Policies and Procedures

Admission & Fees Policy:

  • We welcome all children aged from 2 years 9 months to 5 years of age.
  • Children must be toilet trained.
  • Children will be admitted in order of application although priority will be given to children from the
    Galbally School catchment area and to siblings of other children in the school.
  • A registration form must be completed. Please attach a copy of the child’s birth cert to the completed form.
  • We are open Monday to Friday mornings from 9.25 to 12.25.
  • Parents can avail of a free playschool place for their child through the ECCE scheme now in place in our setting.
  • If not yet availing of the free playschool place, the daily fee is €11 per child. A reduced fee structure is also
    in place for parents/guardians in receipt of social welfare and/or with a medical card or GP Only card through
    the subvention scheme and this rate starts from €4.50 per morning.
  • Please ensure exact fees are placed in an envelope with your Childs name and amount written on it.
  • Fees must be paid weekly in advance. If fees are not paid for two consecutive weeks a written notice will be
    sent out to parents/guardians. After three weeks of non-payment we cannot guarantee your child’s place in the
    playschool.
  • You can arrange to pay in advance for the month or term.
  • Fees must be paid for the normal number of sessions even when the child does not attend due to illness or holidays.
  • It is the policy of our Playschool that children may only be collected by the person(s) named on the registration form.
  • The Parent must notify staff if an alternative named person is to collect the child.
  • Children must always be collected on time.

Healthy Eating Policy:

  • Please send in a small snack with your child for break.  All food supplied by parents should be appropriate to the age and developmental needs of the child.
  • Children will not be allowed sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks or chewing gum under any circumstances.
  • All food will be put into the fridge. It would be appreciated if parents could do so when they drop children off.
  • Staff will sit with the children when they eat and encourage good eating habits.
  • Parents will be advised if their child is not eating well at collection time that day.
  • Drinking water is available and is accessible to the children at all times.
  • If a child arrives without food, staff will ensure that there is appropriate food available so the child is not hungry.
  • All staff will be notified if any child has a food allergy.

Practical Information:

  • Please bring a spare set of clothes in your child’s bag everyday.
  • Children must have a set of soft indoor shoes to change into on arrival at Play School. Please ensure these are not slip-ons or – they must cover the back of their foot. Also – no laces please.
  • Where possible put your child’s name on coats, indoor shoes, lunch boxes and other such items to prevent mix up.
  • Please do not allow your child to bring toys into the Play School as this can cause friction between some of the children. We have more than enough toys here.
  • To prevent lice infection shoulder length hair must be tied up.

Record keeping Policy:

  • It is the policy of the playschool to keep confidential, all documentation on file and in a secure place and not accessible to unauthorised persons.
  • A record keeping system, accessible to all staff, is in operation in order to ensure the welfare and safety of children.
    It is our policy to amend any change of circumstances involving a child in our records e.g. personal/health details.
  • All records are open to all authorised personnel: individual records to respective parents/guardians.

Staff Absence Policy

· There will always be 2 staff members present and there may also be another Fas worker available to help out, and up to a maximum number of 15 children per session.

· In the event that numbers of staff decrease, we will request garda vetting for some parents who are available to volunteer to assist us.

· These parents will not have access to the children until satisfactory vetting is in place.

Outings

  • Day trips require one adult per child; parents/guardians involved.
  • All forthcoming tours will be notified to parents/guardians well in advance.
  • We welcome ideas and suggestions from parents/guardians on suitable day trips for the children.
  • Written consent will be required from parents.
  • Qualified staff member will plan trips and accompany children & parents on trips.
  • Person trained in current first aid will accompany children on all trips and we will bring a fully stocked first aid box on every outing.
  • Named people will be responsible for named children on all trips.
  • Seat belts will be used at all times.
  • Contact numbers will be brought along on all trips.
  • We carry-out a Risk Assessment on the proposed area/centre for the outing, this is carried out prior to the outing itself.
  • We have a checklist in place to ensure that all procedures in relation to the conduct of outings is adhered to.
  • We ensure that all outings procedures are in line with our insurance cover.
  • We take a roll call of all the children attending the outing before, during and after the visit.
  • We ensure that we have a mobile phone with the lead adult, which is fully charged and ready for use when required.
  • We provide the parents of the children attending with the contact number of this phone while we are on outings.

