MDO Handbook

Mother’s Day Out  

Gateway Baptist Church 

1915 Rosemark Road Atoka, TN 38004 



MDO Handbook

Mother’s Day Out Program

Gateway Baptist Church 1915 Rosemark Road Atoka, Tennessee 38004

Dear Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians,

Thank you for entrusting the care of your child to us. As an extension of the children’s ministry of Gateway Baptist Church, the Mother’s Day Out program offers a loving Christian environment that fosters the spiritual as well as intellectual and social growth of children.

If you do not have a church home, we invite you to join us in worship and fellowship.

In Christ’s Love,

The Staff of Mother’s Day Out

Steve Carpenter, Pastor

Jeff Gautney, Assoc. Pastor Church Office: 901-837-8087

Patricia McLain, MDO Director Cell: 901-489-9183


Program Hours: 9:00AM to 2:00PM Tuesday and Thursday


To enroll in MDO, registration forms must be completed, including updated immunization records and the payment of a $25 registration fee for each child. (There is a $50 cap on registration fees per immediate family.)

If possible, a two-week notice of withdrawal is requested. Note: Registration fees are not refundable.

Enrollment is on an annual basis, priority being given to returning students.


Tuition is due on the first day of the month, and payment for the full month is expected. Payment after the 15th of the month will incur a $10.00 late fee. Nonpayment of tuition will result in removal from the program.

Refunds or deductions in tuition cannot be given. These funds reserve your child’s place at MDO and are the sole basis for teacher salaries. This program is truly nonprofit; all money received is applied to operating costs.

Please make checks payable to Gateway — MDO.

*** If a child is absent from MDO for more than two weeks without payment of tuition or notifying the Director, the child’s name will be removed from enrollment. Assuming there is space available, it will be necessary to reapply.


The nursery will initially admit children ages 12 months to 23 months. Toddlers will be advanced to the two-year-olds’ class depending upon readiness and space availability .

Nursery child-to-teacher ratio is 3 or 4-to-1 depending upon the ages of children. The two’s and early three’s classes have a 6 or 7-to-one child-to-teacher ratio. The older three’s class has a maximum enrollment of 15.
The four’s and early five’s class (Pre-K) has a maximum enrollment of 16.

Two’s, three’s, and Pre-K classes each have two dedicated teachers.


Substitute teachers are screened upon application to the program and work with a staff member while on duty.

The Director and/or Asst. Director are present to provide additional classroom support as needed.


Gateway MDO begins classes the week following the first full week that Tipton County schools start, and it ends the week prior to the final school week.

Our program will observe the same holiday schedule as the Tipton County School District.

Mother’s Day Out will be closed on the same days that Tipton County Schools are closed. When severe weather conditions occur, teachers will attempt to contact class members via social media. In addition, please listen to radio and/or television announcements of closings. No refunds will be made, nor will there be make-up days.


Arrival/Dismissal: Children are not to arrive earlier than 9:00AM. Staff require time for opening prayer and room preparation; they will be unable to receive children before this time. Should you have an emergency and need to arrive early, please contact the Director.

An MDO staff member will greet children as they arrive. The door to the Children’s Building will be locked from 9:30am until 1:45pm. Admission between those hours will be through the door on the west side of the church. This door is video monitored. Identify yourself, and staff will buzz you in.

Parents and authorized persons must sign the Sign In/Sign Out sheet when bringing and picking up a child. Please provide an emergency telephone number and any pertinent information, as well. Notify the Director in writing if someone other than the parent is to pick-up your child, and let that person know that identification will be requested.

Children must be picked up promptly. In case of an emergency, call to arrange for the Director to stay with the child after 2PM. There is a $5 late charge for
every five minutes after 2:10PM.


Children who have a contagious illness or who exhibit signs of illness (fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rash) may not attend MDO. A child must be symptom free without the use of medications for 24 hours prior to returning to MDO. A guide will be provided in the welcome packet.



If your child has been exposed to a communicable disease, please notify MDO. Once cleared by a physician, the child may return to the program.

A current immunization record is required to be on file with your child’s registration. Exemption is accepted if the form is signed by the child’s physician.

The Director will administer medication only with the permission of the child’s parent/guardian. All medication sent with the child must be brought in its original bottle and clearly labeled with the child’s name. The medication and instructions should be given to the Director.

Lice: Notify the Director and your child’s teacher of any case of lice in the family. Children who have had lice should have two treatments and be free of nits before returning to MDO.

Accidents/Injuries: The staff will attend to the child’s needs immediately and report to the parent/guardian as soon as possible. A “boo boo” report will be completed and kept on file. Should more treatment be necessary than routine first aid, every effort will be made to reach the emergency contact person. Of course, emergency care will be sought as authorized in the emergency treatment release form signed upon registration.


Play clothes that children can easily manage are recommended. Outdoor play is an especially important part of our program, so please dress your child so that he/she is able to enjoy the variety of God’s seasons.

“Accidents” happen. A change of seasonally appropriate clothes, including underwear, must be kept in the child’s backpack at all times.


