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Admissions / Policies and Procedures

At Rhode Community Pre-school Ltd we have been providing a quality childcare service since September 2000. We pride ourselves on offering a safe, fun and educational service to the community.
The service is open to all children in the community and surrounding areas. Our service caters for 20 children per session.

The following will apply in relation to admissions to the pre-school service:

•    Children should be booked into the pre-school in advance. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis.
•    In the event of there being no places left, a waiting list will be in operation. Parents will be notified as soon as a place becomes available
•    The age range of children that can be catered for is from 2yrs and 10months to 5 years.
•    All children must be toilet trained.
•    Parents are asked to provide their child with a healthy lunch.

 

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES APPENDIX

Adapted from the 2006 National Standards for Pre School

 

  1. What to Expect From Our Service

Welcome pack includes :

Introduction letter with basic information on our operating procedures

Child Enrolment Form

Child Immunisation details form

Parental Consent for administration of Medicines

Parental Consent for Medical Treatment

Parental Consent for Photographs

Parental Consent for display of photos on our website

Parents acknowledgement of having read and understood our Policies &

Procedures

Working in partnership with parents / guardians & Linking with the community

  1. Accidents/ Incidents/First Aid/Emergency Procedure
    1. Administration of Medication
    2. Admissions & Settling In and Fees Policy
    3. Child Collection - Arrival and departure
    4. Positive Behaviour Management Policy covering Biting, Kicking, Bullying
    5. Child Protection
    6. Equal Opportunities & Children with additional special needs
    7. Cleaning and Equipment Policy
      1. Complaints
      2. Confidentiality & Data protection
      3. Fire Safety policy including fire procedures, and Smoke free workplace
      4. Health and Safety/Risk Assessment/First Aid checklist
      5. Illness, Hygiene/Hand Washing, Toileting Infection control
      6. Pest Control
      7. Outdoor Play and Adverse weather & Critical Incident Policy
      8. Healthy Eating
      9. Curriculum
      10. Outings
      11. Sun Protection Policy

21. Outdoor play and Adverse weather

22. Key Person Policy/Observation Policy & Appraisal development review

23. Sick Child & Sleep and rest

24. Staff absences

25. Staff Recruitment & Training

26. Students / Volunteers

 

What to Expect From Our Service

We at Rhode Community Pre School Ltd operate our service under the Child Care (Preschool Services) (No2) Regulations 2006 and are supported in delivering a high quality service in line with the National Standards for Preschool Services You should expect the following from our service:

Quality of Service

  • Our service is notified to Tusla.
  • Our last inspection report was 7th Feb 2013 and is available for you to view anytime in our office beside Room 1.
  • Our Enrolment pack is available from any member of staff detailing all the relevant information about the type of service we provide.
  • We have an open door policy at Rhode Community Pre School and you are welcome to check in with us and your child anytime.

Management & Staffing

  • Ashling Harte is our Childcare Manager and is on the premises during working hours together with our General Manager Melanie Guing Ryan.
  • All staff have been Garda vetted.
  • All our Staff have an appropriate level of experience, training and Qualifications.
  • We have adequate staff members to supervise and care for the children.
  • Children are supervised at all times
  • We have enough adults to provide individual attention to your child if they need it.
  • All our Staff have a good understanding about child development and working with children.

Safety

  • We have a  policy on child protection
  • Our staff have attended training on Child Protection in June 2013.
  • We have a policy on collecting children from the service.
  • We have appropriate fire safety and child safety measures in place. All our Policies and Procedures that we implement in our service are available for you to view in our office and by asking any member of staff. The following is a list of  our current Policies and Procedures :
    • Policy on the administration of medications
    • Police on the safe conduct on outings.
    • Accident/incident policy/procedure
    • Complaints policy
    • Policy on encouraging and promoting positive behaviour
    • Illness policy
    • Policy on infectious diseases in the service
    • Safe Sleep for children
    • Health & Safety Policy
    • Nappy changing/Toileting
    • Confidentiality Policy

Quality of Care

  • Our service can cater for a child with special or additional needs.
  • The children are properly supervised but still allowed to experience activities that are challenging and exciting.
  • We have written programmes outlining the children’s daily schedule and activities.
  • We have a behaviour policy in place that assists discussion with how to best deal with your child should he/she become ill, distressed or angry and how staff manage challenging behaviours.
  • We have a staff system is in place to replace staff who are ill or on holidays.
  • We have an equal opportunities policy in place with a respectful approach towards diversity, where each child’s individuality and sense of identity is valued. Our activities and resources promote cultural awareness and equal opportunities
  • We facilitate Sibling interaction is facilitated and we ensure Siblings/friends are facilitated to spend time together.

Premises

  • Our premises are well maintained, clean and hygienic, bright and well ventilated.
  • Our premises is safe and secure, with a system is in place to prevent unauthorised access to the service and to prohibit a child leaving the premises unsupervised.
  • There is adequate space to ensure comfort in rest and play.
  • A quiet area is available if your child wants to relax.
  • There is space for children to play inside and outside.
  • The outdoor play area is secure and hazard free.
  • All play areas are bright and cheerful.
  • We have adequate facilities provided for the safe and hygienic preparation and storage of food.
  • The kitchen facilities are clean, hygienic with suitable wash-up, hand-washing and sterilising facilities.

Equipment

  • Our equipment and furniture is safe, appropriate and well maintained and clean.
  • We have sufficient suitable toys play materials and resources available to provide stimulating activities and play opportunities for the children.
  • The Equipment, toys, materials available is appropriate for the ages of the children attending and their developmental needs.

Introduction Letter

Welcome Parents, we are delighted that you have enrolled your precious child with us and here at Rhode Community Pre School we are committed to making your child’s transition from home to Pre School as easy as possible. In order to provide and efficient service we ask that all parents adhere to the following:

 

  • All parents must complete child registration form as required by the HSE, and provide birth certificate
  • All children must be toilet trained and be 2years and 10months or older when starting pre school
  • Parents are asked to observe punctually the pre-school opening and closing hours
  • of  9.00am to 12.00pm
  • For safety reasons, parents or guardians are asked to accompany their children to and from the preschool, and hand them directly to a member of staff. If a child is being collected by anyone other than a parent or guardian, the staff must be notified.
  • Parents are asked to provide a healthy lunch, no crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets or bars are allowed
  • Children are asked not to bring in their own toys to the preschool.
  • All coats, bags, lunch boxes should be clearly labelled with child’s name
  • All fees are payable on a weekly basis
  • Parents are asked to provide a change of clothes in the child’s bag in case of an accident
  • If you have any queries, any staff member or our general manager will be glad to discuss same with you in the strictest of confidence.
  • If a child is unwell e.g. Vomiting, diarrhoea, unexplained rashes etc we would ask you, in consideration of others that the child be kept at home, unless a medical diagnosis and confirmation from a doctor that other children are not at risk of infection is provided. A child must be clear of diarrhoea or vomiting for 24 hours before returning to the preschool.
  • Long hair should be either tied up or kept back from the child’s face with a  hair band
  • Head Lice – if we discover a child has head lice, parents will be contacted discreetly. The child’s hair should be treated immediately.

 

Finally we welcome your child and hope he or she will blossom and grow, gain confidence, strengthen their self-esteem and independence and above all have fun and enjoy the experience.

 

Partnership with Parents

 

It is the Policy of Rhode Community Preschool to recognise and affirm the crucial role of parents as primary educators of their children.  The service is committed to being open, inclusive, welcoming accepting and respectful of all parents using the service.

It is the policy of this service to have clear communication between staff and parents both verbally and in writin

 

Procedure:

 

  • Parents of children over two years will have the opportunity to speak to the staff on a daily basis, when they leave the child into the service or collect the child from the service.
  • Parents are invited to visit the service before the child starts.
  • An open day is held for parents of preschool children before the start of term.
  • Every effort is made to make both parent and child feel welcome.
  • All parents are given a parents handbook which contain relevant policies and procedures including policy on “Settling In” and “First Day”.
  • All parents are invited to an information evening at the start of term where the curriculum is outlined and the process of electing the Management Committee is explained.
  • All parents are invited to attend and join the Management Committee if they wish.
  • Parents are also informed of any upcoming events and current information displayed on Parents Notice Board, Newsletter or sent by text message.
  • Parents also have the opportunity to contribute to the service by participating in fund raising etc. for particular projects.

 

It is also our policy to provide opportunities and time for parents to talk individually with staff/management:

 

  • On child’s progress and observation records
  • A joint strategy for behaviour management
  • Setting realistic goals for their children
  • Changes in the family home
  • Difficulties or concerns
  • Suggestions for the service
  • Joint evaluation of the service

 

1. Accidents / Incidents / First Aid / Emergency Procedure

 

  • The majority of staff members will have First Aid training.
  • A First Aid box will be kept in a safe place accessible to all staff.
  • Materials of the First Aid box will be checked and replenished regularly.
  • Trained first aid staff will treat only minor injuries.
  • Children’s records must be kept on file and easily accessible in case of emergency.
  • The management/staff will make local doctors aware of the service in case of serious accidents or sudden illness.
  • Written permission will be sought from parents/guardians at beginning of the year to take a child to a doctor/hospital if necessary and if the parent/guardian is not available to do so.
  • A written record will be kept of all accidents and injuries that occur on the premises.
  • Parents/Guardians or person’s collecting the child are asked to read the incident and sign it.  A copy of the incident is then given to them.
  • Only prescribed medicine may be administered to children in the service with the written permission of parents/guardians.
  • Any medicines to be administered to children must be in the original containers and kept in a locked press / container that is child-proof.
  • The correct amount of medication to be administered must be clearly written on the container.
  • Parents will be asked to sign a Medicine Request and Indemnity Form if their child requires medication while attending the service.
  • A Safety statement will be displayed and complied with by all involved in the service.

Emergency Procedures

 

All staff shall have a basic first aid certificate and the Manager shall ensure these are kept up to date. At each session at least one staff member will hold a first aid certificate. Should a child become ill, a staff member will try to contact the parents/carers by telephone. If this contact is unable to be made, staff will continue to try during the session.

In the meantime the child will be made comfortable and looked after by a staff member away from the main group until such time as s/he is collected. The child will remain the responsibility of the Pre-School until s/he is collected. In circumstances where the child’s condition significantly worsens, emergency medical treatment will be sought.

 

Parents are required to check their child’s registration form every term to ensure contact details and emergency details are correct. A request is made on each child’s registration form seeking permission to get emergency medical treatment if necessary. If permission is not given the Manager will discuss reasons with the parent/carer and should permission still not be forthcoming an action plan between the pre-school and the parent/carer will be drawn up.

 

If permission is given and emergency treatment is required, a first aider will gauge whether a visit to A&E is required or a visit to the local doctor in which case either:

 

1. A senior staff member with another adult will take the child immediately by car to A&E

2. An ambulance will be called

3. A staff member will contact the child’s doctor immediately after this has been arranged, the child’s parent/carer will be informed of the situation by a staff member by telephone.

 

Every effort will be made to speak to the parent/carer directly, however, if contact cannot be made, sensitive messages will be left. Other children will be kept away from the emergency.

2.  Administration of Medication

Overall Aim of Statement:

To ensure the safe and effective administration of medication to children preserving their confidentiality at all times.

To provide qualified, experienced and caring staff to facilitate this policy working in partnership with parents/carers taking into account individual needs.

To promote the good health of children at all times.

Specific Objectives/ Statements and Procedures

  • The staff shall be responsible for the administration of medication. Only vital prescribed oral medications and creams will be administered during session times. In line with the Statutory Framework no child will be given any medication that contains aspirin unless a doctor has prescribed that medicine for that child.
  • A medication log sheet will be completed in partnership with the parent/carer and will be signed by both parties.
  • Signed permission will be sought from the parent/carer at the start of a course of medication. Separate permission will be sought for each different course of medication.
  • Each administration will be recorded and signed on the medication log sheet and at the end of the session the parent/carer will be informed and their signature taken.

Access to Medicines

  • Medication will be administered in a quiet private location within Pre-School. All medication will be stored in a locked cupboard in the kitchen or the fridge if required.
  • All medication will be clearly labelled with the child’s name and expiry date of the medication.
  • Pre-school will only administer prescribed oral medication including inhalers and creams/lotions, unless in circumstances discussed with the parent/carer, and with the required training.
  • A basic first aid box will be kept on the premises and will be checked monthly by the staff on duty.

Disposal of Medicine

  • Each medication will be returned to the parent/carer for safe disposal at home following the completion of the medication.

Hygiene and Infection Control

  • Prior to the administration of medication the staff member will ensure that they follow a strict hygiene procedure e.g. hand washing for both themselves and the child, and in certain circumstances the area to be treated.

Administration

  • Where the child refuses to take their prescribed medication the staff member will try with lots of encouragement and praise to ensure the child’s co-operation. If however that fails and the child is becoming distressed then the parent/carer will be contacted for advice and to inform of the difficulty.
  • If the medication is vital then the parent/carer will be encouraged to attend pre-school to administer. A note will be made on the medication log sheet.
  • If a child is in the process of learning to take their own medication pre-school will, in partnership with the parent/carer, help and support that process and report back after every administration the child’s progress. A note will be made on the medication log sheet.

