Policies & Procedures

Merry Mornings Policy No. 1. Accident and Incident (January 2020)

(an accident is now known as a non-intentional injury)

POLICY

Accident and incidents occur frequently when children are gathered. We record accidents and incidents to be able to report to parents and to ensure transparency. Accidents are not caused by anyone; they are non- intentional injuries. An incident is an occurrence that involves an injury which maybe non- intentional

An incident is an occurrence/ happening that involves a deliberate action or reaction.

The safety statement for the service is reviewed each year

PROCEDURE

The Safety Statement is reviewed yearly.

Risk assessments are done but further assessments are done following on after each accident or injury

Safety issues and incidents are an item on the agenda of the monthly staff meeting

EMERGENCY SERVICES       112                                        EIR CODE R32VH6V

Measures in place to minimise accidents/injuries

  • The children are supervised by experienced trained calm observant staff members.
  • The ratio is usually 8-1 with three staff members present most days.
  • Key worker system is in place
  • Monthly staff meetings cover the children’s progress and development
  • Accident/incidents are covered at the monthly meeting
  • Risk assessments are covered each month
  • Safety statement is kept up to date monthly
  • The room is laid out in six play areas. There are no large spaces that encourage running. There is a turnover of safe equipment and materials to encourage engagement and involvement all age appropriate. All in good condition
  • Broken or damaged toys are thrown out and that action is recorded
  • Risk assessments are done regularly on areas equipment and materials to ensure children are safe
  • Children agree rules for behaviour and use of the room and for outdoor play
  • Children cannot run inside the room
  • all materials and equipment carry the safety mark
  • Daily curriculum is in place to regulate the morning
  • Children are supervised by two staff outside.
  • Damaged or dangerous equipment is removed.
  • Outdoor play area is safety checked before the children go outside.

Injuries.

  • Assess the injury.
  • Serious injury ring 112/ ring parent/guardian/emergency contact person if unable to contact parent/guardian
  • Keep child warm and comfortable as possible, loosen clothing until help arrives
  • Less serious injuries are treated in the playroom and parents are notified on arrival at the door.
  • The injured party is checked and cared for.
  • An Accident and injury form are filled in by the staff who witnessed the accident/injury
  • Parents/ carer/guardian/emergency contact person is phoned immediately if child’s injury needs medical attention.
  • If parents cannot be contacted the emergency contact person is phoned
  • The accident is recorded in the accident/incident book by the staff who witnessed it
  • Parents/ emergency persons signs that record when collecting the child.
  • Parents’ / emergency contact’s signature is to be witnessed by staff.
  • Insurance company/Tulsa must be notified on day of injury.

Accidents

  • Accidents are recorded
  • Parent is telephoned immediately if the accident is serious
  • Accident report form is filled out. Form signed by Parent/guardian
  • If accident is minor. Accident form(s) is filled out and parent/carer/guardian sign the form when collecting their child
  • Only their child is named in the form. The other party in the accident is not named
  • The other(s) involved in the accident each have a form for their parents to sign
  • There are two first aid boxes in the playroom. One for the room, one to be used for outings
  • The first aid box is easily accessible to the staff in the playroom. A first aid sign is clearly visible on the door of the press that contains the first aid box.
  • The contents of the first aid box are checked regularly.
  • A member of staff with an up to date first aid certificate is always present in the room.
  • The children’s files are easily accessed by staff for parents when needed.
  • Minor injuries, accidents are treated on the premises and the parent/guardian/carers are advised of the nature of the injury and the action taken when they collect their child.
  • For more serious injuries, parents are contacted first, if unavailable the emergency contact person is notified, emergency services are called Phone 112 and the family doctor recorded on the permission form is contacted. Parents are notified, Tulsa is notified
  • All accidents/incidents, even the most minor, must be reported to the Insurance Company.
  • An Accident/Incident Record Book is maintained.

 

  • A risk assessment for the safety statement is done after each accident/ incident and reviewed at the monthly staff meeting.
  • Sensitive data is filed and stored according to the GDPR
  • RECORDS ARE KEPT FOR TWO YEARS AFTER THE CHILD HAS LEFT THE SERVICE. RECORDS OF SERIOUS INCIDENT /ACCIDENT ARE RETAINED FOR MINIMUM 20 YEARS.

MANAGING CRITICAL INCIDENT in playschool or on an outing 

Preventive action

  • Risk assessment done in advance so that potential weak areas are controlled and monitored
  • One adult per two children.
  • Adult at all the possible egress spots
  • Regular head count and rollcall done.
  • Adults tell one another if they or either of their children need to use bathroom etc

BROKEN LIMB

  • Remain calm
  • Child treated where they lie
  • Injured child attended to by the first aider carrying the first aid box. First aider assesses and gives initial treatment.
  • Other children gathered, head count and roll call done
  • Children moved away from injured child and closely supervised by two adults
  • PHONE 112
  • Phone Parent/carer/ emergency contact
  • 2ND first aider assists the first aider.
  • Keep child warm and comfortable until assistance arrives.
  • Fill out accident form sign by witnesses
  • Notify insurance and Tulsa

HEAD INJURY

  • Remain calm
  • Child treated where they lie
  • Injured child attended to by first aider with the first aid box.
  • Then THE SAME AS ABOVE
  • Fill out accident form
  • Notify insurance and Tulsa

SUDDENLY UNWELL

  • Sick child cared for by first aider.
  • Parents/ carer/ emergency contact rung
  • If they have a temperature administer temperature reducing medicine
  • Put cold compress at the back of the neck, on the forehead and loosen clothes
  • First aider stays with the child
  • Keep child warm and comfortable.
  • Fill out incident form signed by witnesses

CHILD MISSING

  • Remain calm
  • Gather all children together, head count, rollcall. Secure the children with two adults.
  • Indoors notify the manager of the setting e.g. indoor play area.
  • Ascertain where the child disappeared from.
  • Staff turn on phones, split up, check area methodically and carefully.
  • If no sign, then Ring 112 and Ring parent/Guardian/emergency contact person

 

Outside

  • Gather the other children, head count, rollcall
  • Ascertain where last seen
  • Two adults mind the other children and calmly question them where last seen
  • Organise search party in grid pattern radiating from last sighting
  • Ring 112 Ring parent/guardian/emergency contact person.
  • Keep searching and continue to question the children calmly.
  • Record everything afterwards getting all to sign incident form

Merry Mornings Policy No. 2. Administering Medication (January 2020)

POLICY

We will support children and staff members who need to receive medication during playschool / working hours.

Children who have contagious infections are excluded until the infection is cleared.

We will only support the administration of medication prescribed by doctors if it must be taken during school hours except in the exceptional circumstances when an Anti-Febrile medication is needed.  Antifebrile (Calpol) is out of reach in the press containing the first aid box

PROCEDURE

The children’s sensitive data is filed according to GDP

Parents put in writing clear instructions around the administration of medicine e.g. inhalers, meds for epilepsy/M. S, allergy pens, asthma inhalers. Parents sign a consent form to administer said medicine.

Procedure

  • An individual emergency action plan is drawn up for the child which is signed by both parent and doctor
  • A copy of the Doctors certificate detailing the time and dosage of medicine to be administered must be put on the child’s file.
  • Parents must sign the medication consent form for two members of staff to administer their child’s medication.
  • The medicine is stored securely. In the fridge if so directed or in the First Aid cupboard. Never in the first aid box.
  • Medicines creams ointments are not stored in the first aid box.
  • Medicines to be labelled clearly with the child’s name, dosage to be given.
  • The medicine administration book records the administration of medication
  • Designated staff sign out the medication and counter sign when the name of the child and dosage to be given is checked.
  • Two staff members are involved in administering whatever medicines have been authorised, named and signed for. One to administer the other as a witness unless they need two staff to assist the child in taking the medication
  • Staff members check that written permission has been given.
  • Staff check that the medicine clearly states the child’s name, dosage and time intervals for administration.
  • Staff checks that the medicine is in date.
  • Staff wash hands before administering the medicine, use clean spoons etc.
  • Staff administers the dosage as per written instructions on the medicine.
  • Staff administers the medicine only at the time intervals as stated on the container.
  • Staff administer the medicine in the presence of a witness.
  • Staff stay with the child until the medication has been swallowed.
  • Staff return the medication to the medicine cabinet/ fridge and secures it within.
  • Record of administering the medication is entered in the medicine administration record book signed and counter signed by the two designated staff.

Recording

Staff administering medication must keep a record in the medicine Record Book, list the Child’s Name, Age, Name of the medicine, the Dosage Administered, the Date and Time, Name of the staff member who it was administered by, the Name of the Staff member who witnessed the administration and the signature of the parent/guardian/carer added on when the child is collected and a copy of the record is given to them.