Parents are to pack a lunch and a snack for their child. Please label all containers. Spill-proof cups are requested for toddlers and younger preschoolers. Food allergy alerts will be posted for those classes as needed.

Birthday Celebrations: A child may wish to share the joy of his/her special day with classmates. Parents are welcome to bring treats; please check with your teachers for suggestions. Also, plan ahead with your child’s teacher and give special attention to preparing snacks that accommodate students with food allergies.

Rest Time

In the afternoon, quiet music will be played while the children rest. After a busy day,

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children need this time to recoup. Please label mat, blanket, and pillow. If your child has a security item that she/he needs during this time, please label it clearly, as well. Vinyl mats are more comfortable if covered with something such as a pillowcase that is easily removed for periodic laundering.

Pre-kindergarten classes do not require nap time. Should a parent prefer that the child rest, please notify teacher and accommodations will be made.

Personal Items/Toys

No toys may be brought to the program with the exception of security items. There will be special days when items brought from home will be requested. Notification will be given in advance either in the monthly calendar or by the teacher.

Gateway MDO is not responsible for personal items. Our classrooms are used multiple times by many classes, and we cannot secure your special belongings. Please do not bring items that are “special” and irreplaceable. Label everything.


The staff of Gateway MDO are committed to providing a positive learning environment. We use praise to encourage positive behavior. Negative or unacceptable behavior is not rewarded with attention.

Time out will be employed if there is a problem. This will be used first in the classroom or playground setting. If negative behavior continues, the child will be taken to the Director. Should the behavior persist after the Director intervenes, you will be contacted to pick up your child.

If a child routinely exhibits behavior that is overly disruptive or is harmful to classmates (e.g., biting), you will be notified by the Director to remove her/him until that behavior ceases. Recurrence of the problem will result in expulsion.

MDO staff will not use corporal punishment. If you believe that physical discipline is necessary while on the church premises, please take your child to a private area.


Staff are available to meet with you regarding any concern or question. Please schedule meetings in advance so that the teacher and/or the Director can give you full attention.

For safety reasons, please do not attempt to meet during arrival or dismissal time.

Parents may visit at any time. If your child becomes upset with seeing you come and leave again, please try to keep your visit anonymous.



We encourage and appreciate parental involvement. There will be special events and parties scheduled throughout the year. Advance notice will be given by your child’s teacher, and specific details provided. Volunteer assistance is welcomed.


  • Infants: Separation anxiety develops after a child gains an understanding of object permanence. Once your infant realizes you are really gone, it may leave him unsettled. Although some babies display object permanence and separation anxiety as early as 4 to 5 months of age, most develop more robust separation anxiety at around 9 months. The leave-taking can be worse if your infant is hungry, tired, or not feeling well. Keep transitions short and routine if it is a tough day.

  • Toddlers: Many toddlers skip separation anxiety in infancy and start demonstrating challenges at 15 or 18 months of age. Separations are more difficult when children are hungry, tired, or sickwhich is most of toddlerhood! As children develop independence during toddlerhood, they may become even more aware of separations. Their behaviors at separations will be loud, tearful, and difficult to stop.

  • Preschoolers: By the time children are 3 years of age, most clearly understand the effect their anxiety or pleas at separation have on us. It does not mean they aren’t stressed, but they certainly are vying for a change. Be consistent; do not return to the room based on a child’s plea, and certainly don’t cancel plans based on separation anxiety. Your ongoing consistency, explanations, and diligence to return when you say you will are tantamount.

    How to Survive Separation Anxiety

  • Create quick good-bye rituals. Even if you have to do major-league- baseballstyle hand movements, give triple kisses at the cubby, or provide a special blanket or toy as you leave, keep the good-bye short and sweet. If you linger, the transition time does too. So will the anxiety.

  • Be consistent. Try to do the same drop-off with the same ritual at the same time each day you separate to avoid unexpected factors whenever you can. A routine can diminish the heartache and will allow your child to simultaneously build trust in her independence and in you.

  • Attention: When separating, give your child full attention, be loving, and provide affection. Then say good-bye quickly despite her antics or cries for you to stay.

  • Keep your promise. You will build trust and independence as your child becomes confident in her ability to be without you when you stick to your promise of return. The biggest mistake in this regard is returning to class to “visit” after a terrible transition. Although the return may be well intended, it extends the anxiety, and the process is started over again.

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  • Be specific, child style. When you discuss your return, provide specifics that your child understands. Tell it to your child on his terms; for example, say, “I’ll be back after nap time.”

  • Practice being apart. Plan a stay with grandparents, schedule playdates, allow friends and family to provide childcare for you (even for an hour) on the weekend. Before starting childcare or preschool, practice going to school and your good-bye ritual before you even have to part ways. Give your child a chance to prepare, experience, and thrive in your absence.

    It is rare that separation anxiety persists on a daily basis after the preschool years. If you are concerned that your child isn’t adapting to being without you, chat with the pediatrician. Your pediatrician has certainly helped support families in the same situation and can help calm your unease and determine a plan to support both of you.

    (Adapted from Childs-Separation-Anxiety)

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People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for

the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Luke 18:15-17