Company Policies

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF THE CRANN SUPPORT GROUP

SECTION 1: ADMINISTRATION

1. Admissions Policy page 5
2. Fee Payment Policy page 6 & 7
3. Collection & Arrival Policy page 8 – 11
4. Parents as Partners Policy page 12 & 13
5. Record keeping Policy page 14 – 17
6. Confidentiality Policy page 18 & 19
7. Data Protection page 20 – 26
8. Equal opportunities Policy page 27 & 28
9. Fund Raising Policy page 29
10.Comments and Complaints Policy page 30 & 31

SECTION 2: CHILDCARE AND EDUCATION POLICIES

1. Rights of the Child page 33 & 34
2. Staff Ratio page 35 & 36
3. Inclusion page 37 – 40
4. Child Development page 41 – 50
5. Curriculum Policy page 51 – 53
6. Observations Policy page 54 – 61
7. Irish Language Policy page 62
8. Settling in Policy page 63 & 64
9. Transitions Policy page 65 – 68
10.Behaviour Management Policy page 69 – 70
11.Anti-bullying Policy page 71 – 73
12.Biting Policy page 74 – 77
13.Equality & Diversity page 78 – 79
14.Code of Ethics page 80 & 83
15.Interactions & Communication page 81 – 85
16.Multimedia page 86 – 90
17.Outdoor Play page 91 – 96
18.Outings Policy page 97 – 98
19.Physical Play page 99 – 100
20.Supervision of Children page 101 & 102

SECTION 3: HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES

1. Healthy Eating Policy page 104 – 108
2. Food Hygiene Policy page 109 – 117
– Infant Formula Feeding
– Bottle Feeding Guide
– Food allergens
3. Hand Washing Policy page 118 & 119
4. Toileting Policy page 120 & 121
5. Nappy Changing page 123
6. Safety & Security Policy page 124 – 125
7. Fire Safety Policy page 126 – 129
8. First Aid Policy page 130 – 134
9. Toxic Materials Policy page 135
10.Illness & Exclusions Policy page 136 – 145
11.Infection Control Policy page 146 – 151
12.Intimate & Personal Care page 152 – 153
13.Manual Handling page 154 – 156
14.Administration of Medicines Policy page 157 – 160
15.Sleep Policies
16.Nursery page 161 & 162
17.1 – 2 Room page 163 & 164
18.2 – 3 Room page 165 & 166
19.3 – 5 Room page 167 & 168
20.Afterschool page 169 & 170
21.Accidents & Incidents Policy page 171 & 172
22.Anaphylaxis Policy page 173 – 179
23.Animals Policy page 180 – 182
24.Camera & Photography Use page 183 – 185
25.CCTV Policy page 186 – 189
26.Cleanliness & Hygiene Policy page 190 – 193
27.Dress Code page 194 & 195
28.Emergency Closure page 196 – 197
29.Environmental Care & recycling page 198
30.Health & Safety Policy page 199 – 204
31.Missing Child Policy page 205 – 206
32.Critical Incident Policy page 207 – 224
33.Pest Control page 225 – 228
34.Spillages and Hazards page 229 – 230
35.Sun safety page 231 & 232
36.Swine Flu Policy page 233 – 239

SECTION 4: PERSONNEL POLICIES

Please refer to the staff Handbook
• Absence Cover page 241 & 242
• Garda Vetting page 243 – 248
• Students & Volunteers page 249 – 252
• Mobile Phone Policy page 253 – 254
• Social Media Policy page 256 – 258
• Index of Staff Handbook page 259

SECTION 5:

Child Protection Policy page 262 – 279

INFORMATION

 

ADMISSIONS POLICY

It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members to offer equal access to all children from the community and surrounding areas, including children with a disability or special requirements irrespective of their cultural, religious or economic background.
Parents/guardians seeking a childcare place must complete a Booking Form which is filed on the waiting list and places are allocated on a first come basis.
Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part IV 15 (1) Register of Pre-School Children) (Síolta Standard 10: Organisation, Síolta Standard 12: Communication) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 16: Equal Opportunities)

Admissions Procedure:

  • Each child must be at least 6 months when starting at the service.
  • Parents seeking to secure a place for their child must complete a booking form.
  • A completed booking form must be returned to the booking officer prior to the child attending the service.
  • Children will be admitted on a ‘first come first served’ basis following the submission of the booking form.
  • If there are no remaining places a waiting list will be drawn up and the booking officer will endeavour to place all children as soon as possible.
  • Referrals from family support services will be accepted provided there is a place available.
  • There are now 3 entry points into Pre-school; September, January & April, and admissions are accepted subject to availability.

 

Refusal of Admission:
Management reserve the right to refuse admission, cancel a confirmed placement or discontinue with a current placement if the behaviour of a parent/guardian is deemed by management to be verbally or physically abusive to a member of staff or any of the centres clients.

 

FEE PAYMENT POLICY

The management of parental fees in the Crann Support Group and its members endeavours to reflect best practice with regard to the forecasting of the budget costs for the provision of a quality child pre-school service and to ensure the long term sustainability of the service. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 (IV 16 f) (Síolta Standard 10: Organisation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract)

 

Upon request of information the family will be made aware of the following:

  • Opening/closing times of the service/sessions per week/holiday closures/cost per session depending on service provided. Times can also be found on our website.
  • Booking Fees- New Entrants, a non- refundable fee equivalent to one week’s fee is required to hold your child’s place.
  • For existing families within the centre, future booking fees for siblings are offset against child’s first week in attendance.
  • Fees are paid weekly/monthly in advance. Standing order can be arranged.
  • Fees are payable regardless of absenteeism. This includes absence due to illness, holidays or public holidays.
  • Fees can be subject to an annual increase
  • Early/late collection fees will apply unless with prior agreement with the manager.
  • If your fees are underpaid and/or overdue for two consecutive weeks you will forfeit your child’s place in the centre until full payment is received.
  • If you have three children in the centre on a full time basis, a discount of 20% will be applied to the third child’s fees
  • Optional extra costs may occur from time to time e.g. Outings, Santa visits, Diaries, Child’s Path App, Graduation Photographs, etc.
  • Meals and drinks will be included in the cost of the fee for those availing of full day care and afterschool service.
  • On exiting your child from the centre you must give two weeks’ notice and complete an exit form. If no notice is given a further two weeks will be applied to your account.
  • Parents will be asked to sign a contract agreeing to the terms of the fee payment policy

FINANCIAL PROCEDURE

This procedure does not apply to families in receipt of The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme

1. Your account is expected to be paid on a Monday for that current week.

2. If your payment is not received by Thursday evening, your account will show in arrears for that week.

Should your account show in arrears the following procedure will apply:

Step 1: One week arrears – you will receive a text on the following Monday stating same. (Please only reply to phone number 087-7620630 with your full name and which centre your child/children attends)
Step 2: Two weeks’ arrears – a text plus a letter
Step 3: Three weeks’ arrears – a text plus a meeting with the Manager

Payments can be made by cash using the payment envelopes provided by the centre, cheque or standing order.

If you wish to set up a Standing Order, please contact our accounts department on 087-7620630 or email accounts@crannsupportgroup.ie

All returned cheques will be subject to an administration fee of €20.00.

COLLECTIONS and ARRIVALS

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to ensuring the safety and care of the children upon arriving and leaving the service. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, IV 15 Records. (Síolta Standard 10: Organisation, Síolta Standard 12: Communication) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 20: Safety

Statement of Intent

All Parents/employees must follow the collections and arrivals policy and procedure.

Attendance

It is essential to the efficient running of the service that you inform the Manager or any other member of the childcare service staff if your child is unable to attend the service within an hour of your child’s normal start time and follow up with a telephone call to inform the service when the child will be returning. A register of the times and days that children attend is kept.

Arrivals

  • Your child is registered on arrival with a member of staff.
  • Support your child to remove coats and to find their coat pegs.
  • Please ensure that the door/gate you exit is securely closed for the safety of all the children when you leave.
  • If a child will not be attending, we request that parents advise us.

Collection Policy

The Collection Policy of the Crann Support Group will be achieved by:

  • Parents/guardians must collect their child by the agreed collection time. Parents will be asked to give the names of at least two other people who are authorised to collect the child. If the parent is late arriving to collect the child the Manager will endeavour to contact the parent. In the event of being unable to contact the parent the Manager will contact the other named persons to collect the child.
  • Children will not be released into the care of a person under the age of 18 years or to a person who appears to be incapable of caring for the child. Should this situation arise the staff will contact an authorised collector. If the management cannot contact the parent/guardian or emergency contacts to collect the child, then they may have to contact the Tusla social work child protection team.
  • We ask that parents do not collect their child from the service while under the influence of alcohol or illegal substance. This can lead to embarrassment and worry within the team. If parents, feel that this situation may arise they should arrange for an authorised collector to collect their child.
  • Children should be collected only by the adult/s named on the Collection Authorization, should the person responsible be unable to collect the child, the parent is asked to inform the staff and issue the password (as provided on the child’s admission form) to the person collecting the child.
  • Please ensure that you park safely and do not cause an obstruction, even for a very short time.
  • In the event of a parent collecting another fellow child a prior arrangement must be made.
  • In order to comply with childcare legislation which determines the staff/ child ratios and in the best interest of the children (children can become distressed when no-one comes for them when all the others have been collected) it is important that children are collected on time from the service.

Late Collection of Children

The Crann Support Group and its members understand that sometimes a parent is unavoidably delayed when coming to collect their child. We will ensure that the child receives a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible. Parents in this situation must contact the Manager to say that they will be late and arrange with staff what to do. Children are only released from the Crann Support Group and its members to individuals named by the parent. If a child is left after the centre’s closing time the staff will try to contact parents / guardians or emergency contacts. If all attempts are unsuccessful and the child is still here after 1 hour the staff may have no alternative but to contact the Gardaí.
Separated and Divorced Parents
Married parents are automatically joint guardians of their children. Neither separation nor divorce changes this.

  • We cannot refuse either parent to collect their child unless a court order is in place.
  • We ask that parents give us information on any person that does not have legal access to the child.
  • Where custody of a child is granted to one parent, we would ask you to clarify the circumstances with us. This information will remain confidential and will only be made known to the relevant staff. If there are any legal documents i.e. custody order, barring order we would ask you to provide us with a copy to keep on file.

Attempted collection by a parent who has been denied access in a court order

  • A parent who has been denied access to a child through a court order will not be permitted on to the premises
  • If the parent who has been denied access becomes threatening or violent and insists on removing the child from the service, this will be viewed as trespassing. The service will in this event contact the Local Gardaí.

By law, an unmarried mother is the sole guardian of a child born outside of marriage. Unless the mother agrees to sign a statutory declaration, an unmarried father must apply to the court in order to become a legal guardian of his child

After School Care Service

If a child has not attended school due to appointment, illness etc. we ask that the childcare service be informed no later than 10:30am. This policy also applies to un-notified changes of collection times. This should also apply in any event where by the child does not need to be collected. Failure to do so can waste valuable time and causes undue concern for staff collecting the child from their school.

Drop off

  • Where the service agrees to collect/drop off children to and from the school signed consent will be sought from the parent / carer.
  • The children will be escorted by a known staff member to the school. Prior contact will be made with the children and the school for new staff members. Only Junior Infant children will be escorted to the school line/ door in conjunction with school policy. This will only be guaranteed from September until Christmas.
  • Senior Infants to Sixth Class will be dropped to school in accordance with school policy, where possible they will be escorted to the school gate by the escort. If this is not physically possible the escort will remain in view until the child/children have entered the school gate.

Collection

  • The children will meet the staff in an arranged place and a register will be taken. Should a child be missing, the staff member will confirm with the school if the child was absent from school that day. This will cause delays for the staff and other children therefore we would request that the parent informs the service by telephone if a child will not be attending on any day.
  • The children will go in a group directly from the school to the service by the safest most direct route.
  • In the interest of child protection and to comply with legislation child / staff ratios will be adhered to at all times.

From the Service Home

  • Please collect child/children on time.
  • It is the policy of the service not to allow children to walk home unaccompanied.

If a child is booked into the afterschool service and they do not arrive we will follow the following procedures:

  • The Manager will telephone the school to find out if the child was in school.
  • The Manager will telephone the parent or other emergency contact from contacts list.
  • If the child was in school and the parent/ emergency contacts cannot be contacted the manager may have no alternative but to contact the local Garda station to report the child missing.

Forms
Application Form

PARENTS AS PARTNERS POLICY

“Parents are the first educators of their children and should be involved at all stages in their education and development”. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part VI, Safety, Records, IV) (Síolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Síolta Standard 10: Organisation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 3: Working in partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 7: Complaints, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 11: Child Protection, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 15: Children with Disabilities, National Standard 16: Equal Opportunities)

Statement of Intent

It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members that staff and parents work together to achieve the best possible outcomes, learning experiences for all the children attending the service. It is our policy to involve parent/guardians at every level of their child’s development

Policies + Procedures

The Crann Support Group and its members will:

  • Facilitate regular meetings at mutually agreed times and venues.
  • Arrange social outings for staff, management and parents.
  • Ensure a brief daily exchange of information with each parent.
  • Provide a notice board of current information, leaflets, HSE information, contact numbers, relevant statutory documents as required by the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations, 1996, and regular photographic displays of the children at play.
  • Offer opportunities for families’ personal development, workshop and courses with particular emphasis on how children learn, the childcare curriculum and learning at home.
  • Value parents individually and ensure opportunities for them to contribute to the service activities, whatever form this may take, i.e. special skills and special activities (providing materials for junk art, outings, shopping trips, cookery sessions).
  • Encourage input to the service, i.e. committee, fund raising.
  • Facilitate the observation of play, which will increase understanding of child behaviour and development.
  • Provide opportunities for engaging in shared play with children.
  • Provide opportunities and time for parents to talk individually with staff/management on:
  • Child’s progress and observation record
  • A joint strategy for behaviour management
  • Setting realistic goals for their child
  • Changes in the family home
  • Difficulties or concerns
  • Suggestions for the service
  • Joint evaluation of the childcare services
  • Work towards the provision of a jointly developed and managed Equipment/Book library facility.
  • Make parents aware of the group’s comments/complaints procedure.

 

RECORD KEEPING

Principle

The Crann Support and its members aim to maintain all records according to the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 to ensure the health and safety of staff and children, and to promote the development of all children attending the service. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part II Registration and Register, Part III Management & Staff, Part IV Information and Records, Part V Care of Child in Pre-school Service, Part VI Safety, Part VII Premises & Space, Part VIII Notifications & Complaints, Part IX Inspection & Enforcement. (Siolta Standard 12: Communication Siolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 6: Evaluation)

Statement of Intent

  • We aim to ensure that all records are factual and written impartially.
  • Under the The Data Protection Act 1998 And Data Protection (amendments) Act 2003 parents will have access to all records pertaining to their child only, unless appropriate consent has been sought.
  • Staff members will only have access to records of children in their care and will be used to inform staff on how best to meet the needs of each child and plan for further learning.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members will only share information with other professionals or agencies, with consent from parents or without their consent in terms of legal responsibility in relation to a Child Protection issues.
  • Staff use the guided approach of Aistear and Síolta, The National Quality Frameworks for Early Childhood Education in relation to various aspects of record keeping within the service.

Procedures

Register of Pre-School Children

  • A register is kept of every child attending the service.
  • The information on the register will be up dated on an ongoing basis.

Health and Safety

  • Records will be kept in relation to medical administration and accident report forms which will be co-signed by parents / guardians and staff.
  • Written parental consent is kept to allow the service to seek medical assistance for a child in case of an emergency.
  • Information on children’s allergies will be displayed in the kitchen and all rooms so that all staff are aware of allergies.
  • The daily arrival and departure time of each child and staff is recorded.

Observation, Assessment and Programme Planning

  • Staff use regular observation and assessment as a means of planning for children’s learning. Observations and assessments are recorded in the form of written observations and discussion, photos and use of children’s work. These will in turn be shared regularly with staff and parents to ensure a cohesive approach to ensuring the needs of each child are met.
  • A record of the planned programme / activities is clearly documented through short, medium and long term plans. Observations and assessment records are used to inform the plans and ensure that activities are suitable for the age, stage and interests of children in the service.
  • An Individual Educational Plan (IEP) may be used to support the individual needs of children with additional needs. These will be regularly shared with parents and relevant professionals working with a child.
  • Daily information will be recorded and shared with parents / guardians outlining settling in periods, 1:1 experiences with key worker, activities carried out, food and drink, nappy changes, sleep etc.

Records of each child are available on the premises for inspection by

(a) A child’s parent or guardian but only in respect of information concerning their child.
(b)Staff members with whom the information is relevant
(c) An authorised person

Staff Records

  • A recruitment policy and procedure is in place and written evidence will be kept in relation to recruitment procedures for all staff positions.
  • Records outlining the name, position, qualification and experience of each staff member, volunteer and student are maintained.
  • Records are kept in relation to all documents and records relating to Garda vetting and references from previous employers for all staff members.
  • Staff monitoring notes are kept relating to staff appraisals and supervision.
  • The daily arrival, departure and meal break times of each staff member is recorded.
  • All staff records are strictly confidential (see confidentiality policy).

Programme of Care for Babies / Toddlers

  • Staff will record, sleep times, eating patterns and nappy changing.
  • Parents and the primary caregiver establish and record a personal care plan that is continually updated to ensure that care routines are personalised “prime times” that fit the child and family.

Records Related to the Running of the Service Include:

  • Details of the maximum number of children catered for at any one time.
  • Details of the type of service and age range of children using the service.
  • Staff/Child ratios within the service.
  • An outline of the type of programme under which the service operates.
  • Opening hours and fees.
  • Policies and procedures currently in place.
  • Daily attendance of all children present in the facility.
  • Staff roster.
  • Details of any accident, injury or incident involving any of the children attending the service.

Fire Safety:

A written record will be kept of:

(a) All fire drills which take place on the premises

(b) The number, type and maintenance record of fire- fighting equipment and smoke alarms in the premises.

Hygiene:

  • A cleaning programme and schedule for furniture, work and play equipment is in place.
  • Food hygiene practices are guided and recorded under the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the Food Hygiene Regulations 1950 – 89 and the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2000.
  • Record of pest control measures.

Equipment

  • A record of portable electrical equipment
  • A record of equipment checks

Outings

  • A record of risk assessments carried out.
  • Outing Authorisation.

Forms

Childcare Forms
Employee Forms
Record Keeping Forms

CONFIDENTIALITY

Principle

It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members not to discuss details of any child or family outside the service without written permission. In the event of a suspicion of child abuse the manager will talk to a Tusla duty social worker with the knowledge of the parents. Confidential information is shared only with the staff members who need the information to effectively perform their job. Personnel details are not discussed without consent. Both staff and parents have the right to examine their own files.
Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part II registration & Register, Part III Management & Staff, Part IV Information & Records. (Síolta Standard 12: Communication) (National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 7: Confidentiality, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members respects the right for all information, records and observations to be treated with respect and with due attention to confidentiality and privacy.

Policy and Procedures

Parents will be made aware of the necessity of keeping records in relation to children in order to comply with Child Care Regulations. Parents will have access to records kept in relation to their child.

  • It is not acceptable to discuss matters relating to children or their families outside of school, except in notification procedures to the Tusla of child protection issues.
  • Breaches of confidentiality by staff members will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedures.
  • Other non-confidential information relating to children will be kept in the appropriate room and up-dated regularly under the supervision of the Manager.
  • A designated officer will be appointed to deal with confidential matters relating to child protection matters, and it is to this person that any queries or concerns should be addressed.
  • The importance of total confidentiality has been made clear to all our staff and volunteers. Everyone within the service must understand that anything relating to the children or staff must not be discussed outside the school setting.
  • The parent’s confidence in our service is very important to us and parents can be assured any discussion they may have will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Record Keeping

The Crann Support Group and its members we keep records under two areas i.e. Child/Family records and Personal and Operation Details. All of these records are stored securely. Staff will have access to the records where appropriate.

Details of the records kept are as follows:

Child/Family Records

Confidential information or records relating to children will be kept in a locked file. Examples of confidential information include:

  • A Register which includes details of the Children attending the Service.
  • Details in relation to Parent/Guardians.
  • Details in relation to the Children’s Health.
  • Referral from HSE/Tusla and reason for referral.
  • Referral from the Refugee or Asylum Seeker Councils
  • Parental status of child’s parent(s)
  • Any other sensitive information

Personal and Operational Details

  • Details of Staff Members.
  • Details of the Services Operations.
  • Details of Accidents and Administration of Medicines.
  • Details of Fire Procedures.

DATA PROTECTION

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will conform to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003. Child Care Act (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III Management & Staff, Part IV Information & Records. (Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 12: Communication, Siolta Standard 15; Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 4: Records)

Statement of Intent

Under the provisions the Crann Support Group and its members has appointed the Managers of its services as “Data Controllers” to manage the storage of personal information about staff, children and families in its computerised and manual records.

Policy and Procedure

The Crann Support Group and its members will follow the following principles in relation to keeping data:

  • Obtain and process information fairly.
  • Ensure that the data subjects know what information is being held about them and for what purpose.
  • Keep information for lawful purposes.
  • Process information in ways compatible with the purpose for which it was given originally.
  • Ensure that the information is adequate, relevant and not excessive.
  • Retain the information no longer than is necessary.
  • Give a copy of personal information to the individual concerned on request.
  • Amend information held on employees if the employee indicates that the information is incorrect.

Adhere to the ‘need to know principle’ – only personal data necessary for the purpose should be collected and staff should only be able to access the personal data that they need to carry out their functions.

  • Have adequate access controls, firewalls and virus protection and do not forget manual files.
  • Have retention policies for the various categories of data.
  • Ensure that data maintained is securely and confidentially stored.

Informing Staff on Data Protection Acts

The Crann Support Group and its member’s management will ensure that:

  • The basic principles of data protection are explained to staff and parents. This will be done during staff induction, staff meetings and through our parent handbook.
  • There are regular updates to data protection awareness, so that data protection is a “living” process aligned to the way the Crann Support Group and its members conducts its business.
  • The Data Controller will periodically check data held with regard to accuracy and have complete regular security reviews.
  • Non- compliance of the data protection and other policies of the Crann Support Group may invoke the disciplinary procedure.
  • Confidential and personal information about our children/parents will only be shared by the data Controllers and Designated Liaison Person in relation to child safety, in line with this our Child Protection Policy. Any breach of confidentiality by any member of staff will lead to disciplinary action.

The Crann Support Group and its members will provide for:

  • Periodic audit checks and reviews.
  • A procedure for complaints handling. See our complaints policy and procedure.
  • Plans for remedial steps if things go wrong.

Employee Responsibilities

As an employee you are responsible for:

  • Any breach of the data protection policy, either deliberate or through negligence, may lead to disciplinary action being taken an
  • Checking that any information that you provide in connection with your employment is accurate and up to date
  • Notifying the childcare facility of any changes to information you have provided, for example changes of address
  • Ensuring that you are familiar with and follow the data protection policy.

Any breach of the data protection policy, either deliberate or through negligence, may lead to disciplinary action being taken and could in some cases result in a criminal prosecution.

Data Security

Employees are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Any personal data that you hold, whether in electronic or paper format, is kept securely.
  • Personal information relating to children or their families is not disclosed either verbally or in writing, accidentally or otherwise, to any unauthorized third party

Storage of Data

The security of personal information relating to children and families is a very important consideration under the Data Protection Acts. Appropriate security measures will be taken by the Crann Support Group and its members against unauthorised access to this data and to the data it is collecting and storing on behalf of the DCYA.

A minimum standard of security will include the following measures:

  • Access to the information should be restricted to authorised staff on a “need-to-know” basis.
  • Manual files will be stored in a lockable filing cabinet located away from public areas.
  • Computerised data will be held under password protected files with a limited number of users.
  • Any information which needs to be disposed of, will be done so carefully and thoroughly.
  • Premises will be secured when unoccupied.

Data collected on behalf of DCYA for ECCE

The personal information which parents will be required to provide on application forms for the above scheme including their Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) are protected by the Data Protection legislation.

The following principles should be observed to ensure that the information supplied by parents meets the required levels of data protection.
Obtain and process information fairly
To fairly obtain the data, the data subject must, at the time the personal data is being collected, be made aware of the identity of the data controller/the purpose in collecting the data, and the persons or categories of persons to whom the data may be disclosed. To fairly process the data, it must have been fairly obtained and in this case, the data subject must have consented to the processing.
Parents who return completed forms to a service provider for the purpose of the ECCE scheme should be aware of and consent to the transmission of the information to the DCYA.
PPS Numbers
PPSN information may be transmitted electronically through the PIP online system operated by Pobal. The system can electronically check and validate the PPSN number against the name, DOB and PPSN details
Where a parent’s declaration is not verified by the DCYA’s checks, a letter will be issued to inform them that the subvention (ECCE funding) applied for does not apply. We will correct our register of the subventions due to parents, and supply the parent with the letter, stating that as a result we will not receive grant aid to reduce the fee charged. We will not retain this letter, or a copy of it, for more than 1 month.
If in the verification of information, a parent disputes the outcome, they should contact the DCYA directly.
*The Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) is a new online system which will streamline the administrative processes across the three national childcare funding programmes (ECCE, TEC and CCS).
Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes and use and disclose it only in ways compatible with these purposes
Under data protection legislation, the Crann Support Group and its members will only keep data for specific, lawful and clearly stated purposes and the data will only be processed in a manner compatible with the purpose(s).
In this case, only information required on the ECCE official form is to be requested from parents for the purposes of the scheme.
The information on PIP Parental Declaration Forms completed by parents is input onto the PIP system and then the form is destroyed confidentially. A form is then generated on the PIP system with a unique reference number and a copy will be given to the parent and copy kept on site for the purposes of compliance visits to show that the child has been registered in accordance with the parent’s childcare requirements. Information is held confidentially and securely.

The information contained in these forms should not be used for further purposes or disclosed to third parties, other than the DCYA/Pobal, by the service. Requests for information from third parties should be referred to the DCYA for reply. The PPSN in particular is also protected under Social Welfare legislation.

Retain the information for no longer than is necessary for the purpose

In order to comply with this requirement, the Crann Support Group and its members will comply with the retention period set out for these schemes by the DCYA/Pobal.

CCTV

The Crann Support Group and its member organisation has in place a CCTV surveillance system. Images are monitored and recorded and will be used in strict accordance with this policy.

Fairness

Management of the Crann Support Group and its member’s respects and supports the individual’s entitlement to go about his/her lawful business and this is the primary consideration in the operation of CCTV. Although there will be inevitably some loss of privacy with CCTV cameras are not used to monitor the progress or activities in the ordinary course of lawful business. They are used to address concerns, deal with complaints or support investigations. New employees will be informed immediately, at induction that a surveillance system is in operation. Parents will be informed when they enrol their child. They will be informed of the purpose of the CCTV and what it can and cannot be used to monitor. (Please refer to CCTV policy).

Data collected through Garda Vetting

The Crann Support Group and its members process their Garda Vetting requests through Early Childhood Ireland for employees. The service understands that sensitive information may be identified through Garda Vetting. In the event that an employee’s Garda vetting raises concerns the information will be dealt with on a confidential basis. All information pertaining to such a situation must be stored in the same way as other data.
The Crann Support Group and its members will not pass on a copy of an employee’s Garda Vetting Form to any other party. We will hold original Garda Vetting forms and will not accept copies from any other agency.

Dealing with Access Requests

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that that they follow the guidelines set down by the Data Protection Office. Every individual about whom a data controller keeps personal information has a right to request a copy of the data which is kept about them. The service provider should only hold limited personal information on an individual. A copy of this information should be included along with other personal information held about the individual making the access request.

On making an access request any individual about whom you keep personal data is entitled to:

  • A copy of the data you are keeping about him or her.
  • Know the categories of their data and your purpose/s for processing it.
  • Know the identity of those to whom you disclose the data.
  • Know the source of the data, unless it is contrary to public interest.
  • Know the logic involved in automated decisions.
  • Data held in the form of opinions, except where such opinions were given in confidence and even in such cases where the person’s fundamental rights suggest that they should access the data in question it should be given.

To make an access request the data subject must:

  • Apply to in writing (which can include email);
  • Give any details which might be needed to help you identify him/her and locate all the information you may keep about him/her e.g. previous addresses, date of birth, etc.
  • Pay an access fee

Every individual about whom a data controller keeps personal information has a number of other rights under the Act, in addition to the Right of Access. These include the right to have any inaccurate information rectified or erased, to have personal data taken off a direct marketing or direct mailing list and the right to complain to the Data Protection Commissioner.

In response to an access request the data controller must:

  • Supply the information to the individual promptly and within 40 days of receiving the request;
  • Provide the information in a form which will be clear to the ordinary person.

Retention of Records

Personnel Records: In general 6 years. Some employment legislation Acts require that information is held for longer periods.

Child Records : Until child is 21 years

Financial Records : 6 years for pay slips. Accounting practices and company law apply to other records

Child Photographs/video recording : As per policy

Completed Parent Declaration (ECCE) : Original form to be destroyed or returned to parent once entered onto the PIP system. PIP system printed form to be retained for inspection for 7 years.

This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the Data Protection Acts1998-2003.

Equal Opportunities Policy

It is the Policy of the Crann Support Group and its members to respect the individuality of all children and adults involved in our service and to promote positive attitudes to differences of culture, ethnicity, gender, language and financial circumstances. The childcare service will comply with all relevant legislation including the:

  • The Employment Equality Act, 1998
  • The Equal Status Act, 2000-2012

In compliance with The Crann Support Groups Equal Opportunities Policy, the services recognise that:

Admissions:

  • The childcare service is open to all families in the community.
  • The waiting list is operated as per the admission procedures.

Families:

  • All families must be encouraged to be involved in their children’s early education, in whatever way it is possible for them.
  • The input of all families into decision making etc. in the childcare service is valued equally.
  • There are many different types of families.
  • Children can be loved and cared for in different family settings.
  • Families with different means will need a flexible payment system.

Meetings/Information:

  • The time, place and tone of meetings must ensure that all families have an equal opportunity to attend and be involved.
  • Information, spoken and written, will be communicated in as many methods as possible.

Curriculum:

  • Children are valued and supported in all their needs.
  • The individuality of each child is respected and nurtured.
  • A wide range of activities and play equipment is provided in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination. These will present positive images of children and adults in society.
  • Children are encouraged at all times to appreciate similarities and value differences. A range of materials should be chosen to reflect cultures, genders and ability difference.
  • The childcare service recognises that all children have needs but some have more needs than others. The special needs of children are acknowledged.
  • Every effort will be made to meet the needs of children and families using the service.

Food and Festivals:

  • Children and adults will be encouraged to experience a range of different festivals, for example through stories, celebrations, special food and clothing. Appropriate advice and input will be sought from people who celebrate the festival.
    Dietary and cultural needs of children and adults will be met.

Staff and Training:

  • The childcare service will deal with all job applicants in a fair manner and follow correct procedures as set out in current Employment and Equality Legislation.
  • In service training will be provided for all staff and adults in the area of equal opportunities, in order to raise awareness of discriminatory behaviour or remarks.

FUND RAISING POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to ensuring that fundraising activities are carried out in an ethical manner. Fundraising plays an integral part in our financial planning within the Crann Support Group to supply and replace equipment and improve our service. This policy applies to the management, casual, permanent and contract staff and volunteers. (Síolta standard 16: Community Involvement) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians)

The Crann Support Group and its members will adhere to the following standards:

  • Fundraising activities carried out by the Crann Support Group will comply with all relevant laws.
  • Any communications to the public made in the course of carrying out a fundraising activity shall be truthful and non-deceptive.
  • All monies raised via fundraising activities will be for the stated purpose of the appeal and will comply with the organisation’s stated mission and purpose.
  • All personal information collected by the Crann Support Group is confidential and is not for sale or to be given away or disclosed to any third party without consent.
  • Nobody directly or indirectly employed by or volunteering for the Crann Support Group shall accept commissions, bonuses or payments for fundraising activities on behalf of the organisation.
  • No general solicitations shall be undertaken by telephone or door-to-door.
  • A Fundraising Sub-Committee may be formed to carry out the major fundraising tasks. The Sub-Committee will report regularly to the Management Committee.
  • All fundraising activities must have the prior approval of the Management Committee, as recorded in meeting minutes.
  • A statement estimating income and expenses will be prepared prior to the commencement of any new fundraising activity that may present a financial risk to the Crann Support Group. Fundraising activities should not be undertaken if they will expose the organisation to significant financial risk.
  • Fundraising activities should not be undertaken if they may be detrimental to the good name or community standing of the Crann Support Group.
  • Financial contributions will only be accepted from companies, organisations and individuals the Board considers ethical.
  • A report on fundraising will be prepared by a representative of the fundraising sub-committee for inclusion in services management committee meeting.
  • The childcare services will endeavour to fundraise bi-annually.
  • The Crann Support Group encourage staff, parents, carers and the local community to support fundraising events.
  • In order to constantly work towards developing the service alternative methods of sourcing funds will also be in action i.e. Lottery, European funding etc.

Complaints Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members welcome any suggestions, recommendations, or comments made by children and or their parents in relation to our childcare service.
Any complaints made about the service will be dealt with in an open and impartial manner according to the following procedures. We always welcome feedback (positive or otherwise). Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VIII Notifications & Complaints. (Síolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Síolta Standard 4: Consultation, Síolta Standard 10: Organisation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 7: Complaints, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

The purpose of the procedure is to facilitate the resolution of difficulties where they may arise in an agreed and fair manner. The agreement lays out in five stages the process to be followed in progressing a complaint and the specific timescale to be followed at each stage.

Introduction

Only complaints in relation to professional competence of staff members which are written and signed by parents/guardians of children may be investigated formally.

Unwritten complaints may be processed informally as set out in Stage 1 of this procedure.

Stage 1

1.1 A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint should, unless there are local arrangements to the contrary, approach the staff member with a view to resolving the complaint.
1.2 Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the staff member she/he should approach the Manager with a view to resolving it.
1.3 If the complaint is still unresolved the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the CEO with a view to resolving it.
1.4 Should the complaint remain unresolved the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.

Stage 2

2.1 If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further she/he should lodge the complaint in writing with the Company CEO.
2.2 The CEO should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the staff member and seek to resolve the matter between the parties at the earliest convenience.

Stage 3

3.1 If the complaint is not resolved informally, the CEO should, subject to the general authorisation of the Board and except in those cases where the Chairperson deems the particular authorisation of the Board to be required:
(a) Supply the staff member with a copy of the written complaint; and
(b) arrange a meeting with the staff member and, where applicable, the Manager with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place normally within 10 working days of receipt of the written complaint.

Stage 4

4.1 If the complaint is still not resolved the CEO should make a formal report to the Board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.1(b).
4.2 If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantiated, the staff member and the complaintant should be so informed within three days of the Board meeting.
4.3 If the Board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation it proceeds as follows:
(a) The staff member should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage;
(b) The staff member should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint;
(c) The staff member should be requested to supply a written statement to the Board in response to the complaint;
(d) The staff member should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of the case to the Board. The staff member would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting;
(e) The board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be required. The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting; and
(f) The meeting of the Board of Management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.1(b).

Stage 5

5.1 When the Board has completed its investigation, the Chairperson should convey the decision of the Board in writing to the staff member and the complainant within five days of the meeting of the Board.
5.2 The decision of the Board shall be final.
Note: In this agreement days’ means working days.

RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Principles

This code has been developed to inform and guide the decisions and behaviour of all Crann Support Group and its members. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V Care of Child in Pre-School Service, Part VI Safety. (Síolta Standard 1: Rights of the Child) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning)

Statement of Intent

Young children rely on responsible adults to care and protect them. Our staff members at the Crann Support Group are in a relationship of special trust – one that is powerful and important. We recognise that our role is multi-faceted and we have developed this code of ethics to assist us provide the best quality service possible.

Policy and Procedure

This Code of Ethics is underpinned by the following principles.

  • The wellbeing of the individual child is of fundamental importance.
  • We acknowledge the uniqueness of each child attending the service.
  • We consider the needs of the child within the context of the family and culture, as the family has a major influence on the young child.
  • We take into account the critical impact of self- esteem on the individual child’s development.
  • We base practice on sound knowledge, research and theories, while at the same time recognising the limitations and uncertainties of these.
  • We work to fulfil the right of all children and their families for access to services of high quality.

Procedure

Based on the above principles The Crann Support Group and its members has developed the following Children’s Charter.

CHILDREN’S CHARTER

Children’s welfare and their rights to secure, healthy and happy childhood are paramount.

The experiences children receive in their early years are critically important in terms of future development.

Children are entitled to expect that all adults will respect, uphold and preserve their rights and to ensure that their feelings and wishes are taken into account.

Children should have the opportunity to make choices and develop a sense of responsibility for their own actions appropriate to their age.

Children, parents and carers should not be discriminated against, particularly in relation to colour, age, race, religion, gender, disability medical conditions or background.

Parents should be recognised and respected as children’s first and continuing educators.

STAFF RATIOS

The Crann Support Group and its members Management will ensure a sufficient number of suitable and competent adults are working directly with the children in the Early Years’ Service at all times. The adult/child ratios are governed by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016
Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III Staffing Levels (Síolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 17: Premises)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will follow the adult/child ratios as defined in the above Regulations.
For afterschool children we will follow good practice.
The minimum number of pre-school leaders and assistants in a service providing the ECCE free Pre-School Year will be as follows: Up to 11 children: 1 pre-school leader 12-22 children: 1 pre-school leader and 1 pre-school assistant
23-33 children: 2 pre-school leaders and 1 pre-school assistant 34-44 children: 2 pre-school leaders and 2 pre-school assistants
For each group of up to 22 children in an ECCE setting there must be at least 1 pre-school leader who meets the qualification requirements outlined above (i.e. minimum NFQ Level 5 or equivalent). The staff ratios outlined above apply to the free pre-school year provision element of the service only. Outside of the pre-school year requirement, services must apply the staff ratios in respect of full-time, part-time or sessional services as outlined in the Child Care Act 1991 [Early Years Services] Regulations 2016.

SERVICE AGE ADULT/CHILD RATIO
SESSIONAL
ECCE PLACES
S2.5 – 6 YEARS
3.2 – 5.7 YEARS
1:10
1:11
FULL/PART DAY CARE 0 – 1 YEARS
1 – 2 YEARS
2 – 3 YEARS
3 – 6 YEARS
1:3
1:5
1:6
1:8

INCLUSION POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to providing the children in our care with the best possible learning opportunities and experiences. We welcome and actively promote inclusive practices and diversity within our service. Our aim is to make our setting accessible to all families who wish to use it. We have due regard to the special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001 and comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Siolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Siolta Standard 7: Curriculum, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 15: Children with Disabilities, National Standard 16: Equal Opportunities)

Our mission is to value the ability, individuality and cultural background of all children by providing each child with the opportunities they need to reach their full potential as active learners within an inclusive ethos/culture. At the Crann Support Group and its member organisations, we achieve care and inclusion in education by continually reviewing an anti-bias approach that is implemented by the early childhood service, and by working in partnership with families, children and the early childhood team, both individually through reflective practice, and in consultation with children and their families, so as to ensure that the education and care provided is fully inclusive of all children, families and agencies that attend and use our service.

Statement of Intent

We will ensure an inclusive culture, recognising that every child is an individual and has their own learning style. The Crann Support Group and its members believes that all children are unique, but share many similarities, thus promoting equality and diversity throughout the early childhood service. We will promote and nurture the identity of each child attending the service and ensure that their emotional and physical well-being is of paramount importance at all times.
This policy represents the agreed principles and commitments for inclusion, in line with the Early Childhood Care and Education National Inclusion Charter. Our early childhood service will implement this policy to support and develop an inclusive environment for children and adults within our early childhood service. ‘Inclusion’ refers to: A process involving a programme, curriculum or education environment where each child is welcomed and included on equal terms, can feel they belong, and can progress to his/her full potential in all areas of development (National Childcare Strategy 2006–2010).

Role of Inclusion Coordinator

The Inclusion Coordinator within our service is the manager.

Core principles

The Crann Support Group and its members actively seeks to support learning and participation that does not hinder or exclude individual children or groups of children. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for all children attending the service. This is achieved by using a child-centred equality and diversity approach to create an inclusive learning environment.

Core principles of this strategy are:

  • Work in partnership with parents.
  • Support children’s ability, identity, cultural background and sense of belonging.
  • Support children to become respectful of difference.
  • Foster each child’s critical thinking in order to confront bias and discrimination.
  • Implement a curriculum that meets the individual needs and emerging interests of the child under Síolta: The National Quality Framework (2006) and Aistear: The National Curriculum Framework (2009).
  • Respond to children’s diverse and individual learning needs and styles through an emerging curriculum.
  • Support continual development for all early childhood practitioners, so as to ensure that they are trained in an equality and diversity approach to providing care and education to all.