Medication Guidelines

Children’s prescribed drugs are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and inaccessible to children.

Anti-febrile

Liquid Calpol is available should a child suddenly develop a high fever. This is administered, witnessed, recorded in the administration of medicine book and parents/ guardians/carers /emergency contact are notified and must sign that they have been thus notified.

High temperature care procedure

  • Take temperature with temperature strip
  • If the temperature is over 38C give 5ml of Calpol
  • Remove child to lie down on poof, cover with blanket, put cold compress on forehead. RING PARENT. Change cold compress as needed.1 Staff stay with child until they are collected.
  • If temp continues to rise rapidly dial 112 ring parent back and notify of same.

 

EMERGENCY CARE PLAN

If a child has allergies. Parents must list the triggers and list and provide the medication with the doctor’s label on it. an emergency plan must be drawn up. Parents must have an input in the plan, and it must be signed by both parent and doctor.

 

Asthmatic Attack

Signs and symptoms of an asthmatic attack

  • No improvement after initial dosage of medicine
  • Hard time breathing, hunched over, struggle to breathe
  • Trouble walking/talking
  • Stop playing cannot start activity again
  • Lips or fingers are grey or blue

ACTION

  • EMERGENCY ring 112
  • Ring parent/guardian
  • Ring emergency contact person if parent not available
  • Ring the Doctor

Allergic Reaction

Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction.

  • Skin: Itching, flushing, hives swelling
  • Eyes: Swelling, redness
  • Mouth: itching and swelling of lips tongue and vomiting
  • Throat: itching, swelling, difficulty swallowing and speaking, hoarseness, cough
  • Chest: chest pains, tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing after consuming food
  • Heart: Weak, thread pulse, dizziness, passing out
  • Abdomen: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramps

 ACTION

  • Skin symptoms only- give antihistamine which should be among child medication
  • If eye affected A and E
  • Ingested – give epi pen immediately and call an ambulance
  • Call 112  Call parents/guardians/emergency contact person

 

Sunscreen policy

  • Children must be protected from harmful sunrays

Procedure

  • Parents are advised that children must have sunscreen on coming to playschool on sunny days and on the outings.
  • Sunscreen to be kept in each child’s bag in case it is needed. Parents have signed allowing sunscreen to be applied
  • The sunscreen is labelled with the child’s name
  • Each child has their own sunscreen in case of an allergic reaction to a brand.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 5. Anti-Bias Approach (January 2020)

POLICY

We try to the best of our ability to ensure no bias is experienced in this setting. All parents, children, staff are treated equally with respect and consideration.

 

PROCEDURE

  • No expression of bias is acceptable.
  • A complaints form should be filled in if any bias is experienced.
  • Complaints will be addressed and replied to within a fortnight.
  • An investigation into the allegation follows.
  • A meeting is held between owner, staff member and alleged victim.
  • If allegation is upheld staff member faces disciplinary procedure.

Merry Mornings Policy No.7. Authorisation to collect children (January 2020)

POLICY

Children must be kept safe. Merry Mornings ensures that children in their care leave the premises with an authorised collector. The collector has been authorised by Parents/Guardians.

 

PROCEDURE

  • One staff member monitors the children’s arrival/departure out in the corridor. That member of staff supervises the children being signed in and signed out. Check that parents and authorised people are dropping off and collecting the children
  • The children’s parents list the authorised adults who can collect their children
  • The collectors have signed an agreement allowing the service retain their personal data (GDPR)
  • Older siblings must be listed by the parents if they wish them to collect their child. The service prefers if it is a responsible adult who collects the child
  • The collector signs their initial beside the child’s name on the daily register, the time of arrival and the time of departure.
  • If a parent is delayed and there is no authorised collector available the parent must ring Geraldine to explain the circumstances and a note is made. The following morning the parent must add the new collectors name to the list.

 

Supervision on arrival

  • One member of staff stands in the corridor directing child into the room after supervising they have disinfected their hands and collector has signed the arrival register. Other members of staff encourage the child once inside the room to choose an activity they enjoy.

 

Supervision at collection time.

  • One member of staff stands at the open playroom door. Children are seated. Collectors line up in the hall, sign the child off the register, child name is called by the staff member at the door, child walks to the door from their chair.
  • If a child is left for longer than ten minutes past twelve the parent/guardian/emergency contact are rung. Two members of staff must wait with the child until they are collected
  • If parent/guardian/collector arrives in an unfit state to collect the child the emergency contact person must be rung.
  • Failing that the child protection procedure is followed and the situation is managed by the designated person in charge who must follow child protection policy and procedure.

 

Unauthorised collector

Staff ring the parent/ guardian to check that the unauthorised person haaas permission to collect their child. Parent must add that name to the authorised list the next day.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 8. Behaviour Management (January 2020)

POLICY

Our policy is underpinned by the belief that children manage their own behaviour when they are safe, secure, stimulated at developmentally appropriate levels and have the scope in space and time to express themselves. We aim to provide a safe, secure playroom that is child centred with equipment to allow a child to learn, develop, grow, explore, build self esteem with the support of experienced staff. Staff members through example create a relaxed happy environment.

The following are prohibited practices in this service

  • The use of corporal punishment.
  • The use of or threat of any practices that are disrespectful, degrading, exploitive, intimidating, isolating, emotionally or physically harmful to the child or neglectful of the child.

 

PROCEDURE

The staff members through example help the children to;

  • learn to control their own behaviour
  • feel good about themselves
  • consider others
  • learn to understand the needs of others
  • learn to understand the consequences of their actions
  • learn to become increasingly independent and responsible.

The staff encourages positive behaviour by;

  • Treating the child with respect.
  • Remaining calm.
  • Listening to the child.
  • Trying to see the situation from the child’s perspective.
  • Adopting a problem-solving approach to conflict.
  • Making a distinction between the child and their behaviour.
  •  Placing few and reasonable limits on the child.
  •  Being consistent.
  •  Acknowledging positive behaviour in the child.
  • Being honest, tolerant and patient
  • If child abuse or neglect is suspected, it is managed in line with the service’s child protection and welfare policy

The layout of the playroom and the structure to the mornings support the staff and children to manage behaviour.

  • Rules of acceptable use of the room and equipment are outlined in the first few weeks of the year.
  • There is no large free space available in the playroom which may encourage running or rough play
  • Routine for the morning ensures security of what is happening next

 

  • Ample warning is given for change in routine

 

  • Sand, water, paint and group work are number managed e.g. Painting one at a time

 

  • Equipment developmentally appropriate and readily available

 

  • Furniture and equipment meet necessary health and safety standards

 

  • Toileting routine is simple and easy

 

  • Hygiene standards are maintained at appropriate levels

 

  • taff raise any serious behaviour issues at the monthly staff meeting and plans are put in place to support staff if necessary.

 

Policy on Serious Incidents

We believe children can learn to negotiate and solve problems. We support children in learning the skills of negotiation and problem solving. Should any child’s actions seriously harm another intentionally or otherwise (e.g. biting, punching, scratching, pinching, etc.) the following procedures will be put in place.

PROCEDURE

  • The injured child is immediately taken care of by a staff member and first aid procedures are followed if necessary.
  • The child whose actions have harmed another is asked calmly to explain what happened.
  • Staff explain in a serious tone that his/her actions are unacceptable.
  • Staff explain how the injured child likely feels.
  • Staff outlines how he/she would feel if the same action was carried out on him/her.
  • At the first opportunity the whole group are gathered quietly together, the staff explains how we negotiate without hurting.
  • Staff explains that the actions, that hurt/harm others, are never acceptable.
  • Staff show children how to say NO if they are being intimidated by the behaviour of another. They stretch their arm out with their hand facing the other and say NO sternly and firmly.
  • Parents of children involved are notified. Names of the other party are not divulged
  • Incident/accident form is filled out and signed by staff and parent/guardian
  • Staff consult with the parents as to how best to get this message across to their child as to how best to manage their own behaviour
  • If the serious/hurtful actions persist and all reasonable strategies have failed, the child whose actions are harming others must stay away from playschool for five successive sessions. E.g.

 

How inappropriate behaviour is anticipated

There are several ways to anticipate possible inappropriate behaviour

  1. Parents and staff should exchange relevant information that may trigger some inappropriate behaviour during the morning or at home afterwards. E.g. lack of sleep, conflict with another child, change in home circumstances e.g. new baby, separation.
  2. separating, settling in, adjusting to the routine, accepting adult direction, communicating personal needs, shyness, insecurity, looking for attention when not understood can lead to inappropriate behaviour
  3. Staff are aware through observation, interaction and familiarity with the children, certain circumstances or incidents may give rise to conflict resulting in inappropriate behaviour

PRACTICES PROHIBITED / UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR

Isolating others, hurting others, disturbing others play, biting, spitting, hitting, kicking, pinching, using bad language, throwing objects, ignoring adult direction

STEPS IN PLACE TO MANAGE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR.