4. Admissions & Settling In and Fees Policy

Rhode Community Preschool is committed to offering access to the service and its facilities, to all families and children, inclusive of special needs, cultural, financial or religious background.

 

The service operates an open door policy (a welcome at all times for all parents/guardians).

The following will apply in relation to admissions to the preschool:

 

  • Children should be booked into the service in advance.  Places are allocated on a first come first served basis, using discretion in the case of children/families whose needs are urgent.
  • In the event of there being no places left, a waiting list will be in operation.  Children’s names will be put on the waiting list and parents will be contacted as soon as a place becomes available.
  • Parents are asked to complete a Child Entry Record in respect of each child being enrolled.
  • The age range of children that can be catered for is 2yr and 10 months up to school age.  The service opens from 9am – 12 noon.
  • Days booked must be paid for whether the child is present or absent on these days.
  • Priority will be given to children who will attend primary school the following year and are availing of the free pre-school year.
  • The service welcomes children with special needs and the facility is wheelchair accessible.
  • All pre-school children attending the service must be toilet trained.
  • Parents are asked to provide their child with a healthy lunch (see policy on Health and Nutrition).
  • Prior to admission we require a completed session reservation form, registration form,
  • Where children are transferring from another setting we encourage parent/carers to provide as much information as they have on the previous setting, both verbally and via the registration form.
  • The pre-school will then contact the previous setting and liaise regarding development, previous learning experiences and any other useful information to facilitate the smooth transition to Rhode Community Pre-school.

Settling-in Policy

Rhode Community Preschool is committed to the smooth transition of the children and the parents into the service.  Settling-in should be a positive experience as it will influence children’s self-confidence, attitudes to relationships and socialising and will lay the foundations for future learning.

Pre-admission

·        Parents are encouraged to drop in to the service at various times during opening hours with their children, in order to familiarise the children and themselves with the routine, the setting and the staff.

·         Staff are available to talk to parents to discuss any fears and concerns around the process of settling-in (i.e. different stages – clinging, crying, not talking, not being ready to leave the parent).

First Day

  • Staff will greet the child and parent together.
  • The parent’s presence to the child will be valued at this time.
  • Parents should be prepared to stay for the child’s first session.
  • Some children may not be ready to stay for the full session.
  • Parents are encouraged to interact with other adults and children in the setting in order to reassure their child of the safety of the different surroundings.
  • If appropriate, parents may leave the room for short periods of time, but with the child’s knowledge.
  • If the child settles without any problems, he/she must be promptly collected from the full or partial session.

Following settling-in stages

  • Parents will be encouraged to extend the separation periods at the child’s pace.
  • The settling-in process has no time limits and may need to be repeated if a child becomes unsettled.
  • Staff will support children through the separation process by gently allowing them to discover their new environment for themselves.
  • Staff will reassure parents on a regular basis of their child’s progress at this settling-in stage.
  • In the event of a child not settling-in to the pre-school, it may be suggested to have the child’s attendance deferred for a trial period.
  • Parents/Guardians are responsible for their child’s safety when they have collected them from childcare staff.

Fee Paying Policy

Overview

 

  • Rhode Community Preschool opens five days a week, Monday – Friday.
  • Our daily opening times are 9am – 12 noon
  • Parents are notified at the start of the term of planned closures each year.

Fees

 

Our policy has always been to keep our fees as low as possible however we need all of our fee income to remain in operation.

  • Parents are notified of fees at the start of the term.
  • A copy of our current fees can also be obtained from the office.
  • In the event of a change to our fees we will communicate this with a minimum of 3 months notice to parents.
  • For children attending the preschool service who are entitled to the ECCE Free Preschool Year, no charge will apply for the preschool service for the 38 weeks covered by the scheme.
  • There is a subvention scheme in operation under the Office of the Minister for Children, for parents in receipt of social welfare payments.  For parents entitled to subvention, the subvention amount will be deducted from the fees.
  • For children attending the preschool 5 days per week and not availing of Subvention or ECCE, a weekly rate will apply.
  • For children attending the preschool on a part time basis and not availing of Subvention or ECCE, a daily rate will apply.

Payment of Fees

 

  • Fees must be paid on a weekly basis or by arrangement with the service Manager.
  • Other arrangements agreed by the Manager must be approved by the Management Committee.
  • Fees can be paid by cash, cheque or direct debit.
  • The service is unable to provide credit.
  • All sessions booked must be paid for, whether your child attends the service or not.
  • Additional days may be facilitated if a space is available, the normal daily rate will apply for any additional day.

 

Please note:

Failure to adhere to the Fee Paying Policy may result in the Management Committee asking you to withdraw your child from the service (with due notice).  In this event, your place will be offered to the next child on the waiting list. Should you anticipate any difficulty adhering to the Fee Paying Policy, we would encourage you to contact the Service Manager at the earliest opportunity to set up a meeting to discuss.

Rhode Community Pre-school will refuse the right of admission for any family who had a child previous in the Pre-school who left an outstanding bill of over €50 or more and are wishing to enrol a sibling.

5. Child Collection – Arrival & Departure

Child Collection Procedure

  • Children may only be collected by persons named on the registration form.
  • Parents/career must notify the staff in person or in writing if another person is to collect the child. If this person is not known to staff members, they will be asked for identification.
  • Children must be dropped off and collected on time.
  • Parents are requested to park in the designated drop-off and pick-up areas and not to park in a manner which would obstruct traffic.

6. Behaviour Management Policy

 

Rhode Community Preschool believes that children should be encouraged to grow and develop to their full potential in a suitably planned environment, where they know what is expected of them, and where clear limits are set, appropriate to their age and stage of development and any special needs they may have.

 

“No corporal punishment is to be inflicted on any child attending this service”

 

We encourage the development of self-discipline in the children by:

  • Praising the behaviour rather than the child.
  • Encouraging and building the children’s self-esteem.
  • Setting limits according to the children’s age, stage and development.
  • Using play and games with rules to help the children to learn and understand boundaries.
  • Adult setting good example as children imitate behaviour.
  • Avoiding isolation and humiliation of the children.
  • Being consistent- saying “No” and meaning “No”
  • Clarifying expectations and rules of behaviour.
  • Reinforcing positive behaviour at all times.
  • The opportunity for staff to engage in training regarding child development, observation and behaviour management underpins this policy.

 

All staff should use positive methods of discipline that encourage self-control, self-direction, self-esteem and co-operation.

 

It is not acceptable to use the following as a means of correction:

 

  • Hitting, shaking, biting or any other physical restraint
  • Mental or emotional punishment such as humiliation, isolating or threatening a child
  • Depriving a child of meals or snacks

 

 

All staff is advised to use the following guidelines for dealing with difficult behaviour:

 

  • One to one adult support for the child who has misbehaved will help the child to see what went wrong and offer possible solutions.
  • Comfort and support should be given where another child has been hurt in an incident.
  • It must always be made clear to the child in question that it is the behaviour and not child that is unacceptable.
  • Adult will speak calmly and quietly to the children when dealing with these situations.
  • Recurring problems should be dealt with in an inclusive manner following observations and involving the child’s parents and other appropriate adults where necessary.
  • Distract or remove the child from the situation/environment.
  • Explain why the behaviour is not acceptable.
  • Give the child a chance to take time out to calm down and regain control.
  • If the misbehaviour continues after all positive means are exhausted and the child’s parents and other appropriate adults have been notified, a plan of action is formed.

Plan of Action:

  1. Documentation of behaviour, noting any incident that might trigger the behaviour.
  2. Request a confidential meeting with parents/guardians.
  3. Discuss possible reinforcements for positive behaviour.
  4. Discuss with parent whether outside intervention is needed e.g. speech therapy, check for food allergies etc.
  5. Possible reward system e.g. star chart.
  6. Maintain ongoing communication with the parents, childcare worker and manager.
  7. Continue with this plan and if the outcome shows no sign of improvement and as a last resort the child may be suspended from the service.

This action will only be carried out as a last measure following consultation with staff.

 

It is important for all staff to establish good relationship with parents/guardians.  If a problem should then arise, it will be dealt with more easily.  It may be necessary to seek additional help by referral to other professionals.

 

Seeking professional help must never be regarded as a failure on the part of the staff of the service or the parent.

Anti Bullying Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to promote the awareness of anti bullying and to follow the Department of Education’s Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour.

This facility will encourage good behaviour and respect for others at all times.

It is our intention to treat bullying seriously and to give children our sincere and unconditional support to build their self-confidence and self esteem.

There will be vigilant supervision of children to prevent any aspects of bullying.

 

Anti Bullying Procedures

  • This service will not tolerate bullying behaviour and will take steps to resolve bullying problems.(See Child Protection Policy and Procedures, also see Behaviour Management Policy and Procedures)
  • Bullying and sexual harassment/harassment by employees, constitutes misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action.
  • Procedures for addressing allegations/complaints of bullying are in place Complaints will be dealt with seriously, quickly and confidentially.
  • Children will be encouraged to report cases of bullying
  • It will be made clear to the child who is bullying that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unacceptable.
  • There will be vigilant supervision of children to prevent any aspects of bullying.
  • This service has a commitment to the effective communication of anti bullying policy and procedures
  • Following the raising of concerns, observations will be made and records will be kept on the individual child and the child who is being bullied.

These records will include the following:

  1. Name, address and age of the child
  2. Time and date of complaint
  3. A factual description of the child’s bullying behaviour, without comment or interpretation
  4. The observation and exact words of the child
  5. Signature of the recorder

 

  • If there are still concerns, the staff must contact the Parents and discuss the concerns with them.
  • Staff will pursue a solution until it is achieved.
  • With the provision that the safety and welfare of the child is paramount, the service will do all in its power to support the child and family.
  • Staff should be in a position to check out sensitively with parents any changes in behaviour or circumstances at home (a second person should always be present at this stage.)

7. Child Protection Policy

 

Child Protection Policy Statement

Regulation 9 of the Preschool Regulations (2006) Explanatory Guide outlines the importance of preschool services having written guidelines on identifying and reporting child abuse, based on Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. The HSE in Laois/Offaly & Longford/Westmeath recommends that all organisations that provide a service for children develop a child protection policy that is consistent with Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 and Our Duty to Care: the Principles of Good Practice for the Protection of Children and Young People. This policy has been developed to comply with our responsibilities to safeguard the children in our care.

We in Rhode Community Preschool are committed to practice which protects children from harm.   We also recognise the rights of children to be protected from harm, treated with respect, listened to and to have their views taken into consideration in matters that affect them.

 

Management, staff and students in this service recognise that the welfare of children is paramount and our service will endeavour to safeguard children by:

  • Complying with Children First, National Guidance for the    Protection and Welfare of Children 2011
  • Having a reporting procedure to respond to concerns for children’s welfare and safety
  • Having a confidentiality statement
  • Having a code of behaviour for staff and students
  • Having a safe recruitment procedure
  • Having procedures for managing/supervising  staff and students
  • Having a procedure to respond to accidents
  • Having a procedure to respond to complaints
  • Developing a staff allegations procedure and disciplinary procedure

 

As part of the policy this service will:-

  • appoint a designated liaison person for dealing with child protection concerns
  • provide induction training around the group’s child protection policy
  • ensure that staff attend child protection training as appropriate
  • provide supervision and support for staff and students in contact with children

 

  • share information about the child protection policy and good practices with families and children
  • review the groups’ child protection policy and practices on an annual basis

 

Communication

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to communicate our child protection policy to parents and children.  All Parents/Guardians will receive a Parents handbook which will include the Child Protection Policy when their child starts in the Service.

 

  1. Recognising Child Protection and Welfare Concerns

All staff in Rhode Community Preschool are aware of their responsibility to recognise Child Protection and Welfare Concerns. The definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse are contained in this policy in Appendix I.

 

 

  1. Responding to a Concern About a Child’s Welfare or Possible Abuse

1, Dealing with concerns (see also Appendix I – Signs and Symptoms of Abuse)

 

Record the concern => check with child/parent/colleague (where appropriate) => record the outcome => report to Designated liaison person => record the report.

 

2. Dealing with disclosure

 

Support the child (see also Appendix III – Guidelines for Dealing with Disclosure) => record the disclosure => report to Designated liaison person => record the report.

 

3. Dealing with information form a third party

 

Record the information => report to Designated liaison person => record the report.

 

Forms for recording welfare concerns and suspected or disclosed abuse are kept in office.

Procedure for Reporting Concerns to HSE Social Work Departments

 

If a staff member/volunteer/student has a concern about the welfare or possible abuse of a child in Rhode Community Preschool the following procedures will be followed:

 

The childcare staff/student:

  • will record the concern and discuss/inform the Designated liaison person

 

 

 

 


The Designated liaison person:

  • Will consider the concern and ring the duty social worker for advice, i.e., discussing the concern without identifying the child or family.

