Merlin Day Academy Policies

Welcome to Merlin Day Academy! Review our helpful tips for your child’s first day and a smooth morning transition, drop-off/pick-up process details, attendance and illness policies, and the current 2023-2024 school year calendar on this page.

Helpful Tips to Prepare for Your Child’s First Day.

  • An individualized social story is provided for each child, to help support smooth transitions into classroom routines and to help your child feel confident and safe because they know their expectations in each activity. We encourage you to read these stories over with your child and talk to them about what each activity may look like and which teachers/therapists they will meet at Merlin.
  • Make sure to look over the “Meet your Teachers/Therapists” pages with your child! We encourage you to talk about the different teachers, introduce their names, and remind your child that their teachers are there to have fun and keep them safe at Merlin.
  • Talk about their first day of Merlin Day Academy as an exciting upcoming event!

Things to Bring

  • Please only send ready to eat snacks (yogurts, veggie straws, fruits and vegetables, etc.) and nothing including nuts. We are nut free due to allergies. 
  • Your child’s water bottle (metal and glass water bottles are prohibited). This will be sent home daily. 
  • Indoor shoes. If your child does not have indoor shoes already at the clinic, please make sure to send them in!
  • Two changes of extra clothing, including socks.
  • Diapers/pull-ups (if necessary).

Please label all items with your child’s name!

Fall 2023 Themes

September – All About Me: All About Me and My Family, Our Abilities/Superpowers, All About Our Bodies, All About Us

October – Fall Into…: Changes and Transitions, Tactile Learning, Falling into the Life Cycle, Harvest of Feelings

November – I Am Thankful For…: A Spot of Giving, Compassion and Kindness, Teaching Qualities , Thankfulness, Reflection

December – My Greatest Gift: Discovering Uniqueness, Family Traditions, Teaching Values, Gifts and Talents, Celebrating Inclusion

2023-2024 Calendar

View and Download Calendar Here

Drop-Off Process

  • On arrival, simply sign your child in on Daily Connect so that we know you’re here. Please note, you may not receive a direct response from our team on your sign-in due to the high volume of messages we receive during pick-up and drop-off.
  • A therapist will greet you and your child at your car. The therapist will then bring your child inside. 
  • If you are arriving at Merlin by foot, you may enter the reception area or wait outside and follow the above procedure. 

Pick-Up Process

  • Once outside, please notify Merlin Day Academy staff that you have arrived by signing your child out on Daily Connect. Please note, you may not receive a direct response from our team on your sign-in due to the high volume of messages we receive during pick-up and drop-off.
  • A therapist will bring your child to your car. The therapist can assist in placing your child in their car seat or you may assist. All staff have received car seat safety training.
  • If you are arriving at Merlin by foot, you may enter the reception area or wait outside and follow the above procedure. 

Attendance Policy

Illness Policy

To safeguard the health of our clients and staff, your child will not be allowed to participate in services if he or she is experiencing any of the following: 

  • Has or had a fever of 100.4 F or higher within the last 24 hours WITHOUT medication. 
  • Has vomited within the last 24 hours. 
  • Has or had two bouts of diarrhea within the last 24 hours WITHOUT medication. 
  • Has skin sores that are open and draining (including such things as impetigo, etc.) Your child may resume services when the drainage ceases, the sores begin to heal and your physician authorizes your child’s return.
  • Has or had ear/eye drainage such as pink eye (conjunctivitis). Your child may resume services after the prescription medication has been administered for at least 24 hours. 
  • Has Streptococcal Group A throat infection. Your child may resume services after prescription medication has been administered for at least 24 hours.
  • Has a contagious disease, such as Chicken Pox. Your child may resume services when no longer contagious, the lesions are crusted over, and your physician authorizes your child’s return.
  • Has lice, ringworm, scabies, etc., that is untreated and contagious to others.
  • Has an undiagnosed rash or a rash attributable to a contagious illness or condition.
  • Has significant respiratory problems. 

Please note, any child who becomes ill at Merlin Day Academy will be removed from group services until a parent or authorized guardian arrives to pick up the child. We reserve the right to charge a $45 fee if a parent or authorized guardian does not pick up the child within one hour after receiving notice of the child’s illness. 

Merlin Day Academy Sick Child

We will ask that you pick up your child immediately if your child: 

  • Has a fever of 100.4F or higher. 
  • Vomits during the day in combination with other illness symptoms.
  • Is fussy, lethargic or continuously crying for an unusual amount of time or for unexplained reasons. 
  • Experiences two diarrhea episodes in one day. 
  • Has any contagious drainage or weeping sores, including but not limited to chicken pox, impetigo, pink eye or other drainage. 
  • Has an unknown rash, severe cough, or unexplained pain. 
  • Demonstrates excessive biting outside of normal behavior.
  • Has significant respiratory problems 

A note from your child’s physician is required before your child may return. 

Tips for a Smooth Morning Transition 

Come Prepared 

Children thrive on routine. Knowing what is expected of them and being able to anticipate what will come next offers a sense of security and confidence. Develop a morning routine with clearly defined steps and expectations. 

The sound of a parent’s voice is innately reassuring. Talk to your child about transitions, even if you aren’t sure they will understand. Remaining upbeat will encourage your child to do the same and narrating the expectations for each phase of transition can decrease anxiety and empower your child. 

Transitions are a highly emotional time. Taking a moment to validate how your child is feeling and reassure them that you will ALWAYS come back will go a long way to encourage a smooth separation. 

Use Visual Supports 

A visual schedule not only supports communication for children who are visual thinkers, they also provide a sense of control! Morning routines are typically a very adult-led time of day, which can leave young children feeling anxious and out of control. An interactive visual schedule will help them regain some confidence and autonomy in an appropriate manner. 

Model Positive Transition Behaviors 

Transitions are hard for all children, particularly when separating from caregivers, and waiting rooms can fuel any hidden anxiety when busy, loud, or if unexpected interactions present themselves. Parents are encouraged to remain alert and in tune with their child’s needs in order to best identify moments where adult intervention may be warranted. 

Modeling a calm and alert demeanor communicates to your child that you are in control of the moment and that they are safe to mirror the same affect. Your child is therefore silently invited to release any anxiety and explore their environment more freely. 

It can be tempting to sneak away when your child begins to move away from you and interact with their teachers; however, this perpetuates the child’s fear that their caregiver will leave if they are not vigilant in keeping tabs on them and, therefore, will make separations more stressful. A clear goodbye and reassurance that you will return for them may make for a harder moment, but will support more fluid transitions in the long run. 

Families are always encouraged to reach out to their child’s Therapy Case Manager with any concerns relating to morning routines and/or transitioning into a therapy setting.