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Welcome to Strawberry Patch


Children naturally love to learn. Our program at The Patch encourages learning and understanding on many levels. First, we want to instill in children self-awareness and self-esteem - a feeling there are no limits to their possibilities. Having children of various ages and abilities teaches social skills, cooperation, and caring for others. It's important to develop their independence. They learn to make decisions, control their behavior, and do things for themselves. Putting away toys, learning to tie shoes, going to the bathroom, choosing activities -- all instill independence and responsibility. We learn about caring for our planet and respecting its creatures. The kids are actively involved in recycling and learn not to litter.

All of us enjoy the changing seasons, celebrating holidays and special occasions, and watching the children change and grow each year.

Patch kids are interested in exploring their ethnic diversity, cultural differences, and learning other languages. Most of all, we love to watch them develop their own sense of humor and express their creativity and imagination through their art, music, and play. Seeing them grow and develop the skills and abilities that will move them forward is the best part of a challenging and very rewarding career working with children.

Strawberry Patch Dayschool
Janis and Jude Shelby

The Strawberry Patch Philosophy

To gain valuable experience, I supervised a large, regional preschool and childcare center for three years. However, I always believed that the best situation for children is a professional quality dayschool in a home setting. My goal is to provide full-time working parents and their children with a personalized dayschool program. The Patch offers consistent and reliable care providers in a safe, comfortable family environment. Such a setting allows children to learn at their own pace, with age-appropriate educational toys and projects that inspire imagination and creativity as well as developing motor skills. In addition, it promotes social and cooperative skills with children of all ages.

I have over thirty (35) years of childcare and preschool/dayschool experience. I am a teacher, professional care provider and business woman...not a babysitter. My ultimate goal is to keep learning and growing to provide the best possible experience for parents, the children and me.

Teacher Credentials


Owner, Director


Highline Community College
Early Childhood Education

Renton Vocational Tech
Preschool and Childcare Training

Counseling Center of Bellevue
Principles of Counseling Children

Green River Community College
Early Childhood Education, French, German, Art, & Music

Kent-Meridian High School
Graduated 1970


Strawberry Patch
Since 1979
Preschool Owner, Teacher

Renton Child Care Center

We Sit Better Agency
Worked in agency while in college

Aide to handicapped children

East Hill Elementary
Teacher's aide, Kindergarten


Attending special classes at the University of Washington, Seattle Central Community College and Bellevue Community College

First Aid & CPR Training -- Certification every 2 years since 1976

Meets or exceeds Washington state mandatory requirement of 10 (ten) hours of continuing education per year.

Lifetime members of Red Leaf National Institute - a division of Resources for Child Caring. Red Leaf is dedicated to promoting the highest quality standards for child care providers.


The educational development of young children. Updating education by attending classes, workshops, seminars and reading.


We have received training for children with special needs. We will create a written plan to help meet your child's needs and keep parents updated on how their child is progressing.


National Honor Society

College Honor Roll

President's List

Admissions and Enrollment


We are licensed by the Department of Early Learning (DEL) for children from birth to 12 years of age.

Qualifications for enrollment are:

We do not discriminate in employment practices or client services because of creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or use of a trained service animal by a disabled person.

Probationary Period

There will be a probationary period of thirty (30) days for each child/parent and for the dayschool providers to ascertain whether the child fits into the program. Parents will be notified if their child is not adjusting. Every attempt will be made to resolve the problem.

Termination Policy

Parents are required to give one (1) months notice to terminate Childcare. Strawberry Patch reserves the right of termination when a child's behavior continually jeopardizes the safety of self and/or others, or that deliberately and consistently damages property. Parents are responsible for any deliberate damages caused by their child. Termination will also result when parents are habitually late picking up their child or late paying for their Childcare. If termination occurs, you will be given two (2) weeks to make other Childcare arrangements.

Hours of Operation

Strawberry Patch is open from:

These hours are firm and are not subject to change.

Holiday Closures

Strawberry Patch will close on the following holidays:

Strawberry Patch will be closed each year from Christmas Eve through the New Year. The exact dates will be announced each year in the Newsletter. This is our time to take a planned vacation.

Closures Beyond our Control

There will be occasions where Strawberry Patch will be closed in addition to the above schedule. These will be determined by weather conditions and/or power outages. If there are school closures within the Bellevue School District, we will also be closed. Always call in advance to ensure that we are open and operational.

