Our Policies

  • Our ethos at this centre is to provide a warm, caring atmosphere where children can learn, develop and grow.
  • We hope to develop a sense of trust and partnership between parents, children and the caregivers that may evolve through being able to communicate various needs and knowing that these needs will be respected. It is important to develop a consistency between child care practices at home and those at our Centre to enhance the children’s general feeling of security within themselves and to develop strong relationships with the adults in our Centre.
  • The growth and development of each child is monitored closely in our Service. Guidance and support, provided through our programming, attempt to foster the total development of the children at their own rate. We aim to guide your children in  becoming an effective learner through creating an environment that is challenging and stimulating. Generally, our aim is to assist your children to develop all the skills necessary now and in later years. Children learn through play, and the daily program includes creative experiences such as painting, collage, music, stories and language combined with free-play both indoors and outdoors, which encourages the social, physical and thinking skills.

At Blath Beag Crèche and Preschool, we are committed to providing excellent standards of care for the holistic development of your child. Our mission statement is to prepare and provide the most natural and life enhancing environment for the child, observing the children and continually adapting the environment to support the fulfilment of the child’s greatest potential – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We aim to provide a safe, warm, stimulating age appropriate environment, where all children are encouraged to learn grow and actively explore.

We strive to provide a happy, secure and caring environment, for the purpose of inner development and learning.

The purpose of Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool is to provide quality, affordable early education to junior preschool and preschool aged children in the local community. It’s a private service and is classified as a full-day care & sessional service under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. It is open for 51 weeks per year. We can cater for a max of 37 children at any one time. We operate a ratio of 1:6/1:8 /1:11 age dependant.

Setting Details

Name of SettingBlath Beag Creche & Preschool
Address21 Abhainn na Ri, Oranmore, Co. Galway
Registered ProviderAoife O’Driscoll
Person in ChargeKrisztina Farago
Deputy person in ChargeFiona Jennings
Contact Telephone Number091-788385
Email addressblathbeagcreche@gamil.com

 

Description of Setting

Type of SettingFull & Part Time Day Care, Sessional Preschool.
Who the service is aimed atPrivate service
Age Range of children attending the service2- 6
Curriculum/Programme being followedPlay based
Number of weeks open51
Opening hours7.30-6.00

 

Number of children & staff

Full Daycare/Part time day
care
Number of ChildrenAdult child ratio
2-3 years01:6
3-6 years131:11
Sessional pre-school  
2.5-3 years151:11
3.5-5 years221:11
School Aged Children241:12
Total Number of childrenVarying 
Total Number of staff6 

 

Here at Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool, we cater for your little flowers ranging from 2 years to school going age. Below are the services we provide in our crèche. We are open from bright and early in the morning at 7.30am until 6pm all year round. Our crèche caters for up to 37 children.

  • Full Day Care for children aged 2 years +
  • Full days/ Half days / Hours available
  • Sessional spaces available.

Admission will be on a first come first serve basis. Awaiting list will be formed for each room and session; therefore parents need to inform us if their child needs a space in each room so that we can insure availability. A completed registration form is required before admission and several visits are recommended just to familiarize them with the building, staff and other children. A deposit may be required. This will be a week’s fee which will be returned on the Childs last day in the service. Our policy is to have an open door to all parents so that you can visit at anytime either to see your child or talk to a staff member if you have any concerns.

Our relationships with parents are just as important as our relationship with the children therefore we would welcome any feedback that you may have.

  • Fees are payable weekly or monthly in advance by standing order. Please speak to Aoife about which option suits you best.
  • Fees are payable for 52 weeks of the year
  • The service is closed for Christmas time. Fees are payable for this time.
  • There is a 10% discount for 2 or more children in full day care.
  • A deposit of two weeks fees is required to book your Child’s space in the crèche. If you book a space and then change your mind you forfeit your deposit.
  • We are closed for bank holidays. Fees are still payable.
  • Fees will be reviewed annually in September.
  • If you book a space for your child and they do not attend for whatever reason (sickness, holidays etc) the space must still be paid for.
  • Two weeks notice for leaving the service must be given. If you do not give two weeks notice you forfeit your deposit.
 Before any Deduction
Full day care (5hours+)€845
Part time (5 hours)€624
Sessional (3 hours)€520
Daily rate€45
Hourly€7

 

*****None of the above includes ECCE, NCS or CCSP deduction or 10% discount for 2
children families. *****

  • If your child/children are sick or unwell or asked to isolate due to Covid 19 related illness, fees apply as normal in line with our fee and illness policy.
  • If your child’s pod or service is closed, fees apply as normal as we are directed to close by the Health Service Executive
  • If there is a National Lockdown fees are no longer payable for the period of time in which the service is closed, again if you have paid fees in advance you will be given credit for the remaining amount.