Early childhood practitioners work to ensure the following:

  • Children feel secure and know that their contributions are valued.
  • Children know they belong and are valued as unique individuals.
  • All children’s cultural backgrounds are respected and valued.
  • Children feel strong and confident about their identity.
  • Children are taught in groupings that allow them all to experience success.
  • Children use materials that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Children have a common curriculum experience that allows for a range of different learning styles. » Children are encouraged to participate fully, having particular regard for and being cognisant of children with a variety of abilities.
  • If a child uses an aid or assistive technology to communicate, that the device is used solely for this purpose.

Responsibilities of management and early childhood practitioners at the Crann Support Group and its member organisations. All families and children are encouraged to participate, accessing learning experiences through the curriculum on offer. At our service, we promote children’s individual learning according to their stage of development in line with the Child Care Act, 1991; Child Care (Pre-school Services) (No. 2) Regulations 2016; Disability Act 2005; Equal Status Acts 2000–2012; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, with particular attention to Articles 29 and 30; and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, 2011.

Admissions Policy

Please refer to the Crann Support Group Admissions Policy, included in Policy and Procedure manual for parents which contains all policies and procedures for the admissions to/enrolment in the service.

Working in partnership with parents

As children and families are the most knowledgeable about their background, culture, language, and physical and developmental needs, the Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that families are consulted when developing and implementing policy.

An effective diversity and equality approach will ensure that ability and diversity are recognised and celebrated, and that discrimination, inequality and exclusion are addressed.

Dealing with discriminatory incidents

  • The first step in handling incidents involving discrimination is to recognise and acknowledge what is happening.
  • All children need to know that name-calling or physically hurting someone is unacceptable.
  • Discuss with the children in a democratic and sensitive manner that name-calling or physically hurting someone is unacceptable.
  • When an incident occurs (hurtful remarks made by one child to another), both children learn from the incident. Refer back to the rules of the service where appropriate.
  • Always determine the real reason for incidents involving exclusion or conflict. It may not be a discriminatory incident, so be careful not to make assumptions.
  • Some issues may be brought into the early childhood service by the child, arising from comments made by adults outside the setting. Recognise when it is an adult issue, and identify appropriate actions for addressing the issue with the child’s parents or guardians.
  • An incident should be considered from the perspective of all individuals involved as well as those who witnessed it. Appropriate actions need to be taken, at circle time or in group discussion, in order to address incidents witnessed by children who were not involved. This does not mean singling out children in the group.
  • By showing empathy and expressing our feelings, we help children to express their feelings.
  • It is important to be aware of how our own attitudes can shape how we respond to a given situation. Be mindful that early childhood practitioners are role models for the children and the early childhood service. Children will do as we do (see the éist manual – Murray and O’Doherty (2010).

Actions to be followed if the policy is not implemented

If you, as a staff member or a parent, feel that this policy is not being implemented, you can follow the Crann Support Group and members Complaints Policy and Procedure to make a complaint.

Monitoring and reviewing the policy

The above policy will be re-evaluated at regular intervals throughout the year. The Crann Support Group and its members service value your input. If you have any queries in relation to the policy, please contact the Inclusion Coordinator:

CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Principle

It is widely accepted that children develop holistically and to enhance their whole development we must provide them with a comprehensive programme that gives them active learning experiences. All children should be supported in their learning and their experiences extended in a variety of ways that are appropriate to their stage of development.
The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulation 2016 Part V Section 19 with the Whole Child Perspective as set out in the National Children’s Strategy are the references used in relation to this child development policy. Child Care Act 1991 ( Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Siolta Standard 1: Rights of the Child, Siolta Standard 2: Environments, Siolta Standard 6: Play, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with parents or Guardians, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Child Development, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 15: Children with Disabilities, National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to developing a curriculum that incorporates child development, creates a child centred play based environment, which enables young children to actively pursue their own learning, based on the above principles.

Policy and Procedure

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 states:

‘Each child’s learning, development and well-being is facilitated within the daily life of the service through the provision of the appropriate opportunities, experiences, activities, interaction and materials and equipment, have regard to the age and stage of the development of child and the child’s cultural context’
Staff will provide balanced intervention and support to encourage positive attitudes towards learning and play.
The Whole Child Perspective requires that the outcome of children’s development be recognised and taken into account. The following are the outcomes taken from the Whole Child Perspective that must be considered when working with children:

Physical and Mental Well-being

This dimension is concerned with growth and development as well as physical and mental health. Service providers should ensure that the appropriate accommodation, supports and opportunities are put in place, both indoor and outdoor, to promote all areas of children’s physical and mental well-being.
The provider should promote the health and well-being of children, ensure nutritious diet, prevent the spread of infection and take positive steps to prevent harm to them.

Examples of Physical Development

To allow children to develop both gross and fine motor skills, physical control, mobility and co-ordination and their mental well-being, we will provide suitable equipment, small and large, indoors and outdoors.

  • To help this development all areas are supervised and children can play safely
  • Gross motor skills are encouraged through outdoor play, skipping, running, games, climbing frames and slides etc.
  • Fine motor skills are developed with a wide range of equipment i.e. crayons, scissors, paintbrushes, puzzles, pegs and boards etc.
  • There is a wide variety of natural materials, sand, water, clay etc. to enhance technological skills

Emotional and Behavioural Well-being

This area concerns children’s feelings and actions. It includes their growing ability to adapt to change, to cope with stress and to demonstrate self-control. It also covers children’s ability to empathise with others and behave in a socially responsible way. Service providers should ensure that children are treated with respect and dignity at all times. Children should be supported to form positive attachments to their carers’ and other children in the service through strong affirming interaction. Children should be supported to develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence in an environment of emotional warmth and approval. Consistent boundaries are important to children’s sense of security. Children should not be subjected to any degrading or abusive language or behaviour.

Examples of Emotional Development:

  • Healthy emotional development is promoted in a relaxed and secure environment
  • This helps children to identify names and explore their feelings both positive and negative
  • Adults allow the children to express their feelings and help them to grow in self- esteem and self-confidence. This will help their relationship with other children and adults

Intellectual Capacity

This dimension covers all areas of cognitive development, educational attainment and active learning from their surrounding environment. An environment that engages and enables, that responds and stimulates in support of active learning, should be provided with the appropriate access to resources, materials and social interaction to stimulate (empower) cognitive and linguistic capacity in accordance with each child’s needs and abilities. The opportunity to learn through play is of particular importance.

Examples of Language Development

Childcare workers should be aware that children’s language develops at different rates therefore the variety of activities and opportunities for language must be as wide as possible. Childcare workers in the service play a vital role in helping language development by:

  • Talking to the children and giving them the opportunity to practice listening and speaking
  • We provide a variety of groups: e.g. books, posters, interest tables to talk about and discuss
  • Everything in the room is labelled with symbols e.g. shapes, jigsaws and patterns. Boxes that contain toys are labelled showing those toys etc.
  • We encourage conversation in groups of different sizes. From one to one to small groups — on to the whole group
  • We also provide a quiet time for all the children to expand their listening skills
  • We use rhymes and songs to allow children to play with words

Examples of Intellectual Development:

  • To develop intellectually a child must be helped to learn how to learn
  • The children are encouraged to solve problems
  • There is always sand and water for the children to play with. These develop concepts such as volume, weight, quantity, shape, size etc.
  • There is also the natural material used i.e. wood, clay leading them into appreciation of science and math

Spiritual and Value Systems Well-being

This covers feelings, experiences and beliefs that stimulate self-awareness, wonder, reverence and the meaning and nature of life and death. Each child’s own traditions of belief and observance of religious duties should be respected by the service provider and by other children in the service. Children’s developing sense of knowing right and wrong should be nurtured.

Identity

The diversity of children’s experiences, culture, gender, social background and traditions should be nurtured and valued by the service provider. The provider and staff must actively promote equality of opportunity, participation and anti-discriminatory practice with regard to all children in their care. This includes the promotion of mutual respect between children in their care.

Self-Care

This includes the competencies that all children require in order to look after and respect themselves. Service providers should seek ways to support children’s own capacities for self-care.

Family Relationships

Children’s capacity for development along this dimension is more likely to be met if they have a sense of belonging and in situations where changes of carer are kept to a minimum. Service providers should seek to support, work with and actively involve each child, child’s family/carers in the child’s development by providing opportunity for on-going communication about the child. These should include on-going updates of the child’s activities and regular reviews of the child’s well-being.

Social and Peer Relations

The Crann Support Group and its members encourages an ethos of peer education. This involves the child’s ability to make friends and feel part of a peer group. Service providers should seek to support children’s capacity for social development through providing opportunities for the co-operation, collaboration and friendship to develop friendships and co-operate with others. Children should be protected from bullying and assisted in learning skills to manage bullying behaviour. The importance of play in learning valuable social skills should be recognised. Opportunities should be provided for children to contribute to the shaping of the service. Opportunities for children to participate in and understand the wider community should be part of the service provision.
Examples of Social Development:

  • Particularly relevant aspects are stories, songs, make believe play, outings and group projects
  • The adults provide opportunities for the children to play together in settings that encourage them to learn and assert themselves and fit in as part of the group
  • The adults are sensitive to the children developing play and avoid unnecessary interruption

Social Presentation

This concerns children’s growing understanding of their capacity to engage with others and realise the impact of their actions, appearance and behaviour on others. Service providers should support children in their understanding of others and learn to engage in social situations.
(The main text under the nine headings is taken from the National Childcare Strategy – The Whole Child’s Perspective)

Child Development Milestone Guidelines

The Crann Support Group and its members caters for children from 3 months. The following is a guideline to staff in relation to development milestones according to this age/stage. Staff will have knowledge of these milestones to assist them in their observation of children.
If staff have concerns in relation to a child, they will advise parents to seek help from a professional or local Health Services.
Remember the milestones outlined below are guidelines only. Children develop at different stages and in different ways. Children should not be over or under challenged in relation to activities. Play material and equipment should be chosen to suit the needs of each individual child.

The following questions may be asked as general guidelines:

By 3 months of age does the child?

Motor Skills:

  • Lift their head when held at your shoulder
  • Lift their head and chest when lying on his/her stomach
  • Turn their head from side to side when lying on his/her stomach
  • Follow a moving object or person with his/her eyes
  • Often hold hands – open or loosely fisted
  • Grasp a rattle or other object when given to him/her
  • Wriggle and kick with arms and legs

Sensor and Thinking Skills:

  • Turn their head toward bright colours and lights
  • Turn toward the sound of a human voice
  • Recognise when they are about to be fed (bottle or breast)
  • Respond to your shaking a rattle or bell

Language and Social Skills:

  • Make cooing gurgling sounds
  • Smile when smiled at
  • Communicate hunger, fear, discomfort (though crying or facial expression)
  • Usually quite down at the sound of a soothing voice or when held
  • Anticipate being lifted
  • React to “peek-a-boo” games

By 6 months of age does the child?

Motor Skill:

  • Hold their head steady when sitting with your help
  • Reach for and grasp objects
  • Play with his/her toes
  • Help hold the bottle during feeding
  • Explore by mouthing and banging objects
  • Move toys from one hand to another

Shake a rattle

  • Pull to a sitting position on his/her own if you grasp his/her hands
  • Sit with only a little support
  • Sit in a high chair
  • Roll over
  • Bounce when held in a standing position

Sensory and Thinking Skills:

  • Open his mouth for spoon
  • Imitate familiar actions you perform

Language and Social Skills:

  • Babble, making almost sing-songs sounds
  • Know familiar faces
  • Laugh and squeal with delight
  • Scream if annoyed
  • Smile at herself in a mirror

By 12 months of age does the child?

Motor Skills:

  • Drink from a cup with help
  • Feed her/himself finger food like raisins or bread crumbs
  • Grasp small objects by using her thumb and index or forefinger
  • Use his/her first finger to poke or point
  • Put small blocks in and take them out a container
  • Knock two block together
  • Sit well without support
  • Crawl on hands and knees
  • Pull him/herself to stand or take steps holding onto furniture
  • Stand-alone momentarily
  • Walk with one hand held
  • Cooperate with dressing by offering a foot or an arm

Language and Social Skills:

  • Babble, but sometimes “sounds like” talking
  • Say his/her first words
  • Recognise family members’ names
  • Try to “talk” with you
  • Respond to another’s distress by showing distress or crying
  • Show affection to familiar adults
  • Show mild to severe anxiety at separation from parent
  • Show apprehension about strangers
  • Raise his/her arms when he/she wants to be picked up
  • Understand simple commands

Sensory and Thinking Skills:

  • Copy sounds and actions you make
  • Respond to music with body motion
  • Try to accomplish simple goals (seeing and crawling to a toy)
  • Look for an object he/she watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that falls under the table)

By 18 months of age does the child?

Motor Skills:

  • Like to pull, push, and dump things
  • Pull off hat, socks, mittens
  • Turn pages in a book
  • Stack two blocks
  • Carry a stuffed animal or doll
  • Scribble with crayons
  • Walk without help
  • Run stiffly, with eyes on the ground

Sensory and Thinking Skills:

  • Identify an object in a picture book
  • Laugh at silly actions (as in wearing a bowl as a hat)
  • Look for objects that are out of sight
  • Put a round lid on a round pot
  • Follow simple 1-step directions
  • Solve problems by trial and error

Language and Social Skills:

  • Say 8-10 words you can understand
  • Look at a person who is talking to him
  • Ask specifically for her mother or father
  • Use “hi” and “bye” and “please” with reminders
  • Protest when frustrated
  • Ask for something by pointing or by using one word
  • Direct another’s attention to an object or action
  • Become anxious when separated from parent(s)
  • Seek attention
  • Bring toys to share with parent, act out a familiar activity in play (as in pretending to take a bath)
  • Play alone on the floor with toys
  • Compete with other children for toys
  • Recognise herself in the mirror or in pictures
  • Seem selfish at times

By 2 years of age does the child?

Motor Skills:

  • Drink from a straw
  • Feed him/herself with as spoon
  • Help in washing hands
  • Put arms in sleeves with help, build a tower of 3-4 blocks
  • Toss or roll a large ball
  • Open cabinets, drawers, boxes
  • Operate a mechanical toy
  • Bend over to pick up a toy and not fall
  • Walk up steps with help

Sensory and Thinking Skills:

  • Like to take things apart
  • Explore surroundings
  • Point to 5-6 parts of a doll when asked

Language and Social Skills:

  • Use 2-3 word sentences
  • Have a vocabulary of several hundred words
  • Say names of toys
  • Ask for information about an object (asks, “shoe” while pointing to shoe box)
  • Hum or try to sing
  • Listen to short rhymes
  • Like to imitate parents
  • Sometimes get angry and temper tantrums
  • Act shy around strangers
  • Comfort a distressed friend or parent
  • Take turns in play with other children
  • Treat a doll or stuffed animal as though it were alive
  • Apply pretend action to others (as in pretending to feed a doll)
  • Show awareness of parental approval or disapproval for her actions
  • Refer to self by name and use of “me” and “mine”
  • Verbalise his desires and feelings (“I want cookie”)
  • Laugh at silly labelling of objects and events (as in calling a nose an ear)
  • Enjoy looking at one book over and over
  • Point to eyes, ears, or nose when you ask

By 3 years of age does the child?

Motor Skills

  • Run around obstacles
  • Walk on a line
  • Balance on one foot
  • Push, pull and steer toys
  • Pedal a tricycle
  • Use a slide without help
  • Throw and catch a ball
  • Manipulate play dough by making things like balls, snakes and other objects

Sensory and Thinking Skills

  • Understand concepts like grouping and matching for example recognising and matching colours
  • Organise materials for example stacking blocks or rings in order of size
  • Draw, name and briefly explain what the picture means to him (the drawing starts to take on somewhat recognisable pictures)
  • Actively seek information using why and how questions
  • Tell you his/her full name and age
  • Concentrate on an activity for longer periods of time (between 5 and 15 minutes)
  • Start to show an awareness of past and present (yesterday/today)

Language and Social Skills

  • Follow a series of simple directions
  • Share toys, taking turns with assistance
  • Initiate or join in play with other children and make up games
  • Pretend to go shopping, go on holidays, be an animal
  • Use and understand sentences
  • Understand sentences involving time concepts for example “Granny is coming tomorrow” and narrate past experiences
  • Understand comparisons such as big and bigger, small and smaller
  • Follow a series of two to four related directions
  • Sing a song and repeat nursery rhymes

By 4 to 5 years of age does the child?

Motor Skills

  • Walk backwards
  • Jump forward many times without falling
  • Jump or hop on one foot
  • Walk up and down steps without assistance, alternating feet
  • Tumble or try handstands
  • Use a safety scissors without assistance
  • Cut on a line continuously
  • Print a few letters

Sensory and Thinking Skills

  • Play with words, create sounds and make rhymes
  • Point to and name colours
  • Understand order and process
  • Draw people usually with detail such as hair, eyes, nose, ears and mouth
  • Count – up to 10.
  • Tell you their address, where they live
  • Tell a story with a beginning, middle and end

Language and Social Skills

  • Show some understanding of reasoning for example ideas about good or bad behaviour
  • Compare themselves with other children
  • Develop friendships with other children
  • Understanding or showing an awareness of other children’s feelings
  • Retell a story (although sometimes the facts may be confused)
  • Combine a variety of thoughts into one sentence
  • Use words like ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘shall’, ‘should’, and ‘might’
  • Understand the comparatives like loud, louder, loudest
  • Listen to longer stories being told
  • Understand sequencing of events when clearly explained for example, ‘First we put the plug into the drain hole in the bath, then we turn on the taps to run the water and then we get into the bath to wash’

CURRICULUM POLICY

Policy Statement:

The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to developing a negotiated, play curriculum that is based on shared principles and which supports young children’s development, learning and well-being. Curriculum describes: all the opportunities, experiences and events whether planned or unplanned that occur within the childcare service. Our policy reflects on the development of the four themes of the curriculum: Well Being/Identity and Belonging/Communications/Exploration and Thinking. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, Health Welfare & Development of Child. (Siolta Standard 2: Environments, Siolta Standard 7: Curriculum, Siolta Standard 6: Play, Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 6; Evaluation, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 16: Equal Opportunities, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials)

Well Being – we support each child’s development through:

  • Providing a safe and secure environment for the child both with the people there and the actual physical space
  • Allowing children to make choices
  • Providing safe and appropriate opportunities for children to experience risks and challenges. And opportunities to master new skills and achieve success
  • Assisting the child realise that both their own feelings and the feelings of those around them are important
  • Support the child in knowing and understanding the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour
  • Putting in place strategies for children which will assist them manage and deal with disappoint and have awareness around the importance of resiliency within the child
  • Ensuring they are cared for and educated by skilled and knowledgeable adults
  • Opportunities for both rest and play (indoors and outdoors)
  • Provision of healthy and nourishing food and drink for snacks and meals

Identity and Belonging – throughout our curriculum we:

  • Understand each child is unique with individual rights
  • Understand each child is an individual within the context of a group, family or within their community
  • Value the child’s contribution within our service
  • Appreciate each child’ as a competent learner with the knowledge that they have many valuable experiences which in turn enrich the service
  • Affirm the child and value his//her culture
  • Use observations to inform us how best to plan and assess learning
  • Communication – within our service is supported through:
  • Mathematical development
  • Physical development
  • Positive health, safety and nutrition practices
  • Creative expression and appreciation of the arts, culture, nature and the environment
  • Understanding of right and wrong
  • Thinking, reasoning, questioning and experimentation
  • Respect for ethnic, cultural and physical diversity
  • Making choices and using their initiative
  • Spiritual and moral well being
  • Knowledge and understanding of their world
  • We aim for an equal balance between adult-led and child initiated activities. Programme curriculum plans are informed by observations and regular evaluations and a record is kept of the planning process and of decisions made.

CHILD OBSERVATIONS and ASSESSMENT

Principles

In order to plan, prepare and organise for good quality care, adults need to observe children, review and evaluate the curriculum regularly and maintain systematic records. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19, health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III 10, Policies & Procedures, Part IV 15 Records, 20 Facilities for Rest and Play) (Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation, Siolta Standard 12: Communication Siolta Standard 15: Legislation and regulation) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 14: Sleep)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members recognises that observation is a useful tool and enables staff plan the curriculum to meet the individual needs of children.
“Assessment is the ongoing process of collecting, documenting, reflecting on, and using information to develop rich portraits of children as learners in order to support and enhance their future learning” Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum framework.

Policy and Procedure

By observing how children respond to activities, staff will be able to evaluate if the activities and resources they have provided meet the needs of all the children. It helps them to plan a broad, balanced and appropriate curriculum. Staff should refer to the Childcare Curriculum Policy. Observations also enable staff to provide challenge and extend the programme so that each child is able to progress.
All observations / records / assessments will be treated with confidentiality.
Sharing observations with parents/carers strengthens the partnership between the home and the service, giving understanding and information and allowing staff and parents/carers to do their best for each child.
Observation involves watching and listening to children and using the information gathered through this to enhance their learning and development. The adult may use different types of observations depending on what he/she wants to find out. (See Figure 1) Like conversations, observations can be planned or spontaneous and are best carried out by an adult who knows the children well.
Training is essential in order to make useful observations and assessments.

Figure 1

Observations/Assessment

In order to achieve this, we will:

  • Give parents/carers information on observation system at parent’s information sessions before the child starts in the service.
  • Introduce each parent to their child’s main worker.
  • All aspects of development and learning should be considered when assessing children.
  • Assessment must be based on detailed observations of what children do and say.
  • Written records should contain factual information.
  • Carry out observations on a monthly basis and share these with parents/carers at planned interviews and at any time of the year on request.
  • Bring observations to staff planning meetings to assist in planning and organising the curriculum to help meet the individual needs of children.
  • Ensure records are kept by the service in a secure place, until the child will have reached the age of twenty-one.
  • Staff should be aware of their own values and beliefs and ensure they are observing and assessing impartially.
  • In assessing, the observer looks for evidence of children’s progress across Aistear’s themes:
  • Dispositions: for example, curiosity, concentration, resilience, and perseverance
  • Skills: for example, walking, cutting, writing, and problem-solving
  • Attitudes and values: for example, respect for themselves and others, care for the environment, and positive attitudes to learning and to life
  • Knowledge and understanding: for example, classifying objects using colour and size, learning ‘rules’ for interacting with others, finding out about people in their community, and understanding that words have meaning.

 

  • Effective Record KeepingThe service has to keep documented records. It is an important part of Child Care and a requirement set down by law that records for each child including the following are kept
  • Accidents
  • Administered medication
  • Child’s general information
  • Development of each child
  • Correspondence with parentsAll active records must be held for use in the child’s room. When these records become retrospective (no longer in use) they will be stored securely. The only exception to this is Observation Records which should be held in the rooms at all times so that a learning/developmental plan can be drawn upChildren’s Learning PortfoliosA portfolio is a helpful way of compiling information about children’s learning and development. The portfolio can take the form of a folder, a scrapbook, a shoe, cereal or pizza box, or something similar in which objects made by the children, photographs, stories, notes, records of care, checklists, and test scores (where relevant), are kept. This collection tells the story of each child’s learning journey—his/her efforts, progress and achievement over time.
    Portfolios can help give children a sense of pride in and ownership of their own learning and development. For example, children can select work samples and photographs for their portfolios, reflect on these, and, with the adult’s help, plan ahead. This experience can make learning more enjoyable and interesting for them
  • Practitioner’s File
    Practitioners can keep a file which includes a record for each child in their group or class. This record might include details of observations, conversations with children and their parents, events, and incidents as they occur in the setting. The practitioner adds to this record as necessary. In this way, it is a ‘running record’.Central FilesCertain information about children needs to be kept in a central file. This includes all relevant information regarding the individual child, e.g. name, address, date of birth, health records, allergies, development records, parents’ names and contact details, medical information, reports and information from other professionals such as therapists etc. accident reports, relevant letters from parents and medication administration are kept with the child’s individual file. This file must be updated every quarter. These files are stored in locked cabinets. Alternatively, records can be kept on soft copy (Childs Path, Childs Play).
    Assessment information gathered within the setting and by other professionals (for example, reports received from a therapist) should be stored safely and used only by those concerned with children’s learning and development. It is also important that the information is used only for the purpose for which it was collected and documented. Information can be stored using a structured, manual filing system, and/or electronically. Where electronic records are kept, we sometimes include photographs of items made by children.
    For best practice it is advisable to store relevant information until children reach their twenty-first birthdayRecording and Documenting ObservationsRecording observations and making assessments contributes to the quality of children’s experiences, supports their development and helps to keep them safe. The child’s Key Worker will carry out these observations.
    Documentation can include written notes, stories, photographs, video footage, and samples of what children make, do and say, such as models, sculptures, pictures, paintings, projects, scribed comments, responses, or statements. Adults and children use this evidence of learning to celebrate progress and achievement, and to plan the next steps in learning. Documentation also enables the adult and/or children to share information with parents. This can help parents to build on children’s pre-school experiences while at home, and so make learning more enjoyable and successful. In the case of some children, documentation provides critical information in helping to identify special educational needs, in putting appropriate supports in place, and in reviewing the impact of these interventions.The Crann Support Group and its members, in the development of effective record keeping, uses the following criteria:
  • Records serve as the starting point for those involved with the child in the present and other settings
  • Information recorded should be:
  • o Easy to understand -This is especially important when the records may be passed on to parents
    o Objective – Records need to factual, focusing on what children do and say, avoiding assumptions and inferences
    o Easy to complete – The system for recording should be completed by staff on a regular basis
  • Records should be reasonably easily accessible for agreed staff and volunteers so information can be shared readily with families
    Records must be kept securely and not left in vulnerable places so that breach of confidentiality is a risk

 

Documentation type Resources and method
Samples of children’s work Resources: children’s workMethod: The adult stores samples of children’s work. Sometimes the children choose the samples, sometimes the adult decides what is chosen, and, at other times, the children and adult choose together.
Notes Resources: notebook, post-its, computer with word-processing package

Method: The adult makes brief notes, often consisting of just key words, about a particular event, activity or task. Sometimes the notes may be longer, giving details about a particular aspect of the child’s learning. The notes may focus on an individual child or a group of children. Over time, the notes tell a story of what the children do, say and understand.

ICT: photographs and video or audio records Resources: camera, video recorder, audio recorder, tapes, Childspaths App
Method: The adult uses the camera or video or audio recorder to capture moments in children’s learning and development. Each photograph and video or audio clip helps tell a story. A collection created over time can show the children’s progress and achievements.A series of photographs can be taken on one day to show the child’s progress in a particular activity. With regard the Childpaths App this provides an effective means of on the spot communication between parents and staff. Information can be sent between both parties such as photos, observations and daily routines.
Stories Resources: notebook, post-its, computer with word-processing package

Method: The adult makes brief notes about children’s involvement in a particular event, activity or task. The notes may focus on an individual child’s contribution or the contributions of a group of children. In contrast to notes, this type of documentation gives more detailed information about children’s interactions with others, as well as the relevant objects and places, in sequence. These stories help the adult to see and understand better the progress children are making in relation to Aistear’s dispositions, skills, attitudes and values, knowledge, and understanding. Samples of children’s work and photographs can enrich the stories.

Daily diaries or records of care Resources: notebook, folder, computer with word-processing package
Method: The adult (often the Key Worker) makes brief notes each day about a child’s routines and responses, for example what the child ate, how much he/she slept, his/her nappy changes, and different interactions and activities. Based on behaviour, body language and verbal feedback from children, the adult may also note particular things the child likes, prefers and achieves. The record is shared with parents daily. Parents can be invited to comment and provide information on things that their children enjoy as well as things they find difficult.
Checklists Resources: pre-prepared checklists
Method: The adult uses checklists to record information about particular aspects of children’s learning, usually at the end of a given period of time. The adult makes judgements against predetermined descriptions. These might focus, for example, on physical interaction or early literacy skills. The adult usually ticks a heading which best describes the children’s progress to date.
Reports Resources: templates for reports
Method: The adult uses information from a range of assessment methods and documentation to develop reports on children’s learning and development. He/she shares these reports with parents. As the reports focus on a summary of children’s progress and achievement, they are developed at particular times in the year, for example in the summer when the child has completed a year in the setting.
In the case of some children, the adult may receive a report from another professional, such as a psychologist, a speech and language therapist, a play therapist, or a physiotherapist. The adult uses these reports to further inform his/her work with the children.

Key Worker

Each Child is assigned to a key worker; each key worker is selected in consultation with the manager based on which staff will be in direct contact with the child on a daily basis.

Each child has a dedicated key worker who carries out the

  • Observations and records their learning stories.
  • Staff observe children through play to establish each child’s individual stage of development and identify any needs, special interests etc. a child may have.
  • Observations are carried out using various methods including the narrative method, taking photographs, writing into the Aistear learning record template and developmental checklists.
  • Observations and findings are shared with the Manager and the parents.
  • If there are developmental milestones not being met the Manager / Parent may consult with other health care professionals and as a result Individual learning plans may be drawn up.

Following on from Observations, Curriculum plans are drawn up reflecting the individual interests, needs developmental stages of each child attending

Each child has a folder where observations, photos and plans are kept.

Report Writing

A member of staff will complete written records.

The following items should be included:

Eating pattern

  • Child’s general mood
  • Activities attempted/completed
  • Accidents, if any
  • Areas of development: social, emotional and physical and any evidence of development across Aistear’s themesRegular meetings with parents are held to share information. In order to write positive and honest reports, staff should use the following points:
  • Use straightforward language
  • Put opinions in their rightful place
  • Support your opinions
  • Focus on what you have observed
  • Describe rather than blameReports should be:
  • Based on facts
  • Reasonable
  • Impartial
  • Legible
  • Accurate
  • Confidential
  • Available on request
  • Dated and signedConfidentialityIt is important to remember that reports may be used for other reasons than just sharing information with parents. Due regard should be given to the principles of the Freedom of Information Acts and the Data Protection Acts when compiling reports. Any queries on this matter should be directed to the Manager.
    Confidentiality in report writing and sharing information must be maintained at all times except in Child Protection circumstances. The Manager should be consulted regarding any issues. A breach of confidentiality may invoke the Disciplinary Procedure. Please refer to Confidentiality Policy and Procedure.

IRISH LANGUAGE POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to encouraging the use of the Irish language within our service. Staff members understand that language development varies with individual children’s and that each child’s experience is unique. Therefore, a range of activities and visual props will be made available to the children to introduce them to Irish, the children will be able to participate in these activities, learning through both listening to, speaking and singing basic Irish words.

The service will:

  • Provide opportunities to experience Irish – this acts as a basis for learning and extending understanding
  • Use of verbal and non-verbal encouragement e.g. nod, smile to prompt continued speech
  • Provision of a variety of props – puppets, books, tapes, posters etc.
  • Provision of an environment rich in symbols – labels, shapes, jigsaws etc.
  • Encouraging children to participate and try new words at appropriate opportunities
  • Using songs, rhymes, actions etc. to allow children to play with words
  • The service acknowledges that it is imperative to welcome all children and to encourage their involvement, staff can do this through:
  • Endeavouring to learn some of the key phrases in the child’s language
  • Communication with parents in order to ascertain some key words
  • Encouraging parents to become involved in the service and communicate to staff about their culture and country of origin
  • Speaking slowly with children and demonstrating what is simply meant by the words
  • Encouraging other children to talk to the new arrival in a similar, straightforward way and in a normal tone

SETTLING IN POLICY

Principles

“Settling-in is an interim stage in the transition between home and the outside world. Children’s whole future attitude to new experiences could be affected by how this situation is managed. Due care and attention must be paid to a child’s need for time to settle into any setting”. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child), Part III Management & Staff 10. (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Síolta Standard 13: Transitions) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being)

Statement of Intent

For many children and their families, starting child care is the first time they have been separated for any length of time. The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to the smooth transition of the children into our childcare service. It is our policy to advise parents/guardians to introduce their child to us before s/he starts in the Service.

Pre Admission:

  • The childcare service will have written information for parents on initial enquiry.
  • Parents will be encouraged to drop-in at various times during opening hours with their children to familiarise the children and themselves with the routine, the setting and the staff.
  • Any information for parents will be held to discuss issues and concerns around the process of settling in (i.e. different stages- clinging, crying, not talking, security blankets, child not ready).
  • Staggered starting days and times for new children will be put in place to facilitate the integration of the child into the group.

First Day;

  • The key worker will greet the child and parent together.
  • The parent will be assured of the value of their presence to the child in this process.
  • Parents should be prepared to stay for the child’s first session. Some children may not be ready for a full session, and the key worker will advise the parents on this matter.
  • Parents must be made aware of the necessity of interacting with their child and other people in the setting in order to reassure the child of the safety of the different surroundings.
  • Where appropriate, parents may take the opportunity to visit other areas in the centre or kitchen to separate from the child for short periods, with the child’s knowledge.
  • Children must be promptly collected from the full or partial session

 

Following Stages.

 

  • Parents should be encouraged to extend the separation periods at the child’s pace. Parents must never leave the premises without saying goodbye.
  • Childcare service staff may need to assist parents through this separation process, as an extended goodbye can distress children.
  • The settling in process has no time limits and may need to be repeated if a child becomes unsettled.
  • When children are beginning to settle without their parents, they should be supported in observing, experimenting and discovering for themselves, without any attempt to make them participate in activities.
  • Opportunities will be made for parents and staff to exchange information on the child’s progress at this stage.
  • Children who are still clearly distressed having followed the above procedure, may need to have their attendance at the service deferred for a trial period.

TRANSITIONS POLICY

Transitions occur as children move within settings – from one room or area to another – from one type of activity to another (e.g. active play to tidy up time to eating time) – and as they move between settings (from home to the childcare centre, from childcare centre to school etc.).
Many children, especially young children, experience a wide range of transitions each and every day. Because of the many different experiences children may have even in just one day, it is especially important that there is some continuity and similarity of approach in the ways in which the important adults in their lives behave and interact, not only with the children themselves but also with other adults who are involved with the child.
Changes can be stressful at any stage in life, but for babies and young children they can be particularly challenging. Moving on to different surroundings makes demands on young children as they learn to cope with a new situation. Parents/Carers also need support to cope with change and new situations. Because of this, the sensitive care and attention given to planning and ensuring smooth transitions is extremely important.
Young children learn from every experience, including routines and transitions, and can develop skills by participating in these routines and transitions.

Transitions include:

  • Multiple daily changes in routines and experiences and separations from familiar people and settings.
  • Changes in care provider or setting.
  • Entry into and transition from the current childcare setting into another childcare setting or school.

Routines and transitions within the daily programme of activities;

  • Children should be allowed to perform personal routines, such as going to the bathroom, according to individual body schedules.
  • Transitions should be planned so that children who are ready before others have something to do.
  • Children should be given appropriate advance notice of changes to routines or planned changes within the schedule of activities that will affect them.
  • Some children need to be given more time and adult assistance to cope with changes than others.
  • Routines and transitions should be handled consistently so that children can learn trust and security.
  • While balancing the range of activities (active/quiet, small group/large group/individual etc.), the daily plan should be kept as simple as possible to keep transitions to a minimum.
  • If the furniture is going to be changed around this should be discussed with children and explained in advance so that they understand why the change is happening.
  • Children should be allowed to participate in routines as much as possible (e.g. helping to set the table, cleaning up etc.).

Planning transitions

The following will be considered during preparation for an upcoming transition:

  • Environment/physical space
  • Will the next setting be a different room at a different location? How will the child react?
  • Will materials and equipment be different or familiar to the child? How accessible will they be?
  • What choices will the child be able to make?

Routines

  • What will daily activities be like, and how might the child react to these experiences?
  • How are the routines listed below handled?
  • Example
  • Eating
  • Napping
  • Nappy changing/toileting
  • Outdoor activities
  • Indoor activities
  • Tidy up time

Staff

  • Will the child be assigned a new Key Person? If so, how might the child react?
  • How do adults interact with the children and when do they intervene?
  • How do adults relate to each other? Are they friendly and respectful?

Social interactions

  • What opportunities will the child have to interact with other children?
  • Will any of the children be familiar to the child?
  • What is the family role?
  • What are the opportunities for family interaction?

Other comments and observations

  • What can be done now to begin preparing the child for this transition?
  • What partnerships need to be formed to build continuity and ease the transition?
  • Considering culture in transition practices
  • Providing culturally competent care supports a developing child’s sense of security, identity, competence, confidence, and connectedness. When childcare practitioners understand and honour family childrearing practices and preferences, they can provide infants and toddlers with consistency and familiarity, which are especially important during transitions.We will try as far as possible to:
  • Provide harmony with each child’s home culture.
  • Use the child’s home language.
  • Provide a culturally relevant environment that is familiar and homelike to the child.
  • Understand and respect each family’s cultural beliefs and child-rearing values.
  • Provide consistency of care by understanding the home routines of each child.
  • Discuss each family’s expectations for their child’s development and transition. For example, ask if the family expects the child to develop independence skills and how the family expects the child to adjust to a new setting, new people, and new languages.
  • Understand your own cultural values, beliefs, and expectations; acknowledge how these match or differ from the family’s expectations; and negotiate and resolve conflicts.Families can foster cultural consistency and continuity during transitions by being encouraged to:
  • Share their cultural values and child-rearing practices with staff before and during their child’s transition and describe what they expect from staff.
  • Communicate frequently with staff about the child’s routines, temperament, reactions, likes, dislikes, and ability to adapt to differences and change.
  • Provide staff with ongoing feedback and negotiate differences.Checklist for exchanging information
  • Families will be encouraged to share:
  • Information about their child’s temperament.
  • Information about what upsets their child and what comforts them.
  • How their child reacts to strangers, familiar adults and other children.
  • How they handle routines such as eating and sleeping.
  • Information about themselves and their culture.
  • Information about their child’s previous experiences.
  • A brief developmental and medical history of their child – from birth to the present – that includes social, emotional, motor skills and language development information.
  • How they prefer to communicate (e.g., in person, by telephone, or in writing).
  • How they wish to be involved in the Service/Centre.
  • Their vision for the transition period.
  • Their hopes for their child.

Staff can share with families:

  • How they transition children into the Service/Centre.
  • Information about the programmes composition, philosophy, schedules, and activities.
  • How they communicate information to families.
  • How families can get involved in the Service/Centre.
  • How planning and individualized routines are handled.
  • How they track and report developmental progress.
  • How they handle transitions within the programme.

Successful experiences during early transitions can increase a child’s ability to adapt to changes in the future and can provide a more secure base for the child’s development. It is essential to enable parents/carers and staff to support and facilitate successful transitions through responsive relationships that are secure, consistent and continuous. All transitions will be planned with sensitivity to each child’s needs.

We will:

  • Consider transitions from the perspective of the developmental needs of each child and their family.
  • Build partnerships with families to support the development of responsive, respectful relationships among children and staff.
  • Individualize routines and practices to support each child’s needs, temperament, family preferences, culture and language.
  • Use routines and transitions as opportunities to promote children’s development.
  • Plan for transitions and placements that provide consistency and continuity for children and their families.
  • Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of transitions using various means, including feedback from families.
  • Assist parents/carers in becoming advocates as they make the transition with their children both into the service from home or from other childcare settings (e.g. childminder) and from this service to other childcare settings or to school.
  • Ensure the most appropriate environment and services following participation in this service by beginning transition planning as soon as possible prior to the child’s move.
  • Provide any relevant information (with the parents’/carers’ permission) about the children that is helpful in ensuring a successful transition from this service to other settings, e.g. school

POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members believe that children should be encouraged to grow and develop to their full potential in a suitably planned environment, where they know what is expected of them, and where clear limits are set, appropriate to their age and stage of development and any special needs they may have.

The approach of The Crann Support Group and its Members to behaviour management is consistent with the Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and the guidance on codes of practice. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures. (Síolta Standard 5: Interactions) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour) Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework.

The code of practice states that:

“Children become self-disciplined principally by having their needs readily met, by observing self-discipline and consistency in those who care for them, and above all, by receiving love and approval and respect from those around them. Time should be made to allow for quality communication between parents and pre-school providers.”

Behaviour management at the Crann Support group along with its members involves:

  • Acknowledgement of the children’s effort, achievements and feelings by sincere encouragement will lead to the growth of self – esteem and self- discipline.
  • Consistency in encouraging self-management and empathy is vital. In order that children have security of knowing what to expect and can build up good patterns of interactions. The service will provide a supportive environment which will help children manage behaviour appropriately.
  • Adults will provide a good role model by following rules and showing respect for each other and the children.
  • Rules that will apply to all children and adults in the group must be discussed and agreed. These rules must be explained to newcomer’s adults or children. Rules will be kept to a minimum
  • The key to behaviour management is good observation skill in adults, combined with skilful interactions with the children at stressful moments.

Observing:

  • What’s is going on?
  • What did the child do?
  • What materials/opportunities could we have provided to diffuse an incident?
  • What could we have done to prevent the behaviour?
  • What materials/opportunities would have to extend/provide further challenge to the play?

Procedure: If a child or children displays inappropriate behaviour within the crèche setting, staff will carry out the “Six Step Approach Procedure” outlined below. This procedure will be enforced consistently.