 

 

 

 


The Designated liaison person:

  • Will follow the advice of the duty social worker and make a report on the standard reporting form if advised to do so.
  • Records the report and procedures followed for internal records in a confidential manner.
  • Informs the parent(s) that a report is being made to the HSE/An Garda Síochána, unless doing so would put the child at further risk.  Seek advice from the duty social worker if unsure.

 

Reports will be made within 24 hours, or at the start of business of the next working day (in the case of a weekend/bank holiday).

We recognise that it may be difficult for a member of staff, volunteer or student to raise a child protection or welfare concern.  We recognise the need to provided support to people in the organisation who report child protection or welfare concern.

 

If the Designated liaison person chooses not to pass on a concern raised by a member of staff, volunteer or student, he/she will inform them of this decision and keep a written record of the decision on file at the service.  The Designated liaison person will advise the individual that he/she may proceed to make a report themselves and that the provision of the Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998 will apply.

 

Not all concerns that are raised will necessarily meet reasonable grounds for concern (see Appendix II).  Where concerns do not meet reasonable grounds for concern these will be documented in observation books, each room have their own observation books which are kept in a locked cabinet at reception.

Designated liaison person for Rhode Community Preschool

Contact details:                                                                                       Ashling Harte

046 9737601

Deputy Designated liaison person for Rhode Community Preschool is

Contact details:                                                                                       Regina Duffy/Goretti Dunne

046 9737601

 

The duty social worker is available at:

 

 

Offaly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Work Department

Derry Suite

Castle Buildings

Tara St

Tullamore, Co Offaly

 

Tel:  057 93 70700

Fax: 057 93 70748

 

 

In an emergency situation, during or outside of office hours, the designated liaison persons and/or staff should contact An Garda Síochána.

 

The local number for the Gardaí is 046 9737001.

 

Reporting Procedure

When a child protection concern is being reported to the HSE, good practice would indicate that a family should be informed about the report UNLESS DOING SO MAY PUT THE CHILD AT FURTHER RISK. The designated liaison person should seek advice from the HSE social work service in relation to this.

 

The Chairperson of the Board of Management would be informed that a report has been made to the HSE.  Identifying information would not be passed to the chairperson or any member of the management committee, in line with the confidentiality statement.

In the absence of the Designated liaison person it should be clear within the service who takes responsibility for concerns regarding child protection and welfare – e.g. Deputy Designated liaison person


  1. Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Abuse Against Employees and Students

Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 advise that two procedures need to be followed:

  1. Reporting procedure in respect of the child
  2. The procedure for dealing with the employee

 

In all instances the welfare of the child shall be the paramount consideration.  There shall be no delay in reporting to the HSE or An Garda Síochána.

Reporting procedure in respect of the child

  • The designated liaison person should follow the standard procedures for dealing with concerns/disclosures of abuse and reporting to HSE.
  • The designated liaison person will inform the chairperson or Secretary of the Board of Management without delay.

 

The procedure for dealing with the employee

  • The Disciplinary and Grievance Panel of the Board of Management informs the employee that an allegation has been made against him/her and the nature of the allegation.
  • The employee should be given an opportunity to respond. The Disciplinary and Grievance Panel will note the response and pass on the information when making the standard report to the HSE.  The worker will be informed of how the information they provide will or may be used.
  • The employee is entitled to have another person present during interviews with The Disciplinary and Grievance Panel of the Board of Management members.
  • Further action will be guided by the employment contract and the rules of natural justice – the first priority is to ensure that no child is exposed to unnecessary risk. Protective measures will be undertaken, proportionate to the level of risk to the child (See Children First Guidance, p.43).
  • Follow up action on the allegation/concern will be taken in consultation with the investigating agencies: HSE and/or An Garda Síochána. After these consultations, when pursuing the question of the future position of the employee, designated member of the Board of the Management will advise the employee of the agreed procedures to be followed
  • We will take care to maintain close liaison with HSE and /or An Garda Síochána during the course of the investigation.
  • We also recognise that parents of the children involved will need to be kept up to date with any actions planned or taken, taking into consideration the principles of natural justice and confidentiality.

 

4.       The Role of the Designated liaison person

The designated liaison person should have completed the Keeping Safe Training as a minimum.

 

The designated liaison person should be:

 

  • in a position to have an ongoing role with the service;
  • in a senior position;
  • open to and comfortable with the topic of child abuse/welfare;
  • available and committed to undergoing further training in the area of child protection and positive childcare practices;
  • responsible for linking informally with the HSE Duty Social Worker to discuss concerns around children in their service.

 

Where appropriate and when advised by the HSE Duty Social Worker the Designated liaison person will make a report without delay (within 24 hours) on a Standard Reporting Form to the local social work department.

 

The designated liaison person will be responsible for informing parents if a child protection concern is being passed on UNLESS DOING SO IS LIKELY TO FURTHER ENDANGER THE CHILD.

 

 

  1. Confidentiality Statement

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to keep confidential all personal information about the families, children and staff in this service.

 

However, an exception to this is when child protection concerns arise, in which case the organisation cannot keep such information secret.  In this situation Information will be shared on a ‘Need to Know’ basis in the best interest of the protection and welfare of the child.

 

We recognise that parents and children have a right to know if personal information about them is being shared with outside agencies, unless doing so could put the child at further risk of harm.

 

Management, staff and students in this service will be advised of our confidentiality policy and will be required to sign up to it.

 

Records

Keeping accurate and up to date records in relation to children, staff and service provision is essential in order to comply with the Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations 2006.  The pre-school inspector will have access to files for inspection purposes.

Parents may have access to the files and records of their own children on request but may not have access to information about any other child.

 

Only staff involved with a particular child should have access to confidential files.

 

All confidential files are kept in a locked cabinet at reception.

 

Where there are welfare or child protection concerns, observations/records should be kept on an ongoing basis and information shared with HSE social work services as appropriate.

 

 

  1. Induction, Training and Supervision/Support

  • All management, staff and students will be briefed on the child protection policy as part of their induction training.

 

  • All management, staff and students will be required to adhere to the child protection policy.

 

  • All management, staff and students will be encouraged to attend Keeping Safe Training and other relevant training as identified.

 

  • Staff will be provided with information in relation to particular skills training to encourage professional development and best practice.

 

  • Designated liaison persons will be released to attend HSE Designated liaison persons Training and/or other relevant training as identified

 

  • Regular supervision and support will be available to new and existing staff and students, through one to one meetings or group meetings.

 

Code of Behaviour

We in Rhode Community Preschool believe that staff and students should have a child centred-approach to working with children.  All staff and students should have a clear understanding of what is acceptable with respect to their behaviour with children.  This is important to protect children from harm and staff/students, children and parents from misinterpretation of their actions.

We aim to do this by-

 

  • Valuing and respecting all children as individuals;
  • Listening to children;
  • Involving children in decision making as appropriate;
  • Encouraging children;
  • Having an anti-bullying policy;
  • Promoting positive behaviour;
  • Having an accident/incident policy.

 

We do not:

 

  • Engage in or allow inappropriate touching in any form
  • Verbally abuse or physically punish any child
  • Condone bullying or abusive behaviour by staff, students or other children
  • Undertake intimate care needs without consulting and agreeing arrangements with the child and parents.
  • Engage in practices which demean children

 

We are aware:

 

  • Of developing favouritism or becoming overly involved with any one child.
  • That while physical contact is a valid way of comforting or reassuring a child it should take place in response to the need of the child and not the need of the adult and in an open environment
  • Of the need to be sensitive to the diverse cultures in our childcare setting.
  • That children should be supported and encouraged to let staff know if they have any complaints, concerns or difficulties.

  1. Recruitment Procedure

This service will ensure that all staff and students are carefully selected by undertaking the following:

 

  • Devising a clear job description which outlines the qualifications, skills and experience needed;
  • Advertising  widely using the agreed job description;

 

  • Requesting candidates to supply a CV, which should include information re: personal details, past and current work/volunteering experience, qualifications or skills relevant to the post and signature;
  • Interviews should be conducted by more than one person.  It is the responsibility of the interview panel and not one individual in it to appoint staff/students;
  • Two satisfactory references will be obtained before a job offer is made.
  • Garda vetting will be completed by all staff or students before commencing employment.  Note: Garda vetting is not currently required if the student is under 18.
  • Have an employment contract with staff or written agreement with students;
  • Work Experience students should not be left unsupervised at any time.

 

12. Complaints Procedure

We in Rhode Community Preschool aim to work in partnership with parents by seeking parent’s views and encouraging parents to participate in any decision-making in relation to the service.

 

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

 

We will endeavour to quickly and informally resolve complaints though discussion with the parents and members of staff as appropriate

 

Parents will be made aware that there is a complaints procedure in operation and will receive a copy of the complaints form as part of the child protection policy.

 

Children will be made aware of the complaints procedure in an age appropriate way.

 

PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IF A PARENT/GUARDIAN HAS A COMPLAINT

If a parent/guardian is not satisfied with any aspect of the preschool service they should first of all seek to resolve the issue informally by:-

 

  • Discussion with management.

 

  • If the issue is unresolved or reoccurs, parents should put their complaint in writing to the Chair of the Board of Management

 

  • The Board of Management may then nominate a committee member to meet with the parents and the manager (as appropriate) to try and resolve the issue.  This will be done at the earliest opportunity.

 

  • If the issue remains unresolved, it may be necessary for a third party to mediate the complaint.

 

  • Written records of discussion and agreements made will be kept of this meeting and copies made available to parents, Manager, or other involved staff (as appropriate).

Depending on the nature of the complaint the following procedures may also be followed:

 

  • Code of Behaviour

If there is a breach of the Code of Behaviour by staff, i.e. poor practice, the disciplinary procedure may be invoked by the management committee.

 

  • Pre-school Regulations (2006)

The HSE pre-school inspector will be involved in preparing a report in relation to any breach of the pre-school regulations.

 

APPENDIX I: Definitions and Indicators

NEGLECT

Definition of Neglect:

Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, and/or medical care.

 

Harm can be defined as the ill-treatment or the impairment of the health or development of a child.  Whether it is significant is determined by the child’s health and development as compared to that which could reasonably be expected of a child of similar age.

 

Neglect generally becomes apparent in different ways over a period of time rather than at one specific point.  For example, a child who suffers a series of minor injuries may not be having his or her needs met in terms of necessary supervision and safety.  A child whose height or weight is significantly below average may be being deprived of adequate nutrition.  A child who consistently misses school may be being deprived of intellectual stimulation.

 

The threshold of significant harm is reached when the child’s needs are neglected to the extent that his or her well-being and/or development are severely affected.

 

(Children First 2011, pg.8)

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Abandonment or desertion
  • Children persistently being left alone without adequate care and supervision;
  • Malnourishment, lacking food, inappropriate food or erratic feeding;
  • Lack of warmth;
  • Lack of adequate clothing;
  • Inattention to basic hygiene;
  • Lack of protection and exposure to danger, including moral danger or lack of supervision appropriate to the child’s age;
  • Persistent failure to attend school;
  • Non-organic failure to thrive, i.e. child not gaining weight due not only to malnutrition but also to emotional deprivation;
  • Failure to provide adequate care for the child’s medical and developmental problems;
  • Exploited, overworked

 

(Children First 2011, pg.70)

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse is normally to be found in the relationship between a parent/carer and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events.  It occurs when a child’s developmental need of affection, approval, consistency and security are not met.  Unless other forms of abuse are present, it is rarely manifested in terms of physical signs or symptoms.

 

(Children First 2011, pg.8)

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Rejection
  • Lack of comfort and love
  • Lack of attachment
  • Lack of proper stimulation (e.g. fun and play)
  • Lack of continuity of care (e.g. frequent moves, particularly unplanned)
  • Continuous lack of praise and encouragement;
  • Serious over-protectiveness;
  • Inappropriate non-physical punishment (e.g. locking in bedrooms);
  • Family conflicts and/or violence;
  • Every child who is abused sexually, physically or neglected is also emotionally abused;
  • Inappropriate expectations of a child relative to his/her age and stage of development

 

Children who are physically and sexually abused and neglected also suffer from emotional abuse.

 

(Children First 2011, pg.71)

 

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical abuse of a child is that which results in actual or potential physical harm from an interaction, or lack of interaction, which is reasonably within the control of a parent or person in a position of responsibility, power or trust.  There may be single or repeated incidents.

 

(Children First 2011, pg.9)

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

  • Bruises
  • Fractures
  • Swollen joints
  • Burns/scalds
  • Abrasions/lacerations;
  • Haemorrhages (retinal, subdural);
  • Damage to body organs;
  • Poisonings – repeated (prescribed drugs, alcohol);
  • Failure to thrive;
  • Coma/unconsciousness;
  • Death

 

(Children First 2011, pg.71, see Children First 2011, pg.72-73 for further detail)

 

SEXUAL ABUSE

 

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his or her gratification or sexual arousal, or for that of others.