Trigger

Behaviour

Consequences

Consequences

Consequences

 

 

Mild

Moderate

Challenging

 

 

  • Help the child/children to find a solution
  • Remove the child to another activity for 4 minutes explaining they can return after four minutes.
  • Remove to another activity with no opportunity to return to the original activity.
  • One to one support
  • Complete incident form

 

 

TRIGGER

BEHAVIOUR

CONSEQUENCES

MILD

CONSEQUENCES

MODERATE

CONSEQUENCES

CHALLENGING

 

 

  • Show how another form of behaviour is acceptable to express their needs
  • Withdraw the privilege of outdoor play. Stay in the playroom with one staff. The front play area must be used by others on these occasions
  • Continuous challenging behaviour observe for three days. Using ABC template.
  • Identify the triggers. Remove or moderate them Implement a plan.
  • Withdraw privileges. Help the child to see how futile the behaviour is.
  • Incident form

 

 

  • Explore the child’s feelings and those of the other children
  • Praise the child’s good behaviour when least expecting it.
  • Devise a reward chart to acknowledge improvement
  • Incident report

 

 

 

 

  • Give a choice in either.
  • Adult work one to one for a week to see if things improve
  • Continuous challenging behaviour. Close observation for three successive day to identify triggers using the ABC template, consult parents draw up a joint plan

 

 

 

Merry Mornings Policy No.12. Children with Special Needs (January 2020)

POLICY

All children have needs but some children have more needs than others.

PROCEDURE

  • Sensitive Data on children is filed according to GDPR
  • Parents confide with the staff.
  • Staff carry out three observations on the child.
  • A plan of support is put in place in partnership with the parents.
  • Staff lead by example and implement an inclusive approach.
  • Child is treated and handled the same as everyone else.
  • All expectations are age and stage appropriate.
  • Plan is reviewed every three months.

 

SPECIFIC DIAGNOSIS

  • Support from AIM is applied for. Level 4,5,7
  • Every assistance is given to AIM observations and visits
  • Support is given to visiting OT, SL and any other professionals
  • Individual plan is put in place
  • Plan is reviewed regularly
  • Staff work hand in hand with family and professionals
  • Key worker system in place

All staff inform themselves of the diagnosis, support needed to be given.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 15. Complaints and Comments (January 2020)

POLICY

 

Merry Mornings welcomes the views of the children and parents/guardians/carers in the development of the service.

We will give careful attention without fear, favour or prejudice and a prompt and courteous response to any complaints, suggestions, comments, thereby ensuring the development of a high-quality childcare service that meets the needs of children parent/guardian/carers. Highlighting issues at an early stage can prevent problems arising but if difficulties occur the following procedure must be followed. `

PROCEDURE

  • We work in partnership with parents by seeking parent’s views and encourage parents to participate in any decision making in relation to the service e.g. supplying a copy of the policies and procedures for their approval/comment, exchange information/concerns regarding their child’s holistic development.

 

  • We undertake to ensure that all complaints are taken seriously and dealt with fairly and confidentially.

 

If the complaint concerns a child protection issue then the child protection procedure is followed (See Child Protection Policy.) It is handed over to the Designated Person in Charge unless they are the person in question then the deputy designated person in charge takes over the procedure.

All other complaints are handled as follows: –

 

  • Merry Mornings will quickly and informally resolve complaints through discussion with the parents and members of staff as appropriate

 

  • Parents will receive a copy of the complaints form on registration. The complaint form is filled out and given to Geraldine Murphy Manager (unless Geraldine is the subject of the complaint in which case it is given to Fionn Bardon). Geraldine notifies Fionn of the complaint.

 

  • The complaint is taken seriously, sensitively and dealt with promptly. It is dealt informally at first to see if there can be a resolution. Fionn and Geraldine (Rosie if Geraldine/ Fionn are the subject of the complaint) interview the complainant. Minutes are taken. Minutes are read back at the end of the interview to ensure it is an agreed report.
  • Failing a resolution at this stage, the complaint is investigated by Geraldine/Fionn.
  • Staff member is notified of the content of the complaint and interviewed. Minutes taken and agreed at the end of the meeting.
  • The complainant will hear within a month of the result of the investigation if the result is delayed the complainant will be given a possible resolution date.
  • A record is made of the outcome of the complaint
  • Complainant and staff member are notified within a month of the outcome of the complaint.
  • Details of any recommendations will be given to both parties
  • Details of any changes to practice, policy or statement are shared with both parties.
  • Either party may appeal the decision and an outside mediator will be appointed to seek a resolution.
  • The appeal must be lodged within a month of the final decision.
  • The details and minutes of the meetings are filed in the complaints file. They are retained for two years from the date of the resolution and can be accessed by Geraldine Murphy/ Fionn Bardon/Tulsa /Rosemary Harding
  • We will endeavour to quickly and informally resolve complaints through discussion with the parents and members of staff as appropriate
  • Tulsa would be involved with the complaint procedure if the complaint concerns a child protection issue.

 

Comments procedure.

  • A comment can be made verbally to any of the staff members. If there is an unsatisfactory result then the issue should be put in writing to the owner Fionn Bardon or to the manager Geraldine Murphy.
  • A note of the comment will be made in the daily comments book along with any action taken.
  • The complaints procedure should be availed of, if a satisfactory response is not received within a reasonable time.

 

 

 

Merry Mornings Policy No. 17. Cultural Moral and Social Values (January 2020

POLICY

We welcome and recognise children and parents from different cultural backgrounds. Learning about different cultural backgrounds and traditions broaden and enrich children’s development. Irrespective of cultural diversity we believe moral values are common to traditions. The moral values we will be encouraging will be that: _

Parents, Staff and Children need to ensure that they demonstrate respect to one another, listen to one another, value one another, show no bias towards one another, give each other time and space to develop and mature.

 

PROCEDURE

  • Children will learn about the different cultures, through pictures, books and role play
  • Cultural traditions followed by the children attending. E.g. Christmas. Tet, Ramadan. will be celebrated
  • The celebration of these traditions will be optional to parents and children
  • Staff will meet parents’ and children’s cultural needs
  • Staff will resource information on cultural diversity

Staff will plan activities around cultural diversity

Merry Mornings Policy No. 19. Fire Safety Policy (January 2020)

POLICY

We aim to ensure the health, well being and personal safety of all users on the premises. We aim to have proper accident prevention and emergency procedures, agreed and shared with all users of the facility. We ensure all safety procedures are reviewed regularly and followed consistently. We aim to comply with all legislation in force in the area of safety and fire prevention.

 

Including:

  • Planning and development Act 2000
  • Planning and Development regulations
  • Building Control Act 1990
  • Building Control regulations 1997 and 2000
  • Building Regulations 1997 to 2006 Parts A-M
  • Health, Safety and Welfare at work Act 2005
  • Fire Services Act 1981
  • Fire safety in preschools 1999
  • Childcare Act 1991 Part 7
  • Childcare (Pre-school) regulations 2016
  • Hygiene Regulations
  • Public health Tobacco (Amendment) Act 2004

 

FIRE

All members of staff have received fire safety training

  • There is a fire extinguisher situated at the main access to the room from the corridor
  • All members of staff know how to use the fire extinguisher

PROCEDURE

  • The priority of the staff in the occasion of a fire is to evacuate the children out of the building and gather at the appointed assembly area.
  • The fire extinguishers, fire alarms smoke alarms are checked quarterly
  • An established fire drill is in place and it is practised every month throughout the calendar year. The fire alarm is used for the practice fire drills.
  • Records of these drills are kept and clearly posted at the fire exit door. Records are retained for five years. All staff members, Tulsa, relevant authorities have access to the records
  • Records are stored. The monthly fire drill is stored on the wall for the full year. Then in a box for 5 years. The record of the quarterly service is on a form in the main entrance hallway. the calendar years of service checks are then stored with the fire drills for the years.
  • Staff/ Parents/guardians/fire officers/Tulsa have access to the above.

