In general, employees need to maintain a sense of decorum when interacting with others at the Center and observe general rules of proper conduct. Staff are expected to act in a caring, honest, respectful, and responsible manner consistent with Baby Yale Academy’s mission statement. Staff should always portray a positive role model by maintaining an attitude of loyalty, patience, courtesy, tact, and maturity.
While our employees are encouraged to develop professional and personal connections with one another, gossiping, spreading rumors, and other similar types of negative behavior are discouraged. Gossip which could affect the ability of the Center or staff to conduct business, maintain good community or employee relations, or otherwise impact Baby Yale Academy in a negative way, may result in disciplinary action for the employee who has engaged in the conduct.
Families (the children whom we serve, and their parents, guardians, and other family members) are important to us. Every employee represents Baby Yale Academy to our families and to the public. The way we do our jobs presents an image of our entire organization. Families judge all of us by how they are treated by each employee. Nothing is more important than being, respectful, courteous, friendly, helpful, and prompt in the attention given to families.
Our personal contact with the public, our manners on the telephone, and the communications we send to families are a reflection not only of ourselves, but also of the professionalism of Baby Yale Academy. Positive interactions with our families not only enhance the public’s perception or image of BYA, but also help us to obtain grants and contracts.
It is expected that all employees of Baby Yale Academy will interact respectfully, courteously, and promptly with our families.
All the families have the right to their privacy. Do not discuss the children and families publicly or with family members, either by name or physical description. Some of the families have also restricted photography permission for their children; please refer to the Social Media policy listed in this section for more information. Do not leave the Emergency Info out in the open. This information is confidential and should be treated as such.
Employees who fail to have appropriate interactions with our families will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
While many of the specific policies governing interaction with the children under our care are in the section of the handbook dealing Classroom and Curriculum, some general principles are as follows:
- Children have a right to be spoken to with respect. Staff should listen to what the children must say and respond to the children with respect and consideration.
- Children have a right to be cared about without prejudice. Staff will treat all children equally regardless of sex, race, religion, culture, economic status, or disability.
- Children have a right not to be yelled at or humiliated. Staff will maintain conversational voice levels and should not single out children for exclusion or in a manner which might otherwise overly embarrass the child.
- Children have a right not to be hurt. Staff will maintain a safe environment for the children and will see to their safety. Staff should intervene to help a child avoid a dangerous or otherwise hurtful situation whenever possible.
- Children have a right to their own privacy. Staff will respect the rights of children to not be touched or looked at in ways which may make the children uncomfortable, and respect the children’s right to say no. Other than diapering, children are not to be touched on areas of their bodies that would be covered by a bathing suit.
Employees are not permitted to make or receive personal telephone calls during work hours unless authorized to do so by the Director or in the event of an emergency. This includes using one’s own cell phone. Cell phones are not prohibited in the classroom, but they must not be used during business hours.
When an employee needs to call a parent, our business line should be used, rather than a cell phone. Every time you make or receive a business telephone call, you are representing not only yourself as a professional, but also Baby Yale Academy. Good telephone techniques to follow include the following:
- If receiving a call, answer promptly and courteously.
- When making, or receiving a call, identify yourself clearly and specifically (e.g.,
“Baby Yale Academy, this is Angela speaking,” “Hello, this is Angela from Baby Yale Academy.”)
- Keep your conversation business-like and brief, avoiding prolonged chats.
- Transfer incoming calls to the appropriate party courteously and quickly.
- Take messages accurately and relay them to the person who was called as soon as possible.
- Answer questions thoroughly to ensure that the caller has received the information requested.
- Close your conversation with a pleasant “Good-bye.” Or a “Thank you for calling.”
E-Mail and Internet Use
Employees are not permitted to utilize Center computers or internet access for personal reasons, including email, web surfing, and other activities not related to the Center unless you are working on school related assignments for your education.
The use of Center computers to access pornographic websites, send emails of an explicit or sexual nature, or develop online relations of a similar nature is strictly prohibited. You will be terminated.
In the event the Center provides online accounts to employees, such accounts will be reserved for Center-related use only, and all passwords to those accounts will be available to the Director.
