Policies

Policy No 1: Accident and Incident

POLICY

Accident and incidents occur frequently when children are gathered together. We believe in recording accidents and incidents so as to be able to report to parents and to ensure transparency. We believe accidents are not caused by anyone.

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

An accident is an occurance that involves an injury which is nobody’s fault

PROCEDURE

The template for reporting is to be filled out.

Parents to be notified immediately if child is injured, or needs medical attention

Parents signature witnessed by staff

Parents sign the form when collecting child.

Insurance company must be notified of any injury

Accidents and First Aid

A first aid box is easily accessible to the staff in the playroom .

The contents of the first aid box are checked regularly.

A member of staff with an up to date first aid certificate is present.

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, emergency contact person is notified, emergency services are called and the family doctor recorded on the permission form is contacted.

All accidents/incidents, even the most minor, must be reported to the Insurance Company.

An Accident/Incident Record Book is kept.

 

Policy No 2. ADMINISTERING  MEDICATION ( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

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

Children who have contagious infections should not be attending until the infection is cleared.

We will only support the administration of medication prescribed by doctors that has to be taken during school hours.

PROCEDURE

Parents put in writing clear instructions around the administration of this medicine e.g. inhalers, meds for epilepsy/M.S

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 a permission slip for two members of staff to administer their child’s medication

The medicine is stored securely

Medicines to be labelled clearly with the child’s name , dosage to be given

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 administer whatever medicines have been authorised and named and signed for.

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 check that the medicine is in date.

Staff wash their hands before administering the medicine, use clean spoons etc.

Staff administer the dosage as per written instructions on the medicine

Staff administer 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 secure it within.

Record of administering the medication is entered in the medicine 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 given to them.

Medication Guidelines:

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

Policy No 3 ADMISSIONS. ( reviewed June 2013 )

 POLICY

Merry Mornings pre-school is committed to offering access to this facility, to all adults and children, inclusive of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, race sexual orientation, membership of the travelling community and religious belief. This pre-school operates an “open-door” policy to parents/guardians/carers.

PROCEDURE

An Advance Booking Register is in operation. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

The first twenty children are assured of a place then a waiting list comes into operation.

If there is a demand then an afternoon session runs. A minimum of ten children is required for the afternoon session.

The playroom can accommodate 22 children per session inclusive of children with additional needs and the service is wheelchair accessible.

Children must be three years of age and toilet trained.

An enrolment form must be completed by the parents/guardians prior to the child starting.

The morning sessions run from 9.am to 12 noon five mornings a week

The year starts in the first  fortnight of September and finishes at the end of June the following year.

Mid-Term break is taken at Halloween.

There are breaks for approximately  two weeks at Christmas and Easter.

Mid year admissions are not encouraged

Children who qualify for the free ECCE scheme have a place for five mornings those attending for two years share a place.

If children are attending part- time the days should be in sequence e.g. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday.

Policy No. 4 ANTI-BIAS APPROACH

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

 

Policy No. 5   ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

POLICY

Children must be kept safe and free from harm while attending Merry Mornings. Parents must feel confident that only those whom they have chosen may drop off or collect their child.

PROCEDURE

Each child is signed in by named person on arrival

Coats are hung in the hall

Shoes are changed in the hall

Lunch boxes are left in the hall

Child escorted to playroom door disinfecting hands on the way.

Child and escort welcomed at the door with a greeting from staff member

There is time to have an exchange of information re child.

Departure

Children are seated at the tables ready to be collected

Child collected by named collector

Collector signs the register

Collector comes to the playroom door with child’s belongings

Staff open door and release child to named person one at a time

There are enough staff members to accommodate exchange of information

Policy No. 6 AUDIO VISUAL EQUIPMENT

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.

PROCEDURE

Computer / computer games are not included in equipment in the play room

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 use their phones in the room

Parents sign permission slips to allow photographic evidence to be used for observation purposes.