 

PROCEDURE IN THE CASE OF A FIRE

 

  • Fire alarm sounds.
  • Children line up at exit door with childcare worker.
  • Play leader leads the children outside to the assembly point.
  • Staff member collects the roll book and mobile phone and checks everyone has evacuated the room.
  • Play leader leads the children to the assembly point.
  • Roll is called and a head check is done.
  • Fire brigade is called.  112

 

  SAFETY PROCEDURES

  • We have the correct ratio of adults to the number of children on the premises.
  • The service caters for 22 children per session
  • Two members of staff on duty daily with a third on most days.
  • All staff have First Aid Training which is renewed every three years.
  • Every provision has been made to monitor the safe arrival and departure of the children
  • Staff only let children leave the premises with the authorised adults listed on their forms.
  • Children do not have access to the road or housing estate.
  • The children are supervised in both enclosed outdoor play areas.
  • Utmost and reasonable care is taken that children cannot leave the premises undetected.
  • We always have access to a mobile phone. (on the windowsill in the playroom)
  • Fire exits are not locked, they are easy to open from the inside and access to them is always free from obstruction.
  • Children are always supervised by staff and adults and are never left on their own.
  • The Staff members inform themselves and know how many children are always present.
  • The arrival and departure times of the children and adults are recorded and witnessed.
  • No staff member/volunteer is expected to be in the building or wait outside it on their own.
  • The playroom is laid out with emphasis on minimising safety risks and allowing clear circulation but not freedom to create running areas.
  • Children are shown how to carry pencils, chairs, scissors etc. safely
  • We make sure that unsuitable objects such as plastic bags, polystyrene, lollipops, nuts are not available to the children.
  • Safety checks indoors and outdoors are done daily.
  • Staff do not drink hot beverages in the playroom or in the outside play area
  • Staff cannot smoke on, in or around the premises
  • To prevent the spread of infection children and staff disinfect their hands-on arrival before entering the playroom.
  • Children and staff wash their hands after using the toilets/after outdoor play/after handling anything soiled.
  • Children and staff wash their hands before eating.
  • Equipment, furniture and fittings are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Children and staff with infections are not allowed to attend.
  • The outdoor play area is checked daily before use. Any dangerous items are removed.
  • Personal possessions are securely stored in a locked press in the playroom

Merry Mornings Policy No. 25. Inclusion Policy (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings is open to any child whose parents wish them to attend the service. The service tries to ensure that that the physical, intellectual, linguistic, spiritual emotional, social needs of each child attending are addressed

PROCEDURE.

  • Equality of access to all children
  • First twenty-two children are ensured of a place and the remainder go on a waiting list
  • Booking system in advance is in operation. First come first served
  • Enrolment forms highlight any specific needs of the children
  • Key worker system is in place. Key workers get to know their group
  • Bi-monthly observations are carried out on each child.
  • The monthly staff meetings discuss the written record of the children’s needs.
  • Planning around these needs is done monthly

 

NOTE:

  • See Policy on Anti-Bias Approach (January 2020)
  • See Policy on Equal Opportunities (January 2020)
  • See Cultural and Moral Values (January 2020)
  • See Specific Requirements (January 2020)
  • See Health and Wellbeing (January 2020)

Merry Mornings Policy No. 23. Healthy Eating (January 2020)

We promote healthy eating. We believe children and parents should be aware of the food pyramid. We suggest which foods children should be encouraged to eat. Merry Mornings will comply with current legislation regarding food hygiene, registration and training, including:

  • The Child Care Act 1991
  • The Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulation 2016
  • I.S.: Hygiene and Catering Requirements
  • I.S.344 Guide to Good Hygiene Practices in Domestic Premises
  • E.C. Hygiene of Foodstuffs Regulations 2000 (S.I.165 of 2000)

 

PROCEDURE

 

  • Healthy eating is promoted to parents.

 

  • Children bring their own snacks daily in a lunch box

 

  • Parents/carers/guardians are notified on collection at the door if child has not eaten or taken a drink

 

  • Parents/Guardians/Carers are advised to provide fresh nutritious balanced snacks.
  • An example of a lunch: Fruit (grapes to be sliced length ways) small sandwich or wrap with cooked meat or cheese, warm soup, cooked pasta,
  • Children are encouraged to bring food for one snack period in case they are hungry.

 

  • Uneaten/partially eaten food is returned home daily.

 

  • Parents/carers/guardians are notified on collection at the door if child has not eaten or taken a drink.

 

  • Children should have enough liquid for several drinks.

 

  • Certain foods are not permitted: –

 

  • Nuts, sweets, packets of sweets, tayto crisps, biscuits, peanut butter/ egg sandwiches, kiwis, marshmallows, popcorn, petit filous, cereal bars, nutella sandwiches

 

  • Children are encouraged to drink water; Drinks should be in a screw top container to facilitate storage when opened.
  • In line with the revised (pre-school regulation) 2016, Children need food for a main snack, and then fruit for a second snack if they become hungry.
  • No fizzy drinks are permitted

 

  • Food is provided by Merry Mornings for children who have not eaten any breakfast.
  • Food is provided by Merry Mornings for parties and celebrations. Children have their snack first before party food
  • Parents/Guardians/Carers are consulted regarding the child’s special requirements and identify any support needs which may be necessary.
  • The staff is made aware of any allergies, medical conditions, religious or cultural needs of each child attending Merry Mornings
  • The staff sit with small groups of children as they eat their food, to encourage good eating habits, stimulate conversation and enhance the quality of the interaction.

 

Food allergies

  • Parents must notify staff if their child has any allergies or adverse reaction to food.
  • All parents are notified of any allergies or intolerances or potential reaction.
  • A notice is posted on the door to draw attention to any allergies.

 

Food Purchase.

  • Food is purchased from a reputable source. The food is stored in a safe and clean manner.
  • Food that is passed its ‘best before’ date is not purchased.
  • Labels on food will be checked for ingredients in order to avoid products such as nuts etc.

 

Food Preparation

  • Staff with cuts or sores must have them covered with waterproof plasters.
  • Staff who are ill cannot handle food for others.

 

Safety

Children are always supervised while they are eating.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 26. Induction (January 2020)

Policy

Every new member of staff, every volunteer, every student must have an induction session before working with children in Merry Mornings

Procedure

  • The manager introduces the person to Merry Mornings
  • All mobile phones must be put on the windowsill
  • Handbags/personal effects into locked press
  • Introduced to layout of room and the six play areas.
  • Bathrooms outlining the importance of helping children to toilet safely.
  • Volunteers and students not allowed in the bathroom area alone

The person then must read: –

  • The Policies and Procedures.
  • The Staff Handbook
  • The Child Protection Policy and Procedure.
  • The Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • The Safety Statement.
  • Fire and Safety Procedures.
  • General Data Protection Regulations.
  • The curriculum.
  • The notice board outside in the entrance.
  • Shadow staff members.

Ask for help if unsure at all.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 27. Infection Control (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings is committed to: –

  • The promotion of a healthy environment and a high standard of personal hygiene for adults and children.
  • Protect persons working in the service from the transmission of infections
  • Aim to comply with all relevant legislation including:
  • The Child Care (Pre- School Services) Regulations 2016 on Hygiene
  • Aim to comply with all Tusla recommendations around the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases.

PROCEDURE

To protect persons working in the service from the transmission of infections

Cleaning (see policy on cleaning)

  • This service is cleaned daily.
  • There is a cleaning schedule in place and logs are kept

Infections controls

  • Persons exclude themselves from the service if they are ill
  • Parents, staff and children disinfect their hands-on arrival before entering playroom.
  • Guidelines on how to wash hands correctly is displayed
  • An antibacterial agent is used.
  • A hand washing log is kept daily.
  • The children and staff disinfect their hands before they enter the playroom
  • The members of staff and the children wash their hands frequently — after using toilet, painting, playing outside and before snack time.
  • Toys are not allowed in the toilet area
  • Children are encouraged to keep their noses clean and to sneeze and cough into their sleeves.
  • Children and Adults with heavy colds, coughs, must exclude themselves from the service.
  • Children / parents/ staff with a bout of diarrhoea and or vomiting must not attend the service for 48 hours. They should notify the service in case the bout is highly infectious,
  • Any children who are ill should not accompany adults to collect children from the service.
  • Families are notified with a dated written notice of an outbreak of an infectious disease. Tulsa is notified of any outbreaks
  • Head louse infection is contagious and if noticed parents/guardians/carers will be notified
  • Hand foot and mouth is contagious children exclude for at least a week
  • Conjunctivitis is contagious, exclude until symptoms pass
  • All cuts and sores are covered with suitable dressings.
  • Staff wear disposable gloves while cleaning, changing pullups, mopping up spills or bodily fluids.

Perishable food

  • Children bring their own food for snack time. It is stored in the fridge. The perishable food is not on the premises for longer than two hours before being consumed.

Spillages.

(Drinks, water, blood, vomit, urine and excrement.)

  • Disposable powder free gloves are worn and plastic apron.
  • Any spills are wiped up with disposable paper towels and hygienically disposed of in double plastic bags.
  • The area is treated with bleach-based solution using disposable cloths and dried off thoroughly with paper towels.
  • A supply of clean clothing is available at hand.
  • Supplies of polythene bags are available to wrap soiled garments.
  • Spillages from water-play are dried up with paper towels and disposed of in paper bin.