A Day In the Life


8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Prepare for Preschool

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Projects and planned activities

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Morning snack

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Outdoor play, free play or walk

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Circle time

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Wash up and lunch

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Preparations for nap

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Wake up time and put away bedding

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Afternoon snack

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Outdoor play or free play


Free Play Time

The children have a choice of age-appropriate activities and toys.

Circle Time

We read stories, perform plays, sing songs, play or listen to music, have puppet shows, do stories on the flannel board and participate in seasonal activities.

Nap Time

Washington State law requires children under five (5) years old have a rest time provided. We require that this time period be uninterrupted to ensure quiet time for all children in our care.

Screen Time

Periodically, we watch educational programming (PBS) or watch DVDs of special interest to children. We also will play music videos or videos with content of interest to children (animals, learning activities; etc.) on the computer. We limit screen time to 30 minutes or under. We prefer to play, read, listen to music, dance or do projects.


Fees, Plans, and Business Practices

Registering at Strawberry Patch full-time means that you have signed up for childcare services and must pay for that service regardless of your child's attendance or your vacations. In order to continue providing quality care and services, we require consistent income from our clients.

Sign In & Out Policy

Parents/Guardians are required to sign in and out using their full name. A sign in sheet, pen and clock are located on the dining table.


Smoking is not permitted at Strawberry Patch Preschool during or after school hours or within 25 feet of an entrance.


Strawberry Patch has insurance for this facility.


Actual rates are established in advance with each family.

Actual rates are established in advance with each family. Statements are generated on the first (1st) and fifteenth (15th) of each month. We offer two (2) options for payment and childcare payments are due and payable upon receipt. When the first or fifteenth fall on a weekend, payment is then required on the next business day. We expect the payments to be made on time each month.

You may select from the following two (2) options for childcare payments:

Past Due Accounts and NSF Fees

Late payments will be assessed a $25.00 per day charge unless other arrangements are made in advance. It is the parent's responsibility to communicate with us regarding their childcare billing. If payments are habitually late, your childcare services will be terminated. Non-sufficient funds (NSF) will be subject to a $20.00 fee.

Late Pick-Ups

Most centers assess significant late charges. While sometimes there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. traffic, weather conditions, etc.), consistently late pick-ups are our major concern. After putting in a long day, the time after 6:00 is especially valuable to us. Prompt pick-ups are expected and appreciated. If you know that you are going to be unavoidably late, you must call us as soon as possible to inform us of your expected arrival time.

Frequent late pick-ups will result in the termination of your childcare services at Strawberry Patch.

Late charges will apply as follows:

Parent Communication

Communicating and working with parents and families is an important part of Strawberry Patch. If you need help with specific issues or problems, understanding child development, behavior, or specific issues such as speech, learning challenges or special needs, we are available for individual conferences or will communicate by email or phone, any concerns or problems you may have. We have years of experience, ongoing education and training, and resources available for your child's needs. We will schedule at least two conferences during the year to discuss how your child is progressing and address any concerns or questions you have. We are available during the day, or can schedule a specific time, to talk about any issues or concerns. We want to be a vital part of helping you as parents, and ensuring that your child has the developmental tools and skills they need to succeed. We can also connect you with available state and community resources. Ongoing communication is an important responsibility to the children and families we serve.

Any and all communications are private and confidential, and will only be shared with the explicit permission of the parent(s) or guardian.

Please call us at 425-644-8727 or
email us at strawberrypatchabc@comcast.net

Coming and Going

One of the most difficult tasks for parents, children and providers is the separation time. Some children adjust easily to new surroundings and situations, however some do not. It may even change from day to day. Children take their cues from the adults around them. How parents and teachers respond to separation often will dictate how easily your child adjusts. This process should be as smooth and fast as possible. Long, drawn out goodbyes only make separation more difficult for all concerned. The following guidelines help ease the conflict of separation.

Our dining room is the cut off point for good-byes. Accompanying your child into the dayschool creates a problem for you, your child and any other children that are missing their parents too. We simply can not take the time away from the other children to deal with long separations every morning. We know parents feel guilty about leaving their children and your children know it too. We are old hands at distracting and redirecting upset children. You might be surprised that they often have settled down before you drive away. It may make you feel better, as a parent, to know that your child doesn't want you to leave them, however this makes it very difficult for your child to adjust successfully. If your child has frequent separation anxiety, what is most important is a consistent, reassuring response. Most children do eventually feel comfortable and then separation is no longer an issue. If you consider it part of your normal daily routine, so will they. We do not want to start anyone's day with a traumatic scene. If one does develop, it's typically brief and your child goes on to having a really fun day! As always please feel free to ask questions or discuss our procedure with us anytime.