 

(Children First 2011, pg. 39)

 

‘Cases of child sexual abuse principally come to light through –

  1. Disclosure by the child or its siblings or friends;
  2. The suspicions of an adult;
  3. Due to physical symptoms

(Children First, pg. 128)

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

  • Bleeding from vagina/anus
  • Difficulty/pain in passing urine/faeces
  • An infection may occur secondary to sexual abuse, which may or may not be a definitive sexually transmitted disease.  Professionals should be informed if a child has a persistent vaginal discharge or has warts/rash in genital area;
  • Noticeable and uncharacteristic change of behaviour;
  • Hints about sexual activity;
  • Age-inappropriate seductive behaviour;
  • Sexually aggressive behaviour with others;
  • Uncharacteristic sexual play with peers/toys;
  • Unusual reluctance to join in normal activities that involve undressing, e.g. games/swimming.

 

(Children First 2011, pg. 74)

Appendix II: Reasonable Grounds for Concern

  • A disclosure from a child in relation to abuse by an adult or child/adolescent
  • An account by a person who witnessed the abuse of a child
  • Evidence of an injury or behaviour which indicates abuse, and is unlikely to be caused any other way
  • Evidence of Injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse, but also where another or innocent explanation is given, however other factors and indicators are present to support the concern of abuse.
  • Consistent indication over a period of time that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect or lack of adequate supervision.
  • Retrospective Disclosure - A disclosure by an adult that they were abused as a child by someone who now has contact with children.
  • Concern about the practice of a colleague in the service

 

A suspicion which is not supported by any objective indication of abuse or neglect would not constitute a reasonable suspicion or reasonable grounds for concern.

(Children First 2011 pg.13-17)

 

APPENDIX III: Guidelines for Responding To a Disclosure by a Child

  • Stay calm and listen- give the child time to say what she or he wants to say
  • Listen carefully and attentively, take the child seriously
  • Don’t ask leading questions or make suggestions
  • Don’t stop the child recalling significant events, but don’t start to investigate or make the child repeat the story unnecessarily
  • Don’t express opinions about the child or members of his or her family
  • Reassure the child but don’t promise to keep it a secret
  • Explain that you will need to discuss this with someone else
  • Record the disclosure as carefully as possible: ‘in the child’s own words’, (the language the child used), as soon as possible after receiving the disclosure
  • Follow your organisation’s reporting procedure

 

APPENDIX IV: Safe Management of Activities[1] (to be read in conjunction with the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006)

 

Planning Activities

 

This can be achieved by:

Knowing the children

Having some defined criteria for membership

Have a registration form for members on which you could record, for example:

Medical details;

Any special needs/consent for medical attention – especially in relation to children with a disability;

Emergency contact numbers of nearest relative or person with ‘parental responsibility’.

 

Knowing your staff and students

Follow a thorough recruitment procedure.

Keep secure records of details provided at the time of recruitment.

Have a work schedule which should be clearly displayed so that everyone knows who is on duty.

Keep a record of complaints/incidents about or involving workers, children/young people or parents.

Acknowledge stress and help staff through it.

It is important that parents are subject to the same recruitment and supervision procedures as other staff and students. Unrestricted access by parents is also a risk.

Supervision of Children

Practical Matters

Such as:

Number of participants;

Age and age range;

Type of activity;

Environment where the activity is undertaken;

Particular needs of individual participants, e.g. disabilities; and

Organising programmes well in advance.

 

There are a number of basic principles to be aware of:

Children should not normally be left unattended;

You should know where children are and what they are doing;

Dangerous behaviour by children should not be allowed, for example horseplay;

Children will be safer if supervised by two or three adults; your organisation should have clear guidelines for ratios of staff and children for all activities;

Having clearly defined supervision arrangements will not only minimise the occurrence of accidents but also contribute to the protection of children from intentional harm from either adults or peers.

Some children with behavioural problems may require special attention. Most crises can be avoided if prior preparation has been made (such as training) and sensible procedures followed

 

Safe Management of Activities also includes:

 

Keeping Records such as:

Attendance register;

Accident book

Authorisation/parental consent form.

Adopting Health and Safety Policies

Required standards of premises and equipment

Heating and ventilation

Sanitation facilities

Fire precautions

First aid facilities

Regular checking of equipment

Providing adequate insurance cover for children, staff, students and third parties.

8. Equal Opportunities Policy

Rhode Community Preschool recognises and respects the rights of all adults and children associated with the service, to develop an effective programme of action to promote equal opportunities and eliminate discrimination on grounds of culture, race, gender, disability and social background in all of its procedures and practices.

 

Admissions

  • Service is open to all families in the community.
  • The service operates a waiting list as per admissions policy.

 

Families

  • All families should be involved in their children’s early education, in whatever way possible for them.
  • The input of all families into decision-making etc. in the service is valued equally.
  • There are many different types of families with different needs.

 

Meetings/Information

  • The times places and tones of meetings will ensure that all families have an equal opportunity to attend and be involved.
  • Information, spoken and written, will be communicated in as many methods as is necessary to accommodate those involved.

Children

  • All children attending the service are valued and supported in all their needs.
  • The individuality of each child is respected and nurtured.
  • A wide range of activity and play is provided in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.
  • Children will be encouraged at all times to appreciate similarities and value differences.
  • A wide range of materials will be available to reflect cultures, gender and ability difference.

Special Needs

  • Rhode Community Preschool recognises that all children have individual needs and some have more special needs.
  • The special needs of children are acknowledged.
  • Every effort will be made to meet the special needs of children and families using the service.
  • Where appropriate, every endeavour will be made to meet the medical needs of children.

 

Staff and Training

  • Rhode Community Preschool will deal with all job applicants in a fair manner and follow correct procedures. (See Staff Recruitment Policy)
  • The management will encourage and assist staff to partake in training in the area of equal opportunities.

9. Cleaning Policy - Cleaning programmes

A clean environment is essential to prevent the spread of infection. Germs cannot grow on clean dry surfaces.

A written cleaning schedule clearly stating what to clean, when to clean and how to clean it, is essential and should include specifics such as toilets, sinks, toys, equipment and general environment (e.g. following contamination due to accidents).

  • The cleaning programme should be agreed and followed.
  • A daily record should be kept identifying the date/time and name of the person who completed the cleaning.
  • Regular ad-hoc cleaning checks are encouraged by the designated person / manager to ensure compliance and standards.

 

It is important to note, equipment that is shared between two or more children can be a potential source of infection. Objects such as preschool chairs and toys, for example, can become contaminated when handled by children and/or when they put them into their mouths. Therefore, communal toys should be washable and must be cleansed in hot water and detergent, at least weekly and then dried.

  • A daily wipe down of toys in hot water and detergent should also be carried out on communal toys, and visible contamination removed.
  • Toys should be checked regularly and broken toys should be replaced. Soft toys are not generally recommended for pre-schools as they can become quickly contaminated and are not easily cleaned. If soft toys are used, then these should be washed in a washing machine then allowed to dry either in a tumble dryer or air dried.
  • Toilet seats, flush handles and toilet bowls must be cleaned every day or sooner if visibly contaminated.
  • Other surfaces that may have been touched by contaminated hands e.g. door handles and taps should also be cleaned daily.

 

In addition, the designated person/manager should make arrangements for regular checks on toilet areas so that any accidental spillage or contamination can be dealt with promptly

What agents should be used for cleaning?

Detergent and hot water is adequate for cleaning most surfaces and furniture. This includes toilet areas. A cream cleanser should be used for dirt that is difficult to remove. Disinfectants should not be used routinely for environmental cleaning. Disinfectants should never be poured down the toilet bowl or drains as they can interfere with the natural decay of sewage.

In summary, our preschool will need the following routine cleaning agents: -

  • Neutral detergent liquid
  • Cream cleanser
  • Lime scale remover for toilets
  • A deodoriser may be used if desired in toilet areas. Care should be taken and to spray them away from the face.

 

In specific circumstances e.g. during an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting within the

Pre-school, additional cleaning materials may be required. For example, if the cause

of the outbreak was due to a viral infection then the use of a good quality hypochlorite bleach may be used.

 

What other resources are needed?

  • Separate cleaning equipment should be used for toilets, hand wash areas and non-toilet areas.
  • Non latex disposable gloves should be worn when in contact with body fluids is likely

(E.g. when cleaning toilet areas. Always remember to wash your hands after removing the gloves.

  • Mop heads should be either be disposable and used once only or detachable and

washable. They should be washed in hot soapy water after use, rinsed and wrung out as much as possible. The mop should then be inverted (mop head facing upwards) to dry thoroughly.

  • Never leave a mop in a bucket of water. Buckets should be rinsed out with hot water after use, dried and stored inverted. Do not leave water in a bucket as this can quickly become contaminated and if used later, can be a potential source of the spread of infection within the environment.
  • Where advice states to use hot water and detergent, it is expected that the water is not too hot to the gloved hand and that a neutral detergent is used.
  • A risk assessment should always be undertaken and use of appropriate personal protective equipment such as gloves and plastic apron may be advisable.

 

Specific cleaning advice for a variety of items:

Item How Often Method

  • Basins and taps After use (minimum daily) - Clean with hot water and detergent.

Disinfectant is not routinely needed.

  • Bins Daily - Clean with hot water and detergent.
  • Buckets After use Wash with hot water and detergent and store so that they can dry.
  • Disposable gloves throw away at end of each day.
  • Drains Daily Clean with hot water and detergent.

Never clean drains with disinfectants.

  • Floors - Minimum daily Clean with hot water and detergent, rinse and dry. Do not use

disinfectants for general everyday cleaning.

  • Furniture -  Daily Surfaces should be damp dusted with disposable cloths.
  • Mops After use Use detachable mop heads. Wash in hot soapy water, wring out and store mop upside down to dry
  • Toys As schedule Toys should be washable. A schedule for regular cleaning should be devised depending on the kind of toy and the likelihood of soiling.
  • Toilets - As schedule. Lime scale remover or toilet cleaner should be available for use.

Care of Play Equipment

Soft Toys

Soft toys are not recommended for multi play use. All toys should be on a regular

cleaning schedule, and should be cleaned with detergent and hot water at least weekly or sooner if visibly dirty. This schedule will also assist in disposing of damaged toys or those that cannot be easily cleaned.

Play dough / Plasticine

It is important that children wash their hands before and after use and ideally, play

dough/plasticine should be replaced daily after each session. Skin lesions must be

covered. In an outbreak, play with play dough should be suspended until the outbreak is over and play dough disposed off.

Plastic / Wooden Toys

Toys should be cleaned after use using hot soapy water and dried thoroughly. (This

includes play homes and play tables). Toys should be inspected regularly for breakages and discarded if not intact. Broken toys may harm children and could harbour bacteria.

 

Electrical/Mechanical Toys

Non-electrical toys should be surface wiped after use with a damp cloth that has been rinsed in hot water and detergent and then dried, and electrical toys surface wiped with an alcohol wipe after being unplugged from the mains.

Storage of Toys

Toys must be stored in a designated container that is rigid and washable. Toy

containers should be washed and dried weekly.

Second-hand Toys

It is advised not to accept second-hand toys. However, in instances where second hand toys have and/or are being received, then the preschool  must ensure the equipment is clean and providers should be aware of the requirements of health and safety legislation This should include informing and keeping staff

updated

 

Water play equipment

Water containers should be emptied immediately after use and dried.

Water play equipment should be cleaned using detergent and water and dried and stored

Sandpits

Sandpits should be covered for protection and sand kept clean by regular sieving. The sand should be changed regularly (e.g. two –four weekly for indoor sandpits) and the tank washed with detergent and water before the sand is replaced. Outside sandpits should be raked regularly (daily) when in use) but not less than

weekly and changed as soon as it becomes discoloured and/or malodorous. It is important that outside sandpits are also covered for protection when not in use.

Equipment Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool that the equipment available is suitable, safe and age appropriate, while providing new challenges and experiences for the developmental needs of each child.

 

 

Procedures

 

  • All equipment is kept clean and safe at all times
  • Staff take responsibility for the equipment in their rooms, ensuring that everything is clean, safe and well maintained at all times
  • Staff check equipment regularly for broken parts
  • All equipment purchased is based on the children’s developmental needs and interests
  • The layout of each area ensures that the equipment is accessible to the children, to promote choice and a sense of independence
  • All equipment is age appropriate and suitable to the different stages of a child’s development
  • All staff must have a thorough understanding of the developmental benefits children gain from the equipment

 

At Rhode Community Pre-School we provide a wide range of toys and equipment for the children to play with. We aim to continually improve and upgrade our outdoor areas to provide stimulating play and a wide range of new experiences for all children. At staff meetings we will look at any areas that may need adapting or improving

10. Complaints Policy

Rhode Community Preschool welcomes children’s and parent’s views in the development of the service.  Careful attention and a prompt and courteous response will be given to any suggestions, comments or complaints thereby ensuring the development of a high quality Childcare service which meets the needs of children and parents.  An early opportunity to highlight issues can prevent problems arising.  Parents are encouraged to try and resolve informally, through discussion with management.