Critical Incident/Outings Emergency Policy

Policy if child goes missing:

 

  • Roll call is completed to confirm if child is missing.
  • The playschool Manager/staff will ensure that the remaining children are being suitably cared for by the parents/guardians who have accompanied them on the trip.
  • The playschool Manager/staff will communicate with the facility Manager the situation and arrange a search of the immediate area.
  • The playschool Manager/staff will help the facility Manager 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 playschool Manager will make a decision in consultation with the facility manager on contacting 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 an incident of a missing child.

 

Policy if child is injured:

  • A staff member 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 staff member will be responsible for ringing the ambulance.
  • A third staff member along with the accompanying parents will be responsible for the remaining children’s care and having them safely returned to the playschool, then follow up reporting procedures will take place.

Child Protection Policy

  • The welfare of children is of paramount importance. We appreciate a proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents/guardians and families, but where there is conflict the child's welfare must come first.
  • Children have a right to be heard, listened to and to be taken seriously.
  • Children will be provided with a safe and secure learning environment.
  • Galbally Playschool staff will continuously receive training on 'keeping children safe'.
  • It is vital that children feel respected and valued and that this is always demonstrated through interactions between children and staff, parents and staff, and amongst other children.
  • Concerns for a child will be raised through the HSE guidelines and where appropriate in conjunction with parents.
  • The Children First Guidelines 2011 will be strictly adhered to in all matters of child protection.  The HSE Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook will also be used.
  • A safe and recognised method will be used to recruit new employees.
  • Effective procedures for responding to accidents and complaints are in place. This includes ensuring clear procedures are in place to provide specific guidance to staff who may have reasonable grounds for concern about the safety and welfare of children who attend the playschool.
  • Any accidents/incidents must be recorded in the appropriate log book and notified to the relevant parent.
  • The designated persons for child protection concerns are Ann Curran and Marie Murphy.
  • All designated persons have received relevant training in Children First.
  • Galbally Community Playschool's full detailed Child Protection Policy and Safety Statement is on file and is available on request.

Settling in Policy

  • We would like parents to stay with children for an agreed period of time to ensure that the children become familiar with their new environment and get to know each other and the staff.
  • Prior to the child commencing, we encourage parents to come to the playschool when it is convenient to them for the child to become familiar with the environment.

Equal Opportunities Policy

  • Galbally Playschool welcomes all children regardless of race or creed and provides a caring and professional service to all children.
  • We believe children from all backgrounds can come to value and celebrate comparisons between their own lives and those of children from other cultures and backgrounds.

Behaviour Management Policy

  • Inappropriate behaviour (e.g. kicking, punching, etc.) in a child attending our playschool service will be corrected in a caring constructive and consistent manner. By establishing clear boundaries, according to the child's level of understanding children become aware of the services routines and procedures and know what is expected of them.
  • Circle time will be used to get children to talk about how to treat each other.
  • Positive methods of discipline, which encourage self-direction, self-esteem and co-operation will be used. The child responsible will be given the opportunity to talk/think about what they have done. When they are ready they will be encouraged to go to the upset child and ask them are they ok. This allows them to see the consequences of their actions.
  • The upset child will be comforted by a member of staff and it will be made known that this behaviour is not acceptable.
  • Fairness and consistency should be always in evidence when dealing with children’s behaviour.
  • We believe exhibitions of challenging behaviour are natural at certain ages and stages of development, and children need to be supported through this behaviour.
  • It is important to involve parents/guardians/staff and if possible children, this will assist in ensuring co-operation in implementing this policy.
  • Ongoing behavioural problems will be discussed with parents and recorded.
  • Parents will be advised if it is felt that further outside support is required e.g. doctor, counsellor, etc.

Practices Prohibited

  • Corporal or physical punishment.
  • Any practices that are disrespectful, exploitative, intimidating, emotionally or physically harmful or neglectful.