We recommend that parents follow a settling in procedure before your child starts with us at the crèche. The settling of a parent and child into nursery life is a very important process. Both the parents and the child should be given time to settle into the new environment. The number of settling in sessions will depend on you and your child’s needs. Some children may take longer to settle into a new environment than others. We will arrange 3 sessions lasting 1-2 hours each and after the last session discuss further your child’s needs. At the third visit we will encourage you to leave your child with their room worker for a short time. Parents are welcome to come and chat with the manager during this time, so you are still close by if your child needs you. Ideally one of the visits should be timed to allow the child to experience lunch with us, and a sleep at rest time if they still do so. At the start of your settling in session you should spend some time with the manager or deputy manager, to discuss your child’s care plan and any other relevant paper work that needs completing. You and your child will be introduced to all staff in yourchild’s nursery. It is most important that you provide us with as much information about your child as you can, favorite stories, comforts they may have, familiar people – grand parents or siblings for example. Comfort blankets or toys that they are fond of are important to bring as they may provide a little security during the settling in period.

Note: Due to Covid 19 restrictions parents are not currently permitted to enter the building to settle in their child- we appreciate how difficult this is for parents and will try our very best to keep parents updated on their child’s settling in period through phone & email, we are very hopeful that this will be for a short term period only.

Full day care 2-3 years 1 Adult: 6 children
Full day care 3-6 years 1 Adult: 8 children
Sessional service 2.5 – 6years 1 Adult: 10 children

Certain symptoms in children may suggest a presence of a communicable virus. All parents/guardians are asked to notify the Nursery where exposure has taken place.

  • Fever – a temperature over 98.6 degrees, especially if accompanied by vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck or undiagnosed rash.
  • Diarrhea – any abnormally loose stools in the previous 48 hours.
  • Vomiting – any episodes of vomiting within the previous 48 hours.
  • Eye/nose – thick mucus or pus draining from the eye or nose.
  • Sore throat – especially when fever or swollen glands in the neck are present.
  • Skin problems – rash, undiagnosed or contagious. Infected sores with crusty yellow or green drainage that are not covered.
  • Itching – persistent itching of body or scalp.
  • Hair lice – must be reported.
  • Vaccinations – must be reported.

 

Children or Staff who have any of the above symptoms should not come into the Crèche until:

  1. Your doctor has certified that the symptoms are not associated with an infection, and/or they are no longer in danger of infecting other children or staff.
  2. The symptoms have fully subsided;It is the policy of Blath Beag Crèche not to accept children into the crèche who appear to be“under the weather”. We have a responsibility to other parents and children and we cannot allow sick children to circulate with healthy children, it would be unfair to the sick child and to other children. Should your child become sick or have a temperature during the day, it is the policy of the crèche to immediately call the parents or guardians to discuss what action is to be taken. We would ask parents to regularly check their children for Head Lice and notify us if necessary.Other parents appreciate knowing if head lice are about, so that they can check their children or “pre-dose” their own family. If there has been case of any contagious illness other parents will be informed by way of notice in the entrance hall of the crèche.

 

Note: Due to Coronavirus any child who is unwell with fever, cold, influenza or respiratory symptoms of any kind or displaying any symptoms of coronavirus, needs to stay at home, contact their GP and seek their guidance on referral for coronavirus testing. Please see the HSE website for further information- www.hse.ie

  • Any child with symptoms of coronavirus or who tests positive should quarantine at home for 14 days and only return to the service when the symptoms have fully resolved and with a doctor’s certificate stating that the child is no longer infectious. Please see further details in our Covid 19 parental pack and on the HSE website -www.hse.ie
  • If your child is unwell in any way, they must be clear of all symptoms for at least 48 hours before returning to creche.
  • If your child has been out of the service with Coronavirus related symptoms for more than 48 hours, please fill out the Covid 19 Return to Childcare Questionnaire. You can find the form in your Covid 19 parental pack or at the end of this policy & pocedure document.