If this is unsuccessful the following procedure must be followed:

 

Complaints Procedure

  • If you wish to make a complaint you should put it in writing to the Childcare Board of Management who will try to resolve the matter.
  • The Board of Management will have a disciplinary/complaints panel in place.  This panel will comprise of the Chairperson and two other Members of the Board.
  • A written acknowledgement of the complaint will be sent as soon as possible.
  • 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.
  • If required a request may be made in writing to the Board of Management to have the complaint heard by a wider group.  This group could comprise of disciplinary/complaints panel plus an external mediator (i.e. I.P.P.A. Regional Adviser, local H.S.E. personnel).
  • Membership of this panel should not comprise of any person directly involved in the complaint or related to the complainant, or staff member.
  • The person making the complaint may be accompanied by another person.
  • 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 a reasonable period following the meeting.
  • In instances where the complaint involves the welfare of child/children, the information should be made known to the relevant local H.S.E. Personnel and to the full Board of Management, through the Chairperson.
  • Confidentiality is of the utmost importance when dealing with complaints.
  • All complaints will be dealt with at the earliest opportunity.  This will be no later than the next available committee meeting following a complaint being made.

11. Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy

Overall Aim of Statement:

We aim to ensure confidentiality at all times. Providing protection and respect for all our children and their families, staff and volunteers in accordance with the relevant Data Protection Acts.

 

Specific Objectives/ Statements and Procedures:

At Rhode PreSchool the safety and welfare of each child, their families, volunteers and our staff team is of paramount importance. Confidentiality is a vital tool in ensuring this.

 

Records:

Staff All staff records will be kept in office and access will be limited to the Manager. Issues relating to staff will remain confidential to the manager and only shared with the Chair person or outside agencies if advice is required. All staff will have read and understood the importance of this policy.

 

Children:

Only parents/carers of a child will have access to their child’s records, along with staff and outside agencies/professionals with the parent/carer permission. Sensitive records will be kept in a locked cabinet and access will be limited to the Manager. All visible lists will contain only the child’s first name and initial of their surname. The signing in sheet will be brought inside once the session commences and put back out at collection time.

 

Online/computers:

All computers will be password protected and there is no random access to ‘random’ users. All computers are switched off at night and the office door locked.

 

Discussions:

Issues regarding staff will remain confidential to the Manager and will only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis, or if further advice is required, with e.g. chair, committee, outside agencies. Staff will not discuss individual children with anyone other than the child’s parents /carers, or with each other for planning and curriculum purposes. Any information given by parents/carers to staff will only be shared with other staff or professionals on a ‘need to know’ basis or if further advice is required. In the case of outside agencies and professionals being involved for discussion regarding a child, parental permission will be sought. Parents/carers will also be asked for their agreement on the child’s registration form. Parental permission will be bypassed when the staff  feel that a child is at risk of significant harm, and by talking to the parent/carer would endanger that child. Further advice would then be sought from the appropriate agency.

Data Protection  and Record Keeping Policy

 

Records, as required by the Child Care (pre-school services) Regulations 1996 and subsequent amendments, will be maintained and made available to relevant persons where appropriate to ensure the health, safety and development of all children attending the service.

 

Procedures

 

  • All records, in line with the Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations 1996 and any subsequent amendments, are kept up to date and accurate at all times.
  • All confidential records are stored securely
  • Parents, carers or guardians will be asked to co-sign the medical administration form when necessary
  • Parents, carers or guardians will be asked to co-sign the incident/accident report form when necessary.  This form will only contain information about your child; no other children will be named
  • All incidents/accidents, however minor, must be brought to the attention of the manager or the full time supervisor so that the records of the children involved can be updated
  • Each room has its own attendance book in which staff must record when a child enters or leaves the premises.  This is an extremely important book and the record keeping must be strictly adhered to at all times.
  • Staff must sign the staff attendance book immediately on arrival and on leaving the premises
  • Observational records are maintained, to help in understanding the needs and abilities of the children, and what programmes to put in place to ensure they develop to their full potential.
  • All written records are impartial and factual.

12.Fire Safety Policy

It is the policy Rhode Community Preschool to ensure that all reasonable measures are taking by the staff to guard against the outbreak of fire on the premises, and to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety of all persons on the premises in the event of an outbreak of fire.  We will comply with all fire safety legislation.

 

Fire Safety Procedure

If you discover a fire

  • If you discover a Fire in any building you must raise the alarm by breaking a red fire alarm call point or sound the smoke alarms.
  • Drop activity and get children out of building as quickly as possible. Last person to leave room to bring daily record book and building is empty.
  • Leave by the nearest exit and proceed to the assembly point, without stopping to collect belongings or work items. Do not use the lift.

 

Assembly points:               Front of Building – Green Sign on wall to left of building

Back of Building – Green assembly sign at back wall to the left of building

  • Roll call to be taken to ensure every child and staff members are accounted for.
  • If you were the person who detected the fire and raised the alarm, and have not already done so you must ring 112 / 911
  • Return only after receiving authority from the Fire Brigade Officer or the Departmental Fire Safety Manager.

Fire Fighting Equipment

Room 1

Fire Blankets

 

Where Stored:  Beside sink at toilets

Maintenance: Yes

Date of Last Service: 6 / 2013

 

 

Hand Held Extinguishers

Where Stored: Sink at toilets + Front office

Maintenance:  Yes

Date of Last Service: 6 / 2013

Room 2

Fire Blankets

 

Where Stored: Kitchen on wall

Maintenance: Yes

Date of Last Service: 6 / 2013

 

Hand Held Extinguishers

 

Where Stored: Kitchen + Hallway to toilets

Maintenance: Yes

Date of Last Service: 6 / 2013

 

Adapted on ____________________     Managers Signature __________________________

No Smoking Policy

 

Rhode Community Preschool operates a strict no smoking policy.  There is no smoking allowed on the premises.

 

Specific Objectives/ Statements and Procedures

Exposure to second hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. Ventilation or separating smokers and non-smokers within the same airspace does not completely stop potentially dangerous exposure.

It is the policy of Rhode Pre-School that all our workplaces are smoke free, and all employees have a right to work in a smoke free environment.

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas of the pre-school building and in front of children.

Overall responsibility for policy implementation and review rests with the Manager.

Information will be given at induction and all staff are obliged to adhere to, and support the implementation of the policy.

Appropriate ‘no smoking’ signs will be clearly displayed at the entrances to and within the premises.

Disciplinary procedures will be followed if a member of staff does not comply with this policy. Those who do not comply with the smoke free law may also be liable to a fixed penalty fine and possible criminal prosecution

 

There is a smoking area provided for staff cigarette breaks. This area is situated behind the community building.  This area is not accessible by the children.

13.Health and Safety /Risk Assessment/ First Aid check list

Safety Statement

 

It is the policy Rhode Community Preschool to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of children and staff through the provision of a safe place of work and safe systems of working.

 

  • This service will comply with all childcare regulations.
  • It is also the policy of this service to ensure the safety of parents/guardians and other visitors to the Service.
  • It is our intentions to follow all accident prevention and emergency procedures agreed and shared with all facility users.
  • We intend to review this statement in the light of experience and development whenever necessary.

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to comply with all legislation in force in the area of safety and hygiene including:

 

  • The Childcare (Preschool Services) Regulations 1996, which was amended in 2006
  • The Fire Services Act 1981
  • The Health and Safety at work Act 1989 & 2005
  • Building Regulations 1991

 

Rhode Community Preschool will ensure;

 

  • The health, well being and personal safety of all users while on the premises.
  • Have proper accident prevention and emergency procedures agreed and shared with all facility users.
  • Ensure all agreed safety procedures are reviewed and followed consistently.

 

Procedure

 

A risk assessment has been drawn up and displayed in all relevant areas.

 

  • The service will have the recommended ratio of adults to children at all times
  • Staff will outline to parents clearly the provisions for the safe arrival and collection of children
  • Written information will be kept on record about who is authorised to collect them
  • Adults will supervise children at all times while attending the service
  • In order to prevent children from leaving the premises, door opening handles will be placed high up and out of children’s reach and low down windows must be locked.
  • Staff will encourage parents to park safely so as to avoid congestion
  • Children should be shown how to carry objects carefully, such as scissors and pencils and they should be reminded constantly never to run with anything in their mouth
  • Staff should ensure that unsuitable objects are not within reach of the children
  • Safety checks should be carried out on premises and equipment regularly
  • Staff should not drink hot beverages while children are present in the playroom
  • Special attention must be paid to outdoor play areas.  If sand is used outside, it must be covered in order to prevent animals from accessing it.

Accidents and First Aid

 

  • The majority of staff members will have First Aid training.
  • A First Aid box will be kept in a safe place accessible to all staff.
  • Materials of the First Aid box will be checked and replenished regularly.
  • Trained first aid staff will treat only minor injuries.
  • Children’s records must be kept on file and easily accessible in case of emergency.
  • The management/staff will make local doctors aware of the service in case of serious accidents or sudden illness.
  • Written permission will be sought from parents/guardians at beginning of the year to take a child to a doctor/hospital if necessary and if the parent/guardian is not available to do so.
  • A written record will be kept of all accidents and injuries that occur on the premises.
  • Parents/Guardians or person’s collecting the child are asked to read the incident and sign it.  A copy of the incident is then given to them.
  • Only prescribed medicine may be administered to children in the service with the written permission of parents/guardians.
  • Any medicines to be administered to children must be in the original containers and kept in a locked press with one staff member holding the key.
  • The correct amount of medication to be administered must be clearly written on the container.
  • Parents will be asked to sign a Medicine Request and Indemnity Form if their child requires medication while attending the service.
  • A Safety statement will be displayed and complied with by all involved in the service.

First Aid Box Checklist

Contents:

  • Disposable gloves – plastic gloves will do in an emergency but surgical gloves are more robust.  Wear gloves when dressing wounds, changing nappies or disposing of any bodily waste.
  • Adhesive dressings (plasters) – use these for minor wounds.  The waterproof types are the best choice for wounds on the hands.
  • Various sizes of sterile dressings – these are ideal in an emergency and are quick and easy to apply.
  • Triangular bandages, these are made of cloth and can be used as bandages.
  • Crepe Roller Bandages – these can be used to secure dressings.
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors/Tweezers – these can be kept in the kit so as to be always to hand.
  • Antiseptic wipes / Sterile Water – these clean the skin around the small wounds.
  • Assorted safety pins – to secure bandages.

First Aid Box to be checked regularly

  • All staff should be aware of the location of the first aid box.
  • The designated person should administer initial first aid treatment in the service.
  • Burns, stings, foreign bodies in eyes, any head injuries or deep wounds should receive immediate medical attention.
  • In an emergency staff should immediately dial 112 / 999 and call an ambulance.
  • All staff should be fully aware of the location of telephones within the premises.

 

Safety Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to comply with all legislation in force in the area of safety and hygiene including:

 

  • The Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations 1996, which was amended in 2006
  • The Fire Services Act 1981(and subsequent acts)
  • The Health and Safety at work Act 1989(and subsequent acts)
  • Building Regulations 1991

 

Rhode Community Preschool will:

 

  • Ensure the health, well being and personal safety of all users while on the premises
  • Have proper accident prevention and emergency procedures agreed and shared with all facility users.
  • Ensure all agreed safety procedures are reviewed and followed consistently.

 

Preschool Room

Identified Hazards

Risk Assessed

Control Measures

  1. Uncovered Sockets

Electric Shock

Socket Covers

  1. Loose Flexes

Trips & Falls

Keep all flexes tidy & fixed

  1. Sharp Corners

Bumps & Bruises

Cover Sharp Corners

  1. Wet Floors

Slips & Falls

Mop up immediately & seal off area

  1. Broken Toys

Scratches & Cuts

Dispose of any Broken Toys

  1. Age Appropriate

Choking Hazards

Use age appropriate only

  1. Toxic Substances

Poisoning

Use non toxic paints etc.

  1. Cleaning Equipment

Poisoning

Keep all cleaning materials in locked cupboards out of children’s reach

  1. Hot Water

Scalds

All hand basins & sinks be regulated with temperature control

  1. Open Doors

Child may escape

Keep all doors leading to outside closed

  1. Dirty Sand

Infection

Sand to be sprayed with Milton & changed frequently

  1. Water Play

Falling into water table, getting wet / drowning

Supervised at all times and wear protective clothing

Outside Play – Play Group

Identified Hazards

Risk Assessed

Control Measures

  1. Slides or outdoor equipment not fixed properly

Child falling off equipment or equipment falling on child

Ensure all outdoor equipment is properly fixed and supervised at all times

  1. Footballs

Hitting other children with ball

Ensure balls are of suitable size, weight and material for age group

  1. Cars, trucks etc.

Broken pieces can cause pinching or scratching

Ensure all materials meet with safety regulation.  Check regularly and dispose of any broken toys

 

  1. Swings

Children Falling off or getting tangled in ropes

Ensure staff member supervises swings at all times and aids children getting on and off to avoid injury.