Policy No. 7    BULLYING

POLICY

Children should not be subject to or exposed to Bullying. Bullying is the continuous picking on or the continuous undermining of somebody.

PROCEDURE

Interview with parents to listen to their concerns.

Observe the alleged victim and perpetrator daily for a week to record any pattern of behaviour

Staff analyse the observation

Follow the procedure for the serious incident policy attached to Positive Behaviour Management Policy/

Policy No.  8 CHILD DEVELOPMENT  ( reviewed June 2013 )

POLICY

We recognise that children need to develop holistically. They need to develop their physical skills strengthening gross and fine motor skills. They need to develop their intellectual skills concentration, memory, problem solving, understanding.  They need to develop language and communication skills. They need to develop emotional skills building their self belief and self esteem. They need to develop their social skills bonding, sharing, taking turns, considering others, playing cooperatively, morally principled.

This playschool is laid out in several play areas. It is fitted out with appropriate, varied, stimulating materials. The playroom offers a developmentally appropriate environment with developmentally appropriate opportunities

PROCEDURE

A monthly staff meeting reviews the development of each child

Support plans are put in place to provide stimulation in the highlighted areas. Materials are changed monthly in the play areas.

Notes on children’s progress are recorded

Children are given the scope and support to develop at their own pace

The curriculum supports individual development with structured, graded appropriate activities provided daily in the structured play section of the session

Policy No.  9 CHILD PROTECTION   ( Reviewed June 2013)

POLICY:   

Merry Morning’s member of staff are committed to respecting the rights and welfare of children and families in all their work. Should staff suspect any child is vulnerable/at risk/subject to any abuse the HSE will be notified according to procedure

In particular members  of staff recognise that:

Children have the right to be consulted and to have their views respected.

Children have the right to be safe from harm and abuse.

PROCEDURE:

The staff of Merry Mornings follow the procedures directed by the Health Board Services Executive in their document  ‘ Our Duty to Care’. (See the updated Child protection procedure)

If there are concerns about a specific child, observations are made, recorded and dated.

This specific concern it is shared with the Designated Person in charge of Child Protection

The Designate Person investigates and where necessary consults with parents /guardians.

The Designated Person contacts the Duty Social Worker if necessary about these recorded concerns to make

(A) an informal consultation      or   (b) submit a formal report.

Policy No. 10 Children with Special Needs

POLICY

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

PROCEDURE

Parents confide in the staff

Staff do 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

Policy No. 11 CLEANING

POLICY

This service maintains a high standard of cleaning. We recognise the importance of cleaning the playroom daily to support infection prevention and control. High standards of cleanliness contributes to children’s health, wellbeing.

Pre-school Childcare regulations,

Health and Safety Act,

National quality standards

Siolta

Underpin the policy on cleaning.

PROCEDURE

The members of staff clean the playroom etc each day after the play session

The playroom, toilets, lobbies, entrance hall, corridor are vacummed and washed each day at the end of a session. A cleaning log is maintained.

The equipment, materials, containers etc are washed and sterilised in rotation according to cleaning charts. Itemised cleaning charts record the rotation

Soiled or broken toys are discarded and replaced

Policy No. 12 COMMENTS AND  COMPLAINTS ( reviewed June 2013 )

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

We will give careful attention and a prompt and courteous response to any suggestions, comments, or complaints, 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.

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.

 

Complaints Procedure.

If you wish to make a complaint you should contact Fionn Bardon to discuss and hopefully, resolve the matter.

Should you still feel that the matter is unresolved then the complaint must be put in writing to the nominated person.

A written acknowledgement of the complaint will be sent  within seven working days.

If the complaint is related to the behaviour of a member of staff, the staff member must be informed that a formal complaint has been made and be given the full details and the right to reply. The member of staff will be on paid leave until the matter is resolved.

Parents/Guardians/Carers must take this statement of procedure as being informed that staff has to be informed of complaints made relating to their behaviour so that the procedure can be implemented.

If required a request may be made in writing to Fionn Bardon to have the complaint heard by a wider group. Fionn Bardon and an external mediator.