Partnership with parents:

  • We recognise that a close relationship between staff, parents and guardians and their involvement in the running of the playschool, is a clear indicator of a quality childcare service.
  • We welcome parents/guardians comments, questions and feedback at all times.
  • Parents are involved in activities, outings.
  • We aim to create a playschool environment that encourages parents to become involved.
  • We will always ensure our activity curriculum and any changes to policies and procedures are highlighted to parents through the relevant medium.

Fire Safety Policy

  • On hearing the alarm, it is our policy to evacuate children as quickly and safely as possible, without causing panic to children.
  • Form a single file and go directly to assembly point/conduct a roll call.
  • Fire extinguishers checked professionally, check yearly.
  • No smoking allowed on the premises.
  • Evacuation drill held monthly.

Accident and Incidents:

  • Our policy is that the playschool shall take all reasonable measures to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of children attending the service by ensuring compliance with the following procedures.
  • Radiators and pipes will be covered where necessary.
  • All toys will be suitable for the relevant age group.
  • Any accidents or incidents will be recorded and notified to the parent.
  • Our premises will be inspected by Tusla on a continuous basis.
  • We have a Health & Safety Statement and we carry out regular risk assessments both indoors and outdoors.
  • · Procedure to be followed in the event of an accident or incident:

In the case of a minor accident or incident:

The child or children will be attended to immediately and a staff member will alert Manager or First Aid Officer to access treatment if and as necessary. If it is a minor incident the staff member will reassure the child and administer First Aid (if required) as per First Aid Training.  An incident report will be recorded in the Accident & Incident Book, counter signed by the Manager and shared with the child’s parents on arrival.  A copy of the incident will be kept on the child’s individual file as well as in the Accident & Incident Book.

In the case of an accident which requires medical intervention the following procedure is in place:

The manager and or First Aid Officer will be informed immediately. Treatment will be assessed, while the child/children are comforted and attended to.

The Manager/First Aid Officer will telephone the local doctor on call or an ambulance.  The Manager/First Aid Officer will provide the emergency services with the child’s name, contact numbers and any known allergies/ medical records.  The Manager will contact the child’s parents/ guardians by telephone.  The exact time and date the call was made will be recorded. Two members of staff will accompany the child to the GP/emergency room if the parents are not available. The child’s record card must be brought for reference. Remaining staff will reassure the other children and if necessary explain the accident to other parents. Staff who witnessed the accident should fill in the accident report form.

If the accident does not warrant outside intervention:

The First Aid Officer will treat the injury and she and the person who witnessed the accident will complete an accident form. This will be read and signed by the manager and signed by the child’s parent/guardian. The accident report form is kept in the child’s file and stored until the child is 21 years.  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/ telephoned in advance.

Reporting & Record Keeping

All Accidents (minor or major) and Incidents will be recorded in the Accident & Incident Book, counter signed by the Manager or First Aid Officer, shared with parents and signed and a copy kept

on the child’s individual file, as well as in the Accident & Incident Book and stored on the premises until the child reaches the age of 21.  All accidents must be reported to the insurance company at the time of the accident.  All accidents & incidents will be reviewed in line with our Health & Safety Policy.  Following an accident/incident a risk assessment is taken as soon as possible.

Safety

  • Parents are responsible for making suitable arrangements for taking their children to and from the playschool.
  • Children should at all times while on our premises be under supervision of a responsible adult, in no circumstances should a child be allowed to go home or leave the premises except in the care of a parent or person who has been named in advance by the parent of the child.

Hygiene Policy

  • Cleaning is of paramount importance in preventing the spread of infection in the playschool.
  • It is our policy that the premises in which we hold our services should be clean, bright and attractive with adequate natural light and ventilation.
  • There is a toilet provided.
  • Routine checks to ensure that toilet is clean, and floor is dry.
  • All equipment must be cleaned, safe and in working order.
  • All waste is disposed of promptly and hygienically and refuse should not be accessible to children.
  • Disposable latex gloves are provided for staff when dealing with blood and vomit.