Air pollution

  • There is a carbon monoxide alarm in place.
  • There is a room thermostat.
  • Windows are opened to let in fresh air.

 

Pest Control

  • Adequate proofing has been made to these premises to prevent infestations of vermin and insects

 Infectious Diseases

(See exclusion policy)

POLICY

  • When a child is enrolled in Merry Mornings, the immunisation details must be filled in on the application form.
  • In the case of children who have not been immunised, parent/guardian/carer will be asked to strongly consider immunisation as they put the other children at risk, they are encouraged to contact Tusla
  • Infectious disease control is in place to protect children from the transmission of infections
  • The room is well ventilated
  • Children go outside every day weather permitting
  • Children or adults with heavy colds, coughs or infectious diseases should not attend the childcare service.
  • Any child or parent who is ill should not accompany children to the playschool.
  • Parents/Guardians/Carers will be notified if there is an outbreak of head lice infestation, hand foot and mouth infection and any childhood diseases chicken pox, measles, mumps, whooping cough etc.
  • If a child becomes ill at Merry Mornings the parents/guardians/carers or emergency contact will be phoned by Staff.
  • The service facilities are cleaned and disinfected daily
  • The children and staff disinfect their hands before they enter the playroom
  • The members of staff and the children wash their hands frequently — after using toilet, painting, playing outside and before snack time.
  • Toys are not allowed in the toilet area
  • Children are encouraged to keep their noses clean and to sneeze and cough into their sleeves.
  • Children and Adults with heavy colds, coughs, must exclude themselves from the service.
  • Children / parents/ staff with a bout of diarrhoea and or vomiting must not attend the service for 48 hours. They should notify the service in case the bout is highly infectious,
  • Any children who are ill should not accompany adults to collect children from the service.
  • Families are notified with a dated written notice of an outbreak of an infectious disease. Tusla is notified of any outbreaks
  • Head louse infection is contagious and if noticed parents/guardians/carers will be notified
  • Hand foot and mouth is contagious children exclude for at least a week
  • Conjunctivitis is contagious, exclude until symptoms pass

 

 Infectious diarrhoea

  • Children or staff who are acutely ill with gastrointestinal symptoms with elevated temp and vomiting must exclude themselves from the service.
  • They must stay away for 48 hours and or until symptom free
  • Those diagnosed with shigellosis must be on antibiotics for 48 hours and symptom free before returning to the service.

To Stop the spread of diarrhoea

  • Rigorous attention to handwashing.
  • Ensure toilets cleaned thoroughly including, the seat, cistern handle, door handles and water taps.
  • Wash disinfect all surfaces in bathroom, playroom, equipment and toys.
  • Exclude children and staff with infection
  • Notify parents if there is a real outbreak so that they can be vigilant with their own children. Bring a stool sample to the doctor if symptoms develop in their child
  • Staff and children must remain excluded until symptom free.

 

Outbreak of Serious Disease

  • Environmental Health Services and Tusla are notified immediately by the designated person in charge.
  • Environmental Health Services gives advice and directions to the playschool to follow when an infectious disease breakout
  • Each parent is personally notified if there is a serious outbreak e.g. e-coli
  • A dated notice informing families of the infection is posted on the notice board and is circulated in written form.
  • The service is closed.
  • The service is disinfected, and every piece of equipment is thoroughly cleansed or destroyed.
  • Before returning to the service, everyone using the service must submit three stool samples to EHS ensure the outbreak has been contained i.e. children, staff.
  • The children’s records must be made available to the TUSLA.

Infection control on an outing

 

  • Children/adults who are unwell cannot go on the outing.

 

  • Children/adults hands sterilised before going on the bus
  • .
  • Children bring their own food/drink

 

  • Any spillages on the bus are handled according to procedure using plastic aprons and gloves

 

  • Children hands are thoroughly washed before food break and after each use of the toilet.

 

  • Surfaces are washed, disinfected and dried before lunch boxes are opened.

 

  • Children are constantly supervised

Merry Mornings Policy No. 28. Infectious Diseases (January 2020)

POLICY

When a child is enrolled in Merry Mornings, the immunisation details must be filled in on the application form. In the case of children who have not been immunised, parent/guardian/carer will be asked to contact the Tusla.

 

Infectious disease control

  • Children or adults with heavy colds, coughs or infectious diseases should not attend the childcare service.
  • Any child or parent who is ill should not accompany children to the playschool.
  • A dated notice informing families of an infectious disease outbreak is posted on the notice board, is circulated in written form and verbally to each family.
  • Parents, Children and staff disinfect their hands before entering the playroom, wash their hands after using the toilet, before and after eating, after outdoor play or messy play.
  • Parents/Guardians/Carers will be notified if there is an outbreak of head lice infestation, hand foot and mouth infection and any childhood diseases chicken pox, measles, mumps, whooping cough etc.
  • If a child becomes ill at Merry Mornings the parents/guardians/carers or authorised adults will be contacted by Staff.
  • There are opportunities for energetic and outdoor play.
  • The children’s emotional, moral, spiritual health and well being is supported through a stimulating curriculum.

 Infectious diarrhoea

Children or staff who are acutely ill with gastrointestinal symptoms with elevated temp and vomiting must stay away from the service. They must stay away for 48 hours and or until symptom free Those diagnosed with shigellosis must be on antibiotics for 48 hours and symptom free before returning to the service.

 

To stop the spread of diarrhoea

  • Rigorous attention to handwashing.
  • Ensure toilets cleaned thoroughly including, the seat, cistern handle, door handles and water taps.
  • Wash disinfect all surfaces in bathroom, playroom, equipment and toys.
  • Exclude children and staff with infection
  • Notify parents if there is a real outbreak so that they can be vigilant with their own children. Bring a stool sample to the doctor if symptoms develop in their child
  • Staff and children must remain excluded until symptom free.

Outbreak of Serious Disease

  • Environmental Health Services and Tusla are notified
  • Environmental Health Services gives advice and directions to the playschool to follow on an infectious disease breakout
  • Each parent is personally notified if there is a serious outbreak e.g. e-coli
  • A dated notice informing families of the infection is posted on the notice board and is circulated in written form.
  • The service is closed.
  • The service is disinfected, and every piece of equipment is thoroughly cleansed or destroyed.
  • Before returning to the service, everyone using the service must submit three stool samples to ensure the outbreak has been contained i.e. children, staff.
  • The children’s records must be made available to the TUSLA.

Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illnesses. Some of these illnesses are very mild, like the common cold, while others are more severe, like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV

A “novel coronavirus” means a new strain of coronavirus that has never been seen in humans before. The coronavirus recently identified in China is one of these. This new coronavirus is being named “2019–nCoV”.

 

Symptoms of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV

It can take up to 14 days for the symptoms of this 2019-nCoV to appear. These symptoms include:

  • Fever (temperature of 38˚C or higher)
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

Treatment of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV

There is no specific treatment for 2019-nCoV at present. But the symptoms of the virus can be treated.

Advice for student/children returning to Ireland

If the person has not come from Wuhan, Hubei province, or has not been in contact with a person with novel coronavirus, or has not attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated, then no specific measures are needed.

No symptoms

For a person with no symptoms, there is no need for quarantine (keeping a well person separate from others) for up to 2 weeks after coming to Ireland. There are no restrictions regarding school, pre-school, work or other activities.

If within the last 14 days, your student/child has come to Ireland from Wuhan OR has been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus OR has attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated, you (parent or guardian) are asked to make contact with your local Department of Public Health by phone for further advice.

Has symptoms

If any symptoms develop suggestive of acute respiratory illness, during or up to 14 days after travel from Wuhan, Hubei province you should:

  • Keep your student/child at home and do not go to school or pre-school.
  • Seek medical attention and share your student/child’s travel history with your health care provider. Phone the doctor in advance rather than attending in person.

Phone your GP, rather than turning up in person. Make sure that, when you phone, you mention your student/child’s recent travel.

How to protect yourself from novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  2. If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a closed bin, and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow.
  3. Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms.
  4. Check the travel advisories from the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to arranging travel abroad.

HSE HPSC – Version 1.0 29 January 2020

 

Merry Mornings Policy No. 32. Outdoor Play (January 2020)

POLICY

Outdoor play is important for children’s health, wellbeing and development. There are two outdoor area spaces. One is off the playroom itself the other in an enclosed garden at the rear of the building. The front area is railed in and locked. Summer weather the doors to the playroom are kept open and indoor equipment is moved in to the garden e.g. paint, playdo, sand, building, etc.