Another person may accompany the person making the request.

Following the request, the complainant must be facilitated with a meeting within one month.

An agreed written record of the meeting will be kept by the external mediator and where appropriate a formal letter of the outcome will be issued within seven working days following the meeting.

In instances where the complaint involves the welfare of  a child/children, the information will be made known to the relevant Duty Social Worker in the Health Service Executive.

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance when dealing with complaints and comments.

If the complaint involves a Child Protection issue, the procedure as outlined in the Child Protection Policy will be immediately implemented.

 

 

 

 

Policy No.  13 CONFIDENTIALITY.( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

It is the policy of Merry Mornings to keep confidential any information about the health and family circumstances of children, families, staff and volunteers. Knowledge or observation of children’s behaviour will be treated in a strictly confidential manner, except in terms of legal obligation, i.e child protection.

PROCEDURE

Parents/Guardians/Carers are made aware of the necessity of keeping records in relation to the children in order to comply with the Child Care (Pre-schools ) Regulations 2006

Parents will have access to records kept in the service only in relation to their own child.

In child protection situations, observations/records in relation to children may have to be made available to the HSE to prevent children being placed at further risk

Information in relation to, Child Protection Issues, which has been brought to the attention of any member of staff may need to be shared on a need to know basis to ensure the safety of the child.

It has been impressed on the staff that it is not acceptable to discuss matters relating to the children, the staff or the service outside the setting.

Breaches of confidentiality can be dealt with under the complaints procedure, or under the terms of employment as appropriate.

Policy No. 14 CULTURAL MORAL AND SOCIAL VALUES

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

We will incorporate and celebrate all cultural traditions followed by the children attending. E.g. Christmas.  Tet, Ramadan.

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

Policy No. 15 DATA PROTECTION

POLICY

We at Merry Mornings comply with Data protection guidelines. Children, staff and parents private information is stored safely and is accessible to the staff, parent of the individual child, professional support, HSE.

PROCEDURE.

All records are filed in a paper file

No private information is stored on any computer.

The file is stored in a press in the playroom

The press is inaccessible to children

Policy No. 16  EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ( reviewed June 2013)

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 eliminate 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 1998and 2004

The Equal Status Acts, 2000 to 2004

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 is 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 way is 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.

There is a flexible payment system if needed by families with different means.

Information:

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

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 encouraged at all times 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 is 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.

Dietary and cultural needs of children and adults will be met.

 

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.

 

 

Policy No.  17 EQUIPMENT AND TOYS ( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

We fit out the playroom in six principal play areas. The equipment and toys provided are plentiful, varied, developmentally appropriate and meet health and safety standards.

PROCEDURE

All equipment and toys that are purchased or collected meet health and safety criteria

All equipment and toys are developmentally appropriate

Some equipment is changed on a monthly basis to ensure stimulation e.g

Paint colour tones

Art and Craft materials

Interest \tables

Table –top equipment

Group games

Books

Dressing up clothes

Kitchen themes cooking/baking/ restaurant/shop/hairdresser/

Construction materials.

Equipment and toys are replaced when worn, soiled, broken or torn

N.B. Books are not replaced unless torn ( Worn books are an indication of favoured stories and sometimes these books are out of print and cannot be replaced)

To comply with HSE directives no soft toys are allowed. They harbour germs.

Policy No. 18 EXCLUSION OF STAFF AND CHILDREN ( reviewed June 2013 )

POLICY

We believe in providing a healthy play environment. We must protect children and staff and Parents from the spread of infection to the best of our ability.

PROCEDURE

All of the items listed below should be brought to the attention of the designated person in charge:-

Staff/ Parents and children who were sick the night before should not attend

Staff /Parents and children who are unwell should not attend until the symptoms disappear.

Staff/ Parents and children with an infectious disease must not attend until the contagious period is over

Staff/ Parents and children on prescribed antibiotics must be taking the medicine for twenty four hours before attending

Staff Parents and children who are HIV positive must notify the service so that correct protection of others are in place.

