Frequently Asked Questions about CYSS health and nutrition

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    What is considered a special need?

    A special need is any medical condition and/or allergies identified and validated by a doctor.

    All parents must complete a CYS Services Health Screening Tool as part of the registration process. If a child has a special need, the registration process is not completed until the child's needs have been reviewed through the Special Needs Accommodation Process. This is a committee that review's your child's special needs and makes recommendations in partnership with the Exceptional Family Member Program and CYS Services to assist with making your child's transition into our program more successful.

    CYS Services also partners with the local Infant and Toddlers Program, Early Childhood Intervention program in the public schools, Kennedy Krieger, University of Maryland and the Maryland Early Childhood Mental Health Project to improve outcomes for the young children and families that we serve.

    Copies of the Health Screening Tool and the SNAP Medical Action Plan documents (for allergies, diabetes, respiratory issues, seizures and a special diet request) are available for download on our website at or from Parent Central Services.


    What nutrition standards are used by Child Development Services?

    All of our CYS Services programs serve nutritious food based on U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. In order to reap the maximum benefits from this program, it is essential that the USDA application be completed annually and returned to the program. We must have one application per child for accountability. Breakfast, lunch and a nutritious snack are served to children in the full-day program daily and a snack in the part-day program. Special dietary statements must be documented and signed by a doctor or religious leader for religious reasons for the request to be granted.

    Birthday and holiday celebrations: Parents are encouraged to attend and help with these festivities. Only commercially prepared cakes, cupcakes, etc. may be brought to share with all children in your child's group. Please work within your child's program to plan for your child's birthday.


    Can I bring in food for my child at the CDCs, SACC or Middle School programs?

    Except for special events, food is not allowed to be brought in by parents. When there is a medical or religious reason that requires a special diet, a special diet statement form must be completed and signed by your child or youth's licensed medical provider (medical) or clergy (religious) and a substitution will be provided. Parents may be asked to provide substitutions when documented requirements cannot be met within the programs capabilities.

    If you bring your child to the program after breakfast or lunch hour, please make sure that he or she has already eaten. Food may not be brought in for them to consume in the classroom. For more information please contact the CYS Services nutrition specialist at 301-677-5174.


    Why do I have to get a Medical Action Plan completed if my child has asthma, seizures, ADHD, food allergies, etc?

    The Medical Action Plan gives our staff a plan to follow to take the best care of your child or youth while they are in our care. If medication or equipment is indicated on the Medical Action Plan, it is required to be at our program at all times while your child or youth is in our care. It is a part of the plan that the parent and licensed independent practitioner has given us to follow to keep your child safe while in our care.


    What is required if my child needs medication while in care?

    Medication must be prescribed by a licensed medical provider with a prescription label that indicates child's first and last name, name of medication, dosage of medication, route of medication, time medication is to be given, and a start and stop date of the medication. Rescue medications are the only medication that can read medication taken as needed. All rescue medications require a medical action plan (i.e. Albuterol, Epi-Pen). All medications must have a prescription label including over the counter medications. Parents must complete a 90 day medication form which authorizes our staff or providers to administer the medication.


    What is required if my child needs sunscreen while in care?

    Parents must bring in sunscreen labeled with the child's first and last name that the child has used prior to CYS Services using the sunscreen. Parents must also complete a Basic Care Form which authorizes our providers to apply the sunscreen. Sunscreen must not be in an aerosol (spray) container and must not contain any insect repellents.


    What shots are required in order for my child to register?

    Documentation of up-to-date shots is required for registration. All shots must be up-to-date according to Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices guidelines prior to registration and maintained up-to-date while in our programs. You may find these guidelines at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website.


    When should I keep my child or youth home and when will they be sent home?

    Your child or youth should be kept home or will be sent home under the following conditions: a fever (greater than 101 or 100 with respiratory symptoms during flu season); rash or itchy skin or scalp not under a licensed independent practitioner's care; vomiting two or more times within 24 hours; diarrhea (two or more loose, watery stools above normal during a 24-hour period or explosive stool that cannot be contained in a diaper or accidents in toilet trained children); pink eye with green and/or yellow discharge; or not feeling well enough to participation in the usual daily activities.


    When may your child/youth return to care?

    Your child or youth may return to care under the following conditions: child or youth is fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication; if caused by strep throat, child or youth must be on antibiotics for 24 hours to return (a doctor's note is required); rash has been evaluated and cleared with a note from a licensed independent practitioner and meets the illness criteria; vomiting has been absent for 24 hours; diarrhea has been absent for 24 hours; Pink eye is no longer discharging and cleared with a note from a licensed independent practitioner; child or youth can participate in activities without difficulty.


    When is a health assessment required?

    Within 30 days upon enrollment, a health assessment that is completed by the parent and a licensed independent practitioner is required. A new health assessment is required to be updated by the parent annually for two years if there are no health changes. A new health assessment is required every three years or when there are changes to your child's or youth's health. Sports physicals are required annually and are required prior to participation in the sports program.

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