Health & Infectious Disease Policy:

  • Precautions should be taken when caring for a group of children to prevent spreading infection, e.g. hot water, hand wash and paper towels always available.
  • Children are encouraged to wash their hands under supervision after visiting the toilet, before eating, and after playing outside.
  • Children who show signs of illness should not attend playschool.
  • Children and staff who have a contagious/infectious disease (e.g. chickenpox, measles, mumps, vomiting bug, etc.) are requested to stay at home.
  • When a child/ staff member is diagnosed with an infection, the HSE guidelines for exclusion will be followed.
  • In the case of notified diseases or if the illness spreads the manager will notify Tusla and the HSE Public Health Department.
  • The playgroup leader will inform all parents when a case of any infectious disease has occurred in playschool whilst maintaining confidentiality.
  • Children who are taking antibiotics must not come into the Playschool until at least 24 hours has passed after their final dose.
  • If a child becomes unwell while in the playschool the parent/guardian will be contacted.
  • If parents are concerned about any aspect of their child’s health they should contact a doctor.
  • Daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules are in place and records kept.
  • Our premises are free from pests and rodents and the school have a contract with an external agent who checks the premises on a monthly basis.
  • All staff receive regular support & supervision in relation to infection control and training is provided.
  • Our setting carries and maintains a good stock of cleaning products and tools to ensure that hygiene practices can be carried out at all times.
  • We provide information leaflets on immunisation schedules, oral hygiene and prevention of infection.

Sun Protection

  • It is our policy to ensure that children are protected from the harmful rays of the sun while they are on the premises of the service or undertaking any outdoor activities.
  • Parents must provide sun hats and sunscreen of SPF 30+ for sunny days.
  • Information on any allergies to sunscreen must be included in your registration form.

Administration of Medication

It is the policy of the playschool not to administer any medication to any child.

However, if a child has specific medical requirements, medicine can be administered with prior agreement and training provided to the playschool staff by the parent/guardian.

Our childcare service is further committed to:

storing medication safely and appropriately

Implementing a procedure to ensure that the right child receives the right medication, dosage, route and timing by authorised staff.

Documenting the administration of medication accurately.

Medication will never be administered without written permission from parent/guardian.

Written permission will be obtained from parent/guardian on enrolment especially in relation to the administration of medication, in the event of a high temperature or an emergency in the future.

Where a child has a chronic condition which requires daily medication the written permission and a written care and administration plan will be obtained on enrolment and be reviewed regularly.

Parents will also be requested to notify the service if their emergency contact details change.

Staff will be trained in the administration of specific medication in the case of severe allergic reactions by a child in their care.

 

Allergies/Medical History:

Upon enrolment, the service will obtain written confirmation from the parent/guardian of all of the child’s allergies, including an allergy to any medications such as Calpol or Nurofen.  Written confirmation from the parent/guardian of the child’s medical conditions/medical history must also be provided.

Procedure to be followed should medication be required:

‘The “Five Rights” of Medication Administration:

The “Five Rights” is a procedure which will be followed before the administration of medication.

It is set out as follows; “Right medication, right child, right dosage, right form, right time”.

Parents/guardians will complete and sign a medication form for the days which the medication is needed

Only staff members authorised by the Manager are to manage and administer medication The member of staff authorised to administer medicines should check the:

a. Recipient’s name

b. Prescribed dose

c. Expiry date

d. Written instructions provided by the prescriber on the label/container as dispensed by the pharmacist

A second authorised staff member will check the medication and dosage and sign if it is correct prior to any medication being administered to a child

Medications are accepted for use only when they are within their expiration period. These must be labelled with the child’s name and in their original container

Parents/carers will always be notified by telephone in every instance when medication is used. A record of the time, date of exact call to parents will be recorded.

Non-prescription medications will be given according to the manufacturers’ instructions unless a health care professional provides written instructions otherwise.

If there is any doubt about any of the procedures, the member of staff will check with parents/guardians or a health professional before taking further action.

Staff involved will keep records each time they administer medication.

 

Procedure for the Storage of Medications:

All medications brought into our childcare setting should have child-proof caps and will be stored:

a. At the proper temperature (according to the label)

b. Away from food

c. Out of the reach of children

Medications requiring refrigeration will be clearly marked and separated from food in an airtight container marked ‘Medications’.

Inhalers will be stored in a manner that allows them to be accessed quickly in case of emergency, they will be labelled with the child’s name.