Staff Parents and children who are suspected/diagnosed as having swine flu must not attend until seven session days from the onset of the disease.

Policy No. 19 FEES POLICY  ( reviewed June 2013 )

Policy

Merry Morning’s fee policy is approved annually by the Laois County Childcare Committee for the ECCE scheme and for those children outside of the scheme.

PROCEDURE

No booking deposit is charged.

Children are entitled to a free pre-school year between certain calendar dates.

There are no extra charges.

Children outside the scheme pay 12 euros a session

Residents from Respond are entitled to a reduction of 2 euro a session( Contract agreement with respond the landlords) They pay 10 euro a session

A 10 euro charge is made for the annual outing.

This policy and procedure will change if and when the ECCE scheme ends or alters.

Children who qualify for the free ECCE scheme have a place for five mornings those attending for two years share a place.

If children are attending for three days a week, two out of those three days should be in sequence.

e.g. Tuesday Wednesday and Friday

POLICY NO   20     FIRE EVACUATION

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.

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. 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 extinguisher is annually checked. An established fire drill is  in place and it is practised every month throughout the calendar year. Records of these drills are kept and clearly posted at the fire exit door.

PROCEDURE IN THE CASE OF A FIRE           

Fire alarm sounds

Children line up at exit door with childcare worker

Childcare worker leads the children outside to the assembly point

Play leader collects the roll book and mobile phone and checks

everyone has evacuated the room

Play leader joins the children at the assembly point

Roll is called and a head check is done

Fire brigade is called

FIRE DRILL

  1. Sound the fire alarm.
  2. Children form a snake line at the exit.
  3. One leader opens the exit door.
  4. Children file out to the grass area.
  5. Provisional head count is made.
  6. Second leader checks the playroom and the toilets
  7. for any remaining children.
  8. Second leader follows the others out to the grass area
  9. with the register and  A MOBILE PHONE.
  10. Padlock on the side gate is unlocked, children and leaders
  11. go to the fire assembly point at the side of the building.
  12. Children present are checked against the register.
  13. This drill is practiced monthly.

Policy No. 21 Handwashing

POLICY

Handwashing is an established part of the daily routine.

It is done to prevent and control the spread of infection.

Children and staff are expected to wash their hands after using the toilet.

They are expected to wash their hands before and after eating

They are expected to wash their hands after being outside

They are expected to wash their hands if they are sticky or soiled

PROCEDURE

Children are shown how to wash their hands correctly.

They mime washing their hands to two runs of washing hands song.

Wet hands, rub together with soap liquid rub front, back, fingers, thumbs

Rinse thoroughly and then dry off with paper towels

Paper towels disposed of daily.

 

 

Policy No. 22 HYGIENE ( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

Merry Mornings is committed to the promotion of a healthy environment and a high standard of personal hygiene for adults and children.

We aim to comply with all relevant legislation including:

The Child Care ( Pre- School Services) Regulations 2006 on Hygiene

We aim to comply with all HSE recommendations around the prevention of the spread of  infectious diseases e.g. swine flu

PROCEDURE

Parents, staff and children disinfect their hands on arrival before entering playroom

Children /Staff wash their hands after using the toilet

Children wash their hands if soiled from play e.g. paint, arts and crafts

Children wash their hands after outdoor play

Children wash their hands before and after eating their food

A handwashing log is kept daily

Staff always wash hands after using toilets.

Staff wash hands after outdoor play/pets

Staff wash hands before and after handling food.

All cuts and sores are covered with suitable dressings.

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

Disposable gloves are worn.

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.

A supply 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.

 

Cleaning.

Routine cleaning at the end of sessions is done when children have left the premises.

The floors are thoroughly hoovered

Mops for floor cleaning are disinfected using rubber gloves and left out to dry, mop head up and replaced regularly., washed and disinfected daily.