Six Step Approach:

1. The staff member will approach the situation calmly and stop any hurtful behaviour
2. The staff member may temporarily separate or remove the child or children to the ‘quiet place’ as part of this step – for a cooling-off period that leads to relaxation, not as a punishment. If a child has to be removed from the room after attempts to calm the situation within the room have failed, they will be accompanied by an adult at all times.
3. The staff member will acknowledge all the children’s feelings i.e. “I can see Jane is upset and that Billy, is also upset.”
4. The staff member will gather information from the children on what happened and with the younger children she helps them to put words on what happened.
5. The staff member will then restate the problem back to the children
6. The staff member then asks for ideas for solutions to the problem and then encourages the child or children to choose one together (in some cases the staff member may have to suggest the solution). Often, before a solution is implemented, the practitioner has a guidance talk with the children, reviewing what has happened, talking about alternatives for next time, and discussing ways to make amends.

The staff member will follow up by encouraging, monitoring and if necessary guiding the children as they try to implement the solution

Positive Strategies for Behaviour Management:

  • Carefully observe disagreements among children and encourage them to resolve them
  • Adults will speak calmly and quietly to children when dealing with these situations
  • Comfort and support is necessary where another child has been hurt in an incident.
  • Explanations for challenging unwanted behaviours and attitudes will be made clear immediately to the child/ children
  • Staff will demonstrate respect and empathy by listening and being interested
  • It must always be made clear to the child in question that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unacceptable.
  • Recurring problems will be dealt with in an inclusive manner following observations and involving the child’s parents, and other appropriate adults and an individual care plan will be drawn by all involved.
  • Books and activities will be available to help the children explore and name their feelings, where appropriate, in conjunction with an adult.

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

Bulling affects everyone, not just the bullies and the victims. It also affects those other children who watch, and less aggressive children can be drawn in by group pressure. Bullying is not an inevitable part of child-care life or a necessary part of growing up, and it rarely sorts itself out. It is clear that certain jokes, insults, intimidating and threatening behaviour, written abuse and violence are to be found in our society. No one person or group, whether staff or children, should have to accept this type of behaviour. Only when all issues of bullying are addressed, will a child be able to benefit from the opportunities available within the Crann Support Group and its members. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures. (Síolta Standard 5: Interactions) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour) Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework.

WHY IS AN ANTI-BULLYING POLICY NECESSARY?

The Crann Support Group and its members believes that children have the right to be cared for in a supportive, caring and safe environment without the fear of being bullied. All institutions, both large and small, contain some numbers of children with the potential for bullying behaviour. If a child-care centre is well disciplined and organised, it can minimise the occurrence of bullying. The Crann Support Group also has a clear policy on the promotion of good citizenship, where it is made clear that bullying is a form of anti-social behaviour. It is WRONG and will not be tolerated. It is important therefore that the Crann Support Group has a clear written policy to promote the belief, where both children and parents/guardians are firmly aware that any bullying complaints will be dealt with firmly, fairly and promptly.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying can occur through several types of anti-social behaviour. It can be:

PHYSICAL

A child can be physically punched, kicked, hit, spat at, etc.

VERBAL

Verbal abuse can take the font of name calling. It may be directed towards gender, ethnic origin, physical or social disability, or personality, etc.

EXCLUSION

A child can be bullied simply by being excluded form discussions or activities, with those they believe to be their friends.

DAMAGE TO PROPERTY OR THEFT

Children may have their property damaged or stolen. Physical threats may be used by the bully in order that the child hands over property to them.

WHAT A CHILD CAN DO IF THEY FEEL THEY ARE BEING BULLIED

  • Silence is the bully’s greatest weapon. Normally it is best to tell an adult that you are being bullied, and it is important to do this straight away so immediate support can be given. All complaints of bullying will be taken seriously. Bullying will be dealt with in a way which will not make things worse for the victim but will stop the bullying.
  • No-one deserves to be bullied, and any type of bullying is wrong.
  • Be proud of who you are, each person is important, unique and deserves to be respected.
  • A bully thrives on some-one’s fear, so it is important to try and show that you are not upset.
  • Stay with a group of friends/minders as there is safety in numbers.
  • Be assertive, say no and walk confidently away, go immediately go to a minder/guardian and explain what has happened.
  • Fighting back may make things worse. Speak to a minder/guardian first if you decide to fight back. Generally, it is best to tell an adult you trust straight away, and you will get immediate support.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS BEING BULLIED:

  • Take action immediately. By watching and not acting it appears that you are on the bully’s side. Inaction will make the victim feel that they are on their own and will make them feel very unhappy.
  • If a person does not want to get involved they should tell an adult about the situation immediately.
  • Do not remain friends with the bully or do not pretend to be friends with the bully.

AS A PARENT

  • Look for unusual behaviour in your children, for instance not wishing to attend school, feeling ill regularly, or not completing their work to the normal standard.
  • Take an active role in your child’s education. Enquire how the day has gone, who they have spent their time with, how lunch/play time was spent?
  • Inform the childcare centre immediately if you feel your child has been a victim of bullying. Your complaint will be taken seriously and appropriate action will follow.
  • Advise your child not to fight back because this can make the situation worse.
  • Tell your child that there is nothing wrong with them and it is not their fault that they are being bullied.
  • Make your child aware of the childcare centre policy concerning bullying, so that they will not be afraid to disclose the bullying and ask for help.

THE CRANN SUPPORT GROUPS BULLYING PREVENTION PROCEDURE;

  • Record repeated incidents of bullying.
  • Introduction of Stay Safe Programme
  • Deal quickly and firmly with complaints, involving parents when necessary.
  • Regularly review the success of the anti-bullying policy.
  • Encourage all children and staff to treat each other with respect, and to form positive attitudes towards every-one.
  • Bullying is treated as a serious offence and a firm and fair discipline structure will eradicate it from the childcare centre.ACTION WILL BE TAKEN WHEN BULLYING IS SUSPECTEDWith a suspected bullying case, the suspected bully is spoken to and any witnesses are also spoken with. If any degree of bullying is identified; the following actions are taken;
  • Victim Support
  • An immediate opportunity offered to talk about the experience with the centres designated person or with another designated member of staff.
  • Informing the parents/guardians of the victim.
  • Continued support when needed on an on-going basis.
  • Recommendation for the victim to be escorted to and from the childcare centre.
  • Taking any of the disciplinary steps below to prevent any further bullying.If an individual is deemed to be guilty of bullying behaviour, they are disciplined. We also try to work with them to help alter their destructive behavioural patterns. This will be done in the following ways:
  • By talking about what happened and endeavour to discover why they became involved in the particular type of behaviour; informing their parents/guardians.
  • Work with the bullies to help them eliminate prejudiced attitudes as much as possible.
  • Taking one of more of the disciplinary steps described below to prevent more bullying.DISCIPLINARY STEPS
  • An official warning to stop committing the alleged offence.
  • Informing the bully’s parents/guardians of the situation.
  • They may be excluded from the play area/activity for a period of time.
  • A recommendation that they possible may need to be escorted to and from the childcare centre.
  • If the bullying does not stop, the offender will be suspended for a minor fixed period (one or two days).
  • If the bullying does not stop at this stage, the offender will be suspended for a major fixed period.

BITING POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members recognise that when a biting incident occurs it is upsetting for everyone involved. Unfortunately biting is not unexpected in a toddler group. The Crann Support Group and its members would like to offer you some information on biting so that it might make it a little easier to understand why toddlers sometimes have a tendency to bit. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures. (Síolta Standard 5: Interactions) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour) Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework.

You turn around to pick up a few toys – and it happens. You hear a piercing scream, you rush over and there is the tell tail sign red marks on the child’s arm. Biting is one of the most difficult behaviours to deal with in young children. Young children have more power in their jaw muscles than in their arms, allowing them inflict more pain through biting. We, as adults, must accept that this is quite common and is a very normal action for toddlers. Toddlers bite for many different reasons such as:

  • Teething
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Boredom
  • Jealousy
  • Over stimulation or under stimulation
  • Expression of feelings
  • Not knowing how to share
  • A change in the home environment

Biting is carried out on impulse and very often without any outward sign to indicate what is about to happen. The Crann Support Group focuses on effective ways that address the specific reasons for biting. When biting occurs the staff will, together with the parents, develop a plan to address the problem. The techniques used include;

  • Observing the child
  • Observing the daily routine of the room
  • Talking to parents
  • Being at all times aware and mindful of the child concerned
  • Helping children understand that biting is unacceptable

Action taken when biting occurs include:

  • Bitten child is cared for first
  • Say no immediately in a calm but firm disapproving tone to the child who has bitten, then take her/him away from other children and explain that biting is not nice and it hurts and upsets others
  • Child is encouraged to apologize to other child and ask if they are ok
  • The child is asked to sit apart from the other children for a short time, depending on their age. Example: two-year-old sits for two minutes
  • Before the child returns to the group, staff will talk to the child and show them another way to solve their problems
  • Child is reminded that biting hurts and is not nice. The child is encouraged not to repeat this

 

Working with parents:

Staff of the Crann Support Group and members will inform parents when incidence occurs. If the child persists in biting, parents will be asked to attend a meeting with the Room Leader to put in place an agreed program to help the child to change his/her behaviour. The agreed programme will be implemented at home and in the crèche while the main focus will be on the child’s positive behaviour and rewarding this behaviour. This will also help to build the child’s self–esteem. This will help the child realize that you value this behaviour.

Developing a Positive Approach to Discipline Policy. What is discipline?

  • • Discipline means training, guidance and leadership, especially of the kind that provides self-control, orderliness and capacity for co-operation.

In a disciplined environment children will:

  • Learn to control their own behaviour
  • Learn to feel good about themselves
  • Learn to understand the needs of other people
  • Learn to understand the consequence of their actions
  • Learn to become increasingly independent and responsible

These essential qualities enable children and adults to lead happy and fulfilling lives at home, in school, at work and at play.

Behaviour, which injures people either, emotionally or physically, or which damages property, is a real problem for parents and adults working with young children. However, prevention is better than cure. Forward planning, team–work, collaboration with parents and a sound knowledge of child development are essential. The layout of the room, the equipment and curriculum offered, the adult’s style of interaction and people’s expectations will have an impact on the children’s behaviour.

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE STRATEGIES

  • Staff create and maintain a warm caring play/learning environment in which children and adults feel valued and respected.
  • The staff in the group are happy to work together and this is shown by the exchange of comments, information, looks and smiles
  • Staff establish and maintain a predictable, daily routine so that children feel secure and have a sense of control over what is going to happen next.
  • The routine has a balance of child initiated and adult initiated activities and children have the opportunity to make choices throughout the session.
  • Children have access to a wide range of materials which are of interest and value to them.
  • Space is divided into distinct play areas, in which several children have enough space to play together.
  • Staff accept that children are functioning at different levels of development and understanding and therefore behave and use materials in a variety of ways.
  • Staff record and share observations of children and use these to plan for their needs on a daily basis.
  • Staff eliminate long waiting periods such as snacks and trips to the toilet and make short waits as active as possible. For example, involve children in tidying up and preparing and distributing the snacks.
  • Staff acknowledge children’s positive behaviour with specific comments such as, “I like the way you helped Mike with his tower.”
  • Staff seek value and listen to children’s ideas and points of view.
  • Staff acknowledge and describe children’s concerns and feelings. For example, “You’re cross / angry with Sara because you have to wait to use the pram”.
  • Staff discuss and agree on expectations and necessary limits and are consistent in following them through- if something is unacceptable today it is unacceptable tomorrow.
  • Staff avoid unnecessary constraints and restrictions.
  • Staff work in collaboration with parents, sharing aims, expectations and information on a regular basis.
  • Staff give children clear consistent explanations for rules and limits. For example, “Throwing sand is dangerous because it can hurt children’s eyes”.
  • Staff acknowledge that learning to develop self – control, solve problems and negotiate solutions are important life skills, which children learn through experience with support from adults, who are patient and consistent in approach and who model care and concern for people and materials throughout the session / day.

ON THE SPOT ACTION

  • Staff intervene immediately when children are fighting, kicking or biting.
  • Staff comforts the injured child first and gives him/her their full attention.
  • Staff will speak with the child who is fighting and ask what is the matter and why did they get so upset. Staff will explain that it is ok to get upset but when they are upset not to lash out. The child will be asked to suggest another way of solving their problem.
  • Staff will encourage the child to apologise and explain that a minute be taken away from the other children to reflect on how the upset/ hurt child feels.
  • Staff will encourage the other child to accept the apology
  • If the behaviour becomes persistent, parents will be informed

Staff will, at all times, recognize and praise positive behaviour from young people

CODE OF ETHICS – WORKING WITH CHILDREN

Principles

Young children develop best through close affectionate relationships and positive, responsive interaction with others, particularly adults but also with other children. Warm relationships are fundamental to meeting the young child’s need for love, security, recognition and encouragement. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child)
(Siolta Standard 1: Rights of the Child) (National Standard 5 Organisation and Management, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure staff are fully informed and knowledgeable about their critical role in the lives of the children in their care.

Policies and Procedures

Adult/child interaction is a key element of working with children. Adults should in principle allow the children lead the activity. Adults can invite the child to participate, look and listen.
This applies to ALL those working within the Crann Support Group and its members including employees, students, volunteers, SNA’s, external agency staff
Adults should adopt the following practices when interacting with children

DO…

  • Provide constant supervision to ensure children are safe
  • Make strong eye contact.
  • Be at the child’s level – focus on the child/children.
  • Check the child is understood
  • Give encouragement and positive feedback
  • Work with the child to develop their skills in relation to mediation and conflict resolution
  • Extend the child’s language
  • Use clear communication skills – questions, responses, discussion, leading to other subjects
  • Ask questions – how did you do that? – tell me about that? how? why?
  • Use props
  • Be sensitive to the child’s needs and partnering play
  • Ensure the child is comfortable
  • Language – short repeat words, extend language – in line with the child’s developmental age
  • Use all occasions to engage children – greetings – lunch
  • Repeat your message if something is not correct (not in negative way)
  • Organise activities – that reflect children’s interests – enjoyable, accessible to child
  • Allow children – freedom of choices, within reason
  • Listen, encourage and praise – applies to adults, children, parents
  • Be a positive role model. Remember children learn what they see and hear
  • Encourage children to engage in activities which will calm or relax them
  • Be aware that the weather can effect children – rain, wind, heat
  • Follow the child’s lead
  • Have FUN!DON’T…
  • Use mobile phones when supervising children
  • Use abusive/threatening behaviour
  • Use raised voices – speak in soft tones
  • Isolate children

EQUALITY and DIVERSITY

Principles

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991) states:
“It is the States obligation to protect children from any form of discrimination and to take positive action to promote their rights”. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health Welfare and Development of the Child) (Síolta Standard 14: Identity and Belonging) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Wellbeing, National Standard 15: Children with Disabilities, National Standard 16: Equal Opportunities)

Statement of Intent

Equal opportunity for children to learn is a fundamental aspect of our services curriculum. Equality means open access for every child and family to participate in the Crann Support member’s activities. The Crann Support Group is committed to promoting equality of opportunity. We promote equal opportunities through a wide range of policies and procedures which are reflected in the practice of our early years setting.

Policy and Procedures

We provide equal opportunities by ensuring that:

  • We are aware that everyone’s tastes vary and each of us has a different way of doing things. We all have different interests and ways of expressing ourselves.
  • All staff have a responsibility to show clearly, through their work, that they respect all children and their families regardless of ability, culture, beliefs and traditions.
  • Staff are non-discriminatory, and we believe in equal attention and care for all children without regard to race, gender, national origin, ancestry or special needs. Standard.

Favouritism:

National Standard 9.8 Staff do not demonstrate favouritism towards any child.
Staff should not develop favouritism or become over involved with any one child. The children in our service should be comfortable in the care of any of our staff as there may be different staff working each day with groups or individual children. Children can feel resentful or isolated if staff always favour one child and a child who is always over indulged or favoured can be led to feel that he or she can do no wrong and grow up to have a feeling of entitlement which may affect future relationships and behaviour as an adult.

Meetings:

The Crann Support Group members will convene meetings at a time and venue that enable the majority of parents/carers to attend and to ensure equal access to information and involvement in the Crann Support Group.

Access:

Everyone in the community regardless of religious affiliation, political background, race, culture, linguistic needs, disability, sexual orientation or age, has access to the service.

The Curriculum:

  • All children are to be respected and their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured.
  • Activities and the use of play equipment will offer children opportunities to develop in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.
  • Through the proactive use of planning and curriculum development opportunities will be given to children to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others.
  • It is important for children to experience a variety of cultures at an early age so that they realise that cultural diversity is part of everyday life.
  • We ask families to share their own cultures, religions and traditions with our staff so that all values are respected and celebrated in the service.
  • It is our objective to support and encourage each child in their experience and guide them to embrace their own values and the values of others. These experiences help set the child’s foundations and potentially shape the people they will become.

Resources:

All materials are to positively and accurately reflect cultural and racial diversity. These materials will help children to develop their self-respect and respect other people by avoiding stereotypes. We use a range of books, images, music and songs and experiences that reflect diversity. Boys and girls are to have equal opportunity, and be actively encouraged to use all activities.

Discriminatory Behaviour/Remarks:

Any discrimination (language, behaviour or remarks) by children, parents/carers or staff/volunteers is unacceptable in the service. Discrimination will be positively challenged by supporting the victim and helping those responsible to understand and overcome their prejudices.

Festivals:

We aim to show respect for and awareness of all major events in the lives of the children and families in the service and in the wider society. Without indoctrination we aim to acknowledge festivals celebrated by all families in our local community and in the wider society through stories, activities, special food and clothing which reflect the diversity of life. We have a sensitive approach to Father’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. and welcome parent’s contributions.

Recruitment:

The Crann Support Group and its members is an equal opportunities employer- staff are selected using a fair, non- biased and strict recruitment procedure.

Language:

For us at the Crann Support Group it is important that all children and their parents feel welcome and encouraged to be involved.

To help children with little or no English we will:

  • Ensure inclusion in the group and staff will talk to the child, speaking slowly and simply, demonstrating what is meant by the words.
  • Support the child and parents by a staff member who will try and learn some key phrases in the child’s language, e.g. ‘hello’ ‘goodbye’ ‘hungry’ ‘thirsty’ ‘do you need help?’
  • We encourage children to use their home language whenever they are so inclined. Dual language books are helpful to encourage the use of other languages.
  • Make it easy for the child to settle into the setting, we encourage other children to talk to non- English speaking children in the same way as usual.
  • Parents are invited to help with key words and phrases in the child’s home language.

INTERACTION and COMMUNICATION

Principle

Through open communication and firm commitment, we are keen to develop a mutual level of respect that will consequently lead to positive relationships with children, staff and parents that will grow from strength to strength in the coming years. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Siolta Standard 1: Rights of the Child, Siolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Siolta Standard 4: Consultation, Siolta Standard 5: Interactions, Siolta Standard 12: Communication)(National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 7: Complaints, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members encourage open and proactive communication within the organisation. In order to achieve this, we provide an open door policy whereby we would encourage each member of staff to communicate any issues or concerns that they may have. We have a Complaints policy to address any issues that parents may wish to raise and we listen to children’s opinions and interests when planning our activities and curriculum.

Communicating and Interacting with Children

At the Crann Support Group we believe that effective adult-child interaction is essential to running a successful early childhood service. Appropriate language must be used at all times when dealing with children. Adult conversations should never take place in front of children. What happened at the weekend is employee room talk not classroom talk. When talking with a child it is best to do so at child’s eye level. It displays respect and in turn gains the respect of the child. Children should never be shouted at or screamed at in our facilities.
Staff should encourage positive interactions between children. They should actively engage in interactions with children individually and in groups and support in the development of relationships between both children and staff and children together.
Staff at the Crann Support Group and its members look for natural openings in children’s play and then join the child or children at their physical level. As a pretend play partners, adults take roles assigned by children and stay within the play scenario the children have created.

Staff look for opportunities for conversations with children about the activities children are engaged in. Staff make comments about the child’s activities that allow the conversation to continue without pressuring the child for a response.

Staff should ensure that:

  • We offer a warm, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere
  • Children are comfortable and appear relaxed
  • Interactions between staff and children are positive
  • There are opportunities for children to play in pairs, groups or individually.
  • Siblings and children of different age groups mix during the day
  • They use encouragement instead of praise- Rather than statements that evaluate or judge, staff make objective, specific comments that encourage children to expand their descriptive language and think about what they are doing.
  • Whenever possible, they encourage children to solve problems for themselves. While adults could often solve the problem more easily by taking over, the goal is for children to develop their own problem-solving abilities through trial and error.
  • They read and understand the Childcare policies and procedures we have developed

Communicating with Colleagues

Staff should inform the Manager if they are leaving the service premises during breaks or lunch time. This is vital for fire regulation procedures. Staff are required to sign in and out when entering or leaving the building.
All employees should be up to date on all the children attending the service especially when there is a change in the child’s home background that may induce disruptive or abnormal behaviour, e.g. a new sibling, parent’s separation, etc.
Any information received from a parent regarding a child should be passed on to the Manager as soon as possible.

Communicating with the Managers

The Managers are there to support staff and help where necessary. Any incidents that staff are concerned about should be brought to the attention of a Manager no matter how minor or small the concern may seem to be.
During staff supervision sessions it is advisable to bring to the attention of the Manager any worries, thoughts or concerns you may have. If a staff member is concerned for a child’s development and or behaviour a Manager must be consulted.
Building Positive Relationships with Families
A strong connection between families and child care providers is essential for building a positive environment for young children. Miscommunication, or limited communication between adults, can lead to situations that adversely affect all of the parties involved. Staff may not discuss with parents any concerns about their child without first discussing the matter with the Manager. Any developmental or behavioural concerns should be looked at in accordance with the Child Development policy before making any judgements.
Following are some tips for families and child care professionals on how to build win/win relationships.

It’s important for child care providers to gain knowledge about each individual child in their care. One way to learn about the individual personalities of young children is by observing the interactions between children and their families. For example, what are the good-bye rituals or what do the parents do to comfort their child? The younger the child, the more necessary it is for professionals to acquire this knowledge through relationships with her family.
Be attentive and open to negotiation if a parent brings a concern or complaint to your attention. Keep in mind that assertive communication – when you tell the truth and care about the listener–is the most effective form of communication.
Be sensitive to each child’s cultural and family experience. Reflect the diversity of these experiences in the toys, books, decorations, and activities you choose in creating your learning environment.
Some families may be new to the area or unaware of resources in the community. Early childhood programs can be a community link by acquiring, and making available, information on a range of community resources, including hospital, health clinic, and local library programs, school and community education offerings, and family support services.

Make time for communication. Pick-up and drop-off times are often hurried occasions; however valuable information can be exchanged through these daily informal meetings. Staff may not discuss concerns over development and or behavior without first discussing matters with the Manager. By simply asking how the family is doing in a non-intrusive way, adults can share information that may help the child care professional better understand a child’s behavior on any given day. For example, a child may be sad if a family member is on a business trip or if someone is ill. What may seem trivial to adults can be very important to young children.

Children benefit most from healthy, reciprocal relationships between staff and families. Like most relationships, these require time to nurture mutual respect, cooperation, and comfortable communication.

MULTIMEDIA

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members recognises that a variety of multimedia can provide entertainment and education to children, provided that the material listened to, watched or played is age appropriate and supervised and is a very small element of the curriculum provided. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures) (Siolta Standard 7: Curriculum, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 8: Care Play and Learning)

Scope

The policy covers the use of television, DVD’s, music/radio computers, internet, gaming machines. It applies to all staff, children, parents, contractors and sub-contractors who access our services.

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that the use of multimedia in its service will be age appropriate and supervised when used. Staff will be guided on this practice at their initial induction to the service.

Legislation

This policy is guided by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III, 10, which requests Policies & Procedures for the use of internet and photographic and recording devices. The Data Protection Act 1998 And Data Protection (amendments) Act 2003 are also reflected as this policy contains principles affecting employees’ and other personal records.

Policy and Procedure

Computers

Computer skills are considered essential for accessing life-long learning and future employment. The use of the computers is built into the curriculum within the Crann Support Group. Children will be supervised by staff at all times when using Computers within the service. Technology should be integrated into the learning environment on the same basis as other areas e.g. water area, sand area, home area.

  • Access to computers is on a rostered, timed and turn taking basis.
  • The software for the computers will be purchased by the Crann Support Group only.
  • The software purchased is educational (age and developmentally appropriate for the various age ranges that access the computers). The Crann Support Group and its members also purchase ‘games’ software for the computes which is also (age and developmentally appropriate for the various age ranges that access the computers).
  • No software for computers may be brought to the service by children or parents. (Unless in exceptional cases where agreed by management for educational purposes)
  • Health and Safety issues such as viewing distances, seat, height and posture and foot rests will also be considered when using computers with children

Internet Access

The internet is now regarded as a valuable resource to support teaching and learning. The Crann Support Group and its members have an obligation to provide children with as safe as possible internet environment.

Core Principles of Internet Safety

Internet is becoming as common place as the TV or telephone and its effective use is an essential life skill. Unmediated internet access brings with it the possibility of placing children in embarrassing, inappropriate even dangerous situations.

  • Guided educational use: Significant educational benefits should result from Internet use including access to information from around the world. Internet use should be carefully planned and targeted within a regulated and managed environment
  • Risk assessment: We have a duty to ensure that children in the service are not exposed to inappropriate information or materials. We also need to ensure that children know how to ask for help if they come across material that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Responsibility: Internet safety in the playgroup depends on staff, parents, carers and visitors taking responsibility for the use of Internet and other communication technologies such as mobile phones. It is the service’s responsibility to use technical solutions to limit Internet access and to monitor their effectiveness therefore, personal mobile phones are prohibited within our services during working hours.

Why it is important for Pre-school children to access the Internet?

The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The Crann Support Group and its members provides children with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience.

Internet access will be tailored expressly for educational use and will include appropriate filtering. Children will learn appropriate Internet use. Staff will guide pupils in online activities.

How will filtering be managed?

The service Manager is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate filters are applied to the PCs/laptops in their setting. The Manager will also review the sites accessed.
Staff will monitor the websites being used by the children during playgroup sessions.
If a member of staff uses the services PCs for work, they must ensure that they logout immediately on completing the work.
If staff or children discover unsuitable sites have been accessed on the services PCs, they must be reported to the Manager who will immediately report it on to the CEO. Immediately the IT department will review the filters.

Managing Content

Staff are responsible for ensuring that material accessed by children is appropriate and for ensuring that the use of any Internet derived materials by staff or by children complies with copyright law.

Communication

Children will not have access to e-mail.

Staff using e-mail will only use the Crann Support Group e-mail address. This address must not be used for personal e-mail.

On-line Communications and Social networking

Personal On-line chat rooms and social networking sites such as personal Facebook or Twitter networks are not to be accessed during working hours.

Staff will not discuss individual children or their setting on Facebook, twitter or any other social networking site.

Mobile Technologies

Mobile phones are not permitted within the class rooms, only in the designated staff room. Staff are permitted to use their mobile phones on their breaks and the service’s landline number should be given to family and friends in the event of an emergency. The taking of photographs on mobile phones is strictly prohibited anywhere in the Crann Support Group and its members organisations, failure to comply will result in formal corrective action/ dismissal.

Handling Complaints

Any complaints about the appropriate use of the internet or other technologies will be handled through the Complaints procedure.

Internet access for children will be always be under strict supervision only

Television/DVD

Television/DVD viewing is only permitted on special occasions.

Gaming Machines EG Play Station, Nintendo Wii, Xbox

The use of the gaming machines are for afterschool children only.

The Crann Support Group and its members will supply the machine and games for use within the service.

Children may bring games for use in the play station to the setting. However, staff will check the game to ensure that it is age appropriate and suitable to be used in the machine in the afterschool environment. Parents will be informed of this policy.

Staff will supervise the use of gaming machines and games at all times.

Children are allowed use the gaming machines for a scheduled period of time.

Music CD’s

At the Crann Support Group we value music because it is a powerful and unique form of communication that can change the way children feel, think and act. It also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.

The CD’s used are appropriate for young children and will contain no offensive or inappropriate language

Radios stations will not be listened to in areas where children can hear them as the content may not be suitable.

Music will not be played too loud so that the children’s voices may still be heard.

Forms

Mobile Phone Usage

Multimedia Charter Statement

Principle:

The Crann Support Group and its members recognizes that a variety of multimedia can provide entertainment and education to children, provided that the material listened to, watched or played is age appropriate and supervised and is a very small element of the curriculum provided

Scope:

The policy covers the use of television, DVD’s, music/radio computers, internet, gaming machines. It applies to all staff, children, parents, contractors and sub-contractors who access our services

Key principals:

  • All access to multimedia by children must be supervised
  • Software purchased is educational & age appropriate
  • No software may be brought to the service by children or parents.
  • Our Policy outlines a code of principles with regard the internet usage which includes; Risk assessment:
  • Staff have a duty to ensure children are not exposed to inappropriate information or materials. Managing content:
  • All staff are responsible for ensuring material accessed by children is appropriate. Guided educational use:
  • Internet use should be carefully planned and targeted within a regulated environment. Filtering:
  • The Service Manager is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate filters are applied to PCs/laptops in their setting.
    This policy is effective _____/_____/_____ and will be reviewed annually by or sooner if needed. Parents and staff will be notified of any upcoming policy

PHYSICAL PLAY

Principle

Outdoor play is essential to early childhood development. Children learn social skills by interacting with other children, with adults and even with objects and natural materials found in the environment. The outdoor environment exposes children to opportunities to explore, question and develop theories about how things work. Negotiation, language and co-operation are all skills that develop through a well- planned outdoor curriculum. Outdoor play, physical activity and fresh air are important to children’s overall health and well-being. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures) (Siolta Standard 2: Environment, Siolta Standard 6: Play, Siolta Standard 7: Curriculum, Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

Outdoor play is an important part of our daily curriculum at the Crann Support Group and its members. We aim to ensure that children play outdoors every day. Our intention, through our outdoor programme is to enhance gross motor skills, co-ordination, and balance and body awareness. It also gives children opportunities to socialise freely and use imagination and initiative.

Policy and Procedures

A well planned environment provides opportunities for children to seek new challenge as they master old ones. The provision and planning for outdoor play, just as indoor play, must reflect the diversity and richness of the experience and developing interests of the children. Natural play spaces can stimulate children’s imaginations and engage their sense of curiosity.

Close observation is essential in order to assess children’s ability and to ensure appropriate planning and continuity for the outdoor curriculum. Staff will be vigilant about supervising children outdoors. The garden time is play time for the children. The adult is there to supervise and lead garden games or play, and ensure that the children are in no danger to themselves or their peers.

Garden time is an extension of indoor activities therefore sitting should be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • Staff should ensure that their presence and position in the outdoor play area allows that all areas of the outdoor area are under constant supervision and that all children are in the sight of at least one member of staff, at all times.
  • The outdoor play area must be checked by a member of staff for safety before any children use the outdoor play area.
  • Staff must engage with the children during the outdoor play time. The curriculum should be used outdoors as well as in the children’s room.
  • Children should not be allowed interfere with the gate in the outside area.

Clothing

It is important that children are dressed appropriately for outdoor activity. The children will go outdoors everyday so therefore, Parents/ guardians are asked to ensure their children have the appropriate attire for the weather.

Sun Safety

The Crann Support Group request that parents:

  • Apply sun cream to their child/children before they attend pre-school. As in the first instance it is the responsibility of the parent to apply sun cream to their child/children.
  • For children in the Full Day Care setting, parents are asked to put sun cream in the child’s bag and request the staff member to apply the sun cream, every effort will be made by the staff member to do this.
  • Parents provide a sunhat for children.

We will ensure that:

  • On very hot days’ children will have reduced exposure to sunlight in the middle of the day.
  • Where possible, children can seek shade when outside in the sun.
  • Ensure that children will wear a sunhat if provided by the parent.

Adult/Child Ratios

The adult/child ratio for outdoor play will be in compliance with the Preschool Regulations, Staff will be vigilant about supervising children outdoors.

A rota system is usually practised by the staff in relation to classes going outdoors. Where there is exceptionally good weather all children may be outdoors at the same time. In such a situation staff will be cognisant of this fact and give due consideration to the supervision and safety of the children.

Outdoor Programme

  • The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that children have access to a range of outdoor activities to: climb, run, crawl, balance, jump, throw, catch, pour, sort, pretend and access different levels.
  • The outdoor programme encourages children to participate in growing vegetables and planting flowers.
  • A variety of activities take place outdoors and children can utilise a range of outdoor equipment.
  • The outdoor play area will be safe and scaled to a child’s size.
  • The outdoor time will be maximised through an intentional, well-planned approach to arranging the space and using the time.
  • The programme will create a positive tone supporting a child’s natural curiosity in playing outdoors.
  • There will be opportunities for children to encounter and interact with each other.
  • Children will be given the freedom to select safe materials to use outdoors to build upon their natural sense of exploration.
  • The outdoor space offers choices for children.
  • The programme will be child-led where active problem solving will be encouraged.
  • Children and adults will interact in a relaxed and natural way.

Buntus

Staff have also taken part in Buntús Start training. Buntús Start is a comprehensive physical activity programme for children aged 2-5 years old. It has been designed for use in pre-school settings so that childcare practitioners can provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young children to develop their fundamental motor skills, manipulative skills, co-ordination and balancing skills and develop a positive attitude to physical activity.

Interactions

Adults should be actively involved with children in their games and activities where appropriate and should not be solely in a supervisory role.

Adults should be:

  • Talking with children in a variety of ways (conversing, discussing, questioning, modelling and commentating).
  • Helping children to find solutions to problems.
  • Supporting, encouraging.
  • Extending their activities by making extra resources available and providing new ideas.
  • Initiating games and activities.
  • Joining in games and activities when invited by children.
  • Observing, assessing and recording.
  • Being aware of safety issues.
  • Being aware of every child’s equal right of access to a full outdoor curriculum which is broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated regardless of race, culture, religion, gender or disability.
  • Evaluating observations in order to plan appropriate resources and experiences.

Storage

Equipment such as balls, bats, skipping ropes, hula hoops etc. should be stored appropriately.

Outdoor Safety

  • When setting out the equipment each day and during sessions, staff must lookout for safety and remove any objects such as cans, bottles etc. which may have been left by others.
  • The area should be checked for animal droppings.
  • Before children go outside a member of staff must check the main gate is closed.
  • Staff on duty outdoors must always be aware of the safety of the children in their care, be vigilant at all times and never leave the play area for any reason unless another member of staff has taken over responsibility.
  • It is most important for staff to move around the area constantly so that all areas are adequately supervised. Each person should position him/herself in separate areas so that no area is unsupervised.
  • At the end of the session the areas should be scanned carefully in case children should be left outside unsupervised.
  • Hot drinks should not be taken into the outdoor areas.
  • Students helping outdoors must never be left in charge of any area.
  • All equipment should be stored away sensibly and carefully, to allow for safe and easy removal next day.
  • If a child is injured, he/she should be taken indoors for treatment quickly as possible if necessary; if possible the child should be treated with the portable first aid kit outdoors. Both child and staff member should remain within sight of another member of staff while treatment takes place, the floating staff member or the member in the garden should replace the staff member treating the child so that supervision of the areas is interrupted for as short a period of time as possible.
  • Details of the accident must be written up as soon as possible in the Accident Report book. The child’s parent must be informed of the accident and treatment, and sign the accident report form.
  • Students/volunteers may not administer first aid
  • Climbing apparatus should only be set out on the safety surface.
  • Children’s clothing should be monitored carefully e.g. unfastened shoelaces and buckles, scarves and ties on anoraks which are too long can easily cause accidents, particularly on wheeled toys and climbing equipment.
  • If it is necessary for childcare worker to put toys away whilst children are still in the play area, they should involve the children in the process and never leave the group unattended.
  • Encourage children always to look before they move on the slide, or when jumping off apparatus; also encourage children to leave space between themselves and the child in front.
  • When children are climbing on climbing frames, staff must be continually aware of any risks (e.g. objects left underneath).
  • Whenever children carry equipment (clearing away or carrying planks, blocks etc. etc.) they should be taught how to do it and adults should be aware of the risks involved and minimise them to ensure safety.
  • At the end of the day if parents arrive while children are in the playground staff should ensure that a member of staff is positioned near the gate to ensure no children leave unattended and that the gate is kept closed.

OUTINGS

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its Members is committed to planning and providing appropriate and well supervised outings for children to support and enhance their learning in line with our service curriculum. We believe that outings provide children with opportunities to extend their interest, knowledge and provide quality learning experiences. Outings are planned in accordance with Pre-School regulations (Article 10) policies & procedures for outings and the services insurance policy. We believe that children’s safety is of paramount importance. It is part of the child’s development to experience fresh air and access to a variety of outdoor experiences. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and development of the Child, Part VI 28 Insurance) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 16: Community Involvement) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 20: Safety, National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members is committed to planning and undertaking appropriate supervised outings.

Procedure:

  • A risk assessment will be carried out before outings to identify any potential hazards on the journey and at the location. Where appropriate, risks will be minimised or an alternative location will be found.
  • Information regarding the insurance of the proposed facilities will be checked
  • An appropriate number of adults is required on all outings for insurance and safety reasons. We will maintain the appropriate adult/child ratio as per Child Care Regulations and as outlined from our individual risk assessment.
  • Prior written information about proposed outings or visitors coming to the service will be given to the parents.
  • Parents should be encouraged to take active part in the planning, preparation and participation of outings.
  • Parents and staff will ensure appropriate clothing is brought on the outing depending on the weather, e.g. sun hats, sun cream, raincoats etc.
  • Signed permission must be obtained from parents for each outing.
  • Children with additional needs should be taken on outings whenever possible but one to one adult supervision may be required.
  • The attendance register including contact numbers for parents not attending the outing will be in the possession of the leader in charge.
  • The leader takes responsibility for checking numbers of the children. Regular and frequent counts will take place before leaving, while on the outing and before departing.
  • The leader will have a mobile phone on the outing which is capable of working at the outing location and has a fully charged battery
  • A staff member trained in first aid will accompany the group on all outings
  • A first aid kit is taken on all outings, included with the first aid kit is information on children’s allergies and medical conditions
  • If using other than company bus Insurance details of the bus driver used to travel on the outing are keep with the leader at all times
  • All children travelling on outings either by bus or car must be placed in an appropriate child restraint e.g. car seat or age appropriate booster seat
  • Children should be introduced in smaller groups to local community businesses and activities (for example, library, Fire Station, Greengrocer, Café, Gardaí). The above guidelines for outings apply to these local visits as well as to more formal outings.

 

Forms

Outing Authorisation

Outings risk assessment

PHYSICAL PLAY

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members aim to provide the appropriate accommodation, supports and opportunities both indoor and outdoor to support all areas of children’s physical well-being, growth and development.
(Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 5 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part VII, 18 Premises and Space Requirements) (Siolta Standard 6: Play, Siolta Standard 7: Curriculum, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials)

Statement of Intent

  • We have regard for ‘Ready, Steady, Play!’ The National Play Policy.
  • We ensure all children have opportunity to enhance their physical development.
  • We aim to provide a wide range of quality physical activity opportunities both within and outside the set curriculum for children.
  • We aim to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop their confidence, self- esteem and enthusiasm to participate in physical activity.
  • We aim to establish a genuine interest in physical activity among children and promote the importance of physical play with parents.

Policy and Procedure

  • All areas of the setting are well supervised and appropriate levels of staff are present to ensure children have the freedom to move around and play safely
  • Children are given daily opportunities to play outdoors including planned and unplanned physical activities.
  • The outdoor play area is viewed by all as an extension to the indoor environment and staff recognise the importance of physical activity both in the outdoor and indoor environment.
  • Outdoor equipment is appropriate to the age and stage of development of all children in the setting.
  • Weather proof clothing should be provided by the parent and left in the setting (e.g. sun hats, rain jackets etc.) to allow for outdoor activities all year round.

Provisions are in place for children with additional needs to participate in physical play activities.

  • Staff will ensure that physical activities will be fun and as non-competitive as possible.

Buntus

Buntús Start is a comprehensive physical activity programme for children aged 2-5 years old. It has been designed for use in pre-school settings so that childcare assistants can provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young children to develop their fundamental motor skills, manipulative skills, co-ordination and balancing skills and develop a positive attitude to physical activity.

Buntús Start helps adults working with children to establish positive attitudes to activity and a healthy lifestyle through enjoyable activity with children. It offers a wealth of physical learning opportunities to enable children realize their potential and to become active and independent learners through play.

Indoor Environment

• Staff ensure that children are encouraged and given opportunity throughout the day to move freely around the indoor environment, children are never static for long periods of time.
• Planned daily activities in the setting include opportunities for physical activity, e.g. music and movement and drama.

Outdoor Environment

  • The outdoor environment is safe, well maintained and easily accessible to all children and adults in the setting regardless of ability/disability.
  • Equipment in the outdoor environment provides a range of opportunities for children to enhance their learning and development e.g. climbing, balancing, creativity and problem solving, pouring, swinging, digging and planting.
  • Opportunities are provided for children to explore other outdoor environments apart from the immediate setting e.g. taken out for walks/ outings.

SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN – INDOOR AND OUTDOOR

PHYSICAL PLAY

Principles

 

This policy and code of practice has been developed to inform and guide supervision of the children in the Crann Support Group and its members in order to ensure their welfare, health and safety. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and development of the Child, Part VII, 18 Premises and Space Requirements) (Siolta Standard 9 Health and Welfare) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials, National Standard 20: Safety)

 

Statement of Intent

Young children are curious about their environment where they see opportunities for exploration and investigation in their indoor and outdoor environment. Children are especially vulnerable and rely on responsible adults to care and protect them. Staff at the Crann Support Group and its members are in a relationship of special trust – to ensure that no child comes to any harm while in their care.

Policy and Procedure

This Supervision of Children Policy and Procedure must be followed and implemented by all staff working in the Crann Support Group and its members. Staff must be vigilant and observant in their supervision to ensure the safety, health and well-being of the children at all times. Staff must be familiar with the environment and any possible hazards.

Indoor Area

The staff child/ratios for indoor play will be in compliant with the current Childcare Regulations. Staff/child ratios will be applicable to the age range specified in the Pre-school Regulations. Staff will be vigilant about supervising children indoors.

Entrance Area

  • All staff must follow the practices in relation to access and egress of parents and children through the main door.
  • When people reach the outside door of the Childcare Facility staff should not allow entry unless they are sure that the person is:
  • A parent
  • An authorised collection person
  • A visitor (staff should be informed of any expected visitors and given the name and company of the person visiting)
  • Preschool Inspection Team
  • If in doubt, check with the Manager

Hallway Area

  • All staff must be constantly vigilant in this area and children must not be allowed in the corridor unaccompanied.

Play Room

  • Staff should ensure that their presence and position in the room allows that all areas of the room are under constant supervision and that all children are in the sight of at least one member of staff, at all times.
  • Staff should observe due care and attention when opening presses ensuring that children are not standing nearby.
  • Childcare safety latches should be used at all times on the presses and the doors as appropriate
  • The blinds on the windows should be used appropriately to ensure that the glare from the sunshine does not have an impact on the children

Outdoor Play Area

The staff child/ratios for outdoor play will be in compliant with the Pre-school regulations. A minimum of one staff member for every group will be present at any one time. Staff will be vigilant about supervising children outdoors. The garden time is play time for the children. The adult is there to supervise and lead garden games or play, and ensure that the children are in no danger to themselves or their peers. If you are sitting, ensure you have a good view of the whole garden. Garden time is an extension of indoor activities therefore sitting should be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • Staff should ensure that their presence and position in the outdoor play area allows that all areas of the outdoor area are under constant supervision and that all children are in the sight of at least one member of staff, at all times.
  • The outdoor play area must be checked by a member of staff for safety before any children use the outdoor play area (see outdoor play policy)
  • Staff must engage with the children during the outdoor play time. The curriculum should be used outdoors as well as in the children’s room.
  • Children should not be allowed interfere with the gate in outdoor area
  • Staff must ensure that the gate is closed over and properly secured at all times.

Outings

  • The staff/child ratios for outings should be confirmed with the Insurance company in the first instance, and in line with the Outings Policy
  • Staff should ensure that they follow the requirements of the Outings Policy and Procedure
  • Staff must ensure that they constantly supervise the children in their care.

HEALTHY EATING

Principles

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991) states:
“Children have the right to be as healthy as possible, live and play in a safe, healthy, unpolluted environment and benefit from preventive health care and education”. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, 22 Food and Drink) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 13: Food and Drink)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members promotes healthy nutritional choices for our children. We feel it is important at this young age to introduce and educate our children about good nutrition and the health benefits of eating well.

Policy and Procedures

  • It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members to supply all products to our children in the best quality and to the highest safety standards.
  • We are committed to our children’s safety and our children’s safety is the primary food safety goal of our organisation.
  • The management is committed to the principles of HACCP as outlined in our Food safety manual and shall commit all necessary resources in order to attain the above goals.
  • We will ensure our children’s safety by the constant application of our safety standards and by ensuring all produce is prepared in a safe and hygienic environment complying with all relevant legislation.

Implementation of the Food Safety Policy

  • Our Menu operates on a four-week menu plan which has been approved by the Environmental Health Officer.
  • All food is cooked and prepared on the premises under a strictly monitored HACCP programme recommended by the HSE.
  • Our menus are designed to provide a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Our plan shows a guide for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for five days of the week, over a three-week period.

At the end of week four the menu reverts to week one again and so on. This way we can be sure that each child receives the recommended number of serving from all food groups each day. We will also ensure that appropriate portion sizes are offered.

  • The menu for the week is written up each week and is displayed prominently for everyone to see.
  • In planning the menu, an effort is made to provide nutritious and well-balanced meals with a minimum of salt, sugar, frozen and fast foods.
  • Mealtimes are relaxed and happy occasions where children are encouraged but never forced to eat any part of their meal, nor is food withheld for any reason other than dietary limitations. Extra portions are generally available.
  • We wish to encourage a healthy lifestyle with emphasis on the enjoyable and social aspects of eating together.
  • Parents/guardians are asked to inform staff of any special dietary requirements. Every endeavour will be made to meet the needs of any special dietary requirement The Manager will update relevant forms and notify the kitchen. Please notify staff as soon as there are any changes.

Meals

  • Drinks and small snacks are available throughout the day.
    Well-balanced and nutritious meals are provided for the children. A variety of foods is selected from each of the four main food groups every day: –
    – Bread, cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes
    – Fruit and vegetables
    – Milk and dairy foods
    – Meat, fish and alternatives

A Menu planning sheet will be used weekly to plan meals

Menus are reviewed and changed on a regular basis to ensure a varied range of food choices for the children.

  • Fresh fruit is always available
    Processed meat products such as sausages, burgers, chicken nuggets and fish bites are kept to a minimum. If these are provided, healthier cooking methods are used, e.g. they are oven cooked or grilled. No food is fried.
  • Special therapeutic dietary needs are respected. Parents are requested to give staff a copy of the diet sheet provided by their dietician
  • Meal times are used as an opportunity to encourage good social habits.
    – Whenever possible children and adults eat together.
    – Good table manners will be encouraged
    – Children will also be engaged in conversation if they wish
    – Children that are slow eaters will be given time to eat and are not rushed
  • Parents will be advised on what their child eats each day
  • Children will be encouraged to sit down when eating and/or drinking
  • Mealtime should be engaged with in a positive way with the children. Staff must not use any negative association with food at any-time with the children.Infant Food Requirements
  • Young children being introduced to solids will have the daily menu adapted to their specific needs. Parents/guardians must indicate to nursery staff their own child’s requirements; for example: when they introduce a new food into their child’s diet.
  • Parents/guardians are asked to identify to staff any foods that they feel are inappropriate.
  • The preparation of bottles and formulas are to be provided by the parent/guardian each day. Instructions for heating your babies’ bottles should be given to a member of staff. Milk/juice and food will always be placed in the refrigerator in the baby room fridge. All children’s bottles/beakers etc. will be clearly labelled with their name.
  • All assistance will be provided to parents and children during early weaning stages, and when introducing new foods, if however, you do not wish your child to eat something from our menu please let us know. We do encourage children to try different foods, tastes and textures.

Snacks and Drinks

When snacks are given between meals they are healthy and nutritious and help provide children with the energy and nutrients they need.

Sweets and fizzy drinks are prohibited. Where possible snacks are sugar-free to avoid causing damage to teeth and “sugar rushes”. Fresh fruit is an ideal snack choice. Whole milk, (full fat unless requested otherwise by parents/guardians), and water is provided for children as a drink between meals. Parents are asked not to send Juices, Fizzy drinks or sweets for their child’s packed lunch.

Rewards and Special Occasions

Praise and attention are used to help develop children’s self -esteem and to act as a positive reward for good behaviour. Food, e.g. sweets, should not be used as reward. If other forms of reward are used, they support and do not conflict healthy eating principles. Celebration of birthdays and other special occasions, e.g. Easter, Chinese New Year etc., focus on the sense of occasion rather than simply the provision of rich, sugary food and drinks.

Parents may send in birthday cakes and nutritional snacks to celebrate their child’s birthday.

Activities

Healthy eating is promoted through an arrangement of activities for the children including play, stories, music, outings, cookery etc.

The Crann Support Group and its members participates in special campaigns and initiatives where appropriate.

The implementation of this Healthy Eating Policy will not only relate to the provision of healthy foods and drinks in the service, in order to promote the nutritional and general well- being of the children, but it will also address food related activities involving the children which should encourage and enable them to make healthy choices in the future.

Food Pyramid

The Crann Support Group and its members use the food pyramid as a fun and simple approach to healthy eating. The pyramid is divided into different sections or shelves, each representing a different food group. Children should eat more foods from the bottom 2 shelves and smaller amounts from the rest. This food pyramid is displayed on the parents/guardians notice board. A copy of the food pyramid may be found below.

Source: Food Pyramid – Food Safety Authority

Form

Registration

FOOD HYGIENE

Principle

Food Hygiene is governed by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, and the European Union Hygiene of Foodstuffs Regulations, 1998 and 2000 in the Preschool. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 22 Food and Drink, Part VI Safety) (Síolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 13: Food and Drink, National Standard 17: Premises)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will comply with the above legislation in the provision of food and food hygiene. The Crann Support Group and member organisations ensure that where food is consumed on the premises by a preschool child, the person carrying on the preschool service shall ensure that there are:

  • Adequate and suitable facilities for the storage, of food.
  • Adequate and suitable eating utensils, hand washing, wash-up and sterilising facilities are provided.
  • All waste and other refuse must be stored hygienically, and disposed of frequently and hygienically and in such a manner as not to cause a nuisance.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members will follow the food hygiene standards required under the Preschool Regulations throughout the service as ‘best practice’.

Policy and Procedure

Those responsible for preparation of food should fully comply with hygiene, storage and waste disposal regulations. The person cooking the food must have completed *HACCP training. A number of staff should have completed food handling training.

Food Hygiene

  • Tables used for food and drink should be cleaned before and after use and floors swept where necessary.
    Children will be encouraged to wash their hands after using the toilet and before and after meals.
    All surfaces coming into contact with food should be in good repair and easy to clean. Food areas will be free from contamination, dust, flies etc.
  • Adults drinking hot drinks will not be involved in play activities or take hot drinks into the children’s rooms. Hot drinks should not be taken where children are around.
  • All utensils will be kept clean and stored in a dust free place.
  • All kitchen equipment is cleaned once a week.
  • Cracked or chipped cups will not be used.
  • Bibs and place mats should be washed after each use.
  • Food is not placed directly onto table surfaces
  • Food preparation area will be in a separate room of the service.
  • Only food that is clean and undamaged is purchased
  • All labels are checked and ‘best’ before and ‘use by’ dates are followed
  • Any food or drink that requires heating should be served immediately and not left standing.
  • Dates will be checked on all perishable food. These foods and drinks will be kept refrigerated.
  • Food handlers should be aware of the need for personal hygiene, and of the action to be taken if they have an infectious illness.

Food Preparation

  • Separate chopping boards should be used for raw, meat fish and vegetables.
  • Fruit and vegetables should be washed well.

Kitchen

  • No children in the kitchen.
  • No items belonging to the children to be kept in the kitchen.
  • Matches and sharp instruments must be kept out of sight.
  • First Aid box kept in the kitchen/ice pack in the freezer.
  • Surfaces kept clean at all times.

Reheating

  • Reheating is done by means of a microwave.
  • All foods must be fully defrosted.
  • Foods will be covered with microwave cover when being reheated in the microwave.
  • Foods will only be reheated ONCE.
  • Unconsumed reheated foods will be discarded.
  • A minimum core temperature of 70° C must be reached when reheating foods and recorded in reheating chart. This is taken with a Digital Probe Thermometer.
  • Any reheated bottle which has not been consumed within 60 minutes will be discarded.

Fridge

  • Fridge will be cleaned once a week using washing up liquid and hot water and hot soapy water. This is recorded on kitchen cleaning sheet.
  • Temperature is taken every day of operation. (Less than 5°C) This temperature is recorded on Temperature Control Chart.
  • If the fridge temperature is found to be over 5°C, any dairy produce or meats will be disposed of.
  • All use by dates are checked every day and disposed of expired.

Mealtime Practises

  • Ensure that staff and children wash their hands before meals.
  • Use disposable gloves when serving the younger children food including snacks, older children are encouraged to serve their own food portions.
  • Children are encouraged to be independent at meal times, to set the table, serve their own food and scrape their plates. Babies should not be left sitting in highchairs for long periods.
  • Ensure that bibs are worn by the younger children or any child who needs it.
  • Never blow on or taste the children’s food.
  • Never give the children food that is too hot. Let it cool before serving it to them.
  • Help and encourage the children to eat their meals. Do not force or demand that a child eats their food. Use positive encouragement in a relaxed manner.
  • Ensure that mealtimes are enjoyable experiences for the children.
  • Teach the children table manners and etiquette. Show them how to use cutlery correctly.
  • Never let one child eat another child’s food to prevent allergies or cross contamination.
  • Clean up the eating area after each meal. Clean down the table etc. with a clean cloth, using the anti-bacterial spray.
  • All dishes and cutlery are sent to the kitchen. Cups/beakers which are kept in the classroom should be washed with washing up liquid and hot water and dried thoroughly.

Clean the children after each meal, hands/clothes etc. Clean each child’s face with individual pieces of wet cotton wool or baby wipes.

Infant Formula

IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED THAT CHILD DAY-CARE FACILITIES PREPARE POWDERED INFANT FORMULA FOR THE INFANTS IN THEIR CARE

The following steps should be followed when using powdered infant formula:
Step 1 Feeds should be prepared at home using the 70°C preparation method recommended for the safe feeding of PIF in domestic setting (below).
Step 2 Cooled feeds should be marked with the child’s name and stored in the body of a refrigerator below 5°C until they are completely cold but no longer than 24 hours.
Step 3 Immediately prior to leaving for the child day-care facility, the correct number of feeds should be taken from the refrigerator and placed in a clean cool-box or bag with a suitable number of ice blocks to maintain the feed at 5°C.
Step 4 On arrival at the child day-care facility the feeds should be transferred from the cool bag or cool-box to a dedicated refrigerator in the child-care facility maintained at 5°C or below. The fridge should be equipped with a fridge thermometer to enable the temperature to be checked and adjusted if necessary.

Step 5 To feed, child-care workers should remove one bottle just before it is needed. The bottle should be checked to ensure the name on the bottle corresponds to the infant. The feed should then be warmed to feeding temperature using a bottle warmer or by standing the feed in a container of warm water. Never leave a feed warming for more than 15 min. Ensure the feed is not too hot by shaking the bottle and placing a drop of liquid on the inside of the wrist – it should feel luke-warm.
Step 6 Discard any feed that has not been consumed within two hours of preparation. For slow feeding babies use a fresh feed after two hours.
Step 7 Unused feed should be discarded and the used bottles rinsed in warm tap water.
Step 8 All feeding bottles should be returned at the end of the day when the infant is collected.
Step 9 Used feeding bottles should be cleaned and sterilized at home.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland – Extract from Guidance Note 22 on Recommendations for the safe feeding of Powdered Infant Formula in Child Day-Care Settings

*HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point’. It is an internationally recognised and recommended system of food safety management. It focuses on identifying the ‘critical points’ in a process where food safety problems (or ‘hazards’) could arise and putting steps in place to prevent things going wrong. This is sometimes referred to as ‘controlling hazards’. Keeping records is also an important part of HACCP systems

Bottle Feeding Guide

  • Wash Hands.
  • Warm the bottle by standing it in a jug of warm water or use a bottle warmer.

Do not use a microwave to warm as this can cause ‘hot spots’ and burn a baby’s mouth.

  • Cool a bottle by standing it in a jug of cold water.
  • Change the baby’s nappy if necessary – following correct procedure.
  • Collect together everything you may need, tissues, bib etc.
  • Check the flow and temperature of the milk by testing it on your wrist.
  • Sit comfortably in a chair- you may need to support a small baby on a cushion. (If you find you are getting back or shoulder ache adjust your position and relax your shoulders).
  • Gently touch the baby’s lips with the bottle teat, and place it in the open mouth. (Never force a baby to open their mouth).
  • Angle the bottle so the milk fills the teat.
  • Allow a baby to feed at their own pace.
  • A baby will often need frequent breaks for winding, an older baby will probably only need one break. Hold the baby on your shoulder or support in a sitting position with your hand under the chin and gently rub the back. Babies often are a little sick so putting a cloth on your shoulder or hand is a good precaution.
  • Throw away unfinished milk.
  • Change nappy again as necessary.

    Food Allergens

    Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (S.I.No. 489 of 2014) stipulates that food allergen information for non-pre-packed food must, as a minimum, be provided in written format, but can also be provided verbally at any time.
    The allergens in any meals, snacks and any food consumed in activities such as baking must be listed and parents made aware of before the food is consumed. There is no requirement under this regulation to list foodstuffs used in creative play such as corn flour for ‘gloop’, wheat flour for playdough etc. as this is not intended for consumption (even if the child may eat it!). Each meal or snack must indicate if any of the 14 (required) allergens are present. The information provided must include the word “contains “followed by the specific allergens, e.g. contains wheat, barley, soya and egg. Precautionary declarations such as “may contain…” or “prepared in a kitchen/premises that uses…” are voluntary declarations and do not satisfy the allergen information requirements set out in S.I. No. 489 of 2014 for non-pre-packed foods.

Childcare facilities are required to provide written food allergen information. However, young children are not in a position to understand or appreciate written food allergen information and therefore, it is necessary that this information is provided to the parent or guardian, particularly when new or altered menu items are made available.

Weekly/daily menu plans should contain the allergen information and they must be displayed and parents made aware.

If parents send in birthday cakes, it is preferable that these are shop bought as the packaging will contain allergen information that can be provided to parents. However, if parents send in a home-made cake it is the responsibility for the Childcare provider to obtain the allergen information from the parent so that this can be displayed.

Allergens that must be listed (or products of): Gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame Seeds, Sulphur Dioxide and Sulphites, Lupin, Molluscs

Providers should ask parents to send in a list of ingredients for home-made cakes as under legislation childcare providers are required to advise parents of allergens contained in food stuffs including home-made cakes or any other home-made foods that are sent in for parties etc.

Substances or products causing allergies or intolerances as listed in Annex II of Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 (S.I. No. 489 of 2014)

Ingredients that must be declared as allergens

 

ALLERGEN CONTAINED IN (this list is not exhaustive and is meant to be a guide)
Cereals containing gluten Flour and products made with
wheat (such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats or their hybridised strains, and products thereof,
except: (a) wheat based glucose syrups including dextrose (b) wheat based maltodextrins (c) glucose syrups based on barley (d) cereals used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
Crustaceans and products thereof lobsters, crabs, shrimp, prawns etc.
Eggs and products thereof Mayonnaise, cakes, biscuits
Fish and products thereof Fish cakes, fish fingers except: a) fish gelatine used as carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations (b) fish gelatine or Isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine
Peanuts and products thereof Peanut butter, Arachis oil
Arachis, some cakes, biscuits and chocolate
Soybeans and products thereof Soy sauce, Tofu, soya milk, meat substitute products
except: (a) fully refined soybean oil and fat (b) natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, and natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate from soybean sources (c) vegetable oils derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean sources (d) plant stanol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soybean sources
Milk and products thereof (including lactose), Yogurt, cheese, fromage frais
except:
a) whey used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin (b) lactitol
Nuts Cakes, biscuits
almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch), Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia or Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia), and products thereof,
except for nuts used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
Celery and products thereof soups, stews, stocks,
bouillons and seasonings.
Mustard and products thereof Mayonnaise, soups, stews, stocks,
bouillons and seasonings.
Sesame seeds and products thereof cakes, biscuits
Sulphur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre in terms of the total SO2 which are to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or as reconstituted according to the instructions of the manufacturers. Bakery goods, soups, jams, canned veg, pickled foods, vinegar, gravies, dried fruit, potato crisps, vegetable juices, sparkling grape juice, beer, wine cider, bottled lemon/lime juice, tea, many sauces (tomato ketchup etc) molasses, fresh and frozen prawns, guacamole, maraschino cherries, dehydrated, pre-cut or peeled potatoes.
Lupin and products thereof A legume belonging to the same plant family as peanuts used in gluten-free products
Molluscs and products thereof Shell fish e.g. clams, scallops, oysters, octopus, squid

For more information www.fsai.ie

HAND WASHING

Principle

Hand washing is the most important way to reduce the spread of infection.
(Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures, Food and Drink. (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 18: Facilities)

Effective Hand Washing

All employees, volunteers, and children in the service must follow the procedure for hand washing at the following times:

1. Upon arrival for the day or when moving from one childcare group to another

2. Before and after:

  • Eating
  • Handling food
  • Feeding a child
  • Giving medication
  • Playing in water that is used by more than one person

3. After:

  • Nappy Changing
  • Using the toilet or helping a child use the toilet
  • Handling bodily fluid (mucus, blood, vomit), from sneezing, wiping and blowing noses, from mouths, or from sores
  • Handling uncooked food, especially raw meat and poultry
  • Handling pets and other animals
  • Playing in sandboxes
  • Playing outside
  • Cleaning or handling the rubbish
  • Lunch and tea breaks

N.B. – Washing hands after eating is especially important for children who eat with their hands, to decrease the amount of saliva (which may contain organisms) on their hands

Hand washing is the most important way to reduce the spread of infection.

Many studies have shown that unwashed or improperly washed hands are the primary carriers of infections. It must be noted that wearing gloves is NOT protection against bacteria or the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu).

Children and employees should wash their hands using the following method:

  • Check to be sure a clean, disposable paper towels available.
  • Turn on warm water, to a comfortable temperature (in line with pre-school regulations).
  • Moisten hands with water and apply liquid soap/gel to hands.
  • Rub hands together vigorously until a soapy lather appears, and continue for at least 15 seconds (to the tune of Row Your Boat) wash, wash, wash your hands that’s the thing to do- rub a dub rub a dub thumbs and fingers too) Rub areas between fingers, around nail beds, under fingernails, jewelry, and back of hands.
  • Rinse hands under running water, no less than 15 degrees C and no more than 43 degrees C, until they are free of soap and dirt. Leave the water running while drying hands.
  • Dry hands with the clean, disposable paper towel.
  • If taps do not shut off automatically, turn taps off with a disposable paper towel.
  • Throw the disposable paper towel into a lined bin with a secure lid.
  • Hand washing signs will be displayed.

Childcare workers should provide assistance with hand washing at a sink for infants who can be safely cradled in one arm and for children who can stand but not wash their hands independently.

A child who can stand should either use a child-size sink or stand on a safety step at a height at which the child’s hands can hang freely under the running water.

After assisting the child with hand washing, the employee should wash his or her own hands.

TOILETING POLICY

The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare, safety, health and hygiene of all children. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures, Part IV, Records) (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 18: Facilities)

Toilet training is an important step in a child’s development. Toilet training takes time, understanding, and patience. It is common to feel a little nervous or anxious about starting toilet training. The more at ease we are in the process, the more comfortable the child will feel and the easier the process will become. Each child is an individual and develops at his or her own rate. There is no set age at which toilet training should begin. The right time depends on the physical and emotional readiness of the child. The Crann Support Group and its members have the following procedures in place for use at the various stages of a child’s toilet training

Potty Training

  • Staff will work in partnership with parents to devise a routine for the training process, this should be agreed for both the home and the centre
  • Parents are asked to supply ‘wet wipes’ for the duration of training
  • Staff will assess each child’s individual needs depending on age
  • Staff will continue to wipe the child’s bottom for some time (approx. 6 months) after starting the training, after this the staff will continue to assist and encourage the child when required.
  • Children are encouraged to be as independent as possible in order to use the toilet efficiently
  • Children are taught to flush the toilet and wash their hands after going to the toilet
  • Potties are sterilized before and after each use to prevent infection. Toilet seats are cleaned each morning/evening and during the day as necessary
  • The child uses the potty in the cubicle to respect their privacy

Toilet Policy for older children:

  • Children who are toilet training and have accidents will be treated respectfully
  • Children will be encouraged to use the facility on their own and only assisted when they request or get into difficulty
  • Children will be encouraged to flush the toilet and wash their hands after going to the toilet
  • Children’s privacy will be respected at all times

When children are playing outside in the yard, the following procedures apply:

  • The child will be accompanied to the toilet
  • The staff member will stand outside the door and wait for the child to come out
  • The child will be accompanied back to the yard
  • Children are not allowed enter the building unaccompanied

Nappy Changing Policy

It is the Policy of the Crann Support Group and its members to provide a safe and clean environment to facilitate nappy changing. We have a strict nappy changing schedule which is documented for each child. However, Nappies are changed as and when needed regularly throughout the day. Whatever cleaning items provided by the parent (cotton wool and water, wipes creams and talc’s) is used when cleaning a baby during nappy changing. It is important that staff follow the nappy changing procedures correctly and that a high standard of hygiene is evident at all times. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 10, Policies & Procedures, (2) Part IV, Records) (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 18: Facilities)

Nappy Changing:

The service will ensure that:

  • Only staff trained in company policy are permitted to change nappies
  • Children’s nappies and other items are stored in individual compartments and labelled accordingly
  • Disposable gloves must be worn at all times
  • All staff members must wash their hands before and after each change
  • Staff must administer talc’s, creams etc. as requested by parents
  • Any irregularities must be reported to the Manager
  • Soiled nappies to be placed in appropriate bins as provided and emptied at the end of each day
  • Children are never left unattended when having their nappy changed
  • If required another staff member is always available to provide assistance
  • To ensure that nappy changing is a positive experience and staff should use this time to interact with the child while providing one to one attention
  • Staff must return the child to the room or use the Highchair provided before they start cleaning
  • Changing mat must be wiped down with disinfectant after every use
  • A cleaning schedule is in place to ensure the nappy changing area is clean and hygienic at all times

SAFETY and SECURITY

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that it takes all reasonable procedures in relation to the security of the service, employees working in the service and children in attendance. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, 6 First Aid, 9, Part VI, 27 Safety) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 17: Premises, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

The security practices are applicable to all staff working in the Crann Support Group and its members.

Policy and Procedure

  • It is crucial in the provision of a childcare service to provide a service that is safe for the children and the staff

A service is most likely to be safe when:

  • Every reasonable precaution is taken in terms of the provision of the premises and equipment.
  • Every reasonable precaution is taken in terms of the upkeep of premises and equipment.
  • There is an adequate ratio of staff to children.
  • All staff are aware of the Department of Health and Children – Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the Child Protection Policy of the service.
  • The entrances and exits are clearly marked and kept clear of furniture and equipment.
  • Any person gaining admission to the building either to collect children or on any other business have limited access and are monitored.
  • There is a clear policy on procedures to be undertaken in the event of an accident / fire in the service and this is known to staff and children.
  • An effective fire drill routine is established and practised on a regular basis.
  • At least one member of staff trained in First Aid procedures is on duty at all times.
  • A suitably equipped first-aid box is on the premises.
  • The materials contained in bedding and the internal furnishing of the premises have adequate fire retardant properties and have low levels of toxicity when on fire.
  • All heat emitting surfaces are protected by a fixed guard or are thermostatically controlled to ensure safe surface temperatures.
  • The hot water provided for use by preschool children is thermostatically controlled to ensure a safe temperature. It should not exceed 43˚.
  • Adequate arrangements are in place to summon medical assistance promptly in an emergency.
  • Records up to date on staff and children
  • Parents are requested not to admit anyone else into the service whilst entering or leaving unless they know them.
  • We ask all parents and staff to check that all doors are securely closed behind them, at all times.
  • Staff will know what children are present at all times and they will be adequately supervised in accordance with the recommended ratios.
  • Safety checks are done regularly to ensure that no child can leave the premises undetected.
  • We ask that all potential collectors be introduced to the staff and manager in advance
  • If a child is being collected by anyone other than the parents or usual designated person, the staff must be informed, the parent will be asked to sign a daily record book and give a brief description of the person.
  • Please inform the person collecting your child that they will be required to provide identification, to confirm who they are. This is to ensure our children’s safety.
  • In the event of a parent collecting other fellow child prior arrangements must be made. The parent will be asked for the password.
  • Regular exchange of information with parents is important, parents must inform the service of change of personal details (e.g.) new house, job, and phone number.
  • All TV’s, DVD players, cameras, computers and laptops are stored securely when not in use and marked with a security pen.
  • The main entrance door is locked and can only be opened by a member of staff after they have identified who the visitor is.
  • Visitors are required to sign in and out.
  • Staff have access to a telephone on the premises. Emergency numbers are displayed beside the phone.
  • Parents emergency numbers are easily accessible to staff.FormsRegistration FormStaff Information

FIRE SAFETY

Principle

The following legislation governs fire safety. The Fire Services Act, 1981, the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016 – Section 26, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (Child Care Act 1991 ( Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, 26 Fire Safety Measures, Part VII Premises and Space Requirements) (Part IV, 16 Fire Safety Measures, Part V Premises and Facilities) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 17: Premises, National Standard 18: Facilities, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that they comply with all the relevant legislation. We will also ensure we follow the ‘Guide to Fire Safety in the Premises used for Preschool Services’ from the Department of the Environment. This is to ensure the safety, health and welfare of the children, staff and parents/guardians who are in the service.

Policy and Procedures

The Crann Support Group will ensure that:

  • Fire drills will be carried out twice monthly. A record will be kept
  • Fire extinguishers and blankets will be stored appropriately, ready for use and in good working order.
  • All fire- fighting equipment will be serviced annually and a record maintained of the service dates.
  • Staff will be trained on how to use fire- fighting equipment. A record of this training will be recorded.
  • Smoke detectors will be placed at strategic points in the building and ‘hard wired’.
  • The smoke detectors will be checked regularly to ensure they are working. A record will be maintained of the dates on which the detectors are checked.
  • Materials contained in bedding and internal furnishings within the service will be of EU standard (i.e. kite symbol or CE compliant) in relation to fire retardant properties and will be non- toxic.
  • Heat emitting surfaces will be protected by a fixed guard and/or thermostatically controlled to ensure safe temperatures.
  • A system for giving warnings in the event of fire must be provided.
  • Escape Route and exit doors should be maintained free from obstruction so that they can be safely and effectively used at all times
  • All flammable materials (oils, polish etc.) are safely stored outside of the children’s areas. Waste is promptly disposed of and, in general, precautions are taken to ensure the prevention of occurrences likely to constitute a fire hazard.
  • Daily attendance records are keptFire Drill PolicyThe Crann Support Group and its members has a fire drill evacuation procedure posted on the wall. All staff members should be familiar with their responsibilities with regards to fire drills and the procedures in case of the fire alarm going off. The fire alarm procedure must be shown to all students, substitutes and relief employees commencing work in the service.Have a lesson with the children about fire and why fire drills must be practiced. Do mock fire drills with the children.Fire drills will be practiced on a regular basis; twice a month to facilitate the pre-school and afterschool children. All persons on the premises at the time are expected to participate.All children and staff members must be signed in and out accordingly onto the attendance record. This record will be used for fire drills.The main thing to remember is to stay calm and not to panic. The children should be filed out and brought to the fire assembly point where roll call will take place.A record of the fire drill should be kept on file in the office – how long it took, equipment needed, how you dealt with it, how the children dealt with it etc. If a child in your group was upset this should be noted in his/her individual file.Fire Drill ProceduresIf you discover a fire or one is reported to you:
  • Raise Alarm: The alarm automatically goes off and all ‘Magnalocks’ are rendered unlocked.
  • On sounding or hearing the alarm, stop whatever you are doing and leave the building with the children by your designated fire exit route. Using the following routine:

Mobile Children

  • When the fire alarm sounds the children are asked in a calm manner to form a line without delay
  • No coats are put on or bags taken
  • All windows and doors should be closed to minimise the danger of the fire spreading
  • Lead by one of the staff, mobile children are lead from the building the shortest route to the fire assembly point
  • The childcare staff take the role book, check the premises, the cloakrooms and then leaves to the assembly point.
  • Once outside encourage children to hold hands and wait, it may be necessary to take some children by the hand and hold on to them outside.

Immobile Children

  • Designated person ensure that doors are open for evacuation.
  • A fire safety cot should be available to transport children to the assembly point.
  • All available staff to proceed to toddler/baby room and help to ensure all immobile children, are brought to the assembly point in an orderly fashion.
  • Be aware of how many immobile children there are and ensure a head count is done prior to leaving and a role call is taking at the assembly point.
  • Check and recheck to ensure all children are accounted for.
  • The fire officer checks the premises, toilet, changing room and leaves last
  • Once outside, staff should call the children’s role immediately,
  • The Fire Officer can ring 999/112
  • Do not re-enter the building until management of the fire brigade – fire safety officer informs you it is safe to do so.
  • A roll call will be carried out by management at the assembly point to ensure all staff persons are accounted for.

General

Employees should follow procedures for operating the fire alarm as outlined in the Health and Safety Statement. All employees should be aware of:

  • All escape routes from the premises.
  • Method of operation of fire doors.
  • The importance of keeping fire doors closed.
  • How to isolate power supplies where appropriate.
  • The importance of general fire precautions and good housekeeping.

When Dealing with a Fire

  • Employees should be aware of the location of the fire-fighting equipment on the premises and the method of operation of this equipment prior to use in an emergency.
  • If a person’s clothing is on fire, wrap the fire blanket, rug or similar article closely around them and lay them on the ground to prevent flames reaching the head.
  • If electrical appliances are involved, switch off the power before dealing with the fire.
  • Shut the doors and, if possible, the windows of the room in which the fire is discovered ensuring the main routes of escape are maintained at all times.
  • Call the Fire Brigade – The designated person(s) should call 999 and give precise instructions as to the address, including the name of the nearest main road and/or other landmarks
  • Evacuation – Commence an orderly evacuation of the building. The Manager will check that all the rooms are unoccupied including sleep rooms and bathrooms. Close the doors and windows as each check is completed. The Manager will take the daily attendance sheets and a list of Parents Telephone Numbers to the Assembly Point
  • Assembly – Assemble Children and staff at a safe pre-arranged point. A roll call or head count should be carried out, based on the daily attendance sheets held by the Manager. The group should then proceed to a nearby safe house, from which the parents can be contacted.
  • Staff Report – A member of staff should be on hand when the Fire Brigade arrives to provide any information they require
  • Attack Fire – You can try to extinguish the fire but only if it is safe to do so, using proper equipment. Otherwise, wait until trained personnel arrive.

The above procedure should be practiced as a Fire Drill at regular intervals to familiarize the children with the procedure without frightening them.

The Designated Fire Safety Persons are on display in all rooms and common areas.

Forms

Fire Drill Record

Staff Training Record

FIRST AID

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that the Service is compliant with the relevant legislation, the Safety; Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, 6 First Aid, Part III Policies & Procedures.) (Siolta Standard 9: health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 11: Professional Practice, Siolta Standard: 12 Communication) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 20: Safety)Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group Management will ensure that it meets the requirements set out in the legislation regarding the number of qualified first aiders in the service.

Policy and Procedure

We will ensure that:

• At least one adult, qualified in giving First Aid, should always be present on site. This qualification should be current.
• All members of staff are familiar with simple First Aid procedures, such as mouth to mouth resuscitation, and for staff training to be given on this subject.
• First Aid boxes and a First Aid Policy should be provided and sited in designated areas.
• They should be stored in places which are easily available to all adults, but beyond the reach of children. Contents of the boxes should be checked regularly and replaced as necessary.
• The Crann Support Group and its members should have first aid boxes for adults and children. The recommended contents of a first aid box for children as outlined in the Preschool Regulations, 2006 is outlined below.
• The First Aid box must not contain any substance, which may cause allergies. However, an accessory box containing sticking plaster and antiseptic lotion for children you know are definitely not allergic to these substances may be kept. In addition, cotton wool for cleaning wounds and multi-purpose bowl are recommended.

The Childcare (Preschool Services) (No 2) (Amendment) Regulations, 2006 state the following criteria are recommended for children’s first aid box

Materials
1-5 children 6-25 children 25-50 children
Hypoallergenic plasters 12 20 20
Sterile eye pads
(bandage attached)
2 2 6
Individually wrapped
triangular bandages
2 6 6
Small individually wrapped
sterile un medicated wound dressings
1 2 4
Medium individually wrapped, non-stick, sterile,
un medicated wound dressings
1 2 6
Individually wrapped
antiseptic wipes
8 8 10
Paramedic shears 1 1 1
Latex gloves – non-powdered latex or Nitril gloves (latex-free) 1 box 1 box 1 box
Additionally, where there is no running water, sterile eye wash 1 2 2

In addition to a First Aid Box you may have a fever scan thermometer and a tough cut scissors.
Where mains tap water is not readily available for eye irrigation, sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed disposable containers should be provided. Each container should hold at least 30ml and should not be re-used once the seal is broken. At least 90ml should be available.

Eye bath/eye cup/refillable containers should not be used for eye irrigation.

First Aid Officer Duties

  • The Named First Aid Officer is on display in all rooms and common areas.
  • An Accident and Incident report must be filled by all staff who administer First Aid. All reports to be signed by the Manager and the parent/guardian.
  • The First Aid Officer will supervise children who are under observation, as a result of accidents/sickness while on the premises.
  • The First Aid Officer will ensure staff have an up to date list of contact numbers for parents, doctors and hospitals in an easy accessible place.
  • The First Aid Officer will be responsible for re-stocking the First Aid kit at regular intervals, at least once a month.
  • Report faulty electrical equipment immediately.
  • Daily attendance records are kept.
  • All flammable materials are safely stored outside of children’s areas.

Carrying out First Aid in the service

  • Antiseptic creams or wipes are never applied. To prevent an infection occurring, a band aid may be applied. Where this is the case please ensure that the band aid is the correct size. Please note that some children are allergic to band aids/plasters. This will be noted on their General Information Form.
  • Disposable gloves must be worn when dealing with open wounds, vomit or blood. Always wash hands thoroughly after administering first aid.
  • Tissue/cotton wool and water is used for all injuries. Never, ever, use soap on wound.
  • Cold compresses are used for minor bumps, kicks, pinches, falls, scratches, where slight swelling and/or bruising may occur.
  • Cold compresses are used for major bumps, bites, pinches, falls where swelling and bruising will occur. An ice pack can be found in the freezer compartment of the fridge in the kitchen. Ice packs should be replaced as you use them and when necessary.

First aid should be performed where possible away from other children. Ensure that the children you are leaving are left supervised. If this is not possible then administer first aid on the spot.

All staff members, students, substitutes and auxiliary staff members exempt, should have a valid first aid certificate and should update this when necessary.

First aid boxes are located in all rooms and common areas.

A list of what should be in the box is printed on the inside of the lid. All items removed from the box must be replaced immediately after use.

Incidents and accidents will occur. By endeavouring to keep them at a minimum we can reduce the amount that occurs. Have a watchful eye. Know what the children in your care are doing at all times. Watch out especially for new children in your group as they are the most vulnerable.

Choking and Strangulation

Food, hard sweets, peanuts and marbles are the most common cause of choking. Blind cords, curtain cords or clothing (e.g. ribbons and belts) are a serious strangulation risk to children

Dealing with Infant Choking (under 1 year)

1. Turn the infant face down with their head lower than their body. Support their head, jaw and neck.
2. Give 5 back blows using the heel of your hand between the infant’s shoulders
3. Turn the infant onto its back while still supporting their Head and neck.
4. Give 5 chest thrusts by placing two fingers over the lower half of the infant’s breast bone, below the imaginary line between the nipples.
Keep doing 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts until the object
pops out and the infant begins to breathe again.
5. If the infant becomes unresponsive, call for help and send someone to dial 999 or 112. Stay on the phone and listen carefully to the advice.

  • You must begin CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • If during CPR you can see the object, remove it with your fingers but do not place your fingers in the infant’s mouth if you cannot see the object

Dealing with a Child Choking (over 1 year)

1. Ask the child: Are you choking? Can you breathe?
2. If the child cannot, breathe, talk or cough, stand or kneel behind the child. Start the Heimlich Manoeuvre by placing the flat thumb side of your fist between the child’s navel and the breast bone. Be sure to keep well off the breast bone. Wrap your other hand
around your fist and press upwards towards their stomach.
3. Keep doing this until the object pops out and the child starts to breathe again.
4. If the child becomes unresponsive, gently lower them to the floor. Call for help and send someone to dial 999 or 112. Stay on the phone and listen carefully to the advice.