Dressing for Success

At Strawberry Patch we stress self-help skills. Dress your child in clothes that they can easily manage by themselves. We dress for safety and sun protection. We have many activities that include painting, gluing, coloring and outdoor play so always dress your child appropriately. Save the beautiful clothes and shoes for going out and special occasions. If they are toilet trained, make certain their clothing makes trips to the bathroom easy. Complicated fasteners, suspenders, and too many buttons may cause frustration and accidents. If parents and caregivers reinforce this requirement consistently, this helps children more easily comply. Keep it simple.

Dressing Your Child for a Day at the Patch

If your child is in diapers:

Provide at least two (2) changes of clothes including socks in a bag or backpack. Experts now recommend that each child bring a bag or backpack every day with two (2) full sets of clothing. This not only prepares us for small emergencies, such as accidents, but for unexpected weather conditions like snow or an earthquake. If we needed to house and care for the children for several days, we would be equipped to handle such a situation.


Most children would rather run than walk. Wearing appropriate shoes at the Patch is extremely important. Good shoes provide support, but more importantly, prevent accidents. Therefore, tennis shoes are required. No exceptions. For safety reasons, if your child cannot tie shoes, Velcro fasteners MUST be worn.

Coats & Jackets

On cool days bring a warm coat or jacket as we will probably play outside or take a walk. Even on nice days, a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt is a good idea as mornings are usually cool.

Diaper Changing Policy

Strawberry Patch Preschool permits children who are not toilet trained to attend our school.

Toilet Training

When the child is ready to train, we work with the parents on a training plan. We use a positive approach and encourage the child to develop self help skills, so they have a sense of participation and accomplishment in their training. We have a family toilet seat that has two sizes of seats, one for smaller kids, to give them comfort and security, and a larger one for older kids and adults. We stress the importance of handwashing when toileting. We provide kid friendly soaps and disposable towels. We encourage parents to dress their children in clothes that are easy for them to manage - no belts or complicated fasteners. When they are first training, pull-on pants are easiest and make the child feel secure. Working with the parents helps ensure the child's success at toilet training.

Toilet Training

Hand washing is the first and best defense against the spread of germs and illness. The providers wash their hands before and after diaper changes, after using the toilet, before food preparation, before eating, when coming in from outdoors, and when assisting children in blowing noses. The children wash up if they sneeze or cough in their hands. We teach all the kids to cough or sneeze in their arm or elbow. They wash after using the bathroom, before eating and when coming in from outside play. Handwashing is a very important part of Strawberry Patch's philosophy.

Dining at Strawberry Patch

Any person handling food at Strawberry Patch has a valid King County food handler's license. Prior to food preparation, food preparers wash hands with soap and warm water and dry hands with disposable towels. All fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, cutting boards and all utensils, dishes and cookware are cleaned and sanitized after each use.


You may bring food until 8:30 A.M. Please bring items that are easy to clean up and that your child can eat without assistance. After this time, we are cleaning up and preparing projects for dayschool.


Strawberry Patch serves a lunch every day consisting of healthy foods such as whole grain pastas, bread, fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. We serve our lunches family style, with the teacher serving and sharing lunch with them. We encourage the kids to try new foods and to make healthy choices.


We use snack time to teach children good nutrition, emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It's also a good time to introduce new and unfamiliar foods to them. Our policy is that they don't have to eat anything they don't like, but we encourage them to give new foods a try.


For infants, we will store breast milk in the refrigerator in appropriate containers, no more than two days. If the milk is stored, a label with the date will be placed on the container. If the infant is using formula, it will be mixed, stored and refrigerated according to parent's instructions or the instructions on the formula provided. The infant's feeding schedule, once established, will be discussed with the parents and followed by the provider. Any feeding problems or issues will be immediately brought to the attention of the parents and solutions discussed. All containers will be washed and sanitized.

Special Occasion Foods

For parties, we try to find imaginative ways to make nutritious foods fun and appetizing. We cut slices of bread into seasonal shapes with cookie cutters, and top them with peanut butter or colored cream cheese, and then garnish them with fruit. Everyone loves fresh vegetables dipped in warmed peanut butter or yogurt dip.

Parents may wish to provide special birthday treats. In keeping with our nutritional policy, cake, cupcakes, cookies, candy, and other sugary sweets are not allowed. If you bring in these types of foods, they will be returned. There are parents who don't want their children to eat sweets, and some children have food allergies, so please check with us about what to bring. Also, we have lots of great ideas if you need suggestions.