The mops and buckets are colour coded

All toilets, surrounding areas, wash hand basins, are cleaned and disinfected every day

A daily and weekly cleaning routine is in place and posted on the walls in the toilets and in the lobby.

Equipment, toys and props are cleaned regularly and replaced if damaged , broken or worn through.

Sterilised sand is used and covered when not in use and the water tray is emptied each day.

Washing up is done with hot water, rubber gloves.

Delph and cutlery are air dried

Different cleaning cloths are used for playroom and toilet areas.

Cleaning cloths and mops are regularly changed.

Any left over food and debris is removed and disposed of daily

Pest Control

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

Infectious Disease Control

Children and Adults with heavy colds, coughs, or ill over night or who have an infectious disease must not attend the service.

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.

Head louse infection is contagious and if noticed parents/guardians/carers will be notified

 

SWINE FLU

All staff are able to recognise and respond if a child or member of staff develops symptoms of swine flu.

Staff/Parent/Child with probable/confirmed swine flu must stay at home seven days from the onset of the symptoms.

Staff/Parents/Children must be cleared by a doctor before returning to playschool

Staff/Parent/Sibling/Child who display flu like symptoms at home must stay away until clear of all symptoms

Staff/Parent/Child who display flu like symptoms at playschool will be removed from the playroom and supervised in isolation in the front hall until collected.

Supervising staff will wear surgical mask and sterilise hands in the hall

The hall will be sterilised after sick person leaves

Parents/Guardians will be notified immediately if their child displays any flu like symptoms. Parents will be advised to ring their GP before attending the surgery.

Emergency contact person will be notified to collect the child immediately

If no one is available to collect their GP will be contacted by supervisor

The HSE will be notified if Staff/Parents/Children are diagnosed with swine flu

Staff/Parents/Children must sterilise hands daily with alchohol based solution in hall before entering playroom

Playroom equipment/furniture/and all surfaces will be sterilised thoroughly with antibacterial solution.

Children will be taught and encouraged to be aware of best hygiene procedures to prevent the spread of infection. Hand washing, use of tissues, minimise contact between hands mouth and nose.

The HSE hygiene pictures will be prominently posted on the walls of the playroom /toilets/hand-wash area and hall.

In the case where playschool is requested to close by HSE due to an outbreak of swine flu  parents will be notified immediately by phone and in writing.

In the case of three staff members falling ill due to swine flu playschool will close until two members of staff are symptom free. Parents will be notified immediately by phone and in writing.

 

Nappy Changing Policy.

All children attending this service are toilet trained so there is no provision for nappy changing. However, if a child is recently trained we advise that several changes of clothing should be put in the child’s bag. Any accidents will be treated sympathetically and soiled clothes will be double wrapped in plastic bags for collection at the end of the session. Children with additional needs may need to use protection occasionally. In these cases staff will plan in consultation with parents and child a toileting programme.

TOILETING POLICY

We promote a high standard of hygiene at all times when children use the toilet.

PROCEDURE.

We create an awareness and understanding of good hygiene practice by emphasising the importance of self care. E.g. tearing off required amount of toilet paper, cleaning the body, flushing the toilet, washing hands.

Anti-bacterial soap and disposable paper towels are used for washing and drying hands.

A cleaning schedule is in place to ensure that children’s toilets are kept in a clean and hygienic condition at all times.

Staff treat accidents sympathetically.

Praise and recognition are used when children use toilets correctly to encourage self-esteem and a sense of achievement.

Staff continuously check that children wash their hands after toileting

If required another member of staff is always available.

The child’s privacy is always respected.

Animals.

Animals visiting this service must be free from disease. A request must be made to staff  before bringing a pet to the service

 

Policy No. 23 HEALTHY  EATING( reviewed June 2013 )

POLICY

 

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 2006

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

The food pyramid is highlighted to parents.

Children are encouraged to bring food for two snack periods in case they are hungry

A breakfast chart is posted on the wall to remind parents of the importance of eating a breakfast before attending playschool.