  • You must begin CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • If during CPR you can see the object, remove it with your fingers but do not place your fingers in the child’s mouth if you cannot see the object

Forms

Accident/Incident

Staff Training Record

TOXIC MATERIALS POLICY

It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members to be committed to the promotion of a safe environment by ensuring the safe handling of toxic materials for adults and children. All cleaning chemicals, unsafe, toxic or dangerous or hazardous materials and substances are stores safely. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, 6 First Aid, Part III Policies & Procedures.) (Siolta Standard 9: health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 11: Professional Practice, Siolta Standard: 12 Communication) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 20: Safety)

The service of the Crann Support Group will:

  1. State the different areas of storage within the service ensure all chemicals are away from the food area
  2. Store facilities for chemicals are in accordance with the manufacturer’ instructions, an identified, cool, dry and well ventilated place
  3. Ensure all chemicals are properly labelled and stored in their original, correctly labelled containers
  4. Ensure Chemicals are used as directed by manufacturers.
  5. State procedure for dilution storage and labelling for diluted sprays for daily use
  6. Store chemicals in a place that is locked and inaccessible to children
  7. At induction and team meetings (state any other way which you communicate these safety risks to staff) staff will be given instructions on the safe use of chemical cleaners and first aid measures required in the case of accidental ingestion, inhalation or contact with skin or eyes
  8. Ensure the immediate kitchen/utility is TOTALLY inaccessible and is locked at all times. The only other access is by staff entrance which requires a security code.

 

ILLNESS and EXCLUSIONS

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members has been entrusted by parents to care for their children. Our service aims to provide as healthy an environment as possible for children and Staff. We will endeavour to minimise your child’s exposure to infection by excluding sick children/adults. We will encourage parent’s uptake of vaccinations. We will inform parents and the Health Service Executive where necessary of any infections in our service. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part VI, First Aid, Part IV, Records) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 17: Premises, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

It is the policy of the Crann Support Group and its members that our children’s welfare is the first and most important consideration. In the event of sudden illness; we will contact our parents immediately about our concerns regarding their child’s health and well-being.

Policy and Procedure

  • Parents will be informed of our concerns and procedures we are taking.
  • If a parent cannot be reached the next name on the emergency list will be contacted.
  • The child’s temperature will be monitored and recorded. Please note staff will not administer a dosage of Calpol/Nurofen that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless prescribed or accompanied by a doctor’s letter.
  • If the manager feels that a child needs medical attention, the parents will be notified and with their permission, we will contact the doctor on call. Parents will be responsible for the doctor’s fees.
  • If a child requires “one to one” attention and we cannot facilitate this at the time, parents will be asked to collect their child
  • We request that parents inform the staff if their child is unable to attend due to illness, stating details.
  • We advise that sick children must be kept at home (see exclusions list).
  • Children attending the service suffering from any contagious infections must have a doctor’s clearance certificate before returning to the Crèche.
  • In the event of an outbreak of any infectious disease, all parents will be verbally informed. A dated notice informing all parents of any infectious disease outbreak will be displayed on the notice board.
  • We advise all persons who enter the childcare facility to inform the manager if they have come in contact with an infectious or contagious disease.
  • The HSE recommends that all children in pre-school receive the appropriate vaccinations. This acts as a safeguard for your child as well as protecting other children in the childcare facility.
  • Infectious Disease Control
  • Children/adults with infectious diseases should not attend the service.
  • Employees suffering from a contagious illness should not work with children, i.e. gastro-enteritis, etc. and must inform the Management immediately.
  • All children must provide up to date record of immunisations (see immunisation programme).
  • Should there be an outbreak of any infectious disease or incident, a dated notice clearly stating the situation must be posted on the Parents Notice Board. Parents should also be informed verbally and in writing. This notice should be updated when relevant.
  • Any children of staff who are ill should not accompany their parents to work in the service.
  • Head lice are a contagious condition and if a case is noticed it should be brought to the attention of Parents immediately in order to supply sufficient time for the parent to source the appropriate treatment. A child is not permitted to attend the service until the condition has been successfully treated.
  • Observation of children following immunisation is essential, parents should inform staff of immunisation. It is good practice to encourage two-way communication on all health issues.
  • Staff in the service will be immunised against infectious diseases.

 

Head Lice Policy

Head lice can be a common problem in pre-school children. Head lice crawl and require head to head contact for transmission. It is our policy to be proactive and manage the treatment. Parents have a responsibility to adhere to all our recommendations, working together to address this common health concern.

  • Parents have the primary responsibility for the detection and treatment of head lice.
  • Parents must check their child’s head regularly, even if they don’t suspect their child has head lice.
  • All cases must be reported to the Manager. Parents must state when appropriate treatment was commenced.
  • Parents will be informed and advised on the correct procedures to take.
  • Notification will be displayed in the parents notice and information given if required.
  • Confidentiality will be adhered to in every case reported.
  • Children will not be accepted into the service with untreated head lice.
  • We suggest children with long hair should have it tied back.
  • There are a variety of effective preparations, shampoos and lotions available. It is vital that parents follow instructions accurately.

It is important to remember that anyone can get head lice, however infestation is more likely among small children due to nature of how they play. Head lice do not reflect standards of hygiene either in the home or school environment

Meningitis and Meningococcal

Both these diseases are most common in children, there are over 150 cases reported per year in this age group in Ireland (Meningitis Trust). Although relatively rare, the speed at which children become ill, and the dramatic and sometimes devastating course of events make it a terrifying disease. Having a good knowledge and understanding of meningitis and being able to recognise the signs and symptoms early as well as getting medical attention quickly, may save lives. Although cases can occur throughout the year, the majority of cases occur during the winter months.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

The most common germs associated with meningitis are viruses and bacteria.

Viral Meningitis is rarely life threatening, although it can make people very unwell. Most people make a full recovery, but sufferers can be left with after effects such as headaches, tiredness and memory loss.

Bacterial Meningitis can be life threatening and needs urgent medical attention. Most people who suffer from bacterial meningitis recover but many can be left with a variety of after effects and one in ten will die.

Signs and Symptoms

Meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) are not always easy to recognise, and symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all. In the early stages, the signs and symptoms can be similar to many other more common illnesses, for example flu. Trust your instincts. If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately. Early symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), and muscle pain, with cold hands and feet. A rash that does not fade under pressure (see ‘The Glass (tumbler) Test’ below) is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. This rash may begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.

The spots or rash are caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. They are more difficult to see on darker skin, so look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids. The spots or rash may fade at first, so keep checking. However, if someone is ill or is obviously getting worse, do not wait for spots or a rash to appear. They may appear late or may not appear at all

 

 

Spots or a rash will still be seen when the side of a clear drinking glass is pressed firmly against the skin. A fever, together with spots or a rash that do not fade under pressure, is a medical emergency. Trust your instincts. If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.

Procedure for Managing a Suspected Case of Meningitis

  • If a member of staff suspects that a child is displaying the signs and symptoms of meningitis the child’s doctor or our doctor on call will be contacted immediately and the child’s parents called.
  • If a GP is not available, the child will be taken straight to the nearest A and E department. A member of staff will escort the child to hospital if the parent is unavailable.

Procedure when a case of Meningococcal Disease (Meningitis and /or Septicaemia) Occurs within an Early Years’ Service

  • The public health team will usually issue a letter to other parents to inform them of the situation. The aim of this letter is to give information about, reduce anxiety and prevent uninformed rumours.
  • Meningitis literature (out-lining signs and symptoms) will be provided for parents by the public health team. The Meningitis Trust can provide further information and support free of charge.
  • Antibiotics will be offered to persons considered to be ‘close contacts’. These are usually immediate family members or ‘household’ contacts. Antibiotics are given to kill off the bacteria that may be carried in the back of the nose and throat: this reduces the risk of passing the bacteria on to others. In certain situations, a vaccine may also be offered. These actions are coordinated by the public health team.
  • There is no reason to close the Childcare Service.
  • There is no need to disinfect or destroy any equipment or toys that the child has touched.

The likelihood of a second case of meningococcal disease is extremely small. However, it two or more suspected cases occur within four weeks in the same childcare facility, then antibiotics may be offered to all children and staff, on the advice from the public health doctor. During this time staff and parent s should remain vigilant. Parents are advised to contact their GP if they are concerned or worried that their child is unwell.

For more information, www.meningitis-trust.ie or 24-hour helpline 1800 523196

Hand, Foot and Mouth

Hand, Foot and Mouth (HFMD) is a viral illness that causes fever, painful blisters in the throat and mouth, and sometimes on the hands, feet and bottom. HFMD is often confused with foot-and-mouth (also called hoof-and-mouth) disease, a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine; however, the two diseases are not related—they are caused by different viruses. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.

The viruses that cause it is called Coxsackie viruses that live in the human digestive tract. Several types of this family of viruses can cause Hand, Foot and Mouth so unfortunately you can get it more than once. These viruses are usually passed from person to person through unwashed hands and via surfaces which have viruses on them. They can also be spread by coughing. It is more common to catch them from someone when they are in the early stages of their illness. Although anyone is at risk of becoming infected, children are generally more susceptible. HFMD is more common in summer and autumn and there is no immunisation.

Symptoms

  • The disease usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise (feeling vaguely unwell), and often with a sore throat.
  • One or 2 days after fever onset, painful sores usually develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. The sores are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks.
  • A non-itchy skin rash develops over 1–2 days. The rash has flat or raised red spots, sometimes with blisters. The rash is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; it may also appear on the buttocks and/or genitalia.
  • A person with HFMD may have only the rash or only the mouth sores.

How Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Is Spread

  • Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with infectious virus. Infectious virus is found in the nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid, and stool of infected persons. The virus is most often spread by persons with unwashed, virus-contaminated hands and by contact with virus-contaminated surfaces.
  • Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness.
  • The viruses that cause HFMD can remain in the body for weeks after a patient’s symptoms have gone away. This means that the infected person can still pass the infection to other people even though he/she appears well. Also, some persons who are infected and excreting the virus, including most adults, may have no symptoms.
  • HFMD is not transmitted to or from pets or other animals.

Treatment of HFMD

There is no specific treatment and antibiotics are not effective as it is a viral infection. Most children with HFMD recover completely after a few days resting at home. Plenty of fluids help. Any fever or discomfort can be helped with a children’s pain relief such as Calpol.

Prevention of HFMD

A specific preventive for HFMD is not available, but the risk of infection can be lowered by following good hygiene practices.

  • Hand washing is the mainstay of prevention of transmission and control of outbreaks. Children and carers should wash their hands before eating or preparing food, after using the toilet or especially after changing nappies, after contact with an ill child, after contact with animals and whenever hands are visibly soiled. (see Hand Washing and Infection control policies)
  • Cleaning dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys, first with soap and water and then disinfecting them by cleansing with a solution of chlorine bleach (made by adding 1 part of bleach to 4 parts water)
  • Avoiding close contact (kissing, hugging, sharing eating utensils or cups, etc.) with persons with HFMD
  • Children should be kept away from the service whilst unwell. If evidence exists of transmission within the service, exclusion of children until the spots have gone from their hands may be necessary.

Note HFMD is communicable immediately before and during the acute stage of the illness, and perhaps longer as the virus may be present in the faeces for weeks.

The incubation period is 3 to 6 days and the condition may last from 7 to 10 days.

Exclusion:

The prevention of a person from attending the child care centre. A child should be excluded if he/she is not well enough to participate in activities as usual and/or has any symptoms requiring exclusion from the child care centre. Sick children must be isolated in a separate room or space until they can be picked up by their parents.

Illness and Infectious Disease Policy

Condition Exclusion of care
Chicken pox Until the scabs are dry, this is usually 5-7 days after the appearance of the rash.
Rubella (German Measles) For 7 days after the onset of the rash and whilst the child is unwell.
Hand, Foot & Mouth None, once the child is well. If evidence of transmission, exclude until the blisters have dried.
Impetigo Until lesions are crusted & healed, or 24 hrs after commencing antibiotics.
Measles Exclude child while infectious; 4 days from the onset of a rash & while the child is unwell.
Ringworm Exclusion not required once treatment has commenced.
Scabies Child can return after first treatment.
Scarlett Fever 24 hours after commencing antibiotic treatment, and while the child is unwell.
Slapped Cheek Syndrome Exclude until rash disappears
Typhoid & Paratyphoid Very specific exclusion criteria apply
Shigella Exclude until 48hrs after the first formed stool. Further exclusions may apply.
Crypotosporidiosis Until 48hrs after diarrhoea & first normal stool
Gastroenteritis Until authorised by Doctor
Flu Until recovered (usually 3-5 days). Children should not return until feeling better & temperature has returned to normal.
Tuberculosis Always consult GP. Exclusion depends on whether infectious or not.
Whopping cough Child likely too ill to attend; exclusion 5 days from commencing antibiotics or 21 days from onset of illness.
Conjunctivitis Exclusion not generally recommended, however, if transmission is evident (discharge and redness from the eye) exclusion until 48hrs of antibiotic treatment.
Glandular Fever None
Head lice None, once treatment has commenced.
Hepatitis A Exclude until 7 days after onset of jaundice.
Hep B, C, HIV, Aids None, in the event of a bite/scratch seek medical care.
Meningococcal Meningitis/ septicaemia Usually too ill to attend, exclude until appropriate antibiotics are received and a certificate of recovery is produced.
Meningitis (Due to other bacteria) Usually too ill to attend, exclude until appropriate antibiotics are received and a certificate of recovery is produced
Meningitis (Viral) Usually too ill to attend. None.
MRSA None unless wounds/cuts cannot be covered.
Mumps Exclude for 5days after the onset of swelling.
Threadworms None. (Strict Hygiene recommended)
Tonsillitis If caused by streptococcal exclude until 24 hrs after start of antibiotic treatment.
Antibiotics prescribed Exclusion until 24hrs from commencing antibiotics.
High temperature If a child’s temperature exceeds 37.5 parents will be notified and requested permission to administer Calpol/nurofen. If after 1 hr the temperature is still above 37.5 the parent will be requested to collect the child a.s.a.p.
Plantar Warts None, once treated and covered.
Shingles Exclude only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered.
Glandular fever None, avoid sharing of utensils.
Cold sores (Herpes simplex) None, avoid kissing and contact with sores.

The above list is not exhaustive and there are other symptoms that children may have where the service may require the child to remain at home until the condition has been treated. Some of the following may fall into that category:

  • Earache
  • Deep persistent coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or untreated wheezing
  • Complaints of stiff neck and headache
  • Untreated head lice.
  • Acute symptoms of food poisoning/gastro-enteritis.

An oral temperature over 37.5 degrees which cannot be reduced.

  • Difficulty breathing or untreated wheezing
  • An unexplained rash (see exclusion list)
  • Fever AND a combination of other symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting)
  • Fever AND a body rash
  • Diarrhoea – two or more liquid stools or a change in the normal pattern of bowel movement (e.g., runny, watery or bloody stools). Key workers of babies and wobblers will keep in close contact with parents regarding the introduction of new foods & possible allergies.
  • Vomiting – two or more times in the last 24 hours
  • Eye discharge – yellow or white
  • Yellowish skin or eyes, or jaundice
  • Irritability, continuous crying or requires more attention than can be provided

The above list is not exhaustive and there are other symptoms that children may have where the service may require the child to remain at home until the condition has been treated. Some of the following may fall into that category:

  • Earache
  • Deep persistent coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or untreated wheezing
  • Complaints of stiff neck and headache
  • Untreated head lice.
  • Acute symptoms of food poisoning/gastro-enteritis.

An oral temperature over 37.5 degrees which cannot be reduced.

  • Difficulty breathing or untreated wheezing
  • An unexplained rash (see exclusion list)
  • Fever AND a combination of other symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting)
  • Fever AND a body rash
  • Diarrhoea – two or more liquid stools or a change in the normal pattern of bowel movement (e.g., runny, watery or bloody stools). Key workers of babies and wobblers will keep in close contact with parents regarding the introduction of new foods & possible allergies.
  • Vomiting – two or more times in the last 24 hours
  • Eye discharge – yellow or white
  • Yellowish skin or eyes, or jaundice
  • Irritability, continuous crying or requires more attention than can be provided

INFECTION CONTROL

Principles

We aim to promote and maintain the health of children and staff through the control of infectious illnesses. We aim to control infection by providing on- going infection control training for staff (see also Hand-washing, Toileting, Nappy Changing, Food Hygiene, Cleanliness and Hygiene, Spillages and Hazards, Swine Flu, Illness Policies). (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, Records, Part VII, 18 Premises & Space Requirements, Part VI Safety) (Siolta Standard 9: Health andWelfare) (National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 18: Facilities)

Statement of Intent

The aim of the Crann Support Group and its members is to minimise the spread of infection for staff and children through the implementation of controls which reduce the transmission and spread of germs. We aim to promote and maintain the health of children and staff through the control of infectious illnesses.

Policy and Procedure

  • Exclusion guidelines as recommended by the Preschool Environmental Health Officer apply in the case of all suspected infectious conditions. These guidelines are contained in our policies and procedures and displayed in the service.
  • Parents will be informed should staff, children or visitors to the service report the presence of any contagious condition to the manager

Any child or adult with symptoms of an infectious illness will be asked not to attend the Crèche until they are no longer infectious. The management of the Crèche will ensure all areas of the premises are thoroughly disinfected, including play areas, toilets, toys and all equipment.

Infectious illness can cause significant ill health among young children and can be transmitted by direct or indirect contact including:

  • Contact with infected people or animals.
  • By infecting oneself with the body’s own germs.
  • By hand to mouth transmission.
  • By the air / by insects, pests, animals.
  • Indirect transmission e.g. toys, door handles, toilets, floors, table tops etc.
  • By direct – person to person.

Reporting /Recording of Illness

  • Staff and parents must report any infectious illness or similar to the manager.
  • Unwell children will be excluded from the service until the appropriate exclusion period for that illness is finished. (See Illness Policy).
  • All staff are aware of the procedures for dealing with appropriate daily and weekly cleaning routines and bodily fluid spillages. All cleaning is checked by management.
  • A contingency plan is in place should an outbreak of an infectious disease occur. All staff roles and responsibilities regarding reporting procedures are clearly defined.
  • Manager will report an outbreak of any infectious disease to the Tusla Preschool Environmental Health Officer and the Public Health Department.
  • Manager will record all details of illness reported to them by staff or reported by parents of a child attending the Crèche. These details will include the name, symptoms, dates and duration of illness.

Exclusion from the Service:

  • Children will be excluded from the Crèche based on the time frames outlined in the exclusion criteria (see Illness Policy).
  • A doctor’s certificate may be required for certain conditions to ensure they are no longer contagious before children return to the service.
  • Children and Staff should remain at home if they are suffering from general diarrhoea or vomiting until 48 hours after being symptom free.

Hand Hygiene:

  • Hand washing facilities are always available for children and include hot (not exceeding 43 degrees) and cold water, liquid soap and paper hand towels.
  • Hand washing facilities are available in all toilets, the kitchen, and pre-school rooms.
  • Children are encouraged and reminded to wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating and after playing outside. See Hand Washing Policy
  • We also occasionally use anti- bacterial alcohol gel

Staff must wash their hands:

  • Before preparing or serving food.
  • Before feeding children.
  • Before eating or drinking.
  • After going to the toilet.
  • After assisting children at the toilet.
  • After dealing with any body fluids.
  • After changing nappies
  • After cleaning procedures
  • After caring for sick children
  • After handling soiled clothing or items
  • After dealing with waste
  • After removing disposable gloves and/or aprons
  • After tea and lunch breaks
  • After smoking

Hand Washing Technique

Wet hands under hot water (not exceeding 430C for children to prevent scalding), apply liquid soap, rub vigorously paying particular attention to palms, backs, wrists, fingernails and fingers and rubbing between each finger and around the thumbs, rinse, dry thoroughly using disposable paper towels and turn off taps using the paper towel. (See Hand Washing Policy)

Toilets and Potties:

  • Toilet areas, including toilet handles, doors, toilet seats and wash hand basins are cleaned frequently throughout the day in accordance with the cleaning schedule and immediately if soiled. Potties should be washed with hot water and detergent and dried with a paper towel.

Nappy Changing

  • Nappy changing is only carried out in the designated nappy changing area.
  • Parents will provide creams or lotions for their child, these will not be shared.
  • The changing mat and area will be cleaned (with hot water and detergent) and disinfected and dried thoroughly after use.
  • Disposable gloves are worn by staff when changing a nappy.
  • Soiled nappies are placed of disposed of in a lidded bin and emptied each day.
  • The nappy changing area is cleaned in accordance with the cleaning schedule.
  • Changing mats are regularly checked to ensure the cover is not cracked or torn. Changing mats will be discarded of in such an event.

(See Nappy Changing Policy)

Bodily Fluid Spillage

  • Spills of blood, vomit, urine or excreta will be cleaned up as quickly as possible. The area will be sectioned off if possible until the spill has been dealt with.
  • Disposable plastic gloves are worn when cleaning up any bodily fluid spillage. Paper towels are used to clean up spillages and placed directly into a plastic bag for disposal.
  • Ordinary household bleach freshly diluted (1 to 10 parts water), is used for cleaning and disinfections of bodily fluid spillages. (This solution should not make contact with skin. If accidental contact does occur, the skin, eyes or mouth should be flushed with cold water.
  • If possible and safe to do so, diluted bleach will be poured directly over the spill; it will then be covered and mopped up with disposable paper towels.
  • Disposable paper towels and gloves are disposed of in a plastic bag and sealed.
  • A supply of bleach and plastic bags is kept together in a secure place in each room in case of such an incident.

(See Spillages and Hazards)

Food and Kitchen Hygiene

  • Staff involved in toileting or nappy changing children are not involved in food handling.
  • All areas are cleaned regularly in accordance with a documented cleaning policy and rota. Toilets and hard contact surfaces (playroom tables) are cleaned frequently.
  • All cleaning equipment is kept separate to each area and easily distinguished e.g. colour coded.
  • Playroom tables are cleaned before being used for meal and snack times.

Toys and Equipment

  • Toys and equipment will be cleaned according to the toy cleaning programme and schedule.
  • Toys and equipment will be cleaned with hot water and detergent and disinfectant.

Laundry

  • Linen used for cots and sleep mats are washed after each use / at the end of each week. Each child has their own linen.
  • Cleaning cloths used in the playrooms, kitchen and sanitary accommodation are washed separately.

Animals

  • Children must wash their hands after playing with any animals.
  • The play area is inspected before use daily and cleaned of any pet droppings or soil.

Outings to Farms or Zoos

  • Children will wash and dry their hands after contact with animals, animals cages as well as before eating and when leaving the farm/zoo.
  • All meal breaks will be taken in designated areas away from where the animal’s kept.
  • Children will be constantly supervised during their visit to the farm or zoo. The importance of hand washing will be reiterated to the children by staff throughout the visit

Controlling Infection

The purpose of employing infection control procedures is to reduce the number of germs to a level where there is no longer a threat to public health.

This is done by on-going infection control training for staff i.e. – importance of hand washing, food hygiene, cleaning routines etc. thus ensuring hygiene is applied correctly and the risk of infection is minimised.

In the event of an outbreak of an infectious illness management will contact the Health Service Executive –Pre-school Environmental Health Officer and or the Public Health Department.

Forms

Daily, Weekly, Monthly Cleaning Record

INTIMATE and PERSONAL CARE

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members believes that the intimate care of children cannot be separated from other aspects of their learning and development. We do not discriminate against children who have not reached a stage where they can manage their own personal hygiene and as such welcome all children to participate in the service and provide appropriate support for each on an individual basis. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part V Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part VI Safety 23) (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Síolta Standard 11: Professional Practice) (National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of intent

  • To safeguard the rights and promote the welfare of children and young people.
  • To assure parents and carers that staff are knowledgeable about personal care and that their individual concerns are taken into account.

Definitions

‘Intimate Care’ can be defined as care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, bodily products and personal hygiene, which demand direct or indirect contact with, or exposure of, the sexual parts of the body.
‘Personal Care’ generally carries more positive perceptions than intimate care. Although it may often involve touching another person, the nature of this touching is more socially acceptable, as it is less intimate and usually has the function of helping with personal presentation and hence is regarded as social functioning.

These tasks do not invade conventional personal, private or social space to the same extent as intimate care and are certainly more valued as they can lead to positive social outcomes for people.

Children may require help with eating, drinking, washing, dressing and toileting.

Procedure

  • Staff will work with parents and children to establish a preferred procedure for supporting the children in our care with their personal and intimate care.
  • Where possible the child’s key person is responsible for undertaking the care of an individual child. When this is not possible a staff member who is known to the child will take on that responsibility.
  • Children are always asked by the member of staff caring for them, for permission to assist them, and children who want to perform their own care are encouraged to do so with adult support when appropriate.
  • Children will be cared for with dignity and respect for their privacy.

 

MANUAL HANDLING

Principle

To assess and reduce the risks associated with manual handling. Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and Child Care Part III, 9 Management and Staffing) (Síolta Standard 11: Professional Practice) (National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members will assess and reduce the risks associated with manual handling. The main area of the body affected by handling accidents is the back, but virtually any part of the body can suffer injury due to poor manual handling.

It is important to remember that health, safety and welfare is the responsibility of everybody in the Crann Support Group not just the management.

The Crann Support Group and members Duties:

  • Assess risks to the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected in order to identify the measures needed to comply with relevant Health and safety law.
  • Make arrangements to implement the measures identified as being required by the risk assessment.
  • Appoint competent people to help with implementation.
  • Provide information to employees that can be understood, as well as adequate training and instruction.
  • Set up emergency procedures.
  • Staff should complete Manual handling training.
  • Avoid hazardous Manual Handling operations as far as is reasonable practicable
  • Make suitable and sufficient assessment of any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided.
  • Reduce the risk of injury from those operations so far as is reasonably practicable

Employee Duties: –

  • Report dangerous situations and any shortcomings in their employers’ health and safety arrangements.
  • Take reasonable care not to endanger themselves or anybody else.

Principles of Safer Handling

The simple steps below are not a guaranteed way of protecting you from manual handling injury. By following the steps below, you are reducing the possibility of an accident and the injury that could result from it.

The basic principles are: –

  • Avoid manual handling whenever possible.
  • Use equipment (if available)
  • Assess the task (consider use of equipment or breaking it down into easy stages)
  • Assess the load (try a test lift)
  • Know your own limitations and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if required.
  • Prepare the area, remember that whatever you pick up must be put down at some point (and vice versa)
  • Position yourself correctly
  • Perform the task applying safer lifting techniques
  • Evaluate the task (how could it be made easier next time?)

The key message when performing manual handling is

THINK before you do it.

Performing a Safer Lift

When performing the task there are accepted practices that should be used to make any handling task safer. They are:

  • Think before handling/lifting
  • Keep the load close to the waist
  • Adopt a stable position
  • Ensure a good hold on the load
  • Moderate flexion (slight bending) of the back, hips and knees at the start of the lift.
  • Don’t flex the back any further while lifting.
  • Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways especially while the back is bent
  • Keep the head up when handling
  • Move smoothly
  • Don’t lift or handle more than can be easily managed.
  • Put down, then adjustRemember the risk of injury is greatly reduced if the object being moved is picked up or put down at waist height.

ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE

Principles

The Crann Support Group and its members aim to promote the health, safety and well- being of each child in our care. We encourage open communication with our parents to share their concerns regarding their child’s health (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and Child Care Part III, Policies & Procedures, Part VI, First Aid, Part IV, Records.) (Síolta Standard 10: Organisation) (National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of Intent

We do not routinely administer ‘Calpol’ or other non- prescription/prescription medications. We only administer medicines with the correct signed permission.

Medicines must only be brought into the Crann Support Group and its members for administration by the staff when it is essential. This means where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if it were not to be administered.

Policy and Procedure

  • The Manager and staff must be informed if your child is taking antibiotics.
  • We advise that children must be taking antibiotics for 24hrs prior to returning to the service.
  • Essential medicines will only be administered where a parent/guardian have signed a consent form and at the discretion of the Manager.
  • We will only follow the dosage as instructed by the doctor. Please note staff will not administer a dosage of Calpol/Nurofen that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless prescribed or accompanied by a doctor’s letter
  • Staff are only authorised to administer oral medication. If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training is provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.
  • No child may self-administer. Where children are capable of understanding when they need medication, for example with asthma, they should be encouraged to tell their key person what they need. However, this does not replace staff vigilance in knowing and responding when a child requires medication.
  • If a child refuses to take their medication staff will not force them to do so.
  • Parents must keep the childcare facility up to date on their child’s medical needs.
  • Parents must fill in the medicine consent form of the Crèche, authorizing the administration of medicine to their child. Permission may be sought by phone in emergency situations and parents must fill in the consent on collection.
  • Parents must hand staff the medicine, which then stored in the fridge or the medicine cabinet. Any form of medication must never be left in a child’s bag, including inhalers.
  • Medicines must be in their original packaging clearly labelled with the child’s name, the current date, expiry date, storage instructions and dosage plus the name of the health care provider that recommended the medication.Storage of Medicines
  • All medication is stored out of reach of the children.
  • The Manager/ Room Leader is responsible for ensuring medicine is handed back at the end of the day to the parent.
  • For some conditions, medication may be kept in the setting. The manager will check that any medication held to administer on an as and when required basis, or on a regular basis, is in date and return any out-of-date medication back to the parent.
  • Unused medicines should be returned to the parent.Procedures for staff administering essential medicines/record keeping1. Wash hands thoroughly.
    2. Senior Staff administering medicines must check:
  • The child’s name.
  • Prescribed dose.
  • Expiry date of medicine.
  • Written instructions provided by the prescriber on the label or original container.
  • Time last dose was given.
  • Check parents have completed and signed ‘Administration of Medicines’ Consent form and Anti Febrile Medication form if relevant.
  • 3. Only senior staff may administer medication and there must be another staff member present. Ask them to confirm steps 1 and 2 and that the medicine can be administered.
  • Staff MUST have a witness PRESENT to the medicine being administered.
  • Staff must record the date, time and dosage in the medicines record book and give a copy to the parent.
  • Parents will be required to sign to say they were informed of the dosage of the medicine upon collection of the child.It is extremely important that staff follow the procedures as detailed above. These measures are in place to ensure that no mistakes are made. Administering medication is a responsibility which must be undertaken with due caution. If staff are not sure how to administer it or have difficulty doing so, please inform the Manager.NOTE Students or volunteers may not administer medicinesProcedures for Children with Allergies Requiring TreatmentOral Medication
  • Asthma inhalers are regarded as “oral medication” Oral medications must be prescribed by a GP and have the manufacturer’s instructions clearly written on them.
  • The Manager must be provided with clear written instructions on how to administer such medication.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members must have the parents’ or guardians’ prior written consent. This consent must be kept on file.Life Saving Medication and Invasive TreatmentsAdrenaline injections (Epipens) for anaphylactic shock reactions (caused by allergies to nuts, eggs etc.)The Manager must have:
  • A letter from the child’s GP/consultant stating the child’s condition and what medication if any is to be administered;
  • Written consent from the parent or guardian allowing staff to administer medication; and
  • Proof of training in the administration of such medication by the child’s GP, a district nurse, children’s’ nurse specialist or a community paediatric nurse.
  • A copy of such proof may be required by our insurance provider for appraisal so that our insurance can be extended if necessary.Managing medicines on trips and outingsIf children are going on outings, staff accompanying the children must include the key person for the child with a risk assessment, or another member of staff who is fully informed about the child’s needs and/or medication.
  • Medication for a child is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name and the name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form and a card to record when it has been given, with the details as given above.
  • On returning to the setting the card is stapled to the medicine record book and the parent signs it.All records kept by childcare service are kept secure and confidentialFormsRegistration FormMedicine Administration

Sleep Policies

Nursery Sleep Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within our services. A sleep policy is in place at our services, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. The Crann Support Group and its members seek to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development. In the Nursery the staff will work in partnership with the parents and to the best of their ability promote the routine set in the home, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow the child’s needs. Furthermore, sleep expert Lucy Wolfe concords with our policy that children should wake naturally. The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to ensuring best practice around safe sleep is carried out at all time. Taking in to consideration “Safe Sleep” guidelines as set out by ISIDA (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) and the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

AIMS:

A safe sleep policy:

  • Gives clear guidance to staff and new trainee staff; emergency cover staff or those on work experience as well as to parents
  • Acts as a reminder & helps maintain consistency by the regular staff members
  • Helps to inform and reassure parents that this pre-school service will only implement what is in best practice guidelines.
  • Article 28 of the regulations state that: a person carrying out on a pre-school service shall ensure that adequate and suitable for children to rest during the day are provided.

With this in mind the Crann Support Group and its members, through communication with the parents/guardians of the children implements the following practice:

Safe Sleep Practice

  • The service facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep or rest and liaise with parents or guardians in relation to the children’s sleep patterns and needs.
  • N.B. Children are allowed sleep when tired and not just designated times
  • All practitioners working with the children will be informed of the safe sleep policy and fully trained in the implementation of it.
  • Infants will always be placed on their backs to sleep (unless medically certified to say otherwise and completed consent form received from parents)
  • When babies can easily turn from their back to stomach, they can be allowed to sleep in whatever position they prefer for sleep
  • To discourage babies wriggling under their blankets, place them with their feet to the bottom of the cot and have the blanket tucked in below their shoulders
  • Tuck the blanket in loosely but securely making sure they cannot slip over babies’ head
  • Children must always be placed for sleep with no risk of injury for example: no hooded jumpers, bibs, bottles, shoes etc.
  • No cot bumpers or pillows to be used, only recommended bed linen used
  • After placing a baby in a cot to sleep, cot sides must be pulled up immediately
  • Electronic monitors used
  • Sleeping infants will be visually checked every 10 minutes by staff
  • The sleep information will be recorded on a sleep chart. This records the time, the baby’s position and who checked and this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • When monitoring sleeping babies, we will especially alert to:
  • We will check for normal skin colour
  • We will watch the rise and fall of the chest, to check for breathing
  • We will check for signs of overheating (flushed skin, body temperature, restlessness)

Steps are in place to ensure babies are not getting to warm these include:

  • Regulating the room temperature
  • Avoiding excessive bedding
  • Not overdressing over overwrapping the baby

Safe Sleep Environment

  • Room temperature is thermostatically controlled between 16o C – 20o C
  • Room Temperatures are recorded on chart, this records the time and temp of the room, and who checked it, this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • Babies are provided with suitable sleeping facilities away from the general play area
  • Comforters from home must be free from any risk of choking, strangling or smothering. Comforters will be removed once the child is asleep
  • Pacifiers will be allowed in infant’s cots while they sleep
  • A safety approved firm fitting mattress and tight fitting sheet will be used
  • Ventilation – natural/mechanical ventilation
  • Bed linen is not shared – each child is allocated two sheets and two blankets and this is laundered twice per week
  • Linen changes should be documented

1-2 Room Sleep Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within our services. A sleep policy is in place at our services, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. The Crann Support Group and its members seek to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development. In the 1-2 Room the staff will work in partnership with the parents and to the best of their ability promote the routine set in the home, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow the child’s needs. At this stage sleep patterns begin to change According to the National Sleep Foundation “When toddlers reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting about one to three hours”. Furthermore, sleep expert Lucy Wolfe concords with our policy that children should wake naturally. The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to ensuring best practice around safe sleep is carried out at all time. Taking in to consideration “Safe Sleep” guidelines as set out by ISIDA (Infant Death Association) and the Child care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

AIMS:

A safe sleep policy:

  • Gives clear guidance to staff and also to trainee staff; emergency cover staff or those on work experience as well as to parents
  • Acts as a reminder & helps maintain consistency by the regular staff members
  • Helps to inform and reassure parents that this pre-school service will only implement what is in best practice guidelines.
  • Article 28 of the regulations state that: a person carrying out on a pre-school service shall ensure that adequate and suitable for children to rest during the day are provided.

With this in mind the Crann Support Group and its members, through communication with the parents/guardians of the children implements the following practice:

Safe Sleep Practice

  • The service facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep or rest and liaise with parents or guardians in relation to the children’s sleep patterns and needs.
  • N.B. Children are allowed sleep when tired and not just designated times
  • All practitioners working with the children will be informed of the safe sleep policy and fully trained in the implementation of it.
  • Infants will always be placed on their backs to sleep (unless medically certified to say otherwise and completed consent form received from parents)
  • When infants can easily turn from their back to stomach, they can be allowed to sleep in whatever position they prefer for sleep
  • To discourage children wriggling under their blankets, place them with their feet to the bottom of the cot and have the blanket tucked in below their shoulders
  • Tuck the blanket in loosely but securely making sure they cannot slip over babies’ head
  • Children must always be placed for sleep with no risk of injury for example: no hooded jumpers, bibs, bottles, shoes etc.
  • No cot bumpers or pillows to be used, only recommended bed linen used
  • After placing an infant in a cot to sleep, cot sides must be pulled up immediately
  • Electronic monitors used
  • Sleeping infants will be visually checked every 10 minutes by staff
  • The sleep information will be recorded on a sleep chart. This records the time, the child’s position and who checked them and this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • When monitoring sleeping babies, we will especially alert to:
  • We will check for normal skin colour
  • We will watch the rise and fall of the chest, to check for breathing
  • We will check for signs of overheating (flushed skin, body temperature, restlessness)

Steps are in place to ensure babies are not getting to warm these include:

  • Regulating the room temperature
  • Avoiding excessive bedding
  • Not overdressing over overwrapping the baby
  • Safe Sleep Environment
  • Room temperature is thermostatically controlled between 16o C – 20o C
  • Room Temperatures are recorded on chart, this records the time and temp of the room, and who checked it, this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • Babies are provided with suitable sleeping facilities away from the general play area
  • From 18 Months children can sleep on safety approved soft foam beds
  • Comforters from home must be free from any risk of choking, strangling or smothering. Comforters will be removed once the child is asleep
  • Pacifiers will be allowed in infant’s cots while they sleep
  • A safety approved firm fitting mattress and tight fitting sheet will be used
  • Ventilation; natural/mechanical ventilation
  • Bed linen is not shared, each child is allocated two sheets and two blankets and this is laundered twice per week
  • Linen changes should be documented

 

2-3 Room Sleep Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within our services. A sleep policy is in place at our services, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. The Crann Support Group and its members seek to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development. While parents are consulted on their child’s sleep routines, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow the child’s needs and recommended safe practice. At this stage sleep patterns begin to change even further According to the National Sleep Foundation “When toddlers reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting about one to three hours”. Additionally, sleep expert Lucy Wolfe recommends “children between the age of 2 & 3 should have one nap during the day for approx. 2 hours” Furthermore sleep expert Lucy Wolfe concords with our policy that children should wake naturally. The Crann Support Group and its members acknowledge advice from experts in sleep and set a time of 11/2 hours of sleep for this age group. The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to ensuring best practice around safe sleep is carried out at all time. Taking in to consideration “Safe Sleep” guidelines as set out by ISIDA (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) and the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016

AIMS:

A safe sleep policy:

  • Gives clear guidance to staff and also to trainee staff; emergency cover staff or those on work experience as well as to parents
  • Acts as a reminder & helps maintain consistency by the regular staff members
  • Helps to inform and reassure parents that this pre-school service will only implement what is in best practice guidelines.
  • Article 28 of the regulations state that: a person carrying out on a pre-school service shall ensure that adequate and suitable for children to rest during the day are provided.

With this in mind the Crann Support Group and its members, through communication with the parents/guardians of the children implements the following practice:

Safe Sleep Practice:

  • The service facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep or rest and liaise with parents or guardians in relation to the children’s sleep patterns and needs.
  • N.B. Children are allowed sleep when tired and not just designated times
  • All practitioners working with the children will be informed of the safe sleep policy and fully trained in the implementation of it.
  • A safety approved bed will be allocated to children from 2 years of age Children will have 15 minute before bedtime to get ready for bed and read a story in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Children will have an hour to rest/sleep in a cool, quiet and dark room
  • When children wake they will have approx. 15 minutes to fully awake and get dressed
  • Children who do not wish to sleep will be facilitated in a designated area
  • Toddlers will always be placed on their backs to sleep (unless medically certified to say otherwise and completed consent form received from parents)
  • When infants can easily turn from their back to stomach, they can be allowed to sleep in whatever position they prefer for sleep
  • To discourage children wriggling under their blankets, place them with their feet to the bottom of the cot and have the blanket tucked in below their shoulders
  • Tuck the blanket in loosely but securely making sure they cannot slip over children’s head
  • Children must always be placed for sleep with no risk of injury for example: no hooded jumpers, bibs, bottles, shoes etc.
  • No cot bumpers or pillows to be used, only recommended bed linen used
  • Staff will sit with children when they are sleeping
  • Electronic monitors used
  • Sleeping infants will be visually checked every 10 minutes by staff
  • The sleep information will be recorded on a sleep chart. This records the time, the child’s position and who checked them and this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • When monitoring sleeping babies, we will especially alert to:
  • We will check for normal skin colour
  • We will watch the rise and fall of the chest, to check for breathing
  • We will check for signs of overheating (flushed skin, body temperature, restlessness)

Steps are in place to ensure babies are not getting to warm these include:

  • Regulating the room temperature
  • Avoiding excessive bedding
  • Not overdressing over overwrapping the baby
  • Safe Sleep Environment
  • Room temperature is thermostatically controlled between 16o C – 20o C
  • Room Temperatures are recorded on chart, this records the time and temp of the room, and who checked it, this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • Comforters from home must be free from any risk of choking, strangling or smothering. Comforters will be removed once the child is asleep
  • Pacifiers will be allowed in infant’s cots while they sleep
  • Ventilation; natural/mechanical ventilation
  • Bed linen is not shared; each child is allocated two sheets and two blankets and this is laundered twice per week
  • Linen changes should be documented

3-5 Room Sleep Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within our services. A sleep policy is in place at our services, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. The Crann Support Group and its members seek to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development. While parents are consulted on their child’s sleep routines, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow the child’s needs and recommended safe practice. At this stage sleep patterns begin to change even further According to the National Sleep Foundation “Pre-schoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap during the day” Additionally sleep expert Lucy Wolfe concords with our policy that children should wake naturally. Beds are available and children will be facilitated if they wish to have a nap during the day. The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to ensuring best practice around safe sleep is carried out at all time. Taking in to consideration “Safe Sleep” guidelines as set out by ISIDA (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) and the Child Care Regulations 2016.

