transport enrolled children, all outdoor spaces, and all indoor locations, whether or not children are present.  Child care employees and volunteers may not use tobacco or tobacco-related products while off-campus at provider-related activities (i.e. fieldtrips, walks, and all other outdoor activities). Employees who use tobacco products while off campus are required to change clothes and wash hands thoroughly prior to prior to interacting with children. “No Smoking” signs shall be posted conspicuously at each entrance, as required by state law. 


            In order that our staff is given opportunity to spend time with their families we will observe the following holidays.  Holidays that fall on a weekend will be observed the next business day.  Reminders will be sent home of all holiday closings/vacations. Days are subject to changed but proper notice will be given in advance.

New’s Year’s Eve December 31 New Year’s Day- January 1- CLOSED

  1. Day after New Year’s- January 2- CLOSED
  2. Martin Luther King Jr.- 3rd Monday of January- CLOSED
  3. President’s Day- 3rd Monday of February- CLOSED
  4. Good Friday- Friday before Easter- CLOSED
  5. Memorial Day- Last Monday of May- CLOSED
  6. Independence Day- July 4-CLOSED
  7. Labor Day- 1st Monday of September- CLOSED
  8. Columbus Day- Monday-October -CLOSED

 Thanksgiving-Thanksgiving Day- 4th Thursday in November- CLOSED

Day after Thanksgiving- CLOSED

  1. Christmas- December 24-26- CLOSED

 Vacation/Professional Training

            Full time students, who are enrolled in our center, will be allowed a 1-week vacation from the center without cost.  Planning of this vacation must be approved by Director and given a 2-week notice.  Random vacations will not be permitted, neither will days be separated.  All payments must be in good standing prior to vacation approval.  Vacations will not be allowed to run together.  We can permit only one child out at a time.  Vacations will not be allowed to run together unless it is for siblings. Vacations must be taken each fiscal school year from September 1- August 31; otherwise, it will be forfeited. Please ask for the Vacation Notification Form. I will take a yearly paid vacation and all parents will be given a 2-week notice of schedule changes or closing of center. I will have 5 paid professional days for state required early childhood training in a normal year January 1- December 31.

Termination Policy

               If you can not comply with the policy and procedures stated in the parent handbook of Creative Home Academy, Creative Home Academy have the right to terminate services immediately. In most instances we hope to work out issues that may arise through mediation conferences. In some instances, a courtesy two-week notice will be given before services are terminated.          

                    OPEN DOOR POLICY

            We invite parents to visit at anytime. However, we ask that you inform us so that it doesn’t conflict with our regular instructional time.  If your presence should cause a disturbance/distraction, then we will ask that your visits discontinue during the instructional/work hours of the day.

            If you should ever have a concern/problem, please feel free to contact us and we will try to resolve the issue as expeditiously as possible.


      Creative Home Academy will take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your child. We will require all staff to closely supervision children at all times unless they are attending to personal needs (restroom breaks). We also will have adequate supervision on all outside events (field trips, events etc..). When we are away from the building, we will label all children with contact information for CHA in the event a child is separated from the group.


            We want to take the opportunity to thank your for entrusting your child in our care.  We hope that our program exceeds your expectations for your child’s educational development/growth.

            We obligate and dedicate ourselves in ensuring a safe playing and healthy learning environment for your child.  While we can not make miracles happen, we believe that with your help and support in loving, caring, disciplining, training and bringing your child to school daily, our name, Creative Home Academy, will speak for itself.


            Addendums and changes to this policy and procedure handbook may be made at the discretion of the owner as deemed necessary. We will be sure to inform all parents of these changes.  Please be sure to read over any information sent home by your child.  We ask you to keep this booklet as a guide to assist you with concerns/questions that may arise pertaining to our program.

We are taking Daycare,Day Care, Learning Center to a level focusing on high quality early care, social and emotional development with a focus on developmentally appropriate early childhood experiences. 
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