For Our Parents

Parent Handbook

The Parent Handbook is the comprehensive guide for all families enrolled at our center. We encourage you to download a copy for your reference.

Calendar & Hours

Homewood Early Learning Center (ELC) is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

We are following this calendar for the 2023-2024 academic year.


The Center is closed in observance of the following holidays:

  • New Year’s Eve Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after
  • Christmas Eve Day
  • Christmas Day
  • If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday immediately before is the legal holiday.
  • If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is the legal holiday


The center closes for one week in August each year for maintenance and staff professional development. For 2023, the center will be closed August 21-25.

Inclement Weather Policy

Weather is, by its nature, unpredictable. During inclement weather, parents need to be prepared to see if the university makes changes to its operations. Alerts can be accessed at The center will communicate any specific information with families via our REMIND text alert system.

Please review the following policy carefully and ask the center director if you have questions.

  1. When JHU is closed for the day, or delays opening to 12:30 or later, the center will be closed. For example, if JHU opens at 1pm, the center will be closed.
  2. When JHU announces a delayed start time of 12:00 noon or earlier, it is our policy to open 30 minutes before the announced JHU opening so that employees may drop children off and still get to work on time. For example, if JHU announces a noon opening, the centers will be open at 11:30 am.
  3. When JHU announces an early closure, we will close at the same time. For example, if JHU announces a 5 pm closure, Homewood ELC will also close at 5:00 pm.

There may be isolated instances where local weather conditions or other factors call for a deviation from the stated policy. These decisions are always made in close conjunction with DBCC and JHU leadership and will be communicated to parents with as much notice as possible. [INSERT PDF LINK]

Health Policy

Homewood Early Learning Center provides outstanding early education and childcare to a diverse community. Prevailing research drives the curriculum, putting play-based, child-initiated learning at the heart of every child’s experience. Homewood ELC’s children thrive socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually in the loving care of talented, well-qualified educators.

In order to provide an environment where children and teachers are safe and protected, Homewood ELC adheres to the following protocols.

When is a child too ill to come to Homewood ELC?

A child is too ill to come to the center when s/he cannot fully participate in a day’s activities and when the staff is unable to meet their responsibilities and adequately care for your child at the same time.

It is important to note that our days are very active and a child who returns too quickly to the center after being ill, is more likely to have a relapse.

As working parents, it is vital for you to arrange some backup for times when your child is ill.  Time off work, of course, would be ideal but that is not always possible.  Relatives, babysitters, or nanny services are all possible alternatives.  Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that we are unable to provide sick care here at Homewood ELC.


  1. FEVER.  A child shall be deemed to have a fever when there is an axillary (under the arm) temperature of 100℉ or more. In addition, if a fever develops while the child is at the center, the child will need to be picked up and taken home. The child may return to the center when they are symptom free; or until cleared by a healthcare provider.
  2. RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS.  If a child is ill and requires antibiotics, there needs to be a period on medication before the child may return to the center (i.e. strep throat). The child may return to the center upon recommendation by a healthcare provider.
  3. DIARRHEA or VOMITING.  Children who are ill and have symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting may not attend the center.  If diarrhea or vomiting occur while the child is at the center, the child needs to be taken home as soon as possible. The child may return to the center when they have been symptom free for at least 24 hours or until cleared by a healthcare provider.
  4. CONJUCTIVITIS.  Known commonly as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is extremely contagious.  Children with painful red eyes should be seen by their pediatrician or healthcare provider. Children with suspected or confirmed conjunctivitis will be excluded if the symptoms are severe and they are unable to fully participate in a day’s activities.
  5. RASHES.  This covers a wide variety from eczema to poison ivy to allergies, etc.  If the rash is oozing, then the child may not attend the center.  If the rash is dry and past infectious transmission, then the presence of a rash in itself is not a reason to exclude a child.
  6. SERIOUS INFECTIONS.  If your child has a serious infection such as meningitis, botulism, E.coli 0157:H7, tuberculosis or hepatitis, and less seriously chicken pox, the center should be notified immediately so that preventative measures can be discussed with Homewood ELC’s consulting physician.
  7. COVID-19. Homewood ELC staff members closely monitor children for symptoms of COVID-19. A Health Screening must be completed prior to admittance each day. A child may not attend if they exhibit any of the following signs or symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Additionally, children may be denied attendance based on their own or a household member’s testing, diagnosis, symptoms, exposure, or travel as they relate to COVID-19. Recommendations for COVID-19 can change over time. DBCC will communicate any changes to this policy to families as they occur. DBCC is required to report any symptoms indicative of COVID-19 to the Baltimore City Health Department and to follow their instructions regarding quarantine.

Immunization Policy

Social justice is a value that permeates all aspects of Homewood ELC’s philosophy, pedagogy, and practice.  In keeping with this value and in order to protect the rights of others and to promote community immunity to infectious diseases, Homewood ELC will require childhood vaccination* for all enrolled children at the center. 

The only exception to this policy is a written physician-ordered exemption documenting a medical contraindication to vaccination (immunocompromised, severe allergy to vaccine components, etc.).  Children who are unvaccinated due to religious or personal beliefs will not be enrolled at Homewood Early Learning Center.  This policy is implemented to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or those who do not mount an immune response to vaccines. 

*According to guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Special thanks to Dr. Matt Laurens, Homewood ELC’s pediatric consultant, for his help in drafting this policy.

Communication with the Center

Center staff will use the Tadpoles app to communicate with parents. Infant and toddler teachers tend to communicate mostly by phone, daily contact sheets and face-to-face. Please note: teachers are attending to children and are only able to check for messages sporadically throughout the day. Please contact the office if you want a message delivered promptly.

Please visit the center as often as you wish or call with any questions or comments. The center director and teachers are always eager to talk with you about your child or the program.

Sharing Your Talents

We welcome your talents  . . .  Can you:

  • Build, paint, do small repairs?
  • Read aloud to one or more children?
  • Share science and math activities?
  • Dance or play an instrument?
  • Sew, knit, or make other crafts?
  • Plan a cooking project?
  • Assist in the classroom, on a field trip or in some other way?

Let your child’s teacher or the center director know about your desire to share your talents and we’ll be happy to discuss what might work best for the children.