Little Red Hen

Centre for Early Childhood Care and Education
8 Lower Shantalla Road Galway
Telephone: 091 86 26 16
Mobile: 087 332 92 76

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Policies & Procedures

Accident and Safety Policy

It is the policy of our childcare service to promote the health, well being and personal safety of all children and adults involved in our service, through developing and regularly reviewing accident prevention procedures and fire safety procedures.

Accident Prevention

  • A safety Statement has been prepared and reviewed on a regular basis. It is located downstairs opposite the coat hooks.
  • All new staff and students must be familiar with the Safety Statement
  • There are at least two adults on the premises at all times.
  • Children are supervised at all times.
  • Care is taken to ensure that no child can leave the premises undetected
  • Children are signed in upon their arrival and signed out on their departure so that staff know which children are present at any given moment.
  • Furniture and equipment are laid out to minimise safety risks
  • Only suitable and age-appropriate objects are available to children.
  • All unsuitable materials are kept out of childrens’ reach and in a locked unit where appropriate.

Accident Procedures

  • First Aid Box is always fully equipped, easily identifiable and in a location which is known to all adults (in storage area under stairs)
  • At least one member of staff who holds an up to date First Aid Certificate is on the premises at all times.
  • Emergency telephone numbers are available to all staff – posted next to all telephones.
  • Minor accidents will be treated in the childcare premises and parents/carers will be advised of the injury and the action taken when the child is collected.
  • All accidents are recorded in the Accident Book.
  • The service has an arrangement with the local surgery in case of an accident or sudden illness
  • In the case of serious accident the senior staff member will phone the doctor and the child’s parent/carer
  • If the child has to go to hospital before the parent/carer arrives, and adult known to the child must accompany him/her to the hospital and stay until the parents/carer arrives.
  • The child record card must be brought for reference

Admissions Policy

It is the policy of our childcare service to offer equal access to all children from the community including children with a disability or special requirements and irrespective of their culture, religion, membership of ethnic group or minority or family background.

Admissions procedures

  • Each child must be at least 1 year old when formally enrolled at the service.
  • Parents seeking to secure a place for their child must complete and enrolment form
  • A completed enrolment form much be lodged with the service prior to the child attending the service
  • Children will be admitted on a “first come first served” basis, following submission of the enrolment form.
  • If there are no remaining places in the appropriate age group, a waiting list will be drawn up.
  • Referrals from family support services will be accepted if there is a place available in the appropriate age group.

Child Protection Policy

It is the policy of our service to ensure that children are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff and volunteers in our service.

We do this by:

  • Ensuring that our management and staff avail of training on Child Protection provided by the Western Health Board and the Galway City and County Childcare Committee
  • Giving parents children and workers information about what we do and what they can expect from us – A child protection agreement is signed by all staff members and students on placement at the service.
  • Making sure that our staff and volunteer are carefully selected, trained and supervised
  • Informing parents of our complaints procedure should they have concerns
  • Having reporting procedures and a designated person whose role is to:
    • Receive and consider all child protection concerns
    • Consult with the Health Board
    • Make a formal referral where appropriate to the Duty Social Worker at the Western Health Board
  • Developing Codes of Behaviour amongst staff, amongst children, and between staff and children

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 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 on Shantalla Road.

Complaints/Comments Policy

It is the policy of this service to encourage and welcome complaints/comments made my any person involved with our service and to act on these complaints to the best of our ability and in an efficient, competent and timely manner.

Complaints/Comments Procedure

  • All persons involved in our service are encouraged to comment on or make complaints regarding our service, both positive and negative.
  • A register of complaints is maintained.
  • Once a complaint is registered the manager is immediately informed and appropriate action taken.

Confidentiality Policy

It is the policy of this service to respect the privacy of all persons involved with this service by ensuring confidentiality. All relevant regulations, acts and laws are respected regarding information gathered and stored.

Confidentiality Procedure

  • We do not discuss details of any child or family outside the service without written permission from the parent/carer/guardian.
  • Confidential information is shared only with staff members who need the information to effectively perform their job.
  • Personnel details are not discussed without written consent of staff.
  • Both staff and parents may view/receive a copy of their own files or those relating to their own children. IF it is not possible to do this immediately, then it must be done within twenty four hours of request.
  • All files are kept in a locked unit. Only the manager has access to this unit.
  • All staff are informed of the confidentiality policy during their induction period.
  • Parents are informed of the confidentiality policy before their child is enrolled in the service.

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.

Equal Opportunities Policy

It is our policy to respect the individuality of all children and adults involved in our service and to promote positive attitudes to differences of culture, race, gender, language, financial circumstance or membership of a minority group.