 

  1. Surface area

Children choking or pulling foreign objects in their mouth

Ensure the surface area is clean at all times and free from any foreign objects

 

Kitchen Area

 

Identified Hazards

Risk Assessed

Control Measures

  1. Uncovered Sockets

Electric Shock

Socket Covers

  1. Loose Flexes

Trips & Falls

Keep all flexes tidy & fixed

  1. Sharp Corners

Bumps & Bruises

Cover sharp corners

  1. Wet Floors

Slips & Falls

Mop up immediately & seal off area

  1. Age inappropriate toys

Choking hazards

Ensure age appropriate only is used

  1. Hot Water

Scalds

All hand basins be regulated with temperature control

  1. Open Doors

Child may escape or catch fingers

Ensure doors leading outside are closed at all times.  Use a door jam

 

  1. Door to Kitchen

Child might enter kitchen which is not child proofed

Keep kitchen door closed at all times when children are in dining area.  Children are not allowed in kitchen at any time

 

 

14.Illness, Hygiene/Hand Washing, Toileting and the management of infectious diseases

 

Hygiene Policy

 

Rhode Community Preschool is committed to the promotion of a healthy environment and a high standard of personal hygiene for adults and children.  The service will comply with all legislation regarding hygiene as set down the Services Regulations.

 

  • All staff and children should operate a hand-washing policy.
  • It is the policy of the service to ensure that adequate water supply, liquid soap and paper towels/roller towels are available at all times.
  • Surgical/disposable gloves should be available at all times for incidences of cleaning.
  • In the event of a child soiling or wetting him/herself, two members of staff, wearing disposable gloves, will remove the soiled/wet clothing, wash the child and replace the soiled clothes with clean clothes (soiled or wet clothes will be put in a bag and given to the parent).  The incident should be recorded in the incident book and the parent asked to sign it on arrival to collect the child.
  • A supply of clean clothing should be readily available for accidents.
  • A supply of plastic bags should be available to hold soiled clothes.
  • All cuts and sores must be covered with suitable dressings.
  • Mops for general floor washing should be disinfected using rubber gloves and left to dry, mop head up and replaced regularly.
  • All toilet areas and wash hand basins must be cleaned and disinfected daily and between sessions.
  • The service will operate a daily and weekly cleaning routing in respect of play areas, tables, chairs, toys, and outdoor equipment. (See cleaning Rota)
  • All cleaning cloths and towels must be changed every day.  Different cleaning cloths and towels must be used for kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Leftover food must be properly disposed.

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool and in the interest of the children’s health and safety, to control the outbreak of infectious diseases.

 

Hand Washing

 

Children's hands are washed before and after meals and after toileting. We use paper towels for drying hands, so children do not have to use the same towel. All employees are required to wash their hands frequently and also use antibacterial gel. Detailed descriptions of hand washing procedures are on display in the children’s bathrooms

 

Hand washing Policy

 

It is the policy of this childcare Service to prevent the spread of illness by regular and thorough hand washing, as per “Staying Healthy in Childcare”.

 

Staff are to wash their hands:

 

  • When they arrive at the Service
  • After they use the toilet or when helping children use the toilet
  • After they change a nappy
  • After they handle items soiled with body fluids or wastes
  • After they clean up messes
  • After they wipe noses
  • Before and while they are preparing food
  • Before and after they eat or drink and going to and from breaks
  • After art activities
  • After being outside
  • Before going home

 

Children are to wash their hands:

  • After they use the toilet or have had their nappy changed
  • After they have handled soiled items
  • Before and after meals
  • After they wipe their nose
  • After art activities
  • After being outside
  • Before going home

 

Procedure:

  1. Wash hands all over, including back of hands and wrists
  2. Rub your hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap (preferably liquid).
  3. Rinse your hands well under running water
  4. Dry your hands using the paper towels or roller towels.
  5. An alternative to hand washing when taps and sinks are not available is to use nappy wipes or sanitising lotions to wipe hands; however this is not as effective as hand washing

Head Lice Policy

Given that it is always possible to catch head lice, for example, children can pick up head lice by just coming into close contact with someone who is infected.  It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to be vigilant in detecting head lice and to advise parents how to cope with it.

 

Procedures

  • Management will inform parents in the event of an outbreak.
  • Staff will be tactful when speaking to parents and maintain confidentiality.
  • Parents shall be advised to check their child’s head regularly.
  • Parents shall be informed to use treatment if necessary.
  • The importance of not sharing other peoples combs, brushes etc. is stressed to parents and children.
  • Management will provide more information if required.

 

Toileting Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool and in the interests of the children’s health and safety, that a high standard of hygiene is promoted at all times, when children are learning to use the toilet.

Procedures

  • To create an awareness and understanding of good hygiene practice, staff members emphasize the importance of self-care, for example, flushing the toilet, washing hands etc.
  • Anti-bacterial soap and disposable paper towels and or roller 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.
  • All staff treat any accidents with sensitivity.
  • Praise and recognition are used when children are being toilet trained to encourage self-esteem and a sense of achievement.
  • Potties are disinfected after each use.
  • If required another staff member will be available to provide assistance.
  • The child’s privacy is always respected.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Infectious diseases:

 

A child who has contracted an infectious disease usually shows general signs of illness before development of a rash or other typical symptoms.  Consequently, the child may complain of shivering attacks or feeling cold, headache, vomiting, sore throat or just vaguely feeling unwell.  Such symptoms, when a particular infectious disease is prevalent, should make the childcare worker suspicious.

If the Service suspects an outbreak of infectious disease (two or more cases of what appears to be the same illness or condition) they should inform the local Department of Public Health.

It is crucial that any children or staff members who are unwell should not attend the childcare facility.

They should only return once they are recovered.

 

Outbreaks:

 

An outbreak occurs when two or more children or members of staff have the same illness at the same time.  If you become aware of two or more children with the same symptoms (i.e. two children with a rash and a temperature, or diarrhoea or vomiting) even if one or both of the children has been kept home from the childcare facility, it is important to discuss this with your GP if you are worried.  The commonest outbreaks tend to involve skin infestation such as scabies or head lice.

Following that, gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and/or vomiting is next most common outbreak symptom.  Children who have diarrhoea for more than two or three days are quite likely to be taken to their GP to have a stool test, and if one of the germs mentioned above is detected, your local Department of Public Health will automatic make contact.  In most outbreaks, early closure of the facility at an early stage can be the means whereby an outbreak is rapidly stopped allowing the childcare facility to quickly open again.

What to do if a child develops diarrhoea or vomiting in the Childcare Service:

 

  • Contact the parents/carers to take the child home
  • Ensure the child’s hands are thoroughly washed after every visit to the toilet and before eating
  • Ensure hands are washed before and after changing nappies
  • Use liquid soap and disposable paper towels
  • Remove spills of faeces or vomit immediately and clean and disinfect the surrounding area
  • Clean and disinfect toilet seats, flush handles, and taps and toilet doors at least twice a day
  • In the event of two or more cases of unexplained vomiting/diarrhoea, occur in the Childcare Facility please ensure that the following measures are followed:
  1. Nominate one of the staff to manage the outbreak.  Notify your local Department of Public Health who will advise on outbreak management.
  2. Keep a list of all symptomatic children/staff.  Record the time of onset of symptoms and the exact nature of the symptoms.
  3. If a child has diarrhoea while on the premises, the parent/guardian should be notified immediately and advised to take the child home.  The affected child should be separated from other children until he/she is collected.
  4. Isolate ill children from well children.
  5. Liaise with Public Health on a daily basis re new cases and progress of the outbreak.  When a positive stool result has been obtained, please discuss the need for further specimens with Public Health staff.

Infection Control during Outbreaks:

 

When there is a suspected outbreak of diarrhoea/vomiting in a childcare facility, effective infection control is crucial and, in order to minimise the spread of infection, close attention must be paid to:

  • Regular hand washing
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Ensuring hygienic management of toys
  • Suspending certain communal play activities (e.g. sand or water play, cookery) if considered necessary
  • Proper disposal of Waste e.g. contaminated paper towels, cleaning cloths and nappies, together with used gloves and aprons, should be placed immediately into plastic bags, which are tied securely, and removed to a suitable refuse storage area outside the premises
  • All ill staff and children should be excluded
  • Cleaning should be carried out appropriately
  • Closure if there are a number of cases of illness, especially if the germ responsible is a serious one (such as VTEC) it may be necessary for the childcare facility to close to prevent any other children becoming ill, (and possibly seriously ill)

15.Pest Control

We at Rhode Community Preschool are vigilant in every aspect of our hygiene policy.

Control of Rodents:

Eliminating food and shelter  -

  • Premises will be kept clean and food shall be stored properly.
  • All food, rubbish and materials will be kept away from the doors.
  • Bins will have lids and rubbish will be emptied daily.
  • Areas will be well lit.
  • Cupboards cleaned out and checked regularly.

Should any rodents be seen on the premises we will take appropriate measures to ensure they be removed immediately.

Control Of Insects:

  • Carry out good hygiene practise
  • Dispose of refuse promptly
  • Ensure rooms are properly ventilated
  • External doors should be kept closed where possible
  • Cracks in floors and walls should be properly repaired.

 

Should any insects be seen on the premises we will take appropriate measures to ensure they be removed immediately.

16.Outdoor Play and Adverse weather - Critical Incident

Outdoor Play

At Rhode Community Preschool it is our aim to provide stimulating, exciting and creative outdoor areas which are a safe and secure learning environment for all children.

 

Specific objectives/Statements and Procedures:

Safety

  • Regular checks and risk assessments will be carried out on the area in which the children will be playing and actioned by staff. He/she will report back to the manager and Committee both verbally and in written form.
  • Staff members will undertake daily visual checks of both outdoor areas prior to the children arriving and throughout the session to make sure the areas are safe and secure.
  • Children will be encouraged to alert staff and volunteers to broken toys and equipment; dangerous behaviours etc
  • When children are using the front outdoor play area staff will make sure that the gate is double locked and the area is clear of debris before children enter and will ensure there are enough staff to meet the correct adult to children ratios.
  • While children are playing in the outdoor areas staff will be vigilant to avoid accidents from happening.
  • Any equipment that is broken or is any way hazardous to the children will be removed from the area the children are playing in and reported to the Play Leader.

Health

The equipment from outside will be regularly cleaned to keep up with high standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

A request will be made to parents/carers to bring a coat and adequate/appropriate clothing for their child to every session irrespective of the weather, to ensure that all children have access to outdoor play.

In warm weather parents/carers are asked to ensure that their child has the correct sun cream/ sun protection on including a sun hat, through welcome booklet, newsletter and notices on the board.

Emergency Closure:

To provide for the welfare of all children, staff and volunteers while on Pre-School premises.

 

To ensure a safe, child friendly Pre-School environment is available to all children, staff and volunteers.

In the event of severe weather we will make every effort to keep the Pre-School open and to continue as normal. However, in certain circumstances this may not be possible and children will be sent home. Every effort will be made to notify parents/carers in advance. The reason for such a decision may be:

  • Unsafe site
  • Not enough staff or suitably qualified to reach the school to care for the children safely
  • The staff/child ratio would be compromised

Adverse Weather:

Our main priority is to ensure the safety of all children and adults. The Pre-School staff will make every reasonable effort to reach Pre-School in adverse weather conditions. However, where staff has substantial distances to travel from home to Pre-School consideration will be given to the nature of these journeys. If staff feels that it will be impossible, or dangerous, for them to attempt their journey because of adverse weather conditions, then they should inform the Manager as soon as possible and by 8.00am.

 

Closure of Pre-School:

The decision to close will be made by the Manager. If the Manager is unavailable, the decision would be made by a senior member of staff, in consultation with the Chair. It would be necessary to close Pre-School if:

1. It becomes clear that there are a significant number of staff unable to arrive at Pre-School to ensure the Health & Safety of the children.

2. The adverse weather conditions in the locality of Pre-School are such that a significant number of staff are unable to get to Pre-School to ensure the Health & Safety of the children and there is potential danger to children/parents attempting to get to Pre-School.

3. The Pre-School site is not in a state to ensure the Health & Safety of the children.  Such an early release will be contemplated in very extreme circumstances. Sufficient staff will remain at Pre-School until all children have been safely collected.

 

 

Fire Drills

To ensure the staff & children at pre-school are aware of the procedures in the unlikely event of a fire or if the building needs to be evacuated, the following procedures will be carried out: At induction all staff will be informed of fire drill procedures and will be required to be fully conversant with this policy The children will be introduced to fire drills sensitively and in a way which will not cause alarm A designated staff member will be responsible for ensuring fire drills will be carried out on a regular basis.

Drills will be logged in the register and on the Fire Drill Log Sheet by the designated staff member. A member of staff will collect the attendance sheet from the office, blow a whistle and call the instruction ‘Everybody Out’ and will immediately lead the children to the appropriate exit. Adults on the premises will intersperse with the children to ensure the children’s safety The children will be encouraged to leave the building immediately and in an orderly fashion Once outside, the children and adults will be encouraged to form a circle holding hands.