Nap Time

Nap time is required by Washington State law and all children enrolled here must take a rest. We provide pillows and mattresses with waterproof covers and clean sheets, pillowcases and blankets. Bedding is laundered weekly, unless a child is sick - then the bedding is removed and laundered immediately. Each child's bedding is stored in a plastic bag with their name on it. Covers are cleaned and sanitized frequently.

All providers have taken and passed a Safe Sleep class required by the State of Washington. We adhere to all safe sleep practices, for infants and toddlers. Infants are always placed on their back when put down for nap. We are current as of September 2017 with the annually required Safe Sleep training.

Infants sleep in cribs or play yards that meet state and national standards. Tight fitted sheets must be used on the mattress or mat provided with the crib or play yard, and must have a waterproof covering. No toys, fluffy blankets, bumpers, pillows or mobiles are allowed in the crib or play yard, ever. Their head is never covered and we keep the temperature in the sleeping area moderate. It is recommended that an an infant wear a sleep sack in colder weather.

It is our goal to provide the infants and toddlers in our care with a safe, comfortable sleeping environment.


Children constantly challenge the limits of their behavior. They need to understand that rules are for their safety, and teach them self-discipline. At Strawberry Patch, all rules are clearly stated and positively reinforced in a fair, consistent manner. Discipline is handled on an individual basis, considering the differences and age of each child. We do not use physical (corporal) punishment. Methods of guidance include:

Positive Reinforcement

A positive approach encourages appropriate behavior, open communication between caregiver and child, and teaches children to control their own behavior. We consistently praise and reward appropriate behavior. Positive comments such as: "I like the way Jennifer is playing nicely with Shawn," or "Look how well Pam put the toys away," encourages them and others to follow their good example. We use colorful stamps, stickers, and Super Kid awards as extra incentives. We never use food as a reward.

Ignoring inappropriate behavior or letting children handle disputes themselves usually works best. We intervene only when necessary.

Time Out

After 3 warnings, removals, redirections, etc., the child has a time-out. Major offenses that jeopardize safety are immediate time-outs. Time-out steps are as follows:

The purpose of time-out is to (a) stop the behavior, (b) reinforce the rules, and (c) teach that inappropriate behavior results in certain consequences.

In Sickness and Health

Communicable Diseases

Any child with an infectious or communicable disease such as chicken pox or the flu will be isolated. Parents will be notified immediately to come and pick up the child. Admittance back into the dayschool is a staff and parental decision - not that of the child's physician. If there is any possibility your child has been exposed to a communicable disease outside the dayschool, please let us know right away. All other dayschool parents need to be informed of possible exposure to a communicable disease. Any occurrence of a communicable disease is reported to the King County Health Department.

We will keep the children's health/immunization record up to date by writing down each doctor visit or physical exam, immunizations given and any special instructions. We will keep information about specific conditions that require treatment or medications in your child's file. All medications must be from the doctor/pharmacy, with instructions and dosage included, and will be kept in a locked box away from the children.

Infection Control

The dayschool bathroom is sanitized each day.

Hands are washed before and after changing diapers, after bathroom use and before handling any food items.

Diaper changing procedures are posted in the bathroom.

If your child is ill in the morning, we require you to call and discuss the situation with us prior to bringing him/her into the dayschool. We can assess their fitness for dayschool, thus avoiding exposing others to illness and necessitating a parent to leave work to take their child home.

Blood Borne Pathogen Information

Strawberry Patch teachers have a blood borne pathogen plan. This plan is available for parents who would like to review it.


Before or on the child's first day of attendance, the parent must present a certificate of immunization status form for:

  1. Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTP)
  2. Polio
  3. Haemophilus, Influenzae Type B (HIB)
  4. Measles (Rubeola), Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  5. Hepatitus B (Hep B)
  6. Varicella (chickenpox)
  7. Other vaccines

Strawberry Patch may exempt the immunization requirement for the child if the parent or legal guardian:

  1. Signs a statement expressing a religious, philosophical or personal objection; or
  2. Furnishes a physician's statement or a valid medical reason for the exemption.

However, if there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease that your child has not been immunized against, he or she can be excluded from school until the outbreak is over.

Medical Release Information

All parents are required to complete a medical release form on or before the first day of attendance at Strawberry Patch.


Children must be kept home if they exhibit any signs of fever, diarrhea, or have communicable diseases or viruses. Any child who becomes ill at The Patch will be isolated and parents informed to come and pick up their child as soon as possible. For the benefit of your child and others, please be sure your child has recovered completely before returning to the dayschool.