Large back garden has two main play areas, one for digging, muck play, sand, painting, building, etc. the other for running, rolling, football, group games

PROCEDURE

  • A daily risk assessment is carried out by a staff member in out outdoor area, prior to the children accessing the area.
  • Two members of staff supervise outdoor play. Third staff assists in the supervision of the children while they access and egress to and from the back garden.
  • The outdoor spaces are secure, and children cannot egress from them without adults. Each adult has a fob which opens the gates into the area. Only playgroup staff and Respond building Manager has a similar fob. The manager needs the fob to oversee maintenance and oil supply.
  • Children will be brought outside to exercise, play with sand, participate in gardening and play games from 10.00 – 11.00. This time allocation is flexible daily. Weather gear is available to each individual child if they wish to avail of it.
  • Children will wear their outdoor clothes
  • Children will be supervised by a minimum of two members of the staff while playing outside.
  • Summertime children should have sun protection cream on when they arrive
  • A specific exercise programme will be followed e.g. stretching, jumping, running, kicking balls etc.
  • Risk assessment is regularly done on the outdoor spaces/equipment
  • Children wash their hands on returning to the room

 

Sunscreen policy

Children must be protected from harmful sunrays

Procedure

  • Parents are advised that children must have sunscreen on coming to playschool on sunny days and on the outings.
  • Sunscreen to be kept in each child’s bag in case it is needed. Parents have signed allowing sunscreen to be applied
  • The sunscreen is labelled with the child’s name
  • Each child has their own sunscreen in case of an allergic reaction to a brand.

 

Risky Play Policy 

At Merry Mornings we believe that children can develop confidence and become resourceful by assessing healthy risk and challenging themselves to achieve personal goals. The sense of joy and ‘I can do it’ is essential to children’s psychological health and holistic well -being.  Children develop balance and strength as they take responsibility for their own safety.

Children become safer when they practice using their bodies. Children’s bodies, brains and abilities are constantly developing, and children need to experiment to understand their limits. Children become flexible resilient and confident as they gain skills in recognising, assessing and reducing risk.

Rewards and Benefits of Risky Play

  • Children challenge themselves to try new things and to move beyond their comfort level
  • Children develop resilience persistence and flexible thinking
  • Children experience and cope with difficult emotions (fear embarrassment frustration)
  • Children learn to deal with slippery conditions, take reasonable chances, judge danger and take responsibility for their own safety
  • Children discover joy in independence, become competent and confident manage fear, friends, trust themselves and become creative thinkers.

 

MERRY MORNINGS      RISK/BENEFIT ASSESSMENT FORM 

Area/activity

Risks

Benefits

Actions req

Decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Mornings Policy No.33. Outings (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings has a policy of going on outings when appropriate subject to all parents/guardian’s approval

 

PROCEDURE

CHECKLIST

Choice of venue

 

Responsibility

Parents letter

 

 

Risk assessment

 

 

Reserve venue

 

 

Reserve bus

 

 

Bus Insurance cover checked

 

 

Parent’s permission slip

 

 

Volunteers x

 

 

Routine of the day

 

 

First aid box 

 

 

Paper towels/wet wipes

 

 

Several changes of clothes/underwear/socks

 

 

Children’s register with parents/emergency contact mobile numbers

 

 

Children Packed lunches and drinks

 

 

Fully charged mobile phone

 

 

Camera

 

 

Insurance notified /cover checked

 

 

Qualified First Aider

 

 

Accident incident book

 

 

Administration of medicine book

 

 

Calpol

 

 

 

  • A risk assessment is carried out on the venue.
  • Parents must sign a permission slip.
  • Parents asked to volunteer to comply with adult child ratio Insurance requirements.
  • Venue chosen will be child friendly, healthy and safe. 
  • Transport will comply with road safety guidelines.
  • Volunteers meeting held fifteen minutes before leaving to go over the venue/ agenda/ responsibilities/ expectations
  • A letter covering the details of the venue, the itinerary, food, drink, clothes, will be circulated to parents.
  • Each child carries their own backpack.
  • One member of staff with up to date First Aid will be designated to take responsibility for first aid box, anti-febrile/epi-pens/inhalers/medications, roll book, contact numbers, paper towels, wipes, plastic refuse bag, serviettes, and picnic rugs. This staff member will be a floating staff responsible for no children and will manage the toilet breaks.
  • Adult child ratio will be two children for every adult.
  • Volunteers will be expected to assist in escorting children.
  • Staff are ultimately responsible for the children.
  • A list is drawn up allocating children to adult.
  • Roll list is drawn up for the outing. Each parent enters their mobile opposite their child’s name on the morning of the outing. Each parent signs mobile will be switched on for the duration of the outing.
  • Staff only, assist children in toileting. Parents can assist their own children if necessary.
  • If parents choose not to let their children go on the outing. Alternative activity is made available for them at the playschool with two staff members remaining in the centre for these children.
  • First aid box is brought and managed by staff with up to date first aid certificate.
  • N. B. The second first aid box must be left in the playroom.
  • Children assemble ten minutes before departure. Toilet visits before departure.
  • Roll call is made.
  • Children are settled into the bus and the seat belts checked by the staff.
  • Bags etc stored under the seat.
  • Window curtains used for shading if required.
  • Staff seated strategically: – one in the front seat, one at the back, two in the centre in opposite aisles.
  • Children do not move from their seats.
  • Air conditioning on as required.
  • Staff check children regularly during the trip. Interacting with the children.
  • Children assisted off the bus.
  • Children assemble, roll called.
  • Children walk in file holding an adult hand.
  • Staff lead the line; take up rear of the line. The others are at quarter and three-quarter positions
  • Head count done at each toilet break / food break.
  • Walk in file returning to the bus.
  • Roll called and children seat belts are checked.
  • Review/evaluation of outing done the following day consulting all adults

 

Merry Mornings           MANAGING A CRITICAL INCIDENT on an outing/in playschool 

Preventive action

  • Risk assessment done in advance so that potential weak areas are controlled and monitored
  • One adult per two children.
  • Adult at all the possible egress spots
  • Regular head count and rollcall done.
  • Adults tell one another if they or either of their children need to use bathroom etc

BROKEN LIMB

  • Remain calm
  • Child treated where they lie
  • Injured child attended to by the first aider carrying the first aid box. First aider assesses and gives initial treatment.
  • Other children gathered, head count and roll call done
  • Children moved away from injured child and closely supervised by two adults.
  • PHONE 112.
  • Phone Parent/carer/ emergency contact.
  • 2ND first aider assists the first aider.
  • Keep child warm and comfortable until assistance arrives.
  • Fill out accident form sign by witnesses.
  • Notify insurance and Tusla.

 

HEAD INJURY

  • Remain calm
  • Child treated where they lie
  • Injured child attended to by first aider with the first aid box.
  • Then THE SAME AS ABOVE
  • Fill out accident form
  • Notify insurance and Tulsa

SUDDENLY UNWELL

  • Sick child cared for by first aider.
  • Parents/ carer/ emergency contact rung
  • If they have a temperature administer temperature reducing medicine
  • Put cold compress at the back of the neck, on the forehead and loosen clothes
  • First aider stays with the child
  • Keep child warm and comfortable.
  • Fill out incident form signed by witnesses

CHILD MISSING

  • Remain calm
  • gather all children together, head count, rollcall. Secure the children with two adults.
  • Indoors notify the manager of the setting e.g. indoor play area.
  • Ascertain where the child disappeared from.
  • Staff turn on phones, split up, check area methodically and carefully.
  • If No sign, Ring 112 and Ring parent/Guardian/emergency contact person

 

Outside

  • Gather the other children, head count, rollcall
  • Ascertain where child last seen.
  • Two adults mind the other children and calmly question them where child last seen.
  • Organise search party in grid pattern radiating from last sighting.
  • ring 112 Ring parent/guardian/emergency contact person.
  • Keep searching     Continue to question the children calmly.
  • Record everything afterwards getting all to sign incident form.

 

Infection control on an outing

  • Children/adults who are unwell cannot go on the outing.
  • Children/adults hands sterilised before going on the bus.
  • Children bring their own food/drink (unless venue insists on their food).
  • Any spillages on the bus are handled according to procedure using plastic aprons and gloves
  • Children hands are thoroughly washed before food break and after each use of the toilet.
  • Surfaces are washed, disinfected and dried before lunch boxes are opened.
  • Children are constantly supervised

Merry Mornings Policy No. 36. Recruitment Policy (January 2020)

POLICY

The recruitment policy of Merry Mornings is to ensure responsible, mature, police vetted, trained staff are employed to work with the children.