Children should have enough liquid for several drinks.

Certain foods are not permitted because of allergies. Nuts, packets of  sweets, kiwis

Children bring their own snacks daily in a lunch box.

Food is provided by Merry Mornings for children who have not eaten .

Food is provided by Merry Mornings for parties and celebrations.

Parents/Guardians/Carers are consulted regarding the child’s special requirements and identify any support needs which may be necessary.

Parents/Guardians/Carers are advised to provide fresh nutritious balanced snacks.

Staff is made aware of any allergies, medical, religious or cultural needs of each child attending Merry Mornings

NO packets of sweets, peanuts, peanut butter sandwiches or kiwis are to be included in a child’s snack box.

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.

 

Food Purchase.

Food is purchased from a reputable source where it 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 supervised at all times while they are eating

FOOD

Children bring their own snacks and drinks.

Drinks must be in a screw top container to facilitate storage when opened.

In line with the revised (pre-school regulation) 2006, Children need food for a main snack, and then fruit for a second snack if they become hungry.

No peanuts, peanut butter sandwiches, kiwis ( allergy reasons ) and no packets of sweets.

The service provides sweets for birthday parties and festivals

Parents should provide a birthday cake on the day their child’s birthday

Policy No. 24 HEALTH  AND WELL BEING

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 2006

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.

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 on arrival 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.

If a child becomes ill at Merry Mornings the parents/guardians/carers or authorised adults will be contacted by Merry Mornings Staff.

Healthy eating:

Children bring their own snacks daily in a lunch box.

Food is provided by Merry Mornings for children on a daily basis if they have not  eaten

Food is provided by Merry Mornings for parties and celebrations.

Parents/Guardians/Carers are consulted regarding the child’s special requirements and identify any support needs which may be necessary.

Parents/Guardians/Carers are advised to provide fresh nutritious balanced snacks.

Staff are made aware of any allergies, medical, religious or cultural needs of each child attending Merry Mornings

NO packets of sweets, peanuts, peanut butter sandwiches or kiwis are to be included in a child’s snack box.

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.

Food Purchase.

Food is purchased from a reputable source where it is stored in a safe and clean manner.

Food that is passed its ‘best before’ date will not be 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 supervised at all times 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 the HSE

Policy No. 25 INAPPROPRIATE  LANGUAGE  (reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

We respect all children, their parents, their families. The members of staff of Merry Mornings do not accept inappropriate language.

 PROCEDURE

Staff members always speak with respect to the children, their parents and fellow staff members

Staff members to the best of their ability do not accidentally use inappropriate vocabulary

If a situation arises where inappropriate language is used by staff or children it is immediately brought to their attention

If the child is unaware that their vocabulary is inappropriate staff will help them to express themselves with alternative vocabulary

All staff members are aware that certain vocabulary can offend :-

Children and people with additional needs

Children with specific physical features that differ from the general group

Children parents and staff from varied cultural backgrounds

Children from varied nationalities

Children at varying stages of holistic development

Staff will update themselves on best practice vocabulary

Policy No. 26 INTERACTIONS ( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

We at Merry Mornings believe children are entitled to interact with their peers and with the staff.

PROCEDURE.

The children are encouraged to interact freely with their peers throughout the session.

Children can interact in pairs, small groups and to a lesser degree in large groups

The distinct play areas, the equipment, the materials provide stimulation to interact.

The staff  use all aspects of the daily routine to interact sensitively and respectfully with children

The staff interaction is balanced between talking and listening

The staff offer children choice

The staff follows children’s lead in free and structured play time.

Key worker system is in place

The staff interact with one another with respect , support and partnership

Policy No. 27 Infection control ( Reviewed September 2013)

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 HSE

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 on arrival 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.

If a child becomes ill at Merry Mornings the parents/guardians/carers or authorised adults will be contacted by Merry Mornings 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.

OUTBREAK OF SERIOUS DISEASE

Each parent must be contacted personally to notify of serious outbreak e.g. meningitis.  At the same time as notifying parents HSE notified immediately of the outbreak and staff must take direction from HSE.