AIMS:

A safe sleep policy:

  • Gives clear guidance to staff and also to trainee staff; emergency cover staff or those on work experience as well as to parents
  • Acts as a reminder & helps maintain consistency by the regular staff members
  • Helps to inform and reassure parents that this pre-school service will only implement what is in best practice guidelines.
  • Article 28 of the regulations state that: a person carrying out on a pre-school service shall ensure that adequate and suitable for children to rest during the day are provided.

With this in mind the Crann Support Group and its members, through communication with the parents/guardians of the children implements the following practice:

Safe Sleep Practice:

  • The service facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep or rest and liaise with parents or guardians in relation to the children’s sleep patterns and needs.
  • N.B. Children are allowed sleep when tired and not just designated times
  • All practitioners working with the children will be informed of the safe sleep policy and fully trained in the implementation of it.
  • Safety approved beds are available
  • Children who do not wish to sleep will be facilitated in a designated area
  • Tuck the blanket in loosely but securely making sure they cannot slip over children’s head
  • Children must always be placed for sleep with no risk of injury for example: no hooded jumpers or shoes etc.
  • Staff will sit with children when they are sleeping
  • Electronic monitors used
  • Sleeping children will be visually checked every 10 minutes by staff
  • The sleep information will be recorded on a sleep chart. This records the time, the child’s position and who checked them and this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • When monitoring sleeping babies, we will especially alert to:
  • We will check for normal skin colour
  • We will watch the rise and fall of the chest, to check for breathing
  • We will check for signs of overheating (flushed skin, body temperature, restlessness)

Steps are in place to ensure babies are not getting to warm these include:

  • Regulating the room temperature
  • Avoiding excessive bedding
  • Not overdressing over overwrapping the baby
  • Safe Sleep Environment
  • Room temperature is thermostatically controlled between 16o C – 20o C
  • Room Temperatures are recorded on chart, this records the time and temp of the room, and who checked it, this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • Comforters from home must be free from any risk of choking, strangling or smothering. Comforters will be removed once the child is asleep
  • Ventilation – natural/mechanical ventilation
  • Bed linen is not shared – each child is allocated two sheets and two blankets and this is laundered twice per week
  • Linen changes should be documented

Afterschool Sleep Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within our services. A sleep policy is in place at our services, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. The Crann Support Group and its members seek to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development. While parents are consulted on their child’s sleep routines, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow the child’s needs and recommended safe practice. At this stage sleep patterns begin to change even further According to the National Sleep Foundation “Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep per day and generally will not nap during the day”. At the same time, there is an increasing demand on their time from school and other activities, particularly with the younger children only starting school, therefore beds are available and children will be facilitated if they wish to have a nap during the day. Furthermore, sleep expert Lucy Wolfe concords with our policy that children should wake naturally. The Crann Support Group and its members are committed to ensuring best practice around safe sleep is carried out at all time. Taking in to consideration “Safe Sleep” guidelines as set out by ISIDA (Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) and the Childcare Regulations 2016

AIMS:

A safe sleep policy:

  • Gives clear guidance to staff and also to trainee staff; emergency cover staff or those on work experience as well as to parents
  • Acts as a reminder & helps maintain consistency by the regular staff members
  • Helps to inform and reassure parents that this pre-school service will only implement what is in best practice guidelines.
  • Article 28 of the regulations state that: a person carrying out on a pre-school service shall ensure that adequate and suitable for children to rest during the day are provided.

With this in mind the Crann Support Group and its members, through communication with the parents/guardians of the children implements the following practice:

Safe Sleep Practice:

  • The service facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep or rest and liaise with parents or guardians in relation to the children’s sleep patterns and needs.
  • N.B. Children are allowed sleep when tired and not just designated times
  • All practitioners working with the children will be informed of the safe sleep policy and fully trained in the implementation of it.
  • Safety approved beds are available
  • Children who do not wish to sleep will be facilitated in a designated area
  • To discourage children wriggling under their blankets, place them with their feet to the bottom of the bed and have the blanket tucked in below their shoulders
  • Tuck the blanket in loosely but securely making sure they cannot slip over children’s head
  • Staff will sit with children when they are sleeping
  • Electronic monitors used
  • Sleeping children will be visually checked every 10 minutes by staff
  • The sleep information will be recorded on a sleep chart. This records the time, the child’s position and who checked them and this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • When monitoring sleeping babies, we will especially alert to:
  • We will check for normal skin colour
  • We will watch the rise and fall of the chest, to check for breathing
  • We will check for signs of overheating (flushed skin, body temperature, restlessness)

Steps are in place to ensure babies are not getting to warm these include:

  • Regulating the room temperature
  • Avoiding excessive bedding
  • Not overdressing over overwrapping the baby

Safe Sleep Environment

  • Room temperature is thermostatically controlled between 16o C – 20o C
  • Room Temperatures are recorded on chart, this records the time and temp of the room, and who checked it, this information will be stored for the legally required time
  • Ventilation – natural/mechanical ventilation
  • Bed linen is not shared- each child is allocated two sheets and two blankets and this is laundered twice per week
  • Linen changes should be documented

ACCIDENTS and INCIDENTS

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will comply with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016, are the governing legislation (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part IV, Management and Staffing, Part IV, Records, Part III, Policies & Procedures) (Síolta Standard 2: Environments, Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members have a policy to promote the health, well- being and personal safety of all our children and staff. Through developing and regularly reviewing accident prevention procedures and fire safety. Although we adhere to all safety precautions and follow Tusla guidelines, accidents can occur.

Policy and Procedure

Prevention

  • A Safety statement is prepared and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Children will be adequately supervised in accordance with the recommended child/adult ratios dictated by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016.
  • Each room is designed for easy and unobtrusive supervision by the adults at all times.
  • Our staff knows which children are present at any one time.
  • We ensure that no child can leave the premises undetected.
  • The main door is locked with a door entry system.
  • Only suitable and age-appropriate materials and equipment are available to children.
  • Windows and doors have safety appropriate glass with restricted opening safety devices.
  • All electrical sockets are fitted with safety covers.
  • Furniture and equipment is arranged to minimize safety risks.
  • Sun block protection will be used during hot weather; parents will be advised to provide a hat that covers the head, neck, ears.

In the event of an accident

  • The First Aid box is always fully equipped, easily identifiable and location is known to all staff. Any substances, which may cause an allergy, will not be included.
  • Medical supplies are checked regularly.
  • A designated First Aider (certified) is on the premises at all times.
  • Staff must wear protective clothing (disposable apron and gloves) to clean any bodily fluids or spillages.
  • If a child is involved in an incident or accident, they will be taken into a quiet area, if possible.
  • All accidents/incidents even minor ones, are recorded in an accident record book, minor accidents will be treated and parents informed of the injury. Records are accessible to all relevant staff in case of an emergency. Parents will be asked to sign off on the accident report and will receive a copy.
  • In the case of a serious accident, we have a local doctor on call, they will be called and the child’s parents contacted immediately or we will call an ambulance.
  • If the child has to go to the hospital immediately the childcare worker will accompany the child, if the ambulance personnel permit. The child’s record will be taken to the hospital.
  • The childcare worker will not sign for any treatment to be carried out on the child in the hospital. The childcare worker will wait with the child until the parent/carer arrives.
  • All serious accidents will be reported to the Insurance Company & Tusla.
  • Parents are responsible for all doctors or hospital fees where applicable.

Forms

Accident/Incident Form

ANAPHYLAXIS

Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic reaction, which can be fatal, requiring immediate medical emergency measures be taken.

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members recognises that it has a duty of care to children who are at risk from life-threatening allergic reactions while under our supervision. The responsibility is shared among parents and health care providers. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part IV, Records) (Síolta Standard 9: health and Welfare, Síolta Standard 11: Professional Practice, Síolta Standard: 12 Communication) (National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of Intent

The purpose of this policy is to minimise the risk to children with severe allergies to potentially life-threatening allergens without depriving the severely allergic child of normal peer interactions or placing unreasonable restrictions on the activities of other children in the service.

This policy is designed to ensure that children at risk are identified, strategies are in place to minimize the potential for accidental exposure, and staff and key volunteers are trained in an emergency situation

Policy

While the Crann Support Group and its members cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment, the management will take reasonable steps to provide an allergy-safe and allergy-aware environment for a child with life-threatening allergies.

The Crann Support Group and its members will implement the following steps:

  • A process for identifying an anaphylactic child;
  • Keeping a record with information relating to the specific allergies for each identified anaphylactic child to form part of the child’s Permanent Child Record;
  • A process for establishing an emergency procedure plan, to be reviewed annually, for each identified anaphylactic child to form part of the child’s child record;
  • Procedures for storage and administering medications, including procedures for obtaining preauthorization for employees to administer medication to an anaphylactic child; and
  • All incidents will be recorded and the process reviewed

Anaphylaxis Procedures

Description of Anaphylaxis

Signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can occur within minutes of exposure to an offending substance. Reactions usually occur within two hours of exposure, but in rare cases can develop hours later. Specific warning signs as well as the severity and intensity of symptoms can vary from person to person and sometimes from reaction to reaction in the same persons.

An anaphylactic reaction can involve any of the following symptoms, which may appear alone or in any combination, regardless of the triggering allergen:

  • Skin: hives, swelling, itching, warmth, redness, rash
  • Respiratory (breathing): wheezing, shortness of breath, throat tightness, cough, hoarse voice, chest pain/tightness, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms (runny itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing), trouble swallowing
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach): nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Cardiovascular (heart): pale/blue colour, weak pulse, passing out, dizzy/light-headed, shock
  • Other: anxiety, feeling of “impending doom”, headache, uterine cramps in females

Because of the unpredictability of reactions, early symptoms should never be ignored, especially if the person has suffered an anaphylactic reaction in the past.

It is important to note that anaphylaxis can occur without hives.

If an allergic child expresses any concern that a reaction might be starting, the child should always be taken seriously. When a reaction begins, it is important to respond immediately, following instructions in the child’s Child Emergency Procedure Plan. The cause of the reaction can be investigated later.

The following symptoms may lead to death if untreated:

  • Breathing difficulties caused by swelling of the airways; and/or
  • A drop in blood pressure indicated by dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint/weak.

Identifying Individuals at Risk

At the time of registration, parents are asked to report on their child’s medical conditions, including whether their child has a medical diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Information on a child’s life threatening conditions will be recorded and updated on the child’s Permanent Child Record annually.

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to:

  • Inform the Manager when their child is diagnosed as being at risk for anaphylaxis.
  • In a timely manner, complete medical forms and the Child Emergency Procedure Plan which includes a photograph, description of the child’s allergy, emergency procedures, contact information, and consent to administer medication. The Child Emergency Procedure Plan should be posted in key areas such as in the child’s playroom, the office, the room diary etc., Parental permission is required to post or distribute the plan.
  • Provide the service with updated medical information at the beginning of each year, and whenever there is a significant change related to their child.

Record Keeping – Monitoring and Reporting

For each identified child, the Manager will keep a Child Emergency Procedure Plan on file. These plans will contain the following information:

  • Child-Level Information
    o Name
    o Contact information
    o Diagnosis
    o Symptoms
    o Emergency Response Plan
  • Service-Level Information
    o Emergency procedures/treatment
  • GP section including the child’s diagnosis, medication and GP signature.

Emergency Procedure Plans

a) Child Level Emergency Procedure Plan

The Manager must ensure that the parents and child (where appropriate), are provided with an opportunity to meet with designated staff, prior to the beginning of each year or as soon as possible to develop/update an individual Child Emergency Procedure Plan. The Child Emergency Procedure Plan must be signed by the child’s parents and the child’s GP. A copy of the plan will be placed in readily accessible, designated areas such as the playroom and office.

The Child Emergency Procedure Plan will include at minimum:

  • The diagnosis;
  • The current treatment regime;
  • Who within the service is to be informed about the plan – e.g. childcare worker s, volunteers, playmates;
  • Current emergency contact information for the child’s parents/guardian;
  • A requirement for those exposed to the plan to maintain the confidentiality of the child’s personal health information;
  • Information regarding the child, is parent’s responsibility to advise the service about any change/s in the child’s condition; and
  • It is the service’s responsibility for updating the child’s records.

Emergency Plans

Management will consult with parent’s staff and the insurance company to decide on an appropriate emergency plan on a case by case basis to ensure that an appropriate course of action is taken for the child. The following two plans A and B will be used in consultation with parents and then an individual plan will be written up. Parents will be required to sign a declaration that they are happy for the staff to follow the decided emergency plan. In the event of an emergency designated staff will follow the plans as decided by parents and management.

Sample Emergency Procedure Plan A

The Crann Support Group and its members will use the following emergency procedure:

  1. FIRST Call emergency medical care 999, 112 or 911
  2. Follow the instructions from the emergency services and only administer the child’s auto-injector or inhaler under their instruction. Note time of administration.
  3. Contact the child’s parent/guardian.
  4. Under the instruction of the emergency services only a second auto-injector or inhaler may be administered within 10 to 15 minutes or sooner, after the first dose is given IF symptoms have not improved (i.e. the reaction is continuing, getting worse, or has recurred).
  5. If an auto-injector has been administered, the child must be transported to a hospital (the effects of the auto-injector may not last, and the child may have another anaphylactic reaction).
  6. One person stays with the child at all times.
  7. One person goes for help or calls for help.

The Manager, or designated staff, must ensure that emergency plan measures are in place for scenarios where the child is off-site (e.g. bringing additional single dose auto-injectors on outings).

Sample Emergency Procedure Plan B

The Crann Support Group and its members will use the following emergency procedure:

  1. Administer the child’s auto-injector (single dose) at the first sign of a reaction. The use of epinephrine for a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction will not harm a normally healthy child, if epinephrine was not required. Note time of administration.
  2. Call emergency medical care 999, 112 or 911
  3. Contact the child’s parent/guardian.
  4. A second auto-injector may be administered within 10 to 15 minutes or sooner, after the first dose is given IF symptoms have not improved (i.e. the reaction is continuing, getting worse, or has recurred).
  5. If an auto-injector has been administered, the child must be transported to a hospital (the effects of the auto-injector may not last, and the child may have another anaphylactic reaction).
  6. One person stays with the child at all times.
  7. One person goes for help or calls for help.

The Manager, or designated staff, must ensure that emergency plan measures are in place for scenarios where the child is off-site (e.g. bringing additional single dose auto-injectors on outings).

Provision and Storage of Medication

The location(s) of child auto-injectors must be known to all staff members

Parents will be informed that it is the parents’ responsibility:

  • To provide the appropriate medication (e.g. single dose epinephrine auto-injectors) for their anaphylactic child;
  • To inform the staff where the anaphylactic child’s medication will be kept (i.e. with the child, in the child’s playroom, and/or other locations);
  • To inform the staff when they deem the child competent to carry their own medication/s), and it is their duty to ensure their child understands they must carry their medication on their person at all times;
  • To provide a second auto-injector to be stored in a central, accessible, safe but unlocked location;
  • To ensure anaphylaxis medications have not expired; and
  • To ensure that they replace expired medications.

Allergy Awareness, Prevention and Avoidance Strategies

a) Awareness

The Manager should ensure:

  • That all staff and persons reasonably expected to have supervisory responsibility of children receive training, in the recognition of a severe allergic reaction and the use of single dose auto-injectors and standard emergency procedure plans.
  • That all members of staff including substitute employees, employees on call, and volunteers have appropriate information about severe allergies including background information on allergies, anaphylaxis and safety procedures.
  • With the consent of the parent, the Manager and the staff must ensure that the child’s playmates are provided with information on severe allergies in a manner that is appropriate for the age and maturity level of the child, and that strategies to reduce teasing and bullying are incorporated into this information.

Posters which describe signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to administer a single dose auto-injector should be placed in relevant areas. These areas may include playrooms, office, staff room, lunch room etc.

b) Avoidance/Prevention

Individuals at risk of anaphylaxis must learn to avoid specific triggers. While the key responsibility lies with the child’s family the service must participate in creating an “allergy-aware” environment. Special care is taken to avoid exposure to allergy-causing substances. Parents are asked to consult with the childcare worker before sending in food to playrooms where there are food-allergic. The risk of accidental exposure to a food allergen can be significantly diminished by means of such measures.

Non-food allergens (e.g. medications, latex) will be identified and restricted from playrooms and common areas where a child with a related allergy may encounter that substance.

Training Strategy

A training session on anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock will be given to relevant staff.

Efforts shall be made to include the parents, and children (where appropriate), in the training. Experts (e.g. public health nurses, trained occupational health and safety staff) will be consulted in the development of training policies and the implementation of training. Training will be provided by individuals trained to teach anaphylaxis management. The training sessions will include:

  • Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis;
  • Common allergens;
  • Avoidance strategies;
  • Emergency protocols;
  • Use of single dose epinephrine auto-injectors;
  • Identification of at-risk children (as outlined in the individual Child Emergency Procedure Plan);
  • Emergency plans; and
  • Method of communication with and strategies to educate and raise awareness of parents, children, employees and volunteers about anaphylaxis

Additional Best Practice:

  • Distinction between the needs of younger and older anaphylactic children.

Participants will have an opportunity to practice using an auto-injector trainer (i.e. device used for training purposes) and are encouraged to practice with the auto-injector trainers throughout the year, especially if they have a child at risk in their care. Children will learn about anaphylaxis as part of the curriculum

Form

Registration form

ANIMALS

Principles

To ensure the safety of the children from illness or risk from animals (Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Síolta Standard 2: Environments, Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 12: Health Care)

Statement of Intent

Any visiting animals will be kept under control.

Policy and Procedure

Animals, birds and fish may carry infections, which can be transmitted to humans. Strict hygiene procedures are therefore required when handling and caring for these creatures to prevent illness.

The children are encouraged to talk with adults regarding the animals and their care. The children hands are always washed after handling the animals.

Precautions

• Appropriate risk assessments must be carried out and an account must be taken of any allergies that anyone coming into contact with the animals may have and appropriate precautions taken.
• Parents must be informed before an animal visits the Crann Support Group members
• To establish if a child has an allergy or phobia to a particular animal.
• It might be advisable for the children to view the visiting animal from a safe distance, e.g. looking through a window to an animal outside.
• Staff should be aware that all species of reptiles may carry salmonella organism, particular care with hygiene must be taken when introducing these animals into the service.
• Children must wash their hands thoroughly with liquid soap in warm running water after coming in contact with any animals.
• Children will be supervised at all times when handling animals and will be taught correct handling and care of the animals.
• Staff must wash their hands after cleaning out the animals and dispose of all soiled matter in the outside bin.
• Children must not help to clean the animal’s environment

Care of Animals

• Correct guidelines and care of the animals must be followed.
• Information regarding feeding, cleaning, and any other care information should be obtained from reliable sources.
• Suitable secure housing must be provided for the animals.
• Arrangements will be made for care of the animals over the weekend and overnight if necessary.
• Any animals brought into the service by visitors are to be their responsibility however staff are still responsible for assessing any risks and taking any necessary precautions.

Care of Animals:

Fish:

The manager will ensure that fish will be fed appropriately and their tank will be cleaned regularly.

Zoonoses

Domestic and farm animals may carry a range of diseases, some of which can also affect humans. These diseases are known as zoonoses and some of these diseases may pose a risk to persons working with animals

Common Zoonoses

Escherichia coli 0157

Bacterium that lives in the gut of animals, including cattle, sheep, deer and goats and is also carried by pets and wild birds. Can cause illness in humans ranging from diarrhoea to kidney failure and in some cases death. Infection can be caused by contacting contaminated faeces and then introducing the bacterium into the mouth. It is vital that anyone who works with or touches animals thoroughly washes their hands and arms before eating, drinking or smoking and observes good personal hygiene practices.

Cryptosporidiosis

This disease is caused by a protozoa called Cryptosporidium parvum. It is carried by calves, lambs, deer and goats and may be transmitted to humans by contact with animal faeces. It may cause diarrhoea and abdominal pain with ’flu-like symptoms for up to six weeks in humans. Again good personal hygiene practices are key to preventing worker exposure.

Salmonella

The salmonella bacterium can be carried by many types of animals and infection in humans can result in diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pains. Human infection is normally due to contact with contaminated faeces and subsequent hand to mouth contact. Once again good personal hygiene practices are essential.

Orf

Orf is caused by a virus carried by sheep and goats (lambs pose a significant risk) and may cause face, hand or arm ulcers in humans who come into contact with lesions on infected animals. Good personal hygiene practices are essential to prevent human infection.

Ovine chlamydiosis (enzootic abortion of ewes – EAE)

EAE is caused by the organism Chlamydia psittaci which is carried by sheep and possibly goats. Infection in humans can lead to abortion or flu like illnesses. It is normally passed to humans during handling or contact with an infected afterbirth. Pregnant women should thus avoid working around pregnant ewes.

 

CAMERA and PHOTOGRAPH USE

Principles
The Crann Support Group and its members aim to use photographs and cameras for:

  • Assessment, planning and recording
  • Observation tools
  • Information for visitors and parents
  • Training purposes
  • Language extension
  • Teaching and learning resources

(Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, Policies & Procedures) (Síolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation, Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians, National Standard 4: Records)

Statement of Intent

To protect the privacy and safety of the children in our care

Policy and Procedure

We are aware of the need for sensitivity when taking photographs and observe the following:

  • Parental permission will always be sought before photos are taken.
  • Only the services camera/video camera may be used to take pictures.
  • The camera will remain on the property at all times.
  • Staff are not allowed to take pictures with picture phones or their own personal cameras. (If this is breached disciplinary action may be necessary)
  • The child does not object to having his/her photograph taken
  • Photographs are used to show positive issues (e.g. a piece of work that the child has worked hard on or is pleased with, children playing co-operatively together…….)
  • We are inclusive so that gender, race, special educational needs, and differing abilities are reflected in a balanced way
  • There may be cultural issues of which we need to be aware when taking photographs of children from different ethnic minority groups

Where photographs, videos or even samples of children’s work are to be displayed outside the service we seek parental permission for this to happen.

Examples of this are newspaper reports, articles in early year’s publications or exhibitions of children’s work.

Students visiting professionals or researchers, who need to take photographs or videos as part of their work, are made aware of the need for confidentiality and that children will not be named or identified in any other way. Further parental permission will be sought in this instance.

Parents are made aware of our use of cameras, and the location of this policy through the parent’s handbook, and have the opportunity to voice any concerns.

Use of Photographs

Photographs are used throughout the Crann Support Group and its members for a variety of purposes. Generally childcare practitioners take photographs of the children throughout the year to capture a particular example of play or something that a child has achieved. In addition, we use photographs for:

 

Photographs Purpose
Displays of children’s work A record of ideas and topic references
Examples of children’s play As a part of an individual child’s profile
Classroom areas To show the range of activities
Class albums For children to look at and talk about
Policy folders To explain the work of the service to parents and visitors
Special events and festivals As a record of the year and for children and parents to look at and talk about
Birthday display Used as a class resource for talking about birthdays, months of the year etc.
Photographic maps of the service and local environment A resource for topic work
From home To act as a link between home and pre-school
Children’s own photographs Children take photographs at Crèche on the digital camera, to gain experience in technology

Videos are also occasionally used for many of the above purposes. In particular, we may use them for observations of children’s play to further our understanding, or for assessment and planning tools

Parents Photographing and Videoing Children

Parents may not take photographs or record children in the Crann Support Group without the consent of the Management

Storage of Photos

Photographic or video recording will not be stored on devices in Crèche for extended periods of time.

If a photograph is likely to be used again it will be stored securely and only accessed by those people authorised to do so.

We will not re-use photos more than one-year-old, without further permission from the subject of the photo or the parent, as applicable.

Disposal of Photographs

In the event that we no longer require a photo it will be disposed of as confidential waste.

When photos are destroyed, the negatives will be destroyed as well.

Where the image is kept electronically

  • The CD disk will be made unusable
  • The memory card erased
  • The computer file deleted

Form

Registration

CCTV

Principle

CCTV digital images, if they show a recognisable person, are Personal Data and are covered by the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part III, Policies & Procedures, Part IV Records) (Siolta Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation, Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 12: Communication) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

Statement of Intent

The system has been installed by the Crann Support Group and its members with the primary purpose of ensuring the safety of children in our care, and helping to ensure the safety of all staff, parents/carers and visitors consistent with respect for the individuals’ privacy.

Policy and Procedure

The Crann Support Group and its members has in place a CCTV surveillance system. Images are monitored and recorded and will be used in strict accordance with this policy.

Data Controller: The Data Controller is the Manager and she is responsible for the data/information collected using CCTV.

The Manager is responsible for the operation of the system and for ensuring compliance with this policy.

This will be achieved by monitoring the system to:

  • Ensure that children are appropriately cared for.
  • Assist in the prevention and detection of crime.
  • Facilitate the identification of any activities/event which might warrant disciplinary proceedings being taken against staff and assist in providing evidence to the Manager.
  • Provide opportunities for staff training.

Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003

CCTV digital images, if they show a recognisable person, are Personal Data and are covered by the Data Protection Acts.

Location

The following areas are currently monitored by CCTV

  • Each of the Playrooms
  • Entrance area
  • Sleep room
  • Outdoor areas

Fairness

Management of the Crann Support Group respects and supports the individual’s entitlement to go about his/her lawful business and this is the primary consideration in the operation of CCTV. Although there will be inevitably some loss of privacy with CCTV cameras are not used to monitor the progress or activities in the ordinary course of lawful business. They are used to address concerns, deal with complaints or support investigations. New employees will be informed immediately, at induction that a surveillance system is in operation. Parents will be informed when they enrol their child. They will be informed of the purpose of the CCTV and what it can and cannot be used to monitor.

Role of the Management

  • To ensure the system is always operational.
  • To ensure that servicing and repairs are carried out as necessary to the system.

To any individual’s written request to view a recording that exists of him/her or his/her children.

  • To ensure prominent signage is in place that will make individuals aware that they are entering a CCTV area.
  • To ensure that areas of privacy (toilets etc.) are not monitored using CCTV.
  • To ensure confidentiality is maintained at all time. Recorded information will be stored in the office and will only be available to those directly connected with achieving the objectives of the system.

The system will not be used:

  • To provide recorded images for the world-wide-web.
  • To provide images for a third party, other than An Gardaí Síochaná in the course of their enquiries.

Traceability

Recordings must be logged and traceable throughout their life in the system. They must be identified by a unique serial number indelibly marked on the media shell.

Time and Date Stamping

The correct time and date must be overlaid on the recording image.

Copy/viewing Recordings

Management will respond to a request to view a recording by allowing the viewing to take place, in the presence of management on the crèche premises. This is to protect other children/staff that may be present on the recording. Copies of recorded information must be strictly controlled and only made in relation to incidents which are subject to investigation. They must only be given to authorised third parties. Copies can only be issued by The Manager

Retention

Recordings are retained for 10 (ten) days.

Access to Recordings

There is no obligation on the Crann Support Group and its members to comply with a request that it considers unreasonable or vexatious or if it involves disclosing identifiable images of third parties. Third parties must give consent. Recordings will however be provided, if required by law or authorised agencies such as the Gardaí.

  • Requests for access to recordings must be made in writing.
  • Sufficient information must be provided to locate the relevant recording, a specific date and reasonable time window.
  • Viewings will take place, if appropriate, in the service in the presence of management.
  • Management will have 21 days to respond.
  • If a copy of recording is given to a third party that third party must sign a declaration form that they will not share the tape with anyone else, copy it or use it for unauthorised purposes.
  • An incident report will be completed for each incident requiring investigation

If access to or disclosure of the images is allowed, then the following should be documented:

a. The date and time at which access was allowed or the date on which disclosure was made.
b. The identification of any third party who was allowed access or to whom disclosure was made.
c. The reason for allowing access or disclosure.
d. The extent of the information to which access was allowed or which was disclosed.
e. The identity of the person authorising such access.

Where the images are determined to be personal data images of individuals (other than the data subject) may need to be disguised or blurred so that they are not readily identifiable. If the system does not have the facilities to carry out that type of editing, an editing company may need to be hired to carry it out. If an editing company is hired, then the Manager or designated member of staff needs to ensure that there is a contractual relationship between the Data Controller and the editing company.

Data Subject Access Standards

All staff involved in operating the equipment must be able to recognise a request by data subjects for access to personal data in the form of recorded images by data subjects. Data subjects may be provided with a standard subject access request form which:

a) Indicates the information required in order to locate the images requested.
b) Indicate that a fee will be charged for carrying out the search for the images.
c) The maximum fee which may be charged for the supply of copies of data in response to a subject access request is set out in the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.
d) Ask whether the individual would be satisfied with merely viewing the images recorded.
e) Indicate that the response will be provided promptly following receipt of the required fee and in any event within 40 days of receiving adequate information

Forms

Declaration Form for a Copy of CCTV Recording

Registration Form

CLEANLINESS and HYGIENE

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that it complies with all the relevant legislation. To ensure the safety, health and welfare of the children, staff and parents who are in the service. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part IV, records, Part VII, 18 Premises, Part VI Safety Measures) (Síolta Standard 2: Environments) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, National Standard 13: Food and Drink, National Standard 17: Premises)

Statement of Intent

We are committed to excellence in matters of cleanliness and hygiene. We implement good practice and work effectively to ensure the Crann Support Group and its members is maintained to a very high standard. All employees are required to follow the cleanliness and hygiene procedures

Policy and Procedure

  • The Crèche will be maintained in a clean, hygienic state throughout the day and a cleaning record is kept.
  • Our staff are responsible for the materials and equipment used and ensures they are clean, hygienic and safe at all times.
  • Children will be encouraged to care for their environment.
  • Cleaning routines and procedures are in place and are closely monitored and recorded.
  • Disposable cloths/ colour coded cloths will be used for all cleaning purposes. They will be discarded regularly.
  • All cutlery/crockery will be washed and left to air dry.
  • Hand washing instructions are in place, liquid soap, paper towels are only used.
  • Hand washing is the most important defence against the spread of infection our children and staff will be aware of the importance and the need to wash our hands several times a day. Children are encouraged to use the red thermostatically controlled tap to wash their hands.
  • Children will be encouraged to develop their own personal hygiene routine, self-care and independence will be taught.
  • Disposal tissues will be available in the children’s rooms.
  • In the event where there is a spillage (e.g.) blood, vomit, urine (etc.) it will be cleaned up very promptly.
  • The use of gloves and plastic apron will be worn at all times to minimize the risk of infection.
  • We will display hazard signs, cover spillage, use a disinfectant solution and clean it up appropriately.
  • All cleaning products are stored safely and out of children’s reach.

Children’s Rooms

  • Checklists are posted on the wall of the room and must be checked daily. All staff will also receive their own personal weekly rota, to be signed off by the Manager.
  • Staff are responsible for keeping their rooms clean and tidy.
  • All room environments must be clean at all times. Toys, games and work equipment must be placed on the shelves in an orderly fashion at all times.
  • During the day the room should be ventilated regularly.

Cleaning Routines for Toys

Toys may be implicated in the transmission of potentially harmful germs and the development of infection in young children. Steps must be taken to ensure toys are maintained in a safe and usable state by regular inspection, scheduled cleaning and appropriate storage.

Soft Toys-should be kept to a minimum because they are porous, support microbial growth and can be difficult to clean. Soft toys must be subject to machine washing (Monthly or more often as necessary) and thorough air drying/tumble drying (according to manufacturer’s instructions). Repeated decontamination of soft toys can compromise the integrity of the fabric and create a choking hazard, therefore ensure thorough checking takes place before and after use.

Hard Surface Toys- should be washed at least monthly or sooner if visibly soiled. Toys with moving parts or openings can harbour dirt and germs in the crevices and must be washed and scrubbed using soap and warm water/detergent wipes, before thorough rinsing and drying.

Mechanical /Electrical Toys– should be surface wiped monthly or more often as necessary, using a damp cloth that has been rinsed in hot, soapy water or detergent wipes followed by thorough drying.

Books– should be inspected weekly and the surfaces wiped using a disposable cloth that has been rinsed in hot, soapy water/ detergent wipes followed by thorough drying. Books with signs of dampness or mildew must be discarded.

Dressing up Clothes– All clothes must be washable and washed at a temperature of 60 degrees for 10 minutes. Clothes must be laundered weekly or more often as necessary. The storage box or rail must also be cleaned regularly.

Sand Pit– Rake the sandpit every morning and afternoon, keep the sandpit covered when it is not being used. Sieve the sand weekly and wash the sand play toys weekly and allow to dry. Replace sand every 2 or 3 months or more often as necessary.

Ball Pools– should be inspected daily for cleanliness, debris or foreign items. Routine cleaning must be carried out on a monthly basis using hot water and neutral detergent. The balls should be washed in hot water and neutral detergent and then dried thoroughly following replacement.

Toilets

Toilets are checked regularly and cleaned appropriately as necessary.

Potties

Potties should be washed with hot water and detergent and dried with a paper towel after each use.

Bins and Recycling

The room should have two bins; one for green bin recycling and one for everything else. Children will be encouraged to use the appropriate bins. Staff should ensure that bins are never allowed to overflow. If it is full empty it. The bins should be emptied and rinsed out at the end of every day. If a bin has a lid, the lid must be closed at all times.

Staff Hygiene

It is imperative to wash hands after handling bins, changing nappies, cleaning up vomit or urine, cleaning children’s noses, before handling food, after handling food etc. This will help in the battle against infections.

Hand Sanitizers

As most common germs are transmitted through hand contact we have placed hand sanitizers inside the front door for all visitors to use to help reduce the risk of spreading infection.

SAMPLE DAILY CLEANING ROUTINE

  • Wipe down all shelves in warm soapy water
  • Wash all table tops and wipe down table legs with a mild disinfectant
  • Wash down sink and surrounding counter area
  • Clean fridge as required, check dates on food, and remove if necessary
  • The fridge should be wiped out inside with antibacterial spray
  • The outside of the fridge is to be cleaned with a mild disinfectant
  • Wipe down window sills in warm soapy water. Clean windows with warm soapy water if necessary
  • Wipe all exposed woodwork with a mild disinfectant
  • Wash all skirting boards with warm soapy water
  • Empty bin and replace bag
  • Replace hand towels and hand washing liquid as required
  • Clean toilet and disinfect toilet seat and base
  • Wash sink and disinfect taps
  • Empty bins and replace new bag, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Sweep/vacuum and wash floors with warm soapy water

Forms

Daily Cleaning Record

Weekly/Monthly Cleaning Record

DRESS CODE

Principle

 

The Crann Support Group and its members considers the way their staff dress and their appearance is of significant importance in portraying a professional image to parents, visitors, clients and colleagues and encourages a sense of belonging. (Siolta Standard 11: Professional Practice) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management)

Scope

All Crann Support Group employees, students and volunteers

Statement of Intent

The Dress Code policy is designed to guide staff on standards of dress and appearance. All staff’s appearance must be professional at all times both within the workplace and when representing the service. The Crann Support Group and its members values its staff and does not intend to quell personal expression- but the health, safety and welfare of children and staff is paramount at all times.

Policy

  • Uniforms/clothing and shoes must be clean tidy and neat at all times
  • Staff must present for work in the correct uniform
  • Comfortable shoes should be worn at all times. High-heels, toe-less sandals (flip flops) or backless shoes should be avoided in light of the dangers these can present to staff and children.
  • No jewellery except for wedding bands and simple stud earrings may be worn. Body/facial/tongue piercings are not permitted.
  • The absolute minimum of make-up should be worn.
  • Any tattoos should not be on view.
  • Hair should be clean, washed, neat and tied back at all times.
  • Nails should be short and clean at all times. Painted nails are not considered appropriate for a childcare setting as all staff are basic food handlers and non-polished nails reduce the risk of contamination. False or gel nails are not permitted.
  • Staff are required to change into appropriate overalls for food handling.
  • Staff are role models for young children so must exercise a high level of personal care and hygiene at all times.
  • Chewing gum is not permitted.

Students and Volunteers

  • Dress must be neat, clean and tidy. It must be non-revealing and jeans are not permitted.
  • Any tattoos should not be on view.
  • Hair should be clean, washed, neat and tied back at all times.
  • Nails should be short and clean at all times. Painted nails are not considered appropriate for a childcare setting
  • Comfortable shoes should be worn at all times. High heels, toe-less sandals (flip flops) or backless shoes should be avoided in light of the dangers these can present to staff and children.
  • Chewing gum is not permitted.

EMERGENCY CLOSURE

Principle

In the unlikely event that The Crann Support Group and its members has to close at times other than scheduled in the normal opening hours and dates, the policy will be applied to ensure that all involved in the service have a clear understanding of the procedures which will take place. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 8 Management and Staff, Part VI, Safety) (Síolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 5: Organisation and Management)

Statement of Intent

The service will endeavour to be open during normal service hours. Monday to Friday 51 weeks of the year (excluding public holidays) without disruption. Where disruption is unavoidable, all involved in the service will be kept informed and the Crèche will reopen at the earliest possible opportunity.

Procedure

An emergency closure will be implemented in the following circumstances:

  • When the building is unusable through accidental or malicious damage
  • When the building is unusable due to required maintenance work. Where possible the Crann Support Group and its members will endeavour to negotiate scheduled work to be carried out during times of closure.
  • When an outbreak of illness within the service community requires closure in line with the Tusla recommendations.
  • When illness levels within the staff body mean it is impossible to maintain the correct ratios of suitable adults to children as per the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016.
  • When an emergency occurs during the opening hours which requires the service to close early.
  • In the event of any of the above incidents occurring which requires the Crann Support Group members to close on a given day, The Manager will make contact with the families of the Crèche affected for that day in advance where practical. Where this is not practical, a member of the management will remain at the building until such time as it can be determined that all the affected families have been made aware of the situation.
  • Parents will be informed about how they can find out when the Crèche will reopen and other information according to the circumstances of the closure. This may include asking them to nominate a preferred contact number/email address, or holding a special meeting to keep parents informed.

Emergency closure after a session has started

  • In the event of an emergency closure after the session has started, parents and carers will be informed by telephone that they are required to collect their child as soon as possible.
  • If the closure is due to sickness, the children and all staff who are unaffected will remain on the premises until all children can be collected.
  • If the closure is due to an emergency which requires the building to be evacuated, the children will be safely evacuated according to the current Fire Drill procedures. Contact information for all the children will be taken out of the building alongside the daily register.
  • Once the building is evacuated, the emergency services will be called.
  • The children will then be taken to a place of safety until such time as they can all be collected by parents/designated person. Parents will be contacted by the Manager. All staff will remain with the children during this time.

Form

Accident/Incident

ENVIRONMENTAL CARE and RECYCLING

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will conduct its activities and operations to reflect best environmental practice in order to control and reduce our direct impacts on the environment.
(Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, Policies & Procedures) (Síolta Standard 16: Community Involvement) (National Standard 17: Premises)

Statement of Intent

The Crann Support Group and its members aim to:

  • Reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill;
  • Increase the amount of rubbish we recycle
  • Reduce our energy usage

Procedure

  • We will ensure that every main room in the service is provided with a highly visible and convenient recycling bin. This will be emptied daily into the main recycling bins.
  • We will ensure staff have ready access to recycling bins and are trained to dispose of food packaging appropriately.
  • We will purchase recycled office paper and stationery, closing the loop on the paper recycled by the service.
  • Lights and taps will be turned off when not in use.
  • We will use low energy light bulbs where possible.
  • We will encourage the children to be environmentally friendly by providing activities that promote recycling.

HEALTH & SAFETY/ RISK ASSESSMENT

Principle
The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that it takes all reasonable precautions in relation to the health and safety of employees working in the service and children in attendance.
The Crann Support Group and its members has a Safety Statement stating the management’s written programme for safeguarding safety and health in the workplace. It specifies the manor, organisation and resources necessary for implementing and reviewing safety and health standard, which is signed by all staff members. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI Safety, Part III, Management and Staff, 26, First Aid, 27, Fire Safety Measures, Part VII, 18, Premises & Space requirements) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta standard 15: Legislation and Regulation)(National Standard 17: premises, National Standard 18: Facilities, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

At the Crann Support Group and its members it is our aim to comply with all legislation in force in the area of safety and hygiene including

  • Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations, 2016
  • Fire Services Act 1981
  • Safety; Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005
  • Building Regulations 1997 – 2006
  • Ensure the health well-being, and personal safety of all users while on the premises
  • Have proper accident prevention and emergency procedures agreed and shared with all facility users
  • Ensure all agreed safety procedures are reviewed and followed consistently.