RECRUITMENT PROCEDURE

  • Merry Mornings will ensure that all staff and volunteers are carefully selected by undertaking the following: –
  • The vacant post to be advertised widely and in the local paper
  • The criteria for suitable applicants listed
  • Short list drawn up
  • a clear job description which outlines the qualification, skills, experience needed.
  • Candidates to supply information on an application form which includes the following: –
  • Photographic id from a current passport/driver’s licence
  • Personal details past/current work/volunteering experience, qualifications or skills relevant to the post and signature following GDPR 2018
  • Declaration form must be submitted in relation to criminal convictions and suitability to work with children in terms of conduct, character and background.
  • Interviews will be conducted by a panel consisting of three people. It is the responsibility of the panel to appoint staff/volunteers
  • Scoring sheets and feedback is available to candidates
  • Attitudes to child centred ethos, child protection, race or culture are checked thoroughly
  • Two written character/work references must be submitted which can be verified
  • The qualifications and references to be verified by the owner who will not appoint the candidate unless the references check out.
  • The applicant cannot be employed or start work without receiving garda vetting
  • A contract of employment is issued.
  • New employee is on trial for six months.
  • Records relating to the recruitment process for successful candidate will be stored in the staff file. the information will be retained for five years after the employee leaves the business. The records of the other candidates will be shredded.

 

 Induction (January 2020)

     Policy

  • Every new member of staff, every volunteer, every student must have an induction session before working with children in Merry Mornings

Procedure

  • The manager introduces the person to Merry Mornings
  • All mobile phones must be put on the windowsill
  • Handbags/personal effects into locked press
  • Introduced to layout of room and the six play areas.
  • Bathrooms outlining the importance of helping children to toilet safely.
  • Volunteers and students not allowed in the bathroom area alone

The person then must read: –

  • The policies and procedures,
  • The child protection policy and procedure
  • The Child safeguarding statement
  • The Safety Statement
  • Fire and Safety Procedures
  • General Data Protection Regulations
  • The curriculum
  • The notice board outside in the entrance
  • Shadow staff members

Ask for help if unsure of anything.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 37. Risk Management (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings continuously assesses any potential risk to the safety of the children attending this service.

PROCEDURE

Risk assessments are completed to identify any potential hazard which may pose a risk to: –

  • The service being well governed.
  • The health welfare and development of each child attending being supported,
  • The safety of the children in the service,
  • The premises being safe, suitable and appropriate for the care and education of the children

Each risk assessment gives details of: –

  • The potential hazard/risk being assessed
  • The current controls in place to address the risk
  • Assessing the risk
  • Additional control in place to address the risk
  • Who is responsible for implementing the additional controls where appropriate.
  • Risk assessment is itemised on the agenda of the monthly meetings.
  • A risk assessment for an individual child would be developed where required in consultation with the child/parents/guardians. Retained for two years after they leave the service.
  • Accidents and incidents are discussed monthly and risk assessment is done if deemed necessary
  • Risk assessment is carried out on any venue being visited by the service
  • Risk assessment template in the safety statement is used
  • Risk assessments are revised yearly and amended accordingly.
  • All relevant stakeholders e.g. staff members are involved in the risk assessments
  • Risk assessments are kept permanently except the IEP which are shredded as above.

 

Policy No 37 (a) Merry Mornings                Risk Assessment 

Merry Mornings is committed to supporting the development of children through opportunities for exploration experimentation and challenge. We provide a variety of play activities and areas of interest, in both our indoor and outdoor environments. Our early years’ service operates within the guidelines of the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Year Service) Regulations 2016 and the Health and Safety and Welfare Act 2005

Environment

  • The service will carry out and document regular risk assessments of indoor play areas
  • The service will carry out and document regular risk assessment of outdoor play areas.

Equipment

  • The safety guidelines of any proposed new equipment will be examined by the service prior to purchase and procedures will be put in place to minimise any risk, while allowing learning and developmental opportunities for children.
  • Any new equipment will be introduced into the centre in a manner that supports the children to understand the purpose, use and rules of operation.
  • A review of new equipment will be undertaken regularly to ensure safe ongoing operation.

Activities

  • Practitioners will research the benefits of any proposed new activities.
  • Practitioners will assess the risk involved in any new activities
  • Practitioners will identify any hazard that may arise from the new activity
  • Practitioners will put into place any procedure to minimise and risk while allowing learning and developmental opportunities for children.
  • New activities will be introduced in a manner that supports the children to understand the purpose, use and rules of operation
  • A review of new activities will be carried out and any learning will be incorporated into the procedure.
  • All reviews will be documented

Merry Mornings Policy No.38. Safe Sleep (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings operates for a three- hour period. Children attending are between 2years and 8 month and 5 years of age. At the parents meeting, in August of each year, parents discuss with staff members the sleep/rest needs of their child/children. Children should have a space to rest/sleep if they need to. Children’s energy levels vary and some need opportunity to rest/sleep more frequently than others. A soft couch in the corner of the book area is used for sleeping/resting, Cellular blankets and sheets are washed after each use.

 

PROCEDURE

  • Staff are given clear guidance on the safe sleep practice and are trained in this policy.
  • Children can sleep/rest when they are tired and not at a dedicated time in the three- hour session.
  • Children sleeping/resting are supervised.
  • Staff must check on the resting/sleeping child every 10 minutes.
  • If child needs rest after the first 10 minutes, parents are to be notified to collect the child immediately.
  • A log is kept of the child sleeping/resting which covers; time, duration, colour, breathing.
  • The log is to be signed off every 10 minutes until child is collected
  • Staff will ensure no objects of strangulation/choking are present or near the resting/sleeping area.

 

Merry Mornings     Policy No 40        Safe Sleep Log

Child Name Times checked at Position Colour Breathing Staff name
         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

Merry Mornings Policy No. 39. Settling in (January 2020 )

POLICY

All staff at Merry Mornings would like the children attending this service to settle in, feel they belong and be happy to separate from family for playschool hours. Use the curriculum to the full and be ready to move to Primary school when the time is right.

 

PROCEDURE

  • The Staff greet child and parent/guardian and making them both feel welcome to the playroom.
  • Children are individually introduced to all staff, guided around the room, shown where the toilets are and in consultation with parents/guardians guided to their preferred activity.
  • Staffs recognise that parent/guardians know their children’s needs best.
  • Staff are aware that some children can be upset separating from parent/guardian.
  • Parents can help to settle their children during the first mornings.
  • Parents are the best guide as to whether their child is genuinely upset and will or will not settle.
  • Parents can remain with their child if they are upset and help them and the staff to settle.
  • The staff will take the guide from the parents whether they want the child to be taken from them even if they are crying on the understanding that their child will stop crying when out of sight. The staff will not let a child sob inconsolably for any length of time. The staff will contact the parent to let them know their child is upset.
  • Sand, painting, playdo are good areas to introduce the children to play and socialise in.
  • Story reading, jigsaws and construction are good areas for those who are upset
  • Parents can stay for as long as they want, leave for some- time and return to collect their child.
  • If parents remain in the playroom, they should make sure they play and communicate with other children (at an activity) to introduce their child to the others.
  • Parents should gradually leave their child but tell their child when they are leaving and when they will be back.
  • Staff are sensitive to children’s needs and gently introduce them to the daily routine.

 

  • If a child does not settle with parental assistance, parents could try dropping them off and firmly saying they will be back to collect them at twelve.
  • If a child is very young, they may not be ready for this separation. Parents/guardians can remove them for a month or so and then try again.
  • During the summer months May and June, children enrolled for the following September can visit the playroom for a short visit, but their parents must remain on these visits for insurance purposes.
  • Parents/guardians give the names of authorised collectors at enrolment
  • The children can attend the introduction days in their primary school. A conversation about moving to a different service is included in the curriculum.
  • Key person system is in place, so each member of staff has up to seven children each to support and scaffold.
  • The monthly staff meeting before the primary school visits refreshes the policy on how to support the children with change going forward.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 41. Specific Requirements (January 2020)

POLICY

Children and parents have individual needs. We try to meet these needs to the best of our ability. Should the case arise that specific requirements are not being met by this service then we will in consultation with parents/guardians and children do all in our power to meet these requirements.

 

 

PROCEDURE

  • Data is collected and secured following GDPR 2018

·      Registration forms provide space to highlight any specific requirements.

·      The introduction sessions provide opportunity for parents/guardians to highlight any requirements.

·      Daily conversation and feedback to parents/guardians provide opportunity to highlight any requirements.

·      Daily logbook provides opportunity for staff to monitor if children need any specific requirements.

·      If specific requirements are highlighted the staff will consult with parents/guardians and draw up a plan to meet the needs of this child.

·      The plan is reviewed as frequently as is deemed necessary by all parties involved.