IF THE DIRECTIVE BY THE HSE IS TO KEEP ALL CHILDREN IN THE PLAYSCHOOL UNTIL ASSISTANCE ARRIVES ALL STAFF MUST REMAIN TOO UNTIL CHILDREN CLEARED TO LEAVE BY THE HSE. Parents and family cannot enter the premises until HSE gives the all clear

The children’s records must be made available to the HSE staff.

( reviewed 28th September 2013 )

 

 

Policy No.  28 OBSERVATION AND ASSESSMENT ( Reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

We monitor the developmental progress of each child to ensure that the child’s individual developmental needs are being met.

PROCEDURE

A recorded observation is carried out on each child per term

A monthly staff meeting monitors the progress of each child

Observations have highlighted possible areas needing support e.g verbal communication, social skills

A plan of support is put in place and reviewed on a monthly basis

Policy No.  29 OUTINGS ( reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

Merry Mornings has a policy of going on outings when appropriate.

PROCEDURE

A risk assessment is carried out on the venue

Parents must sign a permission slip

Parents asked to volunteer to comply with Insurance requirements

Venue chosen, will be child friendly, healthy and safe.

Transport will comply with road safety guidelines

Volunteers meeting held 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 back pack.

One member of staff will be designated to take responsibility for first aid box, roll book, contact numbers, paper towels, wipes, plastic refuse bag, serviettes, picnic rugs. This staff member will be a floating staff responsible for no particular 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.  N. B. A second first aid box must be left in the playroom

Children assemble ten minutes before departure. Toilet visit 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 i they want to

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.

Policy No.  30 PARENTS AS PARTNERS. (reviewed June 2013)

POLICY

We at Merry Mornings acknowledge the role of parents as primary educators of their children. We are committed to working together with parents to ensure quality care and learning for their child. It is our policy to be open, inclusive, welcoming, accepting and respectful of all parents, guardians and carers and to involve them in the planning and development of the service.

PROCEDURE

Information is available on the type of care and programme provided by this service

Parents are welcome to visit the playroom at all times.

Parents must feel free to approach members of staff with concerns

We aim to try to ensure that there is a brief daily exchange of information with each parent, guardian or carer if either staff or family so need.

A notice board in the outside hall provides current information, leaflets, H.S.E. information, relevant statutory documents as required by the Child Care Pre-school Regulations 2006 and regular photographic displays of the children at play.

Information about relevant conferences, workshops and training are posted on the notice board.

Parents can nominate responsible people to collect their child in their absence.

Staff reserve the right to refuse a non-nominated person the right to collect that child.

Parents are asked to sign HSE registration forms and permission slips to call doctor in an emergency.

Parents are asked to sign an incident/accident form should the occasion arise.

Parents are asked to note that the insurance policy covers reception hall, the corridor to the playroom, the playroom and the railed off area in front of the playroom.

Parents should not leave their children unattended in the playroom.

We provide opportunities and time for parent, guardian, carers to talk individually with staff on:

  • Child’s progress and observation records.
  • A joint strategy for behaviour management if required.
  • Setting realistic goals for their child
  • Changes in the family home
  • Suggestions for the service
  • Joint evaluation of the childcare service.

 

Where English is not the first language of the parent/guardian/carers:

 

Staff will make every effort to communicate using verbal/and non- verbal methods.

Staff will undertake to learn key phrases in the child’s language from the parent/guardian/carer

Staff will invite parent/guardian/carers to become involved in the service and share with staff and children the culture/history of their country of Origin

A parents meeting is held at the start of every year

Parents are provided with information on the service and have to read the policies and procedures of the centre

Children’s work is sent home on a monthly basis.

Parents have access to staff on a daily basis, to exchange concerns or queries in connection with their child.

Staff collect relevant and appropriate information on all children and store it in a safe manner.

Information is shared with staff, parents and HSE representatives.