For fevers, a minimum of 24 hours is required to ensure the health of your child as well as the other children in the dayschool.


Parental consent is required per Washington Administrative Code, Chapter 388-155, Section 230 for any prescription or non-prescription medications.

Non-prescription medicines include antihistamines, non-aspirin fever reducers/pain relievers, non-narcotic cough suppressants, decongestants, anti-itching ointments, diaper ointments and sun screen. These non-prescription medications shall be dispensed only from an original container with dosage information, duration and method of administration specified on the manufacturer's label for the age or weight of the child.

Prescription medications must be brought into the dayschool in the original container with all of the specific administering information provided.

Emergency Procedures

Every caregiver at Strawberry Patch is CPR and first aid trained every two (2) years. Our certification in basic lifesaving techniques is also updated every two (2) years.

We keep a current Injury Log, and promptly inform parents of minor injuries when they pick up their child. The children receive lots of TLC and first aid as needed.

In the event of an emergency, we would assess the child's condition, reassure them that we are trained and can help. If necessary, we would activate the Emergency Medical System (911). We would then administer appropriate treatment as needed. Parents will be notified as soon as possible. If parents cannot be reached, we will contact the doctor listed on your Medical Release form.

Disaster Plan

In the event of a severe storm or earthquake we have prepared a cache of useful items:

In addition to fire drills, we also practice earthquake drills and talk to the children about preparing for an emergency and how to stay safe. In the February, 2001 earthquake, the children did exactly as we practiced, we reassured them and contacted the parents from our parent phone list. The parents all have our business cards should they need to contact us. We also have cultivated a list of neighbors (one a firefighter/paramedic) who can help and support us as needed.

For Your Information

Everyone Must Follow the Rules

Your child is our responsibility as long as they are on these premises. Therefore, we must insist that our rules be followed explicitly while they are here.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

No person has or uses illegal drugs on premises. No alcohol is consumed during or after operating hours. No providers are under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs when working with, or in the presence of children in our care. This is a NO SMOKING facility.

Programs/Operations Policies

All unlicensed areas of this facility are locked and inaccessible to children. Any personal medications are kept in locked boxes inaccessible to the children in our care. We do not have any weapons on the premises.

Our staff training and professional development records are available on request.

We will review the children's files annually and make sure all information is current and correct. When the child goes in for a physical exam or doctor visit, we will record any vaccines they receive or note areas of concern. If you move, your work or phone numbers change, please advise us immediately, so we have the most up to date information on file. If the information on who may or may not pick up your child changes, please advise us immediately.

It's Our Home Too

Having a home business is a real challenge. So much of our home is utilized for dayschool that we ask you to help us reinforce consideration of our possessions and our rules. There are no pets at Strawberry Patch Preschool.

Access to Your Child

Parents or guardians have access to their child and their records during school hours. You must advise us in advance if someone else is to pick up your child.

Staff Policies and Staffing Plan

If there is a personal emergency or illness, and no staff members are available, we will be closed. You will need to make other arrangements for childcare.

Child Abuse and or Neglect

By Washington State law we are required to report any suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

We Respect Everyone's Holidays

Strawberry Patch observes holidays such as Christmas and Easter but in a non-religious manner. We teach them about Hanukkah and other religious holidays in our dayschool cultural curriculum.

Field Trips

Field trips are difficult to plan for because of the differing schedules of our parents. When we can, we take excursions to parks, museums and special events. All of these off-site activities require a signed parental permission form.No trips will be taken without prior written permission. Parents shall pay for any field trip costs.

Nap Time

Nap time is required by Washington State law and all children enrolled here must take a rest. Most jobs allow for several breaks during the work day, however ours does not, and nap time is our only break during our very busy, long day.


Toys from your home are not allowed at the Patch. Coins, balloons, marbles or any small items can be hazardous to children. Guns and weapons of any kind are absolutely prohibited. We will not and can not be responsible for broken or lost toys. Children may bring one (1) soft sleeping toy and a favorite blanket.


Parking is usually not a problem here. It is best to park in front of the house. If many parents arrive at the same time, do not park in front of our neighbor's house. You can park in the driveway or on the street clear of the mailboxes.

Cleaning and Sanitation Practices

We use Benefect, a green, eco-cleaner to disinfect and sanitize in our program. Tables, counters and surfaces are cleaned with soap and water and sanitized afterwards.

Last updated: October 24, 2017