Merry Mornings Policy No.42. Staff Absence (January 2020)

POLICY

The obligatory adult child ratio is 11 to 1. The session can only run if there are two members of staff present. Merry Mornings ensures continuity of service by employing three members of staff.

PROCEDURE

  • Three members of staff attend most days
  • No two members of staff can take annual leave at the same time
  • If any member of staff is ill, they must contact Geraldine Murphy by half past eight in the morning. Geraldine calls on Fionn (the standby relief) if two members of staff are ill at the same time.
  • If two members of staff are absent for whatever reason Fionn Bardon is the relief staff.
  • The staff roster is posted on the wall with reserve staff listed on it. Staff enter their attendance /absence in the daily register.

If staff have been unwell, they must have a certificate from the doctor stating they are fit to return to work.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 43. Staff Training Policy (January 2020)

POLICY

The permanent members of staff have completed Fetac Level 5 Certificates in Childcare and both the Play Leader and Room Leader have completed Level 6. The Room Leader has completed the Degree Level 8 in Early Childhood Studies.

PROCEDURE

  • The staff need ongoing training to implement the Aistear and Siolta National Childcare Programmes.
  • The staff are encouraged to continue with their childcare training to Degree level the fees for which to be paid for by the service
  • Staff have the opportunity at each meeting to identify any training needs
  • At the yearly review the staff can identify a training need they might have.

NOTE: Please refer to Policy No. 26 Induction

Merry Mornings Policy No. 44. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND FUNCTION (January 2020)

POLICY

The purpose of Merry Mornings is to provide a stimulating safe environment for Pre-school Children.

Merry Mornings is a private preschool service and is classified as a sessional service offering pre-school care under the Childcare Act 1991(early Years Services} Regulations 2016. A play-based service underpinned by Siolta, Aistear and Montessori principles.

Principle: – This policy is underwritten by the Child Care Act 1991

 (Early Years’ Service) Regulations 2016

Service details

Name of service

Merry Mornings

Address

Gort na nOir

Eircode

R32VH6V

Contact Person

Fionn Bardon

Position in Setting

Owner

Email Address

[email protected]

Description of service

Type of setting

Sessional Pre-school

Type of service

Private

Curriculum/programmes offered

Play based curriculum underpinned by Siolta/Aistear/Montessori

Number of weeks open

38 weeks

Opening hours

9.a.m.-12noon

DCYA Schemes offered

ECCE

 

 

Policies that inform the work of the Preschool Service

  1. Fire safety
  2. Infection control
  3. Administration of medication
  4. Complaints policy
  5. Dropping and collecting
  6. Health and safety statement
  7. Child safeguarding statement
  8. Behaviour management
  9. Safe sleep

 

 

Merry Mornings Policy No.45. Supervision Policy (January 2020)

POLICY

Merry Mornings values all employees. All employees are supervised, supported in this service in relation to their work practices.

Supervision is any communication between two or more relevant staff one of whom is a line manager. It is in place to support develop knowledge, skills, and values of an individual through an evaluation process to examine professional thinking, actions and decisions.

PROCEDURE

  • Fionn Bardon is the owner and accepts ultimate responsibility for the playschool and is the line manager for Geraldine.
  • Fionn gets a daily update from Geraldine about the session that morning and discusses informally with Geraldine any issues that may have arisen.
  • Geraldine Murphy – The manager manages the two other members of staff. At the end of the morning the staff informally discuss any issues that may have arisen that day. Geraldine gives support and training when required. Once a week the staff have an hour- long meeting discussing the children. Reaching conclusions and any action needed.
  • Rosemary Harding – The playleader answers directly to Geraldine Murphy
  • Hilary Mezzapelle – Room Leader/ the Early Years Educator answers directly to Geraldine Murphy.
  • The three members of staff have completed FETAC level 5,6, courses funded by the service.
  • Hilary has completed the degree in Early Childhood Care and Education
  • The staff are encouraged to continue their childcare education and training to degree level funded by the service.
  • The staff members attend revision First AID courses every three years.
  • The monthly weekly and daily plans are prepared by the room leader
  • Monthly meetings provide opportunity to raise any concerns staff may have, training needs of staff are raised regularly
  • Policies and procedures are raised at monthly meeting, risk assessments and revision of Aistear programme
  • Planning for the emerging curriculum is discussed at monthly meetings.
  • The staff will keep a written record of their reflections and discussion on these reflections take place at the staff meetings
  • Staff will be appraised in June of each year. The appraisal will lead into planned actions to be put in place the following September.
  • The supervision records will be kept in the staff file and kept for five years after the staff leave the service.

         NOTE: Please see Policy No. 26     Induction                    

Merry Mornings Policy No.47. Use of the internet, photographic equipment and recordings device (January 2020)

POLICY

Audio visual equipment is part and parcel of a child’s everyday life. Audio visual can be used at the correct time and place.

 

NOTE: See the GDPR policies and procedures

  • Computer / computer games are not included in equipment in the playroom.
  • Television is not used in the playroom.
  • Staff can use a camera for observation purposes.
  • Staff cannot use their phones for observation purposes.
  • Staff mobile phones must be on display on the windowsill in the playroom.
  • Staff talk on their phones outside of the room. Staff cannot hold private conversations on their phones in the room.
  • Parents sign permission slips to allow photographic evidence to be used for observation purposes.
  • The photographs are returned to the parents when the child leaves

Photographs are not used by this service for advertising only for observation purposes and parents have signed confirming this.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 50. Equal Opportunities (January 2020)

POLICY

It is our policy to recognise and respect the rights of all adults and children associated with this service; Merry Mornings promotes equality of access and participation and eliminates discrimination on grounds of culture, race, gender, disability and social background in all our policies and procedures. We will comply with all relevant legislation, including:

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004

  • The Equal Status Acts, 2000 to 2004
  • GDPR 2018

This policy will be reviewed regularly.

 

PROCEDURE

Admissions:

  • Merry Mornings is open to all families in the community.
  • The Advance Booking List and the Waiting List are operated as per admission procedures See Policy No 1.

 Families:

  • We recognise that all families should be encouraged to be involved in their children’s early education, in whatever ways possible for them.
  • Input from all families in this service is valued equally.
  • There are many different types of families.
  • Children can be loved and cared for in different family settings.

 

Information:

  • Information spoken and written will be communicated through as many different methods as possible when necessary.

Curriculum:

  • Children are valued and supported to develop their strengths and interests.
  • 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.
  • Children are always encouraged to appreciate similarities and value differences.
  • The range of materials used by the children in this setting reflect cultures, gender and ability difference.
  • Collaboration and cooperation among children and staff are supported.

 

Additional Needs:

  • We recognise 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 using this service.
  • Where appropriate, every effort will be made to meet the medical needs of the children in our care.

 

Food and festivals:

  • Children and adults will be encouraged to experience a range of festivals through stories, celebrations, special food and clothing. Appropriate advice and input will be sought from people who celebrate the festival.

 

Staff and Training:

  • The correct procedures as set out in current Employment and Equality Legislation will be followed when recruiting full time staff members.
  • In service training will be provided for all staff in the area of equal opportunities, in order to raise awareness of discriminatory actions or behaviours. (Siolta – The National Quality Standards)
  • Staff and children will be challenged and helped to understand that discriminatory actions and behaviour is not acceptable.

Merry Mornings Policy No. 55. Health and Wellbeing (January 2020)

POLICY

We promote the health and well-being of children through prevention of illness, encouraging take-up and completion of immunisation programmes and developmental checks and supporting all aspects of the physical, emotional, moral and spiritual health of the child.  Merry Mornings will comply with current legislation regarding food hygiene, registration and training, including:

  • The Child Care Act 1991
  • The Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulation 2016
  • I.S.: Hygiene and Catering Requirements
  • I.S.344 Guide to Good Hygiene Practices in Domestic Premises
  • E.C. Hygiene of Foodstuffs Regulations 2000 (S.I.165 of 2000)

PROCEDURE

  • There are opportunities for energetic and outdoor play.
  • The children’s emotional, moral, spiritual health and well being is supported through a stimulating curriculum.

Infectious disease control:

  • Children or adults with heavy colds, coughs or infectious diseases should not attend the childcare service. (see policies on, infection control, infectious disease control).

 

Healthy eating:

NOTE: See Policy No. 23 on Healthy Eating

  • The staff sit with small groups of children as they eat their food, to encourage good eating habits, stimulate conversation and enhance the quality of the interaction.
  • If a child’s eating or drinking patterns vary, the parent/guardian/carer will be notified

Safety

  • Children are always supervised while they are eating.

Immunisation policy

When a child is enrolled in Merry Mornings, the immunisation details must be filled in on the application form. In the case of children who have not been immunised, parent/guardian/carer will be asked to contact Tusla.