Confidentiality is maintained by staff and the parents have access to their own child’s file

Informal exchange of information between parent and staff is a daily occurrence.

Key worker system is in place

Developmental records are maintained, updated 3 times a year

Information for parents is posted in the hall

Information, booklets and pamphlets are in the hall for parents

There are written policies and procedures in the service.

New policies are added to the list as the need arises and previous policies are updated

Staff are welcoming and work with support services for the children attending

 

 

Policy No.  31 POSITIVE   BEHAVIOUR  MANAGEMENT ( reviewed June 2013 )

POLICY

Our policy is underpinned by the belief that children manage their own behaviour

if 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.

PROCEDURE

The staff 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 encourage 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

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.

.  no large free space available 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

.  equipment developmentally appropriate and readily available

.  furniture and equipment meet necessary health and safety standards

.  toileting routine simple and easy

.  hygiene standards maintained at appropriate levels

The long term view.

The behaviour management plan is agreed by all members of staff and available for parents on the premises. This policy is to be reviewed yearly.

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 outline 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

explain how we negotiate without hurting.

Staff explain that the actions, that hurt/harm others, are never acceptable.

Parents of children involved are notified. Names of the other party are not divulged

Incident/accident forms are 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

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.

Policy No. 32RECORD KEEPING

POLICY.

Records, as required by the Childcare ( Pre-school Services) Regulations 2006 and any subsequent amendments, will be maintained and made available to parent/guardian/cares where appropriate and all relevant persons, to ensure the health, safety and development of all children attending the service.

PROCEDURE

All records, in line with the Child Care ( Pre-school Services) Regulations 2006 and any subsequent amendments, are kept up to date and accurate at all times.

All confidential records are stored securely.

Parents/Guardians/Carers will be required to give written consent for the administration of medicine.

Parents/Guardians/Carers will be required to give written consent for recording observations, administering First Aid, administering sun protection, changing children’s clothes,

Parent/Guardian/Carer will be asked to co-sign the medical administration form and incident/ accident report form, when necessary.

Observational records are maintained, to help in identifying and understanding the needs and abilities of each child, and to ensure that programmes are implemented to support each child to develop to his/her full potential

All records written are impartial and factual.

Policy No.  33 SETTLING IN( reviewed June 2013 )

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.

PROCEDURE

Staff greet child and parent/guardian and make 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.

Staff 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

Sand, painting, playdo are good areas to introduce the children to play and socialising

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.

Children wear name tags on the first day to ensure they are addressed by name

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.

Policy No. 34 SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS  ( reviewed June 2013 )

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 in consultation with parents/guardians and children will do all in our power to meet these requirements.

PROCEDURE POLICY  No . 36  MERRY MORNINGS

Allegations against staff members. ( reviewed June 2013  )

POLICY:

Our priority and primary goal is the protection of the child/ children in our care.  We take extreme care to employ suitably qualified, experienced and Garda vetted staff.

 

PROCEDURE:

1 The reporting procedure in respect of the child follows the policy and procedure on Child Abuse.

2.If a parent approaches  a member of staff directly, the staff listens then calls for a witness and asks for details of the allegation. Staff informs the parent to contact Fionn Bardon and immediately makes a written record

3 Fionn Bardon is to be informed of any allegation by the parent

4 The staff member is notified of the allegation by the manager

5 The child is not to be exposed to unnecessary risk.

6.Fionn Bardon is to take any necessary protective measures.

7 Fionn Bardon takes the details from the person who is making the allegations

8.The manager takes a written statement from the staff member.

9.A thorough investigation is carried out and a written record is made

10.The follow up on an allegation against staff should be made in consultation with HSE and Gardai.

11.Staff will co-operate fully with any HSE or Garda investigation.

12 If the allegation is proven to be false the child in question must be encouraged to apologise

13 This child must get support encouragement and love to build their self-esteem

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 log book provides opportunity for staff to monitor if children need any specific requirements.

If specific requirements are highlighted 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.