Equal Opportunity Procedure

  • Recruitment and employment of staff will comply with all relevant equality legislation – see recruitment guidelines.
  • The service is open to all families in the community – see admissions policy
  • A range of activities is chosen to reflect various differences in cultures, gender and ability.
  • We check our materials to ensure that they challenge stereotyping and positively and accurately reflect cultural and racial diversity.
  • Special dietary needs of children and adults are catered for.
  • We will challenge any statements or behaviour by anyone in the service which are racist or sexist or which reinforce stereotypes or which are in any other way derogatory to an individual or group.

Fire Safety Policy

It is the policy of this service to comply with all relevant Fire Regulations and to follow the recommendations in the Department of the Environment’s Fire Safety in Pre-Schools booklet.

Procedure

  • The service has all the relevant fire safety equipment recommended in the Department of the Environment’s Fire Safety in Pre-Schools booklet including fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and fire blankets and this fire safety equipment is checked annually by a professional.
  • Training will be given to all new staff during the induction period around fire safety in the service.
  • Fire drill instructions re posted on each floor
  • The assembly point is know to all adults – front of number seven Shantalla Road – the house to our left as you leave the front of the building.
  • A fire drill is carried out with staff and children every month
  • A record is kept of all fire drills carried out and training undertaken

Health Policy

It is the policy of our childcare service 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 and Food Hygiene Regulations to HAACP standards.

Healthy Eating

  • A balanced diet is provided with fresh nutritious food
  • Sweets crisps chewing gum and sodas are discouraged
  • Special dietary needs of children are met
  • 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
  • Menus are varied and are posted outside the kitchen door.
  • Food log posted outside kitchen door.

Illness

  • Children or adults with infectious illnesses should not attend the service.
  • In order to limit the spread of infection, if a child becomes ill during the night, they should not be brought to the service the next day.
  • If a child is kept away from the service due to an infectious illness, the service should be informed in order to monitor other children who may have been exposed.
  • The service will inform other parents whose children may have been exposed. Confidentiality will be respected.
  • If a child becomes ill while attending the service, parents must be informed immediately and the child must be picked up within an hour.

Human Resources Policy

It is the policy of this service to provide the best possible care for the children attending by employing persons with the necessary skills, experience and/or qualifications to perform this function. It is also our policy to strive to provide a fulfilling, challenging, comfortable and happy work environment for all staff

  • All staff will have appropriate training and/or experience in childcare.
  • No job applicant or employee will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of religious persuasion, ability, age, marital status, race, cultural or national origin, language or gender which cannot be justified as being necessary for the safe and effective performance of the work.
  • This service is committed to the ongoing professional development of its staff. Regular in-service training is provided and external training and attendance at seminars/conferences/workshops is supported.
  • All staff members will be familiar with the policies and procedures and safety regulations relating to the service.
  • All volunteers and students will be over the age of sixteen.

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.

Hygiene Policy

The service is committed to promoting a healthy environment and a high standard of personal hygiene for adults and children. It is our policy to comply with current regulations including the Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations 1996 and Food Hygiene Regulations

Hygiene Procedures

All new staff and students are informed of the hygiene procedures as part of their induction programme.

  • Hand washing – after using the toilet, after outdoor play, before and after handling food.
  • Cuts and sores must be covered with suitable dressings
  • Dealing with spills
    • Disposable gloves must always be used when cleaning up spills of body fluids
    • Disposable towels must always be used when cleand up spills of body fluids
    • A supply of clean clothing is readily available for accidents
    • The area of the accident is treated with suitable disinfectant
  • Cleaning procedures
    • All toilets, surrounding walls, hold rails, door handles and sinks are cleaned and disinfected at the end of every day
    • Floors, tables and equipment, are cleaned, disinfected and checked for breakage at the end of every day or when necessary
    • Sand is covered when not in use
    • Water tray and play sinks empty and clean when not in use
    • All left over food is disposed of properly

Positive Behaviour Management Policy

It is the policy of this service to promote positive behaviour management, self-discipline, and will be developmentally appropriate.

Positive Behaviour Management Procedure

  • Service rules will be clearly explained to children in a language they can understand.
  • Consequences of negative behaviour are clearly explained to the child with a view to promoting respect for ourselves, each other, our surroundings and property.
  • Strategic behaviour modification techniques such as contracts, charts or rewards for positive behaviour will be decided upon at staff level and with parents and enforced consistently throughout the service.

Recruitment Policy

The management of this service is committed to ensuring tht our recruitment procedures are fair, open and transparent and comply with relevant employment legislation. Personal information received is dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Settling In Policy

It is the policy of this service that every effort is made to ensure that the settling in period is as easy and pleasant as possible for the children and their parents/carers.

Settling in procedures

  • On the first day or during the first few days the parent/guardian is encouraged to stay until the child feels comfortable in their new surroundings
  • There is no set time limit on the settling in period
  • Childs teacher will give parents a daily account of the child’s progress during the settling in period.