A senior staff member will be the last to leave the building after checking schoolrooms, toilets and play areas. If that member of staff fails to appear outside no one else must enter the building until the fire brigade arrive the staff member will carry out a roll call using the attendance signing in sheets.

Once a fire drill is satisfactorily completed a staff member will lead the children back into the building. Adults will intersperse with the children on the return to ensure the children’s safety A further roll call will be made to ensure all children have returned to the building Children who are absent during ‘fire drill week’ will be reminded of procedures on their return to pre-school.

 

Non-Drill Evacuation Fire

In the event of a real emergency evacuation: Procedures to be followed as above. Staff  will arrange  to telephone the fire brigade immediately for assistance/advice If a small fire, a trained staff member will use a fire extinguisher If the fire brigade attend, staff members will liaise with fire officers. Other adults will primarily be concerned with the children’s safety and all steps will be taken to avoid children becoming unduly distressed. Emergency contact numbers will be used to locate parents/carers in the need for children to be sent home

Bomb Scare/ Urgent Evacuation due to structural damage The procedures will be followed as above except the children will immediately be taken away from the building  to a neutral area. Staff will immediately inform emergency services On return to Pre-School register will be taken again.

The Chair person or a senior committee member will be informed immediately in either instance.

Parents/carers will be informed either at the end of session or in the case of a serious incident will be telephoned immediately by a staff or committee member to collect their child.

17.Healthy Eating Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community PreSchool to promote a healthy lifestyle through prevention of illness and establishing healthy eating patterns. It is our policy to comply with current regulations including the Child Care (pre School Services) Regulations 1996.

Aims

  • We have regard for “Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-school Services” by the Department of Health and Children
  • We encourage the nutritional and overall well being of all children within the centre
  • We support children to develop life-long healthy eating practices and a positive approach towards food in partnership with parents.
  • We recognise the dietary needs of all children and aim to ensure that all children’s individual and cultural needs are met
  • Staff will be encouraged to attend regular training programs around health and nutrition.
  • Children of all ages mix during mealtimes to encourage social interaction and behaviour modelling.
  • Adults sit with children at meal times to encourage good eating habits, stimulate conversation and enhance the quality of the interaction
  • We monitor and review our practice and policy and, if necessary, make adjustments

Snacks

  • Parents will be encouraged to promote healthy eating by providing healthy snacks for children.
  • Suggestions of healthy snacks will be made available for parents at the start of the pre-school year.
  • Fizzy drinks, sugary snacks, bars, popcorn or crisps will not be allowed in the pre-school.
  • Snacks such as fruit, yoghurt, sandwiches or fruit juices will be encouraged as healthy alternatives for children.
  • If a child has not had breakfast before a morning session an additional snack should be offered and be available.

Special Dietary Requirements

All special dietary requirements will be respected inclusive of dietary needs and cultural dietary habits. Parents will be asked to give details of foods eaten or not eaten by their children

Storage of Food

All food / lunches should be kept in the fridge at all times at the correct temperature of under 5° C

Drinks

Fresh Portable water should be available to children at all times.

Staff

Staff preparing and cooking food for the Service will be trained in the HACCP programme.

 

Kitchen staff will be aware of

  • good food hygiene.
  • the prevention of bacterial growth
  • food contamination
  • food delivery and storage
  • dry goods storage
  • fruit and vegetables storage
  • refrigerated storage
  • freezer storage
  • They will be aware of food preparation, cooking and service
  • When cooking meat cook to a core temperature of 74oC for 2 minutes.
  • When keeping food cold, it must be kept below 5oC.  When keeping food hot it must be kept above 60oC.
  • Hot food must be served within 90 minutes of cooking.
  • Be aware of personal hygiene.
  • Be aware of our hand washing policy.
  • Be aware of correct refuse storage and disposal
  • Identify the requirements relating to the storage and maintenance of cleaning equipment and cleaning agents
  • The structure and content of a cleaning programme
  • Keep all daily and weekly cleaning routine records

18.Curriculum Policy

The service is committed to developing a curriculum which creates a child-centred, play-based environment which empowers young children to actively pursue their own learning.

This process is facilitated by adults, who provide appropriate, timely, balanced intervention, as well as support, continuity and progression. They will encourage positive attitudes towards and a love of learning.

The service recognises that the establishment of daily routines is essential for all young children in our care.

We strive to provide a programme of activities which encourage the physical, social, emotional, intellectual, creative and language development of the children who attend the service.

All activities will be age-appropriate and will be modified to meet the needs and abilities of the individual child.

It will encourage children to think for themselves and will encourage a responsible attitude toward each other and our environment.

Staff have regular meetings to plan and review activities within each area of our facility and to consider the needs of individual children.

19. Outings Policy

 

Rhode Community Preschool is committed to planning and undertaking appropriate and well supervised outings.  Outings provide an opportunity for children and adults to share in active learning experiences, which can be used to enhance many areas of the curriculum of the childcare service.  Outings include any visit, trip or walk where children leave the premises and are carried out in a way that will ensure the safety of all children at all times.

Procedure

 

  • Each parent is informed of the destination, method of travel, times of departure and expected time of arrival back.
  • Signed permission is required from parents to bring children on outings.  This will form part of the Child Entry Record Form.
  • The pre-school insurer shall be informed prior to the event (outside of local walks) with the details of outing and venue.
  • A policy to follow in the event of a child going missing must be drawn up.  It should include; search methods, who is contacted, who stays on site and return of the rest of the group to the pre-school.
  • The preschool manager will be provided with a copy of the written organisation of any outing to ensure that the location of staff and children is known at all times.  Changes to the organisation of the event will be communicated to the pre-school head office, as appropriate, in addition to all other relevant staff.  Staff on the outing will carry a mobile phone provided by the service so that they are contactable at all times.

A Policy for an Emergency

 

A policy for an emergency incident when at a venue will be drawn up to include:

 

  • A designated liaison person with first aid will attend to a child when a child has an incident that results in harm or injury and necessitate First Aid or the calling of an ambulance.
  • Another designated liaison person will be responsible for ringing the ambulance if required ringing the parents and crèche.
  • A third designated liaison person will be responsible for the remaining children’s care and having them safely returned to the crèche, then follow up reporting procedures will take place.

Venue

 

A risk assessment of the outing destination is carried out by the service provider/designated competent person before an outing takes place.

Adult/Child Ratio

 

The adult to child ratio is set as specified by our Insurance Company. Occasions may arise where this cover may need to be increased following the risk assessment of the outing destination.  We usually have a ratio of one adult to two mobile children.

All groups leaving the pre-school should have a minimum of two adults.

  • An extra adult with a supervisory role, who is not part of the adult child ratio, attends each outing.  Their responsibilities should include roll call, head counts, dealing with accidents/incidents and to co-ordinate search and stay on site in the event that a child goes missing.
  • Each adult is clearly aware of their role/responsibilities during the outing.
  • The children are appropriately supervised at all times.  Each adult has responsibility for a named group of children who are solely in their care.
  • Frequent head counts at key stages (e.g. leaving the pre-school, leaving the venue) are carried out during the course of the outing and children and adults should be easily identified by use of, name tags, hats, armbands etc.

Transport

 

  • Transport used will comply with all relevant safety requirements and insurance cover.

First Aid

 

  • A person qualified in first aid for children and holding a current first aid certificate must be present on every outing.  A fully stocked first aid box must be taken on each outing.
  • The person in charge always carries a charged mobile phone in case of emergency.
  • The pre-school attendance register, including all emergency contact numbers and parents contact details are taken on every outing.
  • The staff member responsible for the visit should ascertain details of any specific medical needs of children relevant to the activity.

 

Other

  • Packed lunches if provided must be stored in cool boxes.
  • Children must be prepared for the outing destination, appropriate clothing, sunscreen or any other item deemed necessary must be provided.
  • For those children remaining at the pre-school, the adult to child ratio and all other requirements of the pre-school Regulations are met.

Outings Emergency Policy

Policy if child goes missing

 

  • Roll call is completed to confirm if child is missing.
  • The senior childcare worker will ensure that the remaining children are being suitably cared for.
  • The senior childcare worker will contact the service to communicate the situation and search plans.
  • The senior childcare worker will co ordinate search plans and identify how many adults will be allocated to search activities and how many adults should be responsible for the care of the remaining children.
  • If the child is not located following an initial search the senior childcare worker will make a decision in consultation with the service manager on contacting parents and authorities to assist in the search.
  • The remaining children will be transported back to the service at the earliest opportunity with appropriate supervision.
  • A follow up report will be completed following a incident of a missing child.

 

Policy if child is injured

  • A designated liaison person with first aid will attend to a child when a child has an incident that results in harm or injury and necessitate First Aid or the calling of an ambulance.
  • Another designated liaison person will be responsible for ringing the ambulance if required ringing the parents and crèche.
  • A third designated liaison person will be responsible for the remaining children’s care and having them safely returned to the crèche, then follow up reporting procedures will take place.

Outings Checklist

 

  • An assessment of the venue is completed in advance.
  • Confirmation given to parents informing them of the destination, method of travel, times of departure and expected time of arrival back.
  • For trips which include parents the mobile number for staff will also be included.
  • Insurer is notified of any outing beyond local walks
  • Schedule for the outing including times at locations is prepared in advance and a copy is retained at the service.
  • A roll is created for the trip which will include names of children, contact numbers for parents, any special dietary or health needs.
  • All children on the roll will be allocated to a specific childcare worker.
  • A senior childcare worker is identified as the leader for the outing.

20.Sunscreen Policy

It is our policy that all children and staff use sun protection when it’s deemed necessary.

Procedure

 

Staff will obtain permission from parents to apply sunscreen.  There will be sunscreen on the premises, but some children may have an allergic reaction to this cream, so parents are asked to provide a bottle of sunscreen with the child’s name attached and instruction about application and top up.  Parents are also asked to provide suitable clothing for hot weather, a cotton or straw hat for outside play.  Hats cannot be shared for hygienic reasons.  Cotton t-shirts are best, as singlet tops do not provide suitable protection.  Children’s play clothes should be comfortable and not they’re best clothing.

21.Observations, Assessments and Key Workers Policy

 

The Management of Rhode Community Preschool recommends when staff are undertaking observations and assessments the following should be considered:

 

  • Staff members should be aware of their own values and beliefs and ensure they are observing and assessing impartially.
  • When we look at children and interact, with them, we interpret and make meaning of what we see, even if we are not aware of what we are doing.
  • The assessment we make will be affected by interpretations we make of our observations. Our values and beliefs affect interpretations. We need to be aware of these values and talk about and explain them.
  • There is an emotional dimension to assessment for everyone involved – parents, children and educators.
  • Observations skills must be developed and reviewed as part of the daily routine.

 

Key Worker Policy

It is the policy of this service to use a key worker system to ensure the efficient link between the service and parents.

Key Worker Procedure

Each child is allocated a specific member of staff who will provide continuity between home and service. Parents/carers will meet regularly with their child’s key worker to discuss the child’s development and other relevant matters. Any questions parents may have regarding the child are directed to the key worker. Key worker will maintain a portfolio of observations on the children for whom they have special key worker responsibility.

22.Sick Child Policy

Overall Aim of Statement:

We aim to ensure all children are happy and safe at Rhode Community PreSchool. We will keep all parents/carers informed at all times and minimise the risk of infection to children in our care and to all persons attending the setting.

 

Specific Objectives/ Statements and Procedures:

All parents/carers are encouraged to inform Pre-School of any illness which their child has contracted by telephone as soon as possible. If a child has been in contact with a person that has had an illness parents should inform pre-school so staff can:

- Inform other parents

- Watch for signs/symptoms in other children

  • Should a child become ill during a pre-school session, a staff member will try to contact the parents/carers by telephone. If contact is unable to be made, staff will continue to try during the session. In the meantime the child will be made comfortable and looked after by a staff member away from the main group until such time as s/he is collected.
  • The child will remain the responsibility of the pre-school until s/he is collected. In the case of a deterioration in the child’s condition, medical help will be sought (see Administration of Medicines policy) Parents are encouraged not to bring ill children to pre-school sessions to avoid cross contamination and to seek medical advice regarding length of exclusion.
  • To ensure the well-being of all the children at the setting, including the sick child, it is the pre-school’s policy to exclude children until their return has been approved by a medical practitioner.
  • Records will be kept regarding children’s absence due to illness Parents/Carers are required to check their child’s registration form every term to ensure contact details, emergency details and immunisation record remains correct. Immunisation records of staff will be kept in their staff file in a locked cabinet. At each session at least one member will hold a first aid certificate. A first aid box will be kept on the premises and will be checked monthly by the staff.

Emergency Medical treatment

A request is made on each child’s registration form seeking permission to get emergency medical treatment if necessary. If permission is not given the Manager or Chairperson will discuss reasons with the parent/carer and should permission still not be forthcoming an action plan between the pre-school and the parent/carer will be drawn up. A first aider will gauge whether a visit to A&E is required or a visit to the local doctor in which case either:

 

 

1. A senior staff member with another adult will take the child immediately by car to A&E

2. An ambulance will be called

3. A staff member will contact the child’s doctor Immediately after this has been arranged the child’s parent/carer will be informed of the situation by a staff member by telephone. Every effort will be made to speak to the parent/carer directly, however, if contact cannot be made, sensitive messages will be left. Staff will remain on premises and contact made with the Chairperson to provide cover or, depending on circumstances, to contact parents/carers to collect their children.

