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Appointments Policies & Procedures

At Niagara Children’s Centre, we have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety, security, privacy and accountability of everyone who works with and interacts with the Centre. Please take some time to review our policies and procedures on appointments and be sure to ask Niagara Children’s Centre staff any questions you may have.

Attendance and Cancellations

Attending scheduled appointments and arriving on time helps you, your child and your family benefit most from your Niagara Children’s Centre services. It also helps the Centre be as efficient as possible to ensure that every available appointment is filled with another child/family who needs our support.

We understand that “life happens”! If you or your child is ill or there is an extenuating circumstance preventing you from attending your appointment, please provide us with as much notice as possible.

We want to support you.

If you miss appointments or cancel appointments, our staff will have a conversation with you about how we can help. We may be able to offer alternatives/accommodations to your service plan including changing the frequency or location of appointments, changing to virtual or telephone appointments, offering assistance with the cost of transportation etc. We may also be able to help brainstorm solutions to the challenges you are having attending appointments and/or connect you to services within the Centre or community that can offer this help.

We respectfully ask that you: 

  • Arrive on time for your appointments
  • Provide us with as much notice as possible (24 hours is preferred) when cancelling appointments. This includes appointments scheduled at schools if your child will be absent from school.
  • Avoid missing an appointment without letting us know in advance (“no-shows”)
  • Call or email us back as soon as you are able after we attempt to contact you
  • Let us know how we can support you and your family if attending appointments feels difficult
Please note:
  • Cancelled/missed initial assessment appointments will only be rescheduled twice before your child will be placed back on the waiting list (on the end of the list)
  • A maximum of 3 cancelled (with notice) appointments will be rescheduled within your service/therapy plan.
  • Only 1 “no-show” appointment will be rescheduled. Additional “no-shows” are more likely to result in a discharge from Centre services.
  • If attending appointments continues to be difficult after we have provided alternatives/accommodations, your child may be discharged from services.
  • All appointments cancelled by one of our clinicians or by the Centre (e.g. due to clinician illness/absence, Centre closure, etc.) will be made up.
  • If we attempt to contact you and you do not respond to our attempts within 2 weeks (we will try phone, email, and contacting all caregivers on file), we will mail you a letter that states that we will discharge your child within 2 weeks of the date we mailed the letter if you do not respond.
  • We encourage families to stay home when sick to prevent the spread of infection. Our staff will consider reasons for cancelation when making decisions about impacts to your child’s services.

Any families concerned with changes to their child’s service plan as a result of this policy should first speak to their child’s therapist(s) and then the manager of their child’s services if concerns still exist. 

How to Cancel an Appointment

Team Meetings and Appointments – To cancel a team meeting or appointment, call or leave a message with at least one of the therapists on your child’s therapy team.

Individual Sessions – To cancel an individual session, contact the treating therapist.

Assessment and Recheck Appointments – When cancelling an assessment or recheck appointment, please contact the therapist with whom you had an appointment. Remember to notify other professionals scheduled to attend, such as your infant and child development services worker or your resource teacher.

Appointments at your child’s school or child care – Please contact your child’s therapist(s) to cancel. It is not the responsibility of the school or child care to notify our staff of your child’s absence. 

Frequently Many Missed or Cancelled Appointments – Please refer to the Appointment Policies and Procedures section above to learn more about how our therapists will work with you to find a schedule for service that best suits your family.

Inclement Weather

Inclement weather can pose a threat to the safety of Niagara Children’s Centre staff and clientele. In the event of inclement weather, Niagara Children’s Centre may, at its own discretion, decide to close its facilities and/or cancel programming and treatment services until we deem the weather to no longer be a safety issue.

In the event that the weather is severe enough that management decides to close the facility, we will notify the public in the following ways:

  • We will post a notification on the home page of the Centre’s website
  • We will post a message on the Centre’s main switchboard voicemail, providing details of the closure – the main switchboard can be reached at (905) 688-3550
  • We will notify local radio stations and they will provide updates where possible

When to Keep Your Child Home Due to Illness

Keeping yourself, your child, or anyone attending the appointment home when ill helps prevent the spread of germs/infection. Many children who receive Centre services are particularly vulnerable to becoming ill. Your child is not likely to benefit from sessions held while they are ill.

We ask that you stay home if anyone attending the appointment has:

  • vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  • fever (temperature above 37.0C or 98.6F)
  • earache or any drainage from the ear
  • continuous cough or unusual night coughs
  • runny nose with thick colored mucous, or accompanied by other symptoms
  • head lice
  • unusual rashes
  • stomach aches or headaches
  • sore throat
  • eye irritations, particularly with yellow discharge or redness

Please refer to our website on Infection Control Procedures for up-to-date information about our current practices.