In addition, two specific policies address the increasing influence of online interactions:
The posting of confidential and identifying information about the children, parents, or staff at the Center on social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is strictly prohibited. In no way, does Baby Yale Academy wish to abridge the rights of its employees to engage in critical commentary and observations that may relate to the Center and its operations; however, when such commentary and observations occur within a public forum and contain confidential information, it may result in disciplinary action for the employee. The posting of non-confidential information (promotional materials and the like) shall be restricted to official channels of communication (the BYA website/Facebook page, etc.) unless prior written approval from the Director has been obtained.
As with the use of social media, the publication of photos from the Center, whether online or otherwise, is generally prohibited without prior approval from the Director. In general, approval will usually be granted for pictures which advance the Center’s mission, demonstrate the educational achievements of the Center or the children in our care, or which otherwise portray the Center’s positive contributions to the community. Staff may take pictures of the activities in their classrooms to share with the families of the children in our care, as appropriate (to document a child’s progress, etc.). As mentioned previously, some families have chosen to restrict photograph permissions, and it is expected that all employees will abide by those wishes. These restrictions will be noted in the classroom binder.
Gifts & Gratuities
See Conflicts of Interest. Employees of Baby Yale Academy are prohibited from accepting significant gifts, money, services, or gratuities from families, vendors, contractors, and all other persons doing business with BYA without written permission from the Director. This prohibition also extends to employees giving gifts to the children under their care – toys, video games, jewelry, and the like are inappropriate and/or excessive. In the instance that a gift would be appropriate, approval from the Director needs to be obtained in advance. If you are unsure, ask.
Employees of Baby Yale Academy are strictly prohibited from solicitation of any kind while on any BYA property without written permission of the Director. This includes:
During hours of employment, while on Center property, or with the use of Center funds or equipment, employees of BYA are prohibited from engaging in commercial solicitations for their own personal gain. If the activity may instead benefit the community, the Center, a charitable organization, or similar entity, the Director may give prior approval for the activity, subject to limitations determined by the Director as necessary.
During hours of employment, while on Center property, or with the use of Center funds or equipment, employees of BYA are prohibited from the following:
- Participation in any partisan or non-partisan political activity or any other political activity associated with a candidate, or contending faction or group, for an election for public or party office.
- Participation in any activity to provide voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or similar assistance about any such election.
- Participation in any voter registration activity.
At Baby Yale Academy, we strive to build relationships with the children in our care and their families, as well as with others we interact with at the Center. While friendships can result from this, it is imperative that employees treat families, vendors, co-workers, and the public with courtesy, appropriate distance, and respect.
Employees should immediately report any action by a family or employee that would be considered a violation of this policy to the Center Director.
Effective 2020, you are required to have Sexual Harassment training – at least 1 hour for employees and 2 hours for management.
Baby Yale Academy employees, volunteers, families, and applicants have a right to work in a discrimination-free environment, including freedom from sexual harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, age, ethnicity, religion, or any legally protected characteristic are not tolerated. Both overt and subtle harassment create an offensive, hostile, and uncomfortable work environment and are strictly prohibited. This section concerns all types of harassment.
Harassment of or by an employee requires investigation. Employees who harass others will be subject to disciplinary action including termination.
Harassment is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Harassment may be defined as, but is not limited to:
- Suggesting to an employee that submitting to sexual favors enhances employment opportunities and/or advancement.
- Threatening or intimidation behavior toward another employee.
- Inappropriate actions due to someone’s race, age, ethnicity, religion or any legally protected characteristic.
- Threatening or insinuating that refusal to submit to sexual advance will adversely affect employment appraisal, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts, or any other condition of employment or career development.
- Unwelcome sexual or other advances or flirtation.
- Using sexually degrading words.
- Offering sexually suggestive or erotic comments regarding a person’s body or mannerisms.
- Displaying graphically sexual pictures and/or objects in the workplace.
All incidents of harassment, sexual or otherwise, need to be reported to the Director so that the offense may be handled in a manner appropriate to the situation.
Harassment Complaint Procedure
Complaints about sexual and other types of harassment should be reported immediately to the Center Director. Sexual harassment complaints will be investigated promptly, and all information will be kept confidential. Forms for reporting harassment are available through the Director and may be obtained at any time.