 

Rest Policy

 

Here at Rhode Community Preschool we regard rest as an important part of the setting’s daily routine. Children need to feel safe and secure within the childcare environment and to have their individual needs met. Rest is necessary for every child’s emotional well being and physical development.

 

  • Before a child starts to attend the setting we find out from parents their children’s individual needs and preferences regarding rest.
  • We ask parents to record all relevant information about each child’s needs and preferences on his/her registration record and to sign the record to signify that the information is correct.
  • The child’s allocated key worker regularly consults with parents to ensure that our records of the child’s rest needs
  • We implement systems to ensure that children receive rest that is consistent with their individual needs and preferences as well as their parental wishes.
  • We provide a safe quiet supervised area during lunch for children who wish to rest
  • Quiet rest music will be played in the area and light adjusted for comfort. Staff will monitor the room temperature and environment and address children’s clothing needs.
  • We provide cushions and teddies in the reading area for children to use as a quiet and inactive area during the daily session.
  • Staff will observe children’s behaviours and monitor their individual needs and be responsive by structuring quiet, solitary play experiences and play areas.

 

23.Staff Absence Policy

Illness Policy for Staff

 

Staff with a communicable illness should not attend the service

All parents are informed if a member of staff has a communicable illness(please refer to our infectious disease control policy )

Arrangements are in place to provide relief cover while staff are on sick

Leave

 

Sick Leave and Sick Pay

 

There is no statutory entitlement to sick leave in Ireland.

If you are absent from work due to sickness or injury, you will be required to notify the company immediately, or in any event, before your normal start time on the first day of absence.  Employees are not paid during periods of absence due to illness. A medical certificate is required for absences of more than 2 days. You will be required to claim any state benefit during any period of absence from work due to illness.

The twelve-month period (Sick Leave Year) starts on the first day of illness.

An employee’s medical practitioner or dentist shall certify all periods of sickness exceeding 2 days. The certificate shall state the general nature of an employee’s ailment, the precise period for which an employee shall be unfit for duty or the probable date of resumption of duty. Subsequent certificates shall be submitted if the absence continues beyond the period covered by the initial medical/dental certificate

 

 

 

 

24. Staff Recruitment Policy

To ensure that our recruitment and selection procedures are carried out in a fair and transparent manner.

 

These recruitment and selection procedures should be used by management and committee members involved in the recruitment and selection process.

 

PROCEDURES

 

The recruitment and selection process begins with a vacancy to be filled.  This can be either a new position or a vacant existing position.

 

  • A job description will be created in the case of a new position.  For existing positions the current job description will be reviewed and updated as appropriate.
  • All vacancies will be advertised publicly
  • Applications will be requested in writing in the form of a CV and accompanying letter.
  • Copies of job descriptions and will be sent on request to all applicants.
  • A recruitment and selection panel will be formed with at least two committee members.  External advisors with relevant experience in the area of Childcare may also be included in the interview process at the discretion of the recruitment and selection panel.
  • The recruitment and selection panel will set out and agree the arrangements for the interviewing process.
  • Short listing will take place where the number of applications deem it appropriate.
  • Objective criteria to support the short listing process in advance.
  • Interviews will take place and the panel will compare notes and select appropriate candidate/s for the positions.
  • Referees will be contacted.
  • Garda vetting checks will be carried out.
  • The successful candidate/s will be notified by a member of the recruitment and selection panel and a formal offer of employment will be made.
  • Contracts of employment will be prepared for all new employees and should be signed in advance of starting employment or on their first day.
  • A panel may be formed from which further positions may be filled.
  • Unsuccessful candidates will be notified in writing or by phone.

 

If there is no successful candidate chosen for the position, the committee may re-advertise for the position, following the above procedures again.

All information obtained from candidates will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Staff Disciplinary Policy

 

The disciplinary policy is designed to assist any member of staff whose conduct is in question and its initiation should be seen as giving an opportunity to improve rather than as a first step in the process of sanctioning a dismissal.

 

It is the responsibility of the management committee to:

 

  • Clarify the role and responsibilities of staff within the agreed job description and within the context of supervision.
  • Resolve matters with potential disciplinary implications at an informal level if possible.
  • Find out, if possible, any underlying reasons for disciplinary problems.

 

Employees’ personal problems will, where appropriate, be taken into account.

 

Disciplinary and Grievance Panel

 

A disciplinary and grievance panel will be composed of the Chairperson and two other members of the management committee.  This panel will be selected at the first committee meeting after the AGM every year.  The panel will have the power to make disciplinary decisions, including termination of employment.

 

Misconduct

 

It is not possible to list in writing every possible act or omission, which will constitute misconduct.  In any event, an employee is required to behave in a manner, which will not endanger or inconvenience fellow employees, children attending the service or bring discredit to the service.  Examples of misconduct that could lead to formal disciplinary action (if not resolved through informal proceedings) are as follows:

 

  • Consistently poor time-keeping
  • Negligence in the performance of duties
  • Violent or threatening behaviour
  • Persistent use of bad language in front of children
  • Being absent without reasonable permission or reasonable excuse
  • Reporting for duties under the influence of alcohol
  • Deliberate breach of safety rules
  • Deliberately withholding information which obstructs the work of the pre-school service
  • Deliberately bringing the service into disrepute
  • Consistent non co-operation with other staff members or management
  • Repeated breach of the service policies

 

Disciplinary Procedure

 

Where an employee’s conduct, attendance or performance warrants disciplinary action, the following will apply, except in the case of gross misconduct where immediate suspension pending investigation may take place.

 

Stage 1 – First Verbal Warning

 

The Manager and one other member of the disciplinary and grievance panel will conduct a disciplinary interview with the employee and will issue a formal verbal warning.  Both parties will agree on what action or improvement is to be taken to prevent further disciplinary action.  A time limit for which this action should be taken or improvement made will be set.  A plan will be agreed for assistance and review.

 

Stage 2 – Second Verbal Warning

 

If it is considered after the review that the progress is unsatisfactory, then the Manager and one other member of the disciplinary and grievance panel will conduct a second disciplinary meeting with the employee and will issue a second verbal warning.  Details of how the employee’s progress has not been satisfactory will be clearly outlined.  An agreement will again be made for actions to be taken or improvements to be made.  A time limit for which this action should be taken or improvement made will be set.  A plan will be agreed for assistance and review.

 

Stage 3 – Written Warning

 

If it is considered after stage 2 that progress is unsatisfactory, then the Manager will call a meeting of the full disciplinary and grievance panel.  The disciplinary and grievance panel may decide to issue a written warning.  The first written warning will set out: the improvements required and by when, a plan for assistance, time for review and the likely consequences if there is a subsequent lack of improvement.

 

Stage 4 – Final Written Warning

 

If the disciplinary and grievance panel considers that after stage 3 progress is unsatisfactory, a meeting of the panel will be called at which it may be decided to issue a second and final written warning.  This written warning will state that any subsequent lack of progress or recurrence of the offence will lead to dismissal.

 

Stage 5 – Dismissal

 

If after stage 4, progress is still unsatisfactory, the disciplinary and grievance panel may decide to dismiss the employee.  Dismissal will be confirmed in writing and will state the grounds for the action taken.

 

 

 

 

Annual Leave Policy

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to grant annual leave in accordance with the terms of the Holidays (Employees) Act 1973, 1991 and the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.

 

 

Procedure

 

  • All Staff are entitled to appropriate annual leave.
  • Staff are entitled to nine statutory Public Holidays in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
  • All leave must be taken within the annual leave year period.  Annual Leave may be carried forward in exceptional circumstances, but prior approval must be sought from the Board of Management.
  • All leave must be requested from your manager and sufficient notice must be given for annual leave to allow for suitable cover to be sought.
  • Generally only one employee is to take annual leave at any one time, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • All full time staff are required to take at least two weeks holidays during the months of July and August, this is to accommodate the reduction in attendances during this time, i.e. preschool and afterschool. In the case of part time employees (less than 35 hours) this will be on a pro rata basis in accordance with their holiday entitlements.

Maternity/Adoptive/Parental/Force Majeure Leave Policy

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to grant maternity/adoptive/parental/force majeure leave to all staff members in accordance with the provisions of the Maternity Protection Act 1994, Adoptive Act 1995 and the Parental Leave Act 1998-2000 and any subsequent Acts replacing or amending those Acts.

Compassionate Leave Policy

 

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool to allow compassionate leave to be given to staff members if necessary.

 

Procedure

 

Compassionate leave will be paid in the case of a death of an immediate relative (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, child, mother-in-law, father-in-law) for a maximum of three days.  However on the death of an aunt, uncle or first cousin one day’s compassionate leave will be given.

 

Grievance Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool that all employees have the opportunity to notify the management committee of any grievance they may have.

 

Procedure

Employees have the right to submit any grievance in writing to the management committee.  Both parties then to agree a neutral arbitrator whose decision is binding on both sides.

 

Time Keeping & Attendance Policy

Time keeping and attendance is of the utmost importance and will be measured on an ongoing basis.  Any level of absenteeism is a cause for concern, as it will adversely impact the service provided and the overall team.

 

Procedure

  1. If an employee is sick or unable to attend the service they are required to phone the manager, or the service one hour before they are due to work, so relief work can be sourced.
  2. Employees are required to be present in their rooms at the required time.  Employees are requested to sign in on entering the service and they are required to sign out when leaving the service, including any breaks.

 

Dress Code Policy

It is the policy of Rhode Community Preschool that all staff wear a range of approved clothing items.  Staff are to look neat and tidy at all times e.g. hair clean, tied back/neatly done.  Presenting a professional image to the public and to advocate that childcare provides valuable education for young children.

 

 

Procedure

  • Black Trousers and staff tunic to be worn
  • Enclosed shoes must be worn
  • Footwear must have a grip for safety
  • Large dangling earrings or bulky items of jewellery should not be worn whilst at work
  • Facial piercings (including tongues) or visible tattoos are not suitable accessories for working with children and cannot be worn, or to be visible
  • Uniforms or appropriate items of clothing are to be replaced when they begin to look old and tatty

Appraisal / Developmental Review

Overall Aim of Statement:

At Rhode Pre School we recognise the importance of working together to form a strong, committed, highly motivated, qualified staff team to ensure that we provide the best possible care and learning environment for each individual child attending pre-school. To facilitate this we aim to build upon the strengths of our team, offering support through regular supervision meetings and annual appraisals/developmental reviews.

 

Specific Objectives/ Statements and Procedures

The views of each individual within the staff team are important to us, as providers and as a team, to enhance the service and to continually strive to facilitate professional development.

Appraisals will be undertaken annually with 1:1/Supervision /Probationary meetings and informal discussions carried out during the year.

 

Purpose of an appraisal:

  • To ensure shared understanding
  • To establish good relationships
  • Review of overall performance
  • To identify training & development needs
  • To agree performance targets
  • To establish goals and aspirations
  • To provide appropriate feedback
  • To ensure the best outcomes for all children in our care.

The appraisal review:

For all staff the appraisals will be led by the manager and in the case of the manager by the Chair of the Board. We recognise that appraisals/developmental reviews are a two-way interaction between the appraiser and the appraisee and are a valuable and necessary tool to ensure a happy team. Therefore: the appraisee will be given adequate notice of the date, time and place of the review and every effort will be made to adhere to the date set. The manager will ensure that sufficient cover is in place to enable the review to take place, both for the appraiser and appraisee ensuring that the review is not interrupted and the quality of childcare is not compromised The appraiser will arrange conditions to ensure a suitable, private and comfortable place for the review can take place.

 

All matters discussed will remain confidential, however where information may need to be passed to another party, the appraiser will always inform the appraisee.The performance measure will be discussed and made available to both parties The appraisee’s views and opinions are very important and will be welcomed as valuable to the success of the review Identified issues will be objective and specific examples made available to support discussions Career development and training development needs, will be identified and a record kept. A copy of the appraisal will be given to the staff member and a copy kept in their personal file

25. Student/Work Experience Policy

It is our policy to assist students and people on work experience in developing their skills in childcare.  Staff will work closely with students/people on work experience in developing a professional and child-centred approach to working with children.

Procedures

 

  1. Students are not left unsupervised in a room with a group of children.
  2. Students are not included in the adult/child ratio.
  3. Students are not used in place of staff.
  4. All students must be over the age of sixteen.
  5. As part of their induction students are requested to read the policies and procedures of the service.
  6. Management decides on what information the students have access to and what meetings they attend.
  7. Support and information is provided, if assistance is needed with projects or assignments.
  8. The service has ongoing contact with the relevant college/school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Adapted from Keeping Safe Module 4 Handout (Volunteer Now 2009).

 

 

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