Responsibilities of Employees

Employees shall:

  • Take reasonable care of their own Safety, Health and Welfare and that of any other person or children in their care that may be affected by their acts or omissions while at work.
  • Familiarise themselves with and always conform to, the organizations Safety, Health and Welfare policy as detailed in the service Safety Statement.
  • Observe all safety rules and co-operate with their employers to comply with any of the relevant statutory regulations and directives.
  • Use any suitable appliance, protective clothing, convenience or equipment in such a manner so as to provide the protection intended for securing their Safety, Health and Welfare while at work.
  • Conform to all instructions given by the Manager and others responsible for Safety, Health and Welfare.
  • Use only as intended the correct equipment for the jobs, with all appropriate safety devices and keep tools in good condition.
  • Direct any suggestions or concerns on matters of Safety, Health and Welfare to the Manager.
  • Report to the Manager without delay all accidents, damage, defects or issues of safety. This includes accidents or near misses, whether persons are injured or not.
  • Ensure that specific statutory training i.e. manual handling and first aid, is completed and updated as required.

Employees shall not:

  • Intentionally or recklessly interfere with, or misuse any appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or other means or things provided in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions or otherwise, for securing the Safety, Health and Welfare of persons arising out of work activities.
  • Carry out any tasks, which they feel they are not competent to carry out, or which involves unreasonably high risks.
  • Be under the influence of any intoxicants likely to affect their ability to work safely or to supervise children. Please report any medical issue likely to affect your safety or that of the children or your colleagues as soon as possible to management.

Policy and Procedure

Staffing

  • It is vitally important the service has the recommended ratio of adults to children on the premises.
  • There are at least two members of staff with up to date first aid training.
  • At least two members of staff will be on the premises at all times.
  • The arrival and departure of adults must be made clear and kept on record daily.
  • Adults must not drink hot beverages in the room with the children.

Supervision of Children

  • The arrival and departure of children must be made clear and kept on record daily.
  • Appropriate procedures are to be taken to ensure children are always supervised indoors and outdoors.
  • Care is taken to ensure children cannot leave the premises undetected.
  • Children must be shown and explained the importance of being careful with toys and objects, e.g. How to carry pencils, scissors, and chairs. It is explained that we always sit while eating and never run in the building.

Equipment and Facilities

  • In planning out the layout of the room, emphasis is given to minimising safety risks and allowing clear space whilst ensuring that activities are carefully monitored.
  • All areas to be checked daily upon arrival into rooms, and routinely during the day.
  • External exits to be kept clear and unobstructed at all times. In the classroom keep doorway clear and accessible at all times.
  • Check all equipment and work areas to ensure it is safe to use prior to using it. Where a defect of safety concern is identified do not use the equipment until it has been cleared for use by the Management.
  • There is a phone in the building at all times.
  • All water in the children’s wash basins are thermostatically controlled, if you suspect that the water is too hot for the children; please report to this to Management.
  • Ensure all sockets not in use have safety finger guards in place.
  • All equipment should be turned off every evening on locking up, windows and patio doors secured, and all waste material disposed of.
  • Toys are to be picked up/tidied away when not in use. All toys with loose pieces or broken removed from use until they are fixed/made safe.
  • Special attention must be paid to the outdoor environment.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

  • Cleaning and disinfection policies are documented and monitored daily. Reducing cross contamination by using specific cloths (separate cloths for classroom, art/craft, accident and toilet cleaning) and adequate cloth changing must always be implemented.
  • A clean as you go policy is in place, floor space in classrooms and walkways must be kept tidy and unobstructed. Storage is provided in each classroom, and must be used to reduce hazards. Food is consumed at tables only and areas are cleaned after meals to remove spillages. All spillages must be cleaned immediately and wet floor sign displayed.
  • All work rooms in particular toys or child contact surfaces cleaned and disinfected regularly. All body fluids to be cleaned up and area disinfected, cloth used to be disposed of. Disposable gloves to be used. Regularly sanitize hands during the day.

Fire Safety

  • Fire exits are not locked and access is kept clear at all times with fire extinguishers close to main exit / access. Fire extinguishers are checked annually.
  • A standard fire drill is carried out twice monthly and records are kept.

Accidents and Incidents

  • Any injury must be reported and details of the accident are to be recorded in the accident book or Accident /Incident Form.
  • Incidents of violence against staff, including verbal abuse, will be investigated and appropriate action will be completed by management with the member of staff.
  • Minor accidents/injuries will be treated on the premises and parents / guardians will be notified of the injury and action taken.
  • The Crèche has details of a local Doctor in case of accidents or sudden illness.
  • First Aid box easily identifiable and located in an area known to all staff members. The contents of the First Aid Box are checked once a month.

Medicines

  • Medicine can only be administered to children upon the written consent of their parents, or upon direction from management (after consultation with the child’s parents). Please ensure that you have another member of staff present with you to verify the medicine administered. Both staff are to sign the medicine form. This practise is to protect you from dangerous occurrences.
  • Medicines should be stored appropriately and safely away from the children

Health and Illness

  • All staff should have up-to-date rubella and tetanus vaccinations as a minimum. Additional checks/vaccinations such as TB, polio or Hepatitis A should be maintained as good practise.
  • An exclusion policy applies for all persons suffering from an infectious disease in the service for both staff and children. Any person suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting, infectious cough/upper respiratory tract infection, communicable parasitic infection on hands/arms (scabies etc.) shall be excluded from the service until symptoms subside and the person has been medically cleared to return.
  • Any person returning to work following an absence which could have health and safety implications (infectious disease, back complaint) must provide Fitness to Work Cert from their doctor.
  • No person may work in the Crann Support Group and its members while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, as this may affect their personal health and safety or that of any other person.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members prohibits smoking in all work areas, within the building and on its grounds.
  • A worker specific risk assessment shall be completed, when Management is notified of the pregnancy of an employee. Suitable controls shall be introduced in to the workplace to ensure the work completed by the employee in question does not pose a risk of injury or ill health to mother/baby, so far as is reasonably practicable. In particular issues around, lifting/carrying children/furniture/equipment/materials, seating provisions.

Dress Code

  • All staff must wear suitable clothing and the correct uniform.
  • All staff must wear flat suitable shoes; open toed sandals etc., are not permitted.
  • Gloves and aprons used for nappy changing.
  • Staff handling food wear appropriate protective clothing.

Manual Handling

  • Do not lift if you feel the load is too heavy, 2-person lift is advised.
  • High chairs may not be lifted or dragged with children in them.
  • If you are moving tables on your own, push tables where possible rather than lifting.

Partnership with Parents

All parents are made aware of the service’s procedures including arrival and departures, parking etc.

Forms

Registration Form

Medicine Administration
Risk assessment forms
Daily Cleaning Record
Weekly + Monthly Cleaning Record

MISSING CHILD

To minimise the likelihood of children going missing while in the care of the Crann Support Group and its members and to provide the correct procedure to follow should that happen. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, Safety) (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 6: Evaluation, National Standard 20: Safety)

Principle

Statement of intent

All children attending the Crann Support Group and its members are of equal importance and are cared for equally. Staff are deployed and the building is used in such a way as to minimise the chance of children removing themselves from the main group without being noticed, whilst allowing them a free choice of activities. In this way staff can be made immediately aware of a child needing help or support, and react accordingly.

Procedure

  • Children are welcomed into the setting by a designated member of staff, who marks their presence in the daily register.
  • A member of staff remains on duty by the door throughout the arrival and departure period of the childcare facility and until all parents and carers have left the premises.
  • The main door is kept secure at all times when a member of staff is not on duty at the entrance.
  • Children’s times of arrival and departure are noted on the register and Childs Path App, and a note is made in the register if a child is to leave early or with another adult.
  • Staff are deployed throughout the setting during the session, ensuring that no child is left alone for any period of time without an adult being aware of their location.
  • The outdoor area is supervised.
  • The outdoor area is securely fenced and the gate secure at all times.
  • The rooms in which the children play are never left unsupervised/out of vision of staff members.
  • A member of staff remains on duty within the main room at all times, unless all the children and staff are in the outdoor area together
  • If all staff and children are outside and a child needs to come inside, a member of staff will accompany them inside.
  • Visitors are viewed through a window before the door is unlatched to allow them access to the building.

In the event of a member of staff not being able to locate a child on the premises:

  • The premises will be searched thoroughly and immediately.
  • The register will be called to determine which child(ren) are missing.
  • The grounds surrounding the childcare facility will be searched.
  • The Manager will call the local Garda.
  • The Manager will inform the parents.
  • A full and thorough review of procedures and practices will take place to determine how the incident occurred and changes will be made if appropriate.

In the Event of a Child going missing on an outing

Parents usually attend outings and are responsible for their own child. However, the following procedures are to be followed.

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, staff on the outing ask children to stand with their designated person/parent and carry out a headcount to ensure that no other child has gone astray.
  • One staff member searches the immediate vicinity but does not search beyond that.
  • The Manager contacts the local Garda station and reports the child as missing. Then follow their instructions.
  • The Manager contacts the parent, who makes their way to the setting or outing venue as agreed if they are not already with the group.
  • Staff take the remaining children back to the setting if applicable.
  • In an indoor venue, the staff contact the venue’s security who will handle the search and contact the local Garda Station if the child is not found.
  • A full and thorough review of procedures and practices will take place to determine how the incident occurred and changes will be made if appropriate.

Forms

Accident/Incident

CRITICAL INCIDENT PLAN POLICY

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will endeavor to ensure that the children are protected and cared for at all times and in the event that the building needs to be evacuated staff will follow this plan safely and children will be will be supervised during any period spent outside the premises. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VI, Safety, Part III, Policies & Procedures) (Síolta Standard 3: Parents and Families, Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 5: Organisation and Management)

Statement of Intent

Emergency situations are usually sudden and unexpected and can be dangerous and very stressing for all involved. An emergency situation may induce a strong emotional reaction and normality can be threatened. In the event of an emergency at our facility this policy will be applied to ensure that all involved in the service have a clear understanding of the procedures which will take place. The purpose of this plan is to address basic emergency planning and response for a range of childcare emergencies

Definition of Critical Incident

A critical incident is any incident or sequence of events which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the service.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is the preparation and planning necessary to effectively handle a critical incident or emergency situation. It involves our service assessing the likelihood of specific critical incidents occurring and developing an emergency plan that identifies the services we require, and the resources we need to have on hand in case such an incident occurs. The goal of these preparedness activities is to make sure that our service is ready and able to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a critical incident.

Responsibilities and Roles in Emergency Planning and Response

The Crann Support Group & member’s management will:

  • Ensure that the facility remains in compliance with Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 in regard to:

o First Aid
o Medical Assistance
o Management and staffing
o Registering of children
o Records
o Information for Parents
o Fire safety measures
o Premises and Facilities

  • Will Develop and review Emergency Preparedness Plan(s). Emergency situations identified during risk assessment as being high risk to the service will have a specific plan developed.
  • Ensure that staff are trained in the provisions of Emergency Preparedness Plan(s).
  • Ensure that children are prepared for the provisions of Emergency Preparedness Plan(s).
  • Conducts evacuation and lockdown drills, keep records and plan revisions based on drill evaluations.
  • Assign emergency responsibilities to staff members as required, with regard to individual capabilities and normal responsibilities.
  • Keep parents and staff members informed of Emergency Preparedness Plan revisions.
  • Regular safety checks of the service, equipment and toys are done and records kept.

The Crann Support Group and its members will:

  • Participate in developing the facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan(s).
  • Participate in emergency preparedness training and drills.
  • Help children develop confidence in their ability to care for themselves.
  • Provide leadership during a period of emergency.

The Crann Support Group Maintenance Personnel + Management will:

  • Participate in developing the facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan(s).
  • Conduct periodic safety inspections of the facility.
  • Identify shut-off valves and switches for gas, oil, water and electricity. A chart showing shut-off locations so that others can use them in an emergency is available in both reception and kitchen areas.
  • Provide for emergency shut-off of the ventilating system (as applicable).
  • Instruct all staff members on how to use fire extinguishers.

Food

The Manager will:

  • Ensure that suitable, sufficient, nutritious and varied food is available at all times.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of non-perishable food and water for emergency use.
  • Rotate supplies to ensure freshness.

Parents

The Manager will:

  • Encourage parents to become familiar with the Emergency Preparedness Plan(s) and procedures they are to follow.
  • Advise parents of the service’s procedure for picking up their children if an emergency causes the service to relocate to another site.
  • Ensure that the information the facility has on the children and parents is current and correct.
  • Invite parents where appropriate, to assist in writing the Emergency Preparedness Plan(s).

The Crann Support Group and its members has addressed the following emergency situations:

  • Medical Emergencies (see Accident and Incident, First Aid, Anaphylaxis and Illness Policies)
  • Missing Child (See Missing Child Policy)
  • Natural Disasters: flood, storms, icy weather (see Emergency Closure Policy)
  • Utility Disruption, water, electricity, heating (see Emergency Closure Policy)
  • Fire/smoke Emergencies (see Fire Safety Policy)
  • Hazardous Material; chemical spills (see Spillages and Hazards Policy)
  • Pandemic Flu or other Pandemic Episodes (see Swine Flu and Infection Control policies)
  • Evacuation Process and Procedure for Sheltering Off-site (see Emergency Closure Policy)
  • Gas leak (see Emergency Closure Policy)
  • Potentially Violent Situations (unauthorized/suspicious person/intruder) (see Lockdown/Evacuation procedures below)
  • Disgruntled or Impaired Parent/Guardian (see Comments and Complaints and Lockdown/Evacuation procedures below)
  • Bomb Threat (see Lockdown/Evacuation procedures below)

The Crann Support Group and its members in its development of Emergency Preparedness Plan(s) has the following:

  • A current list of staff members’ names, addresses and contact details for staff and next of kin;
  • A current list of children including special needs requirements;
  • An attendance log book;
  • A current list of parents and second named guardian including contact details;
  • Adequate first aid resources and a current list of staff with first aid training;
  • A quick reference guide with contact details for the Critical Incident Team and essential services;
  • A clearly defined evacuation procedure which identifies pre-designated assembly areas and if required, a relocation shelter site;
  • An evacuation bag
  • Up to date facility floor plans and maps outlining fire exits and location of essential services;
  • Templates for communications with parents and the media (ref. Resource materials, Dept. of Education);
  • Contact details for interpretive services if required;
  • Maintaining a soft copy file of children’s photographs, with parental consent, should be considered.

Critical Incident Procedures

When an incident occurs, staff will immediately alert the Manager or designated person. It is the responsibility of the Manager to determine whether the incident is deemed to be critical. The Manager or designated person will lead the emergency response and be guided by the Critical Incident Action Guide

Immediate Response [within 24 hours]

a) Identify the nature of the critical incident
b) Implement the appropriate emergency preparedness plan
c) Contact emergency services
d) Delegate immediate first aid to trained staff
e) If applicable, secure the area
f) Ensure safety and welfare of children and staff
g) Notify the critical incident team leader if not on site
h) Liaise with emergency services, hospital and medical services
I) Contact and inform parents and family members
j) Identify children and staff members most closely involved and at risk
k) Manage media and publicity
l) Maintain Emergency Operational Procedure & Time Log

Lockdown Procedure

If there is a dangerous person inside or immediately outside the service, the best procedure may be to lock all interior doors and to protect the staff and children in their rooms.

Staff have agreed a code word or signal during the emergency planning process and all staff are trained to recognize this signal which warns them that there is a danger and that all rooms should be locked.

Children will be kept inside the rooms, away from doors or windows where they can be seen.

The Manager will should summon the Garda Síochaná. Efforts to get the dangerous person(s) to leave the service should only be taken if it is safe to do so.

Staff should only unlock the doors to their rooms if they hear the previously agreed code word or signal.

Shelter in the Facility

If it is unsafe for the adults and children of the service to go outside, provisions have been made to provide “protected spaces” inside. Depending on time available to move the children, it may be necessary to try to shelter in a “close” part of the service, rather than the most protected space.

A safe area is:

  • In the interior of the building away from glass that may shatter.
  • Not in a room with large ceiling spans (like gymnasiums or auditoriums) that may fall if subjected to strong winds.
  • In a room where furniture and wall-hangings are secured so that they will not fall onto children or adults.

Sample protected spaces within The Crann Support members included:

  • Interior hallway.
  • Reception area.
  • Toilet areas.
  • Changing areas.
  • Nursery and 1-2 sleeproom.
  • Inside wall of all rooms.

There may be danger of flooding or a real danger of not being able to get out – making it even more important that the emergency services know where you are.

These locations were identified during the planning process and are made known to all staff.

All air intakes and openings should be closed to protect the atmosphere inside in the event that we are being kept inside because of smoke or toxic chemicals outside.

Emergency Evacuation after a Session has started

  • The alarm bell will be sounded by the Manager or other nominated person or the code word will be used to staff.
  • In the event of an emergency evacuation after the session has started, parents and carers may be informed by telephone that they are required to collect their child as soon as possible from the Emergency Assembly Point which is opposite to the outdoor playground.
  • The children will be safely evacuated according to the current Fire Drill procedures to the Emergency Assembly point.
  • Contact information for all the children will be taken out of the building along with the daily register.
  • Once the building is evacuated, the emergency services will be called.
  • Children will only be escorted back into the building under the advice of the emergency services or the Manager once all threats to safety have been cleared.

Procedures for Dealing with a Trespasser

If a trespasser is found on the premises the Manager or other nominated person will:

a) Establish their name and why they are on the premises.
b) Inform another member of staff that they are dealing with a trespasser and activate the lock down or evacuation procedure if required. (Use the code word to alert other staff members)
c) Offer help to the person or to call someone for them in the event that the trespasser is distressed or it is suspected that they are under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants.
d) Request that the person leaves quietly.
e) If the person refuses to leave the Gardaí will be called.

Under no circumstances must staff member put themselves in danger if the trespasser is aggressive or violent. The evacuation procedures should be followed and the Gardaí called.

Post Assault/Post Trauma: Procedures and Guidelines

In the event of any incident The Crann Support Group Member Manager should offer as much support as is reasonably possible to those involved.

Note: it is considered essential that the service Manager and all staff are aware of the effects of assaults/serious incidents.

The following areas need to be addressed for the staff:

  • Debriefing immediately following, or as soon as practical after an assault/incident
  • Completion of report on the incident
  • Follow up to check how the staff member is doing
  • Outside/independent support for the staff member if appropriate
  • Get immediate medical help if necessary
  • Consult own GP and if advised take sick leave
  • Complete an incident report form.
    Have a policy to report assaults/incidents and serious threats to the Gardaí, but it is acknowledged that it is up to the individual staff member to make a decision on pressing charges. The Manager should accompany the staff member when
    making a report to the Gardaí and also to court if charges are brought and the staff member is required as a witness.

N.B. Staff members making a statement to the Gardaí should use their work address and not their personal address.

Secondary Response [24–72 hours]

a) Assess the need for support and counselling for those directly and indirectly involved.
b) Provide staff, parents and wider community with factual information as appropriate.
c) Arrange debriefing for all parents, children and staff most closely involved and at risk.
d) Restore the facility to regular routine, program delivery, and community life as soon as practicable.
e) Complete critical incident report.

Ongoing Follow-up Response

a) Identify any other persons who may be affected by the critical incident and provide access to support services for community members.
b) Provide accurate information to parents and staff.
c) Arrange a memorial service and occasional worship as appropriate.
d) Maintain contact with any injured and affected parties to provide support and to monitor progress.
e) Monitor staff and children for signs of delayed stress and the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder; providing specialized treatment as necessary.
f) Evaluate critical incident and Emergency management plan.
g) Be sensitive to anniversaries.
h) Manage any possible longer term disturbances e.g. inquests, legal proceedings.

Evaluation and Review of Management Plan

  • After a critical incident, a meeting of the critical incident team will be held to evaluate the critical incident report, the effectiveness of the management plan and to make modifications as required.
  • After any evacuation or security breach a full and comprehensive review will take place by the Management and will include:
  • Completing an incident report form with a full report of how the situation was dealt with.
  • A report of any children or staff that have been distressed or upset during the incident or subsequent evacuation.
  • Evacuation procedures.
  • Security arrangements to avoid trespassers accessing the building.
  • The evaluation process will incorporate feedback gathered from staff, parents and local community representatives.
  • An evaluation report will be made available to the management team.

Information/Training

  • These procedures should be known to all staff and reviewed on a regular basis and incorporated into the induction programme.
  • Management and staff should agree an emergency code or phrase.
  • Under no circumstances must staff be made feel incompetent or apologetic for activating the emergency procedures.
  • Responsibility for the training is assigned to the Manager.

Dealing with the Media

In the event of a crisis, emergency or controversial situation, the CEO will handle all contacts with the media, and will coordinate the information flow from the Hive Childcare to the public. In such situations, all staff should refer calls from the media to the Manager or CEO. No staff may talk to the media unless designated to do so. A breach of this may invoke the disciplinary policy.

Appendices

Appendix A Emergency Preparedness Risk Assessment Form
Appendix B Emergency Contact List
Appendix C Emergency Preparedness plan (template)

DEALING WITH THE MEDIA

Some events draw a great deal of media attention and this can add complexity and stress to what is already a difficult situation. The media can be used to dispel rumour and give a clear factual message. On the other hand, the media can sensationalise the story.

The primary concern at any time of crisis is to protect the privacy of those affected by the incident and to ensure any media attention is handled sensitively.

It is most important that all those involved understand how the media will be handled at times of crisis

Press Statement

  • Prepare a Press Statement that is factual and accurate
  • It should be brief and carefully considered
  • Avoid sweeping statements or generalisations
  • Consider privacy of families concerned

Interviews

  • Decide if the service wished to partake
  • Use designated times and in a specific press room (this keeps you in control)
  • Preparation is key
  • Parents should be advised not to let children be interviewed
  • Delegate a spokesperson
  • Management should inform everyone concerned that only the nominated spokesperson will deal with the media

CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS DEBRIEFING

DEBRIEF

  • Assess impact
  • Safety and Security
  • Ventilation and validation
  • Prediction and planning
  • Support
  • Recovery

PEST CONTROL

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members work hard to keep a clean and hygienic environment for children staff and parents. We will ensure children and staff are not exposed to pests (insects, cockroaches, rats, mice, etc.) pest residue, and the chemicals used to control them. (Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part VII, 29, Premises, Part VI Safeguarding health, safety & welfare of child) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare, Siolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation)(National Standard 17: premises, National Standard 18: Facilities, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

The Manager of the Childcare Facility is the person designated to act as a liaison between the service and a pest control company if required.

Procedure

  • Regular inspections will be performed by the Manager or a pest management professional (who is knowledgeable about pest control) or another person who is knowledgeable about pest biology and habits.
  • Staff should report to the Manager immediately if they have any concerns regarding pests of any kind. Staff should be alert to the possibility of infestation on discovery of any of the following:
     Direct sightings of vermin/pests
     Droppings near food source
     Evidence of nesting
     Evidence of gnawing
  • Food should be kept covered or stored in airtight pest proof containers.
  • Spillages should be promptly cleaned up.
  • Proper sanitation will be maintained and correct disposal of rubbish and food waste will be maintained to prevent conditions for pests.
  • Water leaks will be repaired and standing water will be eliminated whenever possible.
  • Repairs will be performed as needed to prevent pest access to buildings or to hiding spaces in walls and equipment.
  • Pest management decisions will be based on the results of regular inspections.
  • If a pesticide is needed, the least hazardous pesticide is selected that will effectively control the pest problem.
  • Pesticides will not be applied when children are present at Crèche. Toys and other items mouthed or handled by the children will be removed from the area before pesticides are applied. Children will not return to the treated area within two hours of a pesticide application or as specified on the pesticide label, whichever time is greater.
  • In the event of an emergency where pests pose an immediate health threat to children and staff (e.g. wasps) and pesticides are applied, ensure that children will not return to the treated area within two hours of a pesticide application or as specified on the pesticide label, whichever time is greater.
  • At least two days but not more than 30 days’ advance notice of pesticide application will be given to parents and staff except in emergencies where pests pose an immediate health threat to children or staff (e.g. wasps).
  • Parents and staff will be notified as soon as possible when advance notice is not provided and include an explanation of the emergency, the reason for the late notice and the name of pesticide applied.
  • Access to bait boxes and other forms of pest control will never be accessible to children at the childcare facility.
  • A record of pest control measures will be kept

Individual Pests

Houseflies

Significance

Houseflies can transmit intestinal worms or their eggs and are potential vectors of disease such as food poisoning and gastro-enteritis. They will frequent and feed indiscriminately on any liquefiable solid food, putrefying material or food stored for human consumption.

Control

Flies have rapid, prolific breeding habits and high mobility. In order to break the life-cycle, control measures should be directed against larval and adult flies.

Hygiene/Management

Satisfactory hygiene is necessary to limit potential breeding sites and food sources. Entry of flies into buildings can be prevented by 1.12mm mesh fly screen, air curtains, bead screens or self- closing door equipment with rubber seals.

Cockroaches

Distribution

Cockroaches are common in premises associated with the production or handling of food. Gregarious and nocturnal they spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices around areas such as sinks, drains, cookers, the backs of cupboards and in refrigerator motor compartments. They favour buildings with service ducts and complex plumbing installations which allow them to travel freely.

Significance

Cockroaches are potential vectors of diseases such as food poisoning and gastroenteritis and can spread antibiotic resistant bacteria of many types. Their diet is omnivorous and includes fermenting substances, soiled dressings, hair, leather, parchment, wallpaper, faeces and food for human consumption.

Control

Monitoring and control is essential although successful control of cockroaches is a complex subject, and depends very much upon tailoring control measures to the species concerned. Infestations can be difficult to control as cockroach eggs are poorly penetrated by insecticides. Consequently, surveillance of the area by the pest control contractor may need to be prolonged.

Hygiene/Management

A high standard of hygiene will deny sources of food and hiding places.

Ants

(a) Black Ants:

Foraging worker ants cause a nuisance as they travel widely in search of food, following well-defined trails and clustering around the food source. Sweet foods are preferred. They are obviously an unpleasant sight and may damage food for human consumption.

(b)Pharaoh’s Ants:

These 2mm omnivorous light brown ants are half the size of the black ants. They cannot breed without artificial heat, are very persistent and pose a serious cross infection risk. The ants may be found in wall cavities, heating pipes, behind sinks and ovens and therefore in laundry, linen rooms or kitchens. They are particularly attracted to sweet or light protein.

Wasps

Wasp stings cause pain and distress. Some individuals are particularly sensitive. Wasp nests are only used for one season, so it may be possible to put up with the problem temporarily. They are often found in cavities in brickwork, in air bricks and roof vents. The nest can be treated by the Trust’s pest control contractor; such work may be best carried out in the evening or weekend as poisoned stupefied wasps can cause problems. Particular attention should be paid to areas around rubbish bins that should be kept in a hygienic condition.

Other Insect Pests

There are many other insect pests. The most common of these being flies of various species, crickets, silverfish and the stored product insects and mites who can be found infesting dried foods such as flour weevils.

Mice and Rats

These are the vertebrates with greatest potential for damage. Modem rodenticides are extremely efficient in the eradication of mice and rats.

Rodents have been known to gnaw through electric cables and cause fires. All sightings and other evidence of their presence should be reported to the Management.

All food and organic waste shall be kept in rodent proof containers.

Squirrels

The most serious damage in urban areas arises where the squirrel enters the roof spaces of houses by climbing the walls or jumping from nearby trees. Once inside, they chew woodwork, ceilings, and insulation on electrical wiring or tear up the loft insulation to form a dray. The best method of control is to proof the building/loft. Prevention is better than cure.

If a cure is required, the best form of control is trapping with the use of a squirrel trap.

Foxes

Foxes may occasionally spread disease such as toxocara and leptospirosis but the risk is believed to be small. More significantly, foxes do cause nuisance in a number
of ways. There may be damage to gardens caused when digging for food, and of course the indiscriminate depositing of faeces.
Killing foxes is both unnecessary and unlikely to provide a long-term solution as other foxes move in to vacant territories.

Forms
Record of Pest Control

SPILLAGES and HAZARDS

Principle

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Part VII, Premises, Part V, Equipment) (Siolta Standard 2: Environments) (National Standard 17: Premises, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

All persons working in the Crann Support Group and its members.

Policy and Procedure

Spillages

In the interests of health and safety the following procedures must be used when cleaning up spillages:

  • Disposable gloves are provided by the Crann Support Group and must be used by staff to clean up any body spillages or faeces. When changing nappies or any clothing, which has urine or faeces on it, this procedure should also be observed
  • Warning notices should be displayed where appropriate
  • Any vomit or blood should be dealt with immediately by wearing disposable gloves and applying Milton/Dettol directly on to the spillage, before cleaning up
  • All spillages should be reported to a member of staff and cleared up immediately. Tea/coffee spillages should be cleaned up using the paper towels provided. The area should then be cleaned using hand spray (Dettol) and a cloth. Dry the area with a paper towel. Toner/ink cartridge spillages should be cleared as best as possible using a dust pan and brush and the remainder removed using a vacuum cleaner. Dispose of the residue in a sealed plastic bag and wash hands thoroughly. Every member of staff has the responsibility to clear these types of spillages. For spillages of bodily fluids, please see the First Aid policy – a qualified first aider is responsible for dealing with these types of spillages.

Hazards

If you discover anything, which may be a potential hazard to you, the children, other staff or members of the public who may be using the Crèche you must take immediate remedial action. Report the hazard to the Manager who will record the hazard and take the appropriate action to rectify the hazard

UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS

The purpose of Universal Precautions or Infection Control Guidelines is to protect workers and School users from contact with any infectious organisms.

The basic principle is to treat all body substances (i.e. urine, faeces, vomit, mucus and blood) as potentially infected and if workers are in contact with same to ensure that they are informed and protected.

Guidelines

  • Latex gloves must be available at all times.
  • If handling any soiled dressings, latex gloves must be worn and all waste materials placed in disposable bags provided for infectious waste.
  • If cleaning up blood spills or any bodily fluid substances, latex gloves must be worn.
  • Before cleaning up any spillage make sure that there is no broken glass, syringe needles, or blades present that could cut or pierce you.
  • The spillage should be mopped up and the area cleaned thoroughly with a solution of one- part bleach to ten parts water. Any household bleach is adequate.
  • If a child or staff member vomits on site, cover the vomit thoroughly with paper towels. A member of staff wearing household rubber gloves should clean the area into a plastic bag and then wash the area thoroughly with hot water and disinfectant.

Needle Stick Injury Guidelines

Should a needle stick injury accidentally occur the following procedures should be followed:

  • Squeeze the area to encourage bleeding and to expel any contaminated blood and wash area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Inform the Manager and get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Record the incident in the accident report book or form

Forms

Accident/Incident

SUN SAFETY

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members want staff and children to enjoy the sun safely. (Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 20: Safety)

Statement of Intent

We will work with staff and parents to achieve sun safety

Policy

The Crann Support Group and its members requests that parents:

  • Apply sun cream to their child/children before they attend pre-school. As in the first instance it is the responsibility of the parent to apply sun cream to their child/children.
  • For children in the All Day Care Setting, parents are required to put named sun cream in the child’s bag and request the staff member to apply the sun cream throughout the day.
  • Provide a sunhat for children.

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that:

  • On very hot days’ children will have reduced exposure to sunlight.
  • Where possible, children can seek shade when outside in the sun.
  • Ensure that children will wear a sunhat if provided by the parent.

We will work towards Sun safety through the following

Education

  • Discussion with the older children about the sun and the need for protection.
  • Letter to be sent to parents and guardians with regard to sun cream and protection.
  • Time spent in discussion at staff meetings about sun safety in the garden.

Protection

Shade:

  • Large sun canopies/umbrellas may be used for shade around the garden

Timetabling:

  • Children will spend more time playing outside before 11am and after 3pm, and less time over lunchtime.

Clothing:

  • We will actively encourage all children to wear a hat when playing outside – for any length of time.
  • A small supply of hats will be available for those children who have forgotten their own.

Sunscreen:

  • We will send letters home asking for parents to apply sun cream to their child before bringing them to pre-school each morning, and to supply sun cream for children in the all day care setting.
  • We will also ask parents for permission for staff to apply sun cream onto their child when appropriate.
  • Parents should bring in sun cream in a named bottle.

Drinks:

  • Water will be available at all times in the classroom.
  • Water will also be available in the garden while children are playing.

SWINE FLU’ POLICY

Purpose
This policy and procedure has been developed in response to the World Health Organisation confirmation of the international spread of ‘swine’ flu. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 health, Welfare and Development of the Child) (Síolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 12: Health Care)

Scope

This policy document is applicable to all employees, students, children and the parents in relation to the Crann Support Group and its members.

Policy and Procedure

The Crann Support and its members is committed to ensuring the well-being of employees and the children in our care. The policy provides guidelines and the procedures that will be taken in the event of an outbreak of swine flu (H1N1) that may be serious enough to effect the running and business of the Crèche.

The Crann Support Group and its members are aware that children are very susceptible to getting this new virus and the service may serve as a central point for the spread of the virus. We will endeavour to ensure that procedures are in place so that we can work towards minimising the spread of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that by implementing good health practices and having in place protocols to ensure that we can deal with such an outbreak should it occur. We will develop contingency plans to manage flu and ensure that staff, children and parents are familiar with those plans.

All employees are expected to take personal responsibility for following the policies and procedures of the setting and in the event of a flu pandemic to act in accordance with any instructions given to them which is designed to protect the health and safety of themselves and the children in their care. The Crann Support Group and its members will keep parents briefed and will also request that they follow any instructions issued by the service in order to ensure the health and safety of all children and employees.

Swine Flu and the Symptoms The symptoms of swine flu are broadly the same as those of ordinary flu, but may be more severe and cause more serious complications. The typical symptoms are:

  • sudden fever, and
  • sudden cough

Other symptoms may include:

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or stomach upset
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • chills
  • aching muscles
  • limb or joint pain, and
  • sore throat

Employees must constantly be aware and they must pay particular attention to the observation of all children for symptoms as listed above. If a child does fall ill, then the employee should immediately follow the illness policy and procedure and parents should be notified immediately to take the child home.

It is most likely that nearly all persons with H1N1 flu will have at least two of these symptoms. There are a number of categories of people at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu these include children younger than 5 years old and pregnant women Good Hygiene Practices

Managing the spread of illness is possible with proper hand washing and effective nappy changing procedures, by cleaning toys properly and through education.

Vigilance by all employees in relation to hygiene is critical in order to prevent children and staff becoming sick. The Crann Support Group and its members will continue to operate rigorous hygiene practices. Employees, parents and visitors will be required to strictly adhere to protocols in relation to hygiene and good practice which will be displayed throughout the building and may be found at the end of this policy and procedure.

Effective Hand Washing

All employees, volunteers, and children must follow the procedure for hand washing at the following times:

1. Upon arrival for the day or when moving from one childcare group to another

2. before and after:

  • Eating
  • Handling food
  • Feeding a child
  • Giving medication
  • Playing in water that is used by more than one person

3. After:

  • Nappy Changing
  • Using the toilet or helping a child use the toilet
  • Handling bodily fluid (mucus, blood, vomit), from sneezing, wiping and blowing noses, from mouths, or from sores
  • Handling uncooked food, especially raw meat and poultry
  • Handling pets and other animals
  • Playing in sandboxes
  • Cleaning or handling the rubbish

N.B. – Washing hands after eating is especially important for children who eat with their hands, to decrease the amount of saliva (which may contain organisms) on their hands

Hand washing is the most important way to reduce the spread of infection. Many studies have shown that unwashed or improperly washed hands are the primary carriers of infections. It must be noted that wearing gloves is NOT protection against bacteria or the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu).

Children and employees should wash their hands using the following method:

  • Check to be sure a clean, disposable paper (or single-use cloth) towel or electric hand drier is available
  • Turn on warm water, to a comfortable temperature (in line with pre-school regulations)
  • Moisten hands with water and apply liquid soap/gel to hands
  • Rub hands together vigorously until a soapy lather appears, and continue for at least 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice). Rub areas between fingers, around nail beds, under fingernails, jewelry, and back of hands
  • Rinse hands under running water, no less than 15 degrees C and no more than 43 degrees C, until they are free of soap and dirt. Leave the water running while drying hands
  • Dry hands with the clean, disposable paper or single use cloth towel or electric hand drier
  • If taps do not shut off automatically, turn taps off with a disposable paper or single use cloth towel
  • Throw the disposable paper towel into a lined bin with a secure lid
  • Hand washing signs will be displayed

Childcare workers should provide assistance with hand washing at a sink for infants who can be safely cradled in one arm and for children who can stand but not wash their hands independently. A child who can stand should either use a child-size sink or stand on a safety step at a height at which the child’s hands can hang freely under the running water. After assisting the child with hand washing, the employee should wash his or her own hands. The service should decide on an appropriate number of times per day that children in the service will wash their hands.

Safe Nose Blowing

Employees and children should blow or wipe their noses with disposable, one-use tissues and then discard them in a plastic-lined, covered, hands-free bin. After blowing the nose, hands should be washed. Every room in the service will have a supply of tissues.

Toys and Activities

The following steps should be taken bearing in mind the need to continue to be sensitive to children’s needs and preferences and not removing favourite or comfort toys.

  • Sand play and water play can be continued but children should always wash hands after these activities.
  • If possible, provide separate sets of toys that children regularly put in their mouths, e.g. crayons and pencils.
    o An individual set of crayons, clearly marked with the child’s name should be made available.
  • Other communal toys that are hard to sterilise should be removed, e.g. soft toys.
  • Sharing of wind instruments, e.g. tin whistles should be avoided and should be sterilised after use.
  • It is vital that children do not share soothers. While this is always the case, extra vigilance at the moment is advised. A rigorous sterilisation policy is place for soothers.

Additional Cleaning Practices in the Event of Outbreak of Swine Flu

The routine frequency of cleaning and sanitation in the Crann Support Group and its members will be increased whenever there are outbreaks of illness or when recommended by the health department to control certain infectious diseases. All surfaces, furnishings, and equipment that are not in good repair or that have been contaminated by body fluids should be taken out of service until they are repaired, cleaned, and, if contaminated, sanitised effectively.

All cleaning schedules will state item/area to be cleaned, frequency of cleaning, method/procedure, and person responsible, in line with the pre-school regulations.

Since children will touch any surface they can reach (including floors), all surfaces in a child care facility may be contaminated and can spread infectious disease agents. Therefore, all surfaces must be properly sanitised.

Mops should be assumed to be contaminated since they are used to remove contamination from other surfaces.

The bleach solution used for sanitising the child care environment is also appropriate for sanitising mops and rags. Detachable mop heads and reusable rags may be cleaned in a washing machine and dried in a mechanical dryer or hung to dry.

Communicating with Parents

Concerned and informed parents are the first line of defense against the spread of Swine Flu. The Crann Support Group and its members acknowledges that parents/guardians have the power to prevent our service from infection, simply by keeping their child home when they do not feel well or exhibit symptoms. The childcare facility will keep parents informed on a regular basis on information pertaining to swine flu. We will request parents to ensure that all details provided to the service are up-to-date. Emergency contact details must also be up-to date.

Procedure in the event of Swine Flu

Early recognition of influenza like symptoms and subsequent actions

  • All staff should be able to recognise symptoms of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza.
  • The symptoms of pandemic influenza are like those of seasonal flu. There is usually sudden onset of fever (greater than 38˚C/100˚F) and cough or sore throat. Other symptoms are as outlined above.

Actions for caring for a child who becomes ill with symptoms suggestive of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza while in the service

  • Parents/guardians should be contacted to bring the child with influenza like illness (ILI) home as soon as possible
  • The service will encourage parents to seek early medical assessment for all children less than 5 years of age and for children with flu-like symptoms at higher risk of complications from flu. Staff with flu-like symptoms at higher risk of complications from flu should do the same
  • The service will have prior permission from parents to enable urgent medical assessment if required.
  • We will ensure there is appropriate space (a separate sick room where possible) which can be used for the care of children who feel ill, before their parents can collect them. Ideally this space should be away from other children to help prevent spread of the infection. We will ensure that the space is well stocked with appropriate medical supplies and is prepared for children with the symptoms of flu. An employee will be nominated to look after the child in an isolated area, if possible, apart for the remainder of the children. When providing care for the child, the staff member will observe good hand hygiene practices
  • When the child has gone home, the isolation area will be thoroughly cleaned
  • Employee at risk of complications if infected will not care for symptomatic children
    o Employee should clean their hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol hand rub before and after any contact with symptomatic children or other staff and their environment.
    o Employee and children should be encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
    In the event that cases of influenza due to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 occurs in the Crann Support Group and its members the following actions will be implemented:
  • The child/staff member with H1N1 2009 influenza will be advised to stay at home for at least seven days from the onset of symptoms. The Department of Public Health will be contacted and advised of the diagnosis. The Department may consider closure of the service, or individual room, if there is concern about the potential for spread of the virus, particularly if there is more than one person confirmed with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza. If closure is advised, alternative arrangements will be needed for care of children.