 

Analgesic (pain relief) and anti-febrile (temperature reducing) medication:

Our service will have a medicine cabinet, locked and out of reach of children and accessible by authorised staff only with a supply of analgesic and anti-febrile medication (Calpol/Nurofen for Children) in liquid suspension form, in child-proof containers and with the appropriate measuring devices.

The date the medication is opened will be clearly labelled on the container.

Medications with illegible labels or medications which are over 6 months old will be discarded.

Parents will always be contacted by telephone before these medications are administered, to ensure that the correct time frame is adhered to between doses.

Before a member of staff administers medication.

The manager will ensure that all identified staff members receive appropriate training and they must not administer medicines until training has been received. A record of the training will be made. Staff members will receive guidance about the purpose, expected response and possible side effects of medications they are expected to administer. They will also receive training on the proper use of equipment such as inhalers, nebulizer and epi-pens etc.

Procedure to be followed for documenting the administration of medication

The authorised person giving the medication will ensure that they document the medication times and dosage precisely and have the process witnessed and signed by another authorised member of staff.  Any administration of medication will be documented in a record book and signed by parents/carers.

A record will also be kept of the date and time the parent was contacted before the administration of medication in the case of anti-febrile or pain relieving medicines.

Comments & Complaints

  • We welcome children and parents’ views in the development of the service.
  • It is our policy to give careful attention and a prompt and courteous response to any suggestion, comment or complaint.
  • A comment can be made verbally or in writing to the Playschool Leader or to the chairperson of the Playschool committee for action.
  • If you wish to make a complaint please contact the Playschool Leader or the chairperson of the Playschool committee to discuss and hopefully, resolve the matter.
  • Should you feel that the matter is unresolved then the complaint must be put in writing to the Playschool Leader or the chairperson of the Playschool committee. The complaint will be dealt with by the Playschool committee and the complainant facilitated with a meeting within one month.
  • An agreed written record of the meeting will be kept and if necessary a formal letter of the outcome issued within a reasonable period.
    Complaints involving the welfare of a child must be made known to the relevant HSE personnel and the chairperson of the Playschool committee.
  • Confidentiality is of the utmost importance when dealing with complaints and comments.
Data Protection

 

· Galbally Community Playschool strives to comply with applicable laws and regulations related to Personal Data protection in Ireland.

· Our full data protection policy outlines the principles by which Galbally Community Playschool handles personal data of parents, children, suppliers, employees and other individuals who are involved with the service.

· This policy indicates the responsibilities of its employees, contractors, volunteers and students while processing personal data.

· The full data protection policy is available to view in Galbally Community Playschool.

 

Internet, Photographic/Recording Devices and Social Media Policy

Galbally Community Playschool is committed to ensuring the appropriate use of internet within the service and to setting out clear guidelines regarding the photographing and recording of children.  This policy is underwritten by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.

 

Email and Internet Usage

The internet will not be accessed by children unless under the supervision of service educators for the purpose of educational research or learning opportunities.   The email system and internet must only be used by staff for business purposes.

Facebook Service Website

· Administration: The social media site is set up with a maximum of 2 administrators to approve and monitor activity on the social media site.  All inappropriate posts are removed from the social media site and the user will be reported and blocked from the site.

· Communication:  The service does not use the social media site as a replacement of already established communication methods with parents.  The social media site is a tool used for updates and sharing relevant information with parents. The social media site is an extension of the early childhood services form of communication; it is not used for personal communication for staff, committee or parents.

· Images:  All images or videos will only be kept on the site for a maximum of 2 years; a review will be completed each year to remove old images or videos past the     expiry date. The service will only post photographs on their Facebook page where the child’s face will be covered and only with the signed permission of the child’s parents included on the service registration form.

 

 

Staff: When commenting either on blogs or in public forums, staff must be mindful of their association to the service and their obligation to be responsible and positive in their portrayal of the service.  Staff are not to divulge or discuss any confidential or personal information obtained while employed or associated with the service.

 

Parents: Parents/guardians have a right to refuse or to withdraw permission at any time.  The use of any photographic or recording by parents or visitors must be with the consent of the designated person in charge. Parents/guardians must be aware of their responsibilities around the taking of group photos and are asked not to post group photos to social media.