Actions in the event of an unusual number of people presenting with influenza like illness or unusual severity of illness (e.g. child requiring admission to ICU)

The Department of Public Health will be contacted by phone

Closure

In the event that cases of influenza due to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus occur in the service and that the circumstances are such that Public Health advises closure, it will be essential to have a communications plan which will include:

  • Up to date contact details of the children’s parents/carers – the Crann Support Group and its members should ensure that the identified guardian has provided current contact and an emergency contact number.
  • An estimate of the number of children who may need to remain in the service e.g. parents working and unable to collect until specified time – these children may need to be isolated and cared for until collected.

Staff Required to Stay at Home in the Event of Family Illness

Employees who are well but who have an ill family member at home with H1N1 flu should come to work as usual. There is no need for any staff member or child (including those at risk of complications and those who are pregnant) to stay at home from the service if they are well. An employee should monitor their health every day and follow the service’s sick leave policy and procedure in the event they become ill. Employees must ensure that they inform the proprietor in the event they are diagnosed with H1N1 flu. Employees must take more than usual precautions in terms of contact with co-workers and personal hygiene. Employees who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their doctor for advice, because they may need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness.

Exclusion policy

The service will operate an exclusion policy for seven (7) days

We will remind parents/guardians and carers that children displaying flu-like symptoms while at home (weekends and holidays) should stay at home and not return to the service for seven days from onset of symptoms.

Keep Up-to-Date

The Crann Support Group and its members will review and update this policy as information is updated through the World Health Organisation.

Helpline

The HSE has launched a new information service for the public on the swine flu virus- influenza A (H1N1).

The Flu Information Line, a 24-hour Free phone information service, provides recorded information on the A(H1N1) flu, its symptoms, what to do if you are worried, and travel advice from the Department of Health.

The information line number is 1800 94 1100

ABSENCE COVER

Principle

The Crann Support Group and its members will ensure that there is always staff cover and that the service is maintained according to the child/staff ratios as set down by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, Staffing Levels. (Síolta Standard 10: Organisation, Síolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management)

Statement of Intent

We have a panel of relief staff available to cover absences, including sick leave and/or we can also request that part-time staff work extra hours. Relief staff are Garda vetted and suitable personnel who can be contacted at times of emergency. The service will not operate if the appropriate number of staff is not available. The Crann Support Group and its members will always operate within the appropriate ratios.

Procedure

Staff are expected to report for work each day unless incapacitated by illness, absent with the prior permission of Management or otherwise unavoidably absent. It is essential that service has an adequate number of childcare workers to care for the children. It is therefore essential that all employees adhere to the following in the event of personal illness.

Employees Will:

  • Employees suffering from a contagious illness should not work with children, i.e. gastro-enteritis, etc. and must inform the Manager immediately.
  • If unable to attend work employees must phone in and personally speak to manager or assistant manager.
  • If an employee knows that they will be absent on the day before they should telephone the Manager / Assistant Manager at the earliest time possible.
  • When speaking with Management employees should indicate the nature of illness, the possible duration and when they will return to work. It is also required that employees speak with Management either on the day of absenteeism or the day before they are due to return to work before the service closes in order to confirm that they will in fact be returning to work. This will give the service sufficient time to arrange cover if you are not fully recovered and are unable to return to work due to this fact.
  • In the event of an employee being absent for 3 days or more, the employee will need to present a doctor’s certificate to Management.
  • In the case of long-term illness a certificate must be provided weekly unless an alternative agreement has been approved by Management.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members reserves the right to refer an employee to a doctor of their choice, which may involve a medical examination. This may also be the case when an employee is returning to work after a prolonged or serious illness or where the employer may have concerns about the employee’s health and well- being.
  • You will, if requested to do so by Management, attend a medical examination with an Occupational Health Physician, appointed and paid for by the Crann Support Group.

Management will:

  • Arrange for appropriate cover by
  1. Directing “floater” staff to the appropriate area if available
  2. Asking part time staff to work extra hours
  3. Contact relief staff from the approved list
  • Ensure that all relief/temporary staff are suitably qualified and Garda vetted.
  • Ensure that the Crann Support Group Sick policy is adhered to.
  • Ensure all employees will participate in a “Return-to-work interview” on their return to work from sick leave.
  • Ensure that appropriate adult child ratios are met according to the Childcare (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 at all times.

GARDA VETTING

It is the purpose of the Crann Support Group and its members to ensure that appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to children is carried out. This requires getting references from past employers and completing Garda vetting through the National Vetting Bureau (NVB). The Crann Support Group and its members process their Garda vetting through Early Childhood Ireland. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III, 8 Management and Recruiting, (Síolta Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

Scope

All employees, volunteers and students working within the Crann Support Group must be Garda vetted.

The Early Years Inspectors will require that all employees are Garda vetted before they commence employment with the Crann Support Group and its members.

Applicants that work unsupervised with children may not take up a post until a satisfactory outcome of the Garda vetting process in accordance with these guidelines is obtained.

Policy

The Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require any person carrying on a pre-school service must ensure appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to a child. This involves:

  1. Checking employer references in respect of staff and checking reputable sources in respect of students and volunteers.
  2. Seeking Garda vetting from An Garda Síochána.
  3. In respect of applicants who have lived abroad, ensuring that these persons provide the necessary police vetting from other police authorities.

Regulations require that services complete vetting prior to any person being appointed or being allowed access to children. Allowing someone to start work before Garda vetting has been received is regarded as non-compliant under the Childcare

Regulations and the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012.

Employees are required to complete a Garda Vetting Application Form in accordance with Guidelines for Completing Garda Vetting issued by the NVB

Employment with the Crann Support Group and its members is subject to a satisfactory outcome of the Garda Vetting Process. Where an employee is successful for a position, they will be required to complete a Garda Vetting Application Form before they commence employment.

Management will ensure that the identity of the applicant is confirmed against an original (not a photocopy) official documentation (such as a driving licence or passport), which includes the applicant’s name, address, date of birth and a photograph. This should be compared with their written application.

Tusla-The Child and Family Agency inspection standards require Garda Vetting forms to be held on site by childcare providers otherwise the service will be deemed non-compliant under Childcare Regulations and the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012.

Delay in Obtaining Garda Vetting

The Crann Support Group and its members will follow and respect the Garda Vetting Procedures and will follow the advice and guidance of the NVB and Tusla-The Child and Family Agency Early Years Inspector or any requirements that are compulsory under legislation.

Garda Vetting is not transferable from one service to another.

Students

All students must be Garda Vetted. Students will be required to complete a Garda Vetting Application Form before they commence their placement. Students are required to complete Garda Vetting Application Forms in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Vetting Bureau. Garda Vetting Forms will be held on site and are not transferable to other services or organisations.

Transition Year Students

If the Crann Support Group and its members takes on a transition year student or student under 18 years of age their parent/guardian will be required to complete and sign a form declaring that there are no convictions against the transition year student. The Crann Support Group and its members will obtain 2 validated references for all transition year students. A transition year Student should never be left alone with any child in a pre-school service. They must be accompanied at all times by a staff member. Garda Vetting will be required, however, for all transition students over 18 years.

Employees Who Have Lived Outside of Ireland

For persons who have lived/worked outside of the state for periods of time, a Garda Vetting Form should be completed listing the addresses both in Ireland and other countries that the person has resided in. Additionally, the person is required to provide an original Police Vetting Certificate/s from the country / countries that they have lived / worked in. This applies to international applicants as well as Irish applicants who have resided / worked abroad. Employers should take reasonable steps to verify Police vetting from other countries and these attempts should be recorded on the personnel file.

The Garda Vetting form for completion will be supplied by Early Childhood Ireland

Only completed Garda vetting Forms returned and finalised by the NVB should be stored.

Guidelines for completing Garda vetting application forms

When completing this form, please note the following:

  • Use a ball point pen
  • Writing must be clear and legible, please use BLOCK CAPITALS
  • If you make a mistake, put a line through it and re-write it
  • Tippex or correction fluid should not be used. If necessary, use a fresh form
  • Please note the detail in the declaration carefully

It is imperative that the Garda Vetting Form is fully and correctly completed. Failure to do so will result in a delay of appointment. This will be forwarded to Garda Headquarters. N.B. Forms stamped by Local Garda Station or forms forwarded by candidates personally to the NVB WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

See Appendix A Tips for Completing the Garda Vetting Form

The report that comes back from the NVB may show

  1. No previous convictions against the named applicant whose details were supplied.

OR

2. Details of convictions that appear on Garda records. These are based on the information supplied on the application for Garda vetting, however they cannot be positively confirmed by the Gardaí as fingerprints have not been supplied. These details must be verified with the applicant before any decision is made.

OR

3. Prosecutions successful or not, pending or completed.

There is also the option of ‘possible matches’ where almost all the applicant’s details match but there is some difference, such as the address or date of birth. Again, these details must be verified with the applicant before any decision is made.

Dealing with Disclosures

When a disclosure is returned from the NVB, Early Childhood Ireland will make contact with service Manager.

When information is returned indicating a prosecution or possible match, it is recommended that a Garda vetting review meeting is held with the applicant. This has two purposes:

  1. To verify that the applicant is the person about whom the disclosure of convictions has been made. The information returned by the Gardaí may apply to the applicant and should be verified with the applicant before any decision is made.
  2. To provide an opportunity for the employer and the applicant to discuss the disclosure from Garda vetting.

If the applicant disputes the information returned by the NVB, the onus is on the applicant to contact the Gardaí to resolve the matter.

The Manager may also convene a meeting together the CEO if required. The meeting will be convened to discuss the disclosure from the NVB in relation to the (prospective) employee and to decide what action is required. Some points to consider are:

  • Has the employee already indicated to service what may by disclosed by the NVB.
  • Does the employee disclosure ‘match’ the NVB disclosure?
  • Where the employee has not indicated to the Crann Support Group what the NVB has disclosed then management need to use the risk assessment below. This approach must consider the risk in terms of the individual, the offence and the purpose of the job.
  • Management may speak to the employee in relation to this matter before making a final decision.
  • Management should record their decision and inform the (prospective) employee of their decision.

Risk Assessment

Risk will be assessed in relation to the individual in terms of the risk due to the disclosed offence. In some cases, the relationship between the offence and the position the individual has applied for will be clear enough to take a decision as to whether or not the individual is suitable for employment with the Crann Support Group. Points to consider are:

  • Offences concerned with larceny, fraud and theft are crimes of deception and may be a behavioural indicator.
  • Child Protection or related offences.
  • Breaches in trust e.g. fraud.
  • Offences against property e.g. arson, armed robbery.
  • Drug related charges/convictions (particularly possession for sale or supply).
  • Offences against the person e.g. assault, harassment, coercion.
  • Offences against the state.

The risk will be assessed by the Executive Committee

Assessment of the risk of the employee together with the offence

  • In carrying out this assessment, the following factors in addition to other relevant case specific concerns should be considered and documented in support of the recommendation to either stay on the current work assignment or transfer to a more suitable one.
  • The seriousness of the offence and its relevance to the safety of the children.
  • The length of time since the offence was occurred.
  • The age of the applicant at the time.
  • Whether the offence was a ‘one off’ or part of a history of offending.
  • Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offence was committed, making re-offending less likely.
  • The degree of remorse or otherwise, expressed by the applicant and their motivation to change.
  • The sentence imposed in relation to the offence.
  • Whether the applicant has undertaken any kind of rehabilitation relating to the offence they committed e.g. anger management or drug treatment programme.
  • Work history since the offence.
  • Protecting the employee from situations that might cause difficulty e.g. allegations against them etc.

The risk assessment and the decision to employ or not to employ should be carried out by those nominated as outlined above.

Data Collected through Garda Vetting

The Crann Support Group and its members will conform to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 in relation to the storage and retention of records.

Storage of Data

The storage and security of Garda Vetting Form is a very important consideration under the Data Protection Acts. Appropriate security measures will be taken by the Crann Support Group and its members against unauthorised access to this data.

A minimum standard of security will include the following measures:

  • Access to the information should be restricted to authorised staff on a “need-to-know” basis. Access to Garda Vetting Forms should be restricted to a maximum of two individuals within the service.
  • Access will also be restricted to external authorised personnel – e.g. the Pre-school Inspector.
  • The forms will be stored in a lockable filing cabinet located away from public areas.
  • Any information which needs to be disposed of, will be done so carefully and thoroughly when out-of-date but only if a new vetting procedure has been completed.
  • Premises will be secured when unoccupied.

Retention

The Crann Support Group and its members will retain a record of the decision to appoint an employee and the reasons for the decision as part of the overall recruitment records. In the event of a decision not to appoint an employee on the basis of a Garda vetting disclosure, records should be retained confidentially indefinitely.

Repeat Garda Vetting

The Garda Vetting procedure should be followed every three years for continuing employees and in line with any legislation.

Note

It is important to recognise the limitations of Garda/Police vetting, which can only alert an employer to criminal convictions. Research indicates that very few child abusers receive criminal convictions. Garda vetting will be used as part of the overall safe recruitment practices of the Crann Support Group and is one component of the recruitment decision. The Management reserves the right to use their own judgement about whether a person is suitable for a post at the Crann Support Group and its members.

STUDENTS and VOLUNTEERS

Purpose
The Crann Support Group and its members will offer students a variety of learning opportunities in the area of early education. (Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part III Management & Recruiting) (Siolta Standard 9: Health & Welfare, Siolta Standard 16: Community Involvement) (National Standard 5: Organisation and Management, National Standard 11: Child Protection)

Policy

  • All volunteers and students will be over the age of sixteen with the exception of transition year students.
  • Validated References and Garda vetting will be obtained for all students by the Crann Support Group and its members.
  • The duration and timing of placement will be agreed in advance of the placement with the Manager.
  • Students/volunteers will be required to read all policies and procedures of the service as part of their induction.
  • Students/volunteers will be required to ‘sign-off’ that they had read and understood the policies and procedures of the service.
  • Students/volunteers will not work unsupervised with either individuals or groups of children.
  • The Manager will be responsible for students.
  • Students/volunteers should have a clear defined role, i.e. duties and responsibilities of the student. Students/volunteers should have a clear defined role, and will sign a declaration. (Student Agreement Form Volunteer Agreement Form)
  • Students/volunteers will not deal with parents.
  • The Crann Support Group and its members is aware of their responsibility to provide a ‘real and rich’ learning environment for the student.

Prior to Placement of Students

  • The service will ensure that there are appropriate links with colleges.
  • Colleges should, in writing, introduce the student, giving the service a profile of the student, highlighting any additional needs and an outline of the course content.
  • All students must attend an interview with the Manager and the placement supervisor from school or college as well.
  • The service will ensure that they receive confirmation (copy of insurance certificate) from the college confirming that students are insured by the college while on placement.
  • All students must attend an induction programme to enable them to develop an awareness of the service.
  • A file will be maintained on all students containing such information pertaining to the college placement, college, tutor etc.

During Placement

  • The Manager is responsible for assessing the training needs of students on placement and ensuring that they are given the opportunities to build on existing skills and to develop new skills.
  • The Manager will monitor the student’s progress and liaise with the student’s assessor at regular intervals throughout the period of the placement.
  • Students must adhere to the service’s policies and procedures.
  • Students who are required to conduct child studies or work with children must obtain written permission from the parents of that child. Parents will have access to any written study.
  • Students will consult with the Manager on all written records.

While on placement the Crann Support Group and its members will support students by:

  • Providing ongoing support to make the placement as useful and beneficial as possible for students.
  • Providing the information and support necessary for students to carry out any written assignments and prepare for assessment visits by the placement supervisor.

Dress Code

  • Dress must be neat, clean and tidy. It must be non-revealing and jeans are not permitted.
  • Any tattoos should not be on view.
  • Hair should be clean, washed, neat and tied back at all times.
  • Nails should be short and clean at all times. Painted nails are not considered appropriate for a childcare setting.
  • Comfortable shoes should be worn at all times. High-heels, toe-less sandals (flip flops) or backless shoes should be avoided in light of the dangers these can present to staff and children.
  • Chewing gum is not permitted.

Confidentiality

Working as a student/volunteer within the service may on occasion give rise to students being aware of confidential information in relation to children and families attending the service.

  • Students/Volunteers must not disclose or permit to be disclosed any information which concerns any child/children and/or families to any other person or agency/organisation unless you are required to do so in the context of child protection procedures or as required under legislation.
  • Students/Volunteers should not share any information about other students or staff colleagues with a third party.
  • Students/Volunteers will be advised as to the setting of boundaries between the working relationship and friendship with parents. Do not engage them in unnecessary conversations of a personal nature. Conversations should be restricted to greetings. Parents requesting information from students should be directed to the senior staff member in the room. If parents have an issue/complaint they should be referred immediately to the Manager.
  • Students/Volunteers may not use social networking sites to befriend parents whose children attend the Crann Support Group and its members or to exchange any information about the service or children attending the service.

Volunteers

  • The hours that volunteers work will be arranged according to the hours the volunteer is available and the needs of the service in consultation with the Manager. There will be no minimum or maximum hours or any guarantee of voluntary work.
  • Working as a Volunteer in the Crann Support Group does not preclude you from employment elsewhere.
  • All voluntary work is unpaid. Volunteers may be reimbursed for agreed expenses in consultation with the Manager.
  • Volunteers should be present in the service and ready to commence their voluntary work at the arranged and agreed times. Volunteers unable to attend at the arranged and agreed times should inform the Manager by telephone as soon as possible in advance.

Forms

Student Volunteer ‘Sign Off’

Student Agreement

Volunteer Agreement

MOBILE PHONE POLICY

The Crann Support Group and member organisations Mobile Phone Policy aims to protect children and young people from harm, by ensuring the appropriate management and use of mobile phones by all individuals who are to come into contact with the early years setting. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures) (Siolta Standard 9 Health and Welfare) (National Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning, National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials, National Standard 20: Safety)

Scope

The Mobile Phone Policy will apply to all individuals who are to have access to and/ or be users of personal and/ or work-related mobile phones within the broadest context of the setting environment. This will include children and young people, parents and carers, early year’s practitioners and their managers, volunteers, students, committee members, visitors, contractors and community users. This list is not to be considered exhaustive.

Policy statement

  • It is to be recognised that it is the enhanced functions of many mobile phones that will give the most cause for concern; and which should be considered the most susceptible to potential misuse. Examples of misuse are to include the taking and distribution of indecent images, exploitation and bullying.
  • It must be understood that should mobile phones be misused, there will be a negative impact on an individual’s safety, dignity, privacy and right to confidentiality. Such concerns are not to be considered exclusive to children and young people, so the needs and vulnerabilities of all must be respected and protected.
  • Mobile phones will also cause an unnecessary distraction during the working day and are often to be considered intrusive when used in the company of others.
  • It will often be very difficult to detect when mobile phones are present or being used. The use of all mobile phones needs to be effectively managed to ensure the potential for misuse is to be minimised.
  • Designated ‘mobile use free’ areas are to be situated within the early years setting, and signs to this effect are to be displayed throughout. Personal mobile phones are not permitted during working hours but can be used at break times in the designated staff room area. Personal Mobile phones should be stored in the locker you are provided, and must not be on your person during working hours.

Code of conduct

A code of conduct is to be promoted with the aim of creating an informed workforce, who will work together to safeguard and promote positive outcomes for children and young people. It is to be ensured that all practitioners and their managers will:

  • be aware of the need to protect children from harm.
  • be aware of the importance of reporting concerns immediately.

Procedures

Clearly defined policies and procedures will aim to ensure effective safeguarding practices are in place to protect children from harm and exposure to behaviours associated with misuse. The need to ensure mobile phones will not cause unnecessary and/or unsafe disruptions and distractions in the workplace are also to be considered and acceptable use and management of mobile phones is to be agreed by all service users. There is to be a clear expectation, for example, that all personal use of mobile phones is to be limited to allocated lunch and/or tea breaks. Safe and secure storage facilities are to be made available to store personal belongings as necessary.

The recording, taking and sharing of images, video and audio of children, co-workers or the service on any mobile phone is prohibited. All personal mobile phone use is to be open to scrutiny by the Manager at their discretion.

Emergency contact

It is to be recognised that mobile phones provide direct contact to others, and will often provide necessary reassurances, particularly at difficult times. Staff should give the service landline number to family and friends as a means of contact in emergency situations. This will also provide the advantage of the employee always being available to take the call as it will be transferred to them instantly.

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

This policy on social media applies to all employees of the Crann Support Group and its member organisations. Social media is the collective term referring to social and professional networking sites (for example Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace), microblogs (such as Twitter), blogs, wikis, boards and other similar online fora and the policy extends to all such sites and incorporates any future developments of such media. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures) (Siolta Standard 9 Health and Welfare) (National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials, National Standard 20: Safety)

Scope

Personal social media usage is not permitted in the workplace. Staff are prohibited from participating in social networking websites while at work or using the organisation’s equipment and are not permitted to:

  • register with such sites;
  • access any personal account you may have on such sites;
  • access other people’s accounts on such sites;
  • post comments on any social media sites;
  • use the organisation’s name, logos, images or comment on the organisation’s customers, clients or business.

Should you use social networking outside of work, the following rules below apply.

Applies to all employees

The organisation recognises that employees use social media tools as part of their daily lives. Employees should always be mindful of what they are posting, who can see it, and how it can be linked back to the organisation and work colleagues. All employees should be aware that the organisation regularly monitors the internet and social media in reference to its work and to keep abreast of general internet commentary, brand presence and industry/customer perceptions. The organisation does not specifically monitor social media sites for employee content on an ongoing basis, however employees should not expect privacy in this regard. The organisation reserves the right to utilise for disciplinary purposes any information that could have a negative effect on the organisation or its employees, which management comes across in regular internet monitoring, or is brought to the organisation’s attention by employees, customers, members of the public, etc. All employees are prohibited from using or publishing information on any social media sites, where such use has the potential to negatively affect the organisation or its staff.

This policy on social media applies to all employees of the Crann Support Group and its member organisations. Social media is the collective term referring to social and professional networking sites (for example Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace), microblogs (such as Twitter), blogs, wikis, boards and other similar online fora and the policy extends to all such sites and incorporates any future developments of such media. Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 Part V, 19 Health, Welfare and Development of the Child, Part III, 10 Policies & Procedures) (Siolta Standard 9 Health and Welfare) (National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 10: Behaviour, National Standard 19: Equipment and Materials, National Standard 20: Safety)

Examples of such behaviour include, but are not limited to:

  • publishing material that is offensive in relation to any co-worker, child, family, or employee of the organisation;
  • publishing any confidential or sensitive information about the organisation;
  • publishing material that might reasonably be expected to have the effect of damaging the reputation or professional standing of the organisation.

Rules regarding usage

All employees must adhere to the following when engaging in social media.

1. Be aware of your association with the organisation when using online social networks. You must always identify yourself and your role if you mention or comment on the organisation. Where you identify yourself as an employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you would present yourself with colleagues and clients. You must write in the first person and state clearly that the views expressed are your own and not those of the organisation. Wherever practical, you must use a disclaimer saying that while you work for the organisation, anything you publish is your personal opinion, and not necessarily the opinions of the organisation.
2. You are personally responsible for what you post or publish on social media sites. Where it is found that any information breaches any policy, such as breaching confidentiality or bringing the organisation into disrepute, you may face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
3. Be aware of data protection rules – you must not post colleagues’ details or pictures without their individual permission. Photographs of company events should not be posted online. Employees must not provide or use their company password in response to any internet request for a password.
4. Material in which the organisation has a proprietary interest – such as software, products, documentation or other internal information – must not be transmitted, sold or otherwise divulged, unless the organisation has already released the information into the public domain. Any departure from this policy requires the prior written authorisation of your senior manager.
5. Be respectful at all times, in both the content and tone of what you say. Show respect to your audience, your colleagues and your profession. Do not post or publish any comments or content relating to the organisation or its employees, which would be seen as unacceptable in the workplace or in conflict with the organisation’s website. Make sure it is clear that the views and opinions you express are your own.
6. Once in the public domain, content cannot be retracted. Therefore, always take time to review your content in an objective manner before uploading. If in doubt, ask someone to review it for you. Think through the consequences of what you say and what could happen if one of your colleagues had to defend your comments to a customer.
7. It is very important that employees immediately report any inappropriate activity or behaviour regarding the organisation, its employees or third parties. Inform your Manager or another member of management or your HR representative. All allegations made in good faith will be fully and confidentially investigated. You are required to cooperate with all investigations of alleged policy violations.
10. This policy extends to future developments in internet capability and social media usage

Enforcement
Non-compliance with the general principles and conditions of this social media policy and the related internet, e-mail and confidentiality policies may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. This policy is not exhaustive. In situations that are not expressly governed by this policy, you must ensure that your use of social media and the internet is at all times appropriate and consistent with your responsibilities towards the organisation. In case of any doubt, you should consult with your manager. Monitoring of internet usage by the IT department applies to personal use as well as normal business use.

Crann Staff Handbook Index:

Section 1: Welcome to the Organisation
Section 2: New Starters- Recruitment Policy
Section 3: Hours of Work
Section 4: Pay
Section 5: Performance Review
Section 6: Company Benefits
Section 7: Professional Development
Section 8: Working Parents Policy
Section 9: Rules on Conduct & Behaviour.
Section 10: Attendance Management
Section 11: Working Safely.
Section 12: Disciplinary, Appeals, Grievance Procedures.
Section 13: Equal Opportunities, Harassment, & Dignity & respect at work
Section 14: Child Protection Policy.
Section 15: Protected Disclosure Policy
Section 16: Security & Use of Organisations Equipment Policy
Section 17: Data Protection Policy.

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

It is the policy of The Crann Support Group and its members to ensure that children are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff and volunteers in our service. We accept our responsibility as outlined in Children First, National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children and recognise that the welfare of children is paramount. We will endeavour to safeguard children by: –

We do this by:

  • Ensuring that our management and staff avail of training on Child Protection provided by TUSLA
  • Giving parents, children and workers information about what we do and what they can expect from us
  • Making sure that our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, trained and supervised in accordance with our Recruitment Policies and Procedures
  • Applying for Garda Vetting for all staff, volunteers, students and any adults that may come in contact with children in our service
  • Letting parents know how to voice their concerns or complain if there is anything they are not happy about
  • Having reporting procedures and a named designated person in place to deal with Child Protection Concerns
  • Ensuring that all staff and volunteers are informed of the Reporting Procedures
  • Having procedures on actions to take if an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer (as according to Children First 2011).

REASONABLE GROUNDS FOR REPORTING:

  • A disclosure from a child in relation to abuse by an adult or child/adolescent
  • An account by a person who witnessed the abuse of a child
  • Evidence of an injury or behaviour which indicates abuse, and is unlikely to be caused any other way
  • Evidence of injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse, but also where another or innocent explanation is given, however other factors and indicators are present to support the concern of abuse
  • Consistent indication over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect or lack of adequate supervision
  • A disclosure by an adult that they were abused as a child by someone who now has contact with children

GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO A DISCLOSURE BY A CHILD

  • Stay calm and listen- give the child time to say what she or he wants to say
  • Listen carefully and attentively, take the child seriously
  • Don’t ask leading questions or make suggestions
  • Don’t stop the child recalling significant events, but don’t start to investigate or make the child repeat the story unnecessarily
  • Don’t express opinions about the child or members of his or her family
  • Reassure the child but don’t promise to keep it a secret
  • Explain that you will need to discuss this with someone else
  • Record the disclosure as carefully as possible, outline what the child said, in the language the child used

Roles & Responsibilities in relation to child protection and welfare concerns:

Responsibilities of all staff:

Child protection and welfare is everybody’s responsibility not just that of the Designated Liaison Person/Deputy Designated Liaison Person. Everyone in the Crann Support Group and its Member Organisations must be alert to the possibility that children and young people with whom they are in contact may be experiencing abuse or have been abused in the past. They should also be alert to the possibility of child welfare concerns.

The Designated Liaison Person (DLP):

The Chief Executive Officer of the Crann Support Group is the Chief Designated Liaison Person (CDLP) for the Organisation and its Members and has appointed a Designated Liaison Person and a Deputy Designated Liaison Person for each Member service to oversee the implementation of its Child Protection and Welfare Policy; hereto referred to as the DLP and the Deputy DLP.

The role of the DLP and deputy DLP

The role of the DLP and deputy DLP involves the following duties:

  • To be knowledgeable about the Crann Support Group’s Child Protection and Welfare Policy (and associated key documents Children First 2011, Our Duty to Care 2002).
  • To ensure that the reporting procedure (see Appendix A) outlined in this policy is followed so that child protection and welfare concerns are reported promptly and without delay to Tusla – Child and Family Agency.
  • To ensure that clear procedures in relation to record-keeping of child protection and welfare concerns are in place and are operating effectively while also taking appropriate account of the need to ensure that such records are kept securely.
  • To provide advice and support to workers who have a child protection or welfare concern.
  • To advise if reasonable grounds for concern exist and the appropriate action to be taken.
  • To liaise with Tusla – Child and Family Agency to ascertain if reasonable grounds for concern exist where there is doubt.
  • To lead or to assist workers in completing the standard reporting form.
  • To ensure that the reporting procedure is followed in respect of allegations against a worker and to liaise with Tusla – Child and Family Agency as needed.
  • To share information with parents/young people, as appropriate, when a report is made to Tusla – Child and Family Agency.
  • To act as a liaison with Tusla – Child & Family Agency, An Garda Síochána and other agencies in relation to a child protection or welfare referral.
  • The Designated Liaison Person will attend any Family meetings and Case Conferences as requested by the Child & Family Agency Tusla to ensure the confidentiality of the Family
  • To maintain a database of child protection and welfare concerns reported to Tusla – Child and Family Agency and/or An Garda Síochána.
  • To attend Designated Liaison Person training and other training as required.
  • To consult with the Crann Support Groups CDLP, as needed, regarding child protection and welfare concerns.
  • To keep the Crann Support Groups CDLP informed of relevant issues in the implementation of the Crann Support Groups Child Protection and Welfare Policy.
  • The deputy DLP supports the DLP as required in their role and deputises for the DLP when they are unavailable.
  • The DLP and deputy DLP need to develop good systems of communication in managing, responding to and supporting staff in the event of any child protection and welfare concerns arising to ensure that information is not lost.

The Role of the Crann Support Groups CDLP

The Crann Support Group CDLP’s duties include:

  • Promote awareness of, and ensure compliance with the Child Protection and Welfare Policy and procedures in line with this document.
  • Develop, implement and monitor the Organisations structure for child protection.
  • Provide specialist supervision and support to its Members Designated Liaison Persons on a case by case basis.
  • To be aware of when training is required for DLP’s and deputy DLP’s.
  • Review the Child Protection and Welfare Policy as required.

DEFINITIONS OF ABUSE

NEGLECT:

Where a child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment and affection from adults, medical care.

  • Usually not one event
  • Happens over a period of time
  • Results in the child’s development being severely affected

EMOTIONAL ABUSE:

Occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. This is usually found in the relationship between the care-giver and the child.

  • This would arise when abusive interactions between the child and care-giver become typical of the relationship.

PHYSICAL ABUSE:

Physical abuse of a child is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction, or lack of interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust. There may be single or repeated incidents.

SEXUAL ABUSE:

When a child is used by another person for his or her sexual gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others.

  • Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (Definitions page 8&9)

Child Protection Reporting Procedure

SEE APENDIX A & B (Child Protection Reporting Procedure Flowchart)

  • The Designated Liaison Person to deal with Child Protection concerns in this organisation is the manager
  • Should this person be absent, for whatever reason the Deputy Designated Liaison Person will be Assistant Manager
  • Should a child make a disclosure to a staff member or volunteer the Company has clear guidelines as to how that staff member or volunteer should respond.
  • Any member of staff or volunteer who has a Child Protection concern will discuss their concerns with the Designated Liaison Person.
  • The Designated Liaison Person is responsible for the recording of any such concerns.
  • The DLP reports all child protection concerns to the CDLP. Standard Reporting forms are completed and reviewed by the CDLP. The DLP will meet with the parents to outline concerns identified and the reason for referral to child protection and welfare services.
  • The Designated Liaison Person may consult with the HSE regarding a possible referral as well as making a referral.
  • The relevant HSE contact numbers are readily available  In the case of emergency or an out-of-hours situation the Garda should be contacted and those numbers are easily available to all staff and volunteers
  • It is our policy to inform parents/carers about any Child Protection concerns, unless doing so would put the child at further risk
  • The appropriate verbal/written communication regarding Child Protection concerns will be made to the HSE without delay.

Staff Allegations Policy & Procedure

If an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, the Company in its duty of care will implement two separate procedures in line with those outlined in the document.

1. The Company’s reporting procedure in respect of the child will be implemented
2. A separate procedure with a separate designated person in respect of the staff member/volunteer will be implemented

Dealing with concerns

  • If a child presents to the service with any marks/injuries which may be of concern the first procedure by all staff members is to communicate directly with the parent/guardian of the child to ascertain how the mark/injury occurred.

The Childcare Organisation will continue to work with and support Families through difficult times, including concerns of the child protection and welfare nature.

This policy is effective _____/_____/_____ and will be reviewed annually by or sooner if needed. Parents and staff will be notified of any upcoming policy review

VACCINATION SCHEDULE

Age to Vaccinate Type of Vaccination
At birth BCG tuberculosis vaccine (given in maternity hospitals or a HSE clinic)
At 2 months

Free from your GP

6 in 1
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
• Whooping cough (Pertussis)
• Hib (Haemophilus influenza B)
• Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis)
• Hepatitis B
PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
At 4 months
Free from your GP
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
• Whooping cough (Pertussis)
• Hib (Haemophilus influenza B)
• Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis)
• Hepatitis B
Men C (Meningococcal C)
At 6 months
Free from your GP
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
• Whooping cough (Pertussis)
• Hib (Haemophilus influenza B)
• Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis)
• Hepatitis B
PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
Men C (Meningococcal C)
At 12 months
Free from your GP
MMR
• Measles
• Mumps
• Rubella
PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
At 13 months
Free from your GP
Men C (Meningococcal C)
Hib (Haemophilus influenza B)
At 4 – 5 years
Free in school or from your GP
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
• Whooping cough (Pertussis)
• Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis)
MMR
• Measles
• Mumps
• Rubella
At 11 – 14 years
Free in school
Td
• Diphtheria
• Tetanus
At 12 years (1st year second level school)
Girls only Free in school
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR PRE-SCHOOLS

These Standards have been developed to encourage providers to deliver a higher level of quality than is strictly required under the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006. Tusla-The Child and Family Agency will determine the precise manner in which these Standards will be taken into account in the course of pre-school inspections. The Standards and the associated criteria will be kept under review, with a view to amending, adding to or subtracting from the document if experience demonstrates this to be necessary or appropriate. The outcomes for the standards are as follows:

Standard 1: Information

Parents or guardians have sufficient information in order to make an informed choice about the childcare service that they require.

Standard 2: Contract

Parents or guardians have a written contract with the service provider that has been agreed by both parties.

Standard 3: Working in Partnership with Parents or Guardians

Parents or guardians are kept fully informed and involved as partners in their children’s activities, achievements and progress.

Standard 4: Records

A register containing particulars of each child attending the service, as well as a full range of records containing particulars relating to the service, is maintained in accordance with the Regulations.

Standard 5: Organisation and Management

Parents or guardians and children benefit from a well-organised and well-planned service.
Standard 6: Evaluation

An on-going system of reflection and evaluation is in place to continually enhance outcomes for children.

Standard 7: Complaints

Parents or guardians are satisfied that their complaints will be listened to, taken seriously and acted upon.

Standard 8: Care, Play and Learning

Children have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities and experiences that promote their learning and well-being and contribute to the Whole Child Perspective, which places the child at the centre and recognises that the child is an active participant in his or her development.

Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being

Each child is secure, happy and comfortable with his or her carers and in the environment.

Standard 10: Behaviour

Children receive positive guidance and encouragement towards acceptable behaviour, and are supported in finding positive solutions to problems.

Standard 11: Child Protection

Children are safely cared for within the service. Any concerns coming to the attention of the service which relate to the safety and welfare of those children, either within or outside the service, are responded to in accordance with Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.

Standard 12: Health Care

The health care needs of each child are identified and addressed as appropriate.

Standard 13: Food and Drink

Children are provided with regular drinks and food in adequate quantities for their needs. Food and drink is properly prepared, nutritious and complies with dietary and religious requirements. Meal times are social occasions where children are relaxed and comfortable.

Standard 14: Sleep

Each individual child’s need for sleep or rest is facilitated.

Standard 15: Children with Disabilities

The welfare and development of children with disabilities who are attending the service is promoted in partnership with the parents or guardians and other relevant parties.

Standard 16: Equal Opportunities

All children attending the service are treated with equal concern and respect.

Standard 17: Premises

The premises in which the facility is located are of sound and stable structure, are safe, secure and suitable for their purpose, and are welcoming to children and their families.
Standard 18: Facilities

The facilities provided ensure the welfare and comfort of both children and staff.

Standard 19: Equipment and Materials

Children have access to furniture, equipment and toys that are developmentally appropriate, safe, and suitable for their needs.

Standard 20: Safety

Children have their needs met in a safe environment.

For further information and the full criteria for each standard go to

www.dohc.ie/publications/national_standards_preschool2010.html

 

SÍOLTA, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

STANDARDS

Standard 1: Rights of the Child

Ensuring that each child’s rights are met requires that she/he is enabled to exercise choice and to use initiative as an active participant and partner in her/his own development and learning.

Standard 2: Environments

Enriching environments, both indoor and outdoor (including materials and equipment) are well maintained, safe, available, accessible, adaptable, developmentally appropriate, and offer a variety of challenging and stimulating experiences.

Standard 3: Parents and Families

Valuing and involving parents and families requires a proactive partnership approach evidenced by a range of clearly stated, accessible and implemented processes, policies and procedures.

Standard 4: Consultation

Ensuring inclusive decision-making requires consultation that promotes participation and seeks out, listens to and acts upon the views and opinions of children, parents and staff, and other stakeholders, as appropriate.

Standard 5: Interactions

Fostering constructive interactions (child/child, child/adult and adult/adult) requires explicit policies, procedures and practice that emphasise the value of process and are based on mutual respect, equal partnership and sensitivity.

Standard 6: Play

Promoting play requires that each child has ample time to engage in freely available and accessible, developmentally appropriate and well-resourced opportunities for exploration, creativity and ‘meaning making’ in the company of other children, with participating and supportive adults and alone, where appropriate.

Standard 7: Curriculum

Encouraging each child’s holistic development and learning requires the implementation of a verifiable, broad-based, documented and flexible curriculum or programme.

Standard 8: Planning and Evaluation

Enriching and informing all aspects of practice within the setting requires cycles of observation, planning, action and evaluation, undertaken on a regular basis.

Standard 9: Health and Welfare

Promoting the health and welfare of the child requires protection from harm, provision of nutritious food, appropriate opportunities for rest, and secure relationships characterised by trust and respect.

Standard 10: Organisation

Organising and managing resources effectively requires an agreed written philosophy, supported by clearly communicated policies and procedures to guide and determine practice.

Standard 11: Professional Practice

Practising in a professional manner requires that individuals have skills, knowledge, values and attitudes appropriate to their role and responsibility within the setting. In addition, it requires regular reflection upon practice and engagement in supported, ongoing professional development.

Standard 12: Communication

Communicating effectively in the best interests of the child requires policies, procedures and actions that promote the proactive sharing of knowledge and information among appropriate stakeholders, with respect and confidentiality.

Standard 13: Transitions

Ensuring continuity of experiences for children requires policies, procedures and practice that promote sensitive management of transitions, consistency in key relationships, liaison within and between settings, the keeping and transfer of relevant information (with parental consent), and the close involvement of parents and, where appropriate, relevant professionals.

Standard 14: Identity and Belonging

Promoting positive identities and a strong sense of belonging requires clearly defined policies, procedures and practice that empower every child and adult to develop a confident self- and group identity, and to have a positive understanding and regard for the identity and rights of others.

Standard 15: Legislation and Regulation

Being compliant requires that all relevant regulations and legislative requirements are met or exceeded.

Standard 16: Community Involvement

Promoting community involvement requires the establishment of networks and connections evidenced by policies, procedures and actions which extend and support all adult’s and children’s engagement with the wider community.
For further information see www.siolta.ie

ADMISSIONS POLICY

REVIEW OF POLICIES

These policies are a working document and will be reviewed regularly and in line with changes in Legislation, Regulations, National Standards and Good Practice.
The following comments are for use at the next review