Policy statement

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool has a duty of care to ensure that all children are provided with a high level of protection during the hours of the service’s operation. The service’s Medication Policy reflects the following principles:

  • Safe principles and practices to administer medication;
  • Hygiene practices
  • An acute attention to detail
  • The maintenance of accurate records
  • Up to date professional development knowledge of administering techniques;
  • First aid qualifications
  • Legislative requirements
  • Recommended advice and practices from a medical source
  • Open communication between childcare staff, families and children
  • The accountability of childcare staff when administering medication.

 

A childcare staff member will administer medication based on the following principles:

  • The right child
  • The right medication
  • The right dose
  • The right method
  • The right date and time

 

Medication can only be administered when the service’s consent form has been completed and signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian.

  • In this service, medication is administered to a child by Aoife O’Driscoll, Tara McPhilbin, Catherina Melia or the educator in the childs room or in some cases, with parental or guardian consent, medication can be self-administered by a school age child.When medication is being self-administered, children are supervised by childcare staff.
  • The service will endeavour to ensure that childcare staff are witnessed by another person when administering medication to children.
  • It is understood by childcare staff, children and families that there is a shared responsibility between the service and other stakeholders that the Medication Policy and procedures are accepted as a high priority.

 

‘Parent’ also refers to carers/guardians

 

Statement of Intent

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool we will safeguard and maintain the well-being of all children within the service. Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool works in partnership with parents and children’s health care professionals to ensure that the appropriate procedure is followed to administer medication safely to a child at the service. All prescribed medication will be administered by authorised staff members only and all medication administered will be recorded according to the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (N0 2) Regulations 2016 and Explanatory Guide to Requirements and Procedures for Notification and Inspection, Part II Regulation 7(b) Medical Assistance set out the requirement to have a protocol/procedure in place for the Administration of Medication in a service. The National Standards for Pre School Services, Standard 12.4 requires that a policy and procedures are in place for the administration of medication both prescribed and non-prescribed.

 

Anti- Febrile Agent -Temperature Reducing Medication

The service will only administer Calpol (paracetamol) if a child becomes unwell, and has high temperature of over 38°C. A medicine request form giving prior written permission for staff to administer temperature reducing medication must be completed by the parent. If a child has a high temperature the parent will be contacted before staff administers the temperature reducing medication and they will be asked pick up his/her child.

 

Other ways to reduce temperatures

  • Place a cool, damp washcloth on the child’s forehead while she rests.
  • Give the child a lukewarm tub bath or a sponge bath. As the water evaporates from her skin, it will cool her and bring her temperature down. Don’t use cold water. It can make her shiver and cause her body temperature to rise.
  • Offer the child plenty of fluids and chilled foods, such as ice pops and yogurt, to help cool the body from the inside out and keep her hydrated.
  • Use a fan. Again, you don’t want the child to be chilled. Keep the fan at a low setting and have it circulate the air around her rather than blow directly on her.
  • Remove layers of clothing so the child can lose heat more easily through her skin. Dress her in one light layer. If she’s shivering, give her a light blanket until she’s warm again.
  • Stay indoors in a cool place. Or, if you’re outside, stay in the shade

 

Call the doctor right away if your child is younger than 3 months old and has a fever. For a baby 3 to 5 months old, call the doctor if her temperature reaches 101 degrees or higher. Once she’s 6 months old, call if her fever reaches 102 degrees or more.

No matter your child’s age, call the doctor if she has a fever along with other serious symptoms, like difficulty breathing or purple spots on her skin. These can be a sign of a serious bacterial infection.

 

Health Care Plan

If a child has prescribed medication for a medical need such as asthma or eczema the manager will develop a health care plan in partnership with the parents and health professionals involved with the care of the child. Health care plans will be developed prior to the child starting the service. If necessary staff will attend training prior to the child starting the service to ensure, that staff meet the needs of the child’s health care appropriately and provide the level of support that is required. Every individual health plan will be jointly reviewed with staff, parents and when needed health professionals involved with the child every three months.

 

Parents responsibilities

Prior to a child starting the service the parent must complete a child’s profile form. Parents must detail if their child has medical condition, emergency contact numbers, child’s doctors details, information on allergies and special dietary needs. Parents must keep the service up to date on their child’s medical needs

 

Staff responsibilities

Staff administering medicine must :

  • Get parents to complete and sign an administration of medicine form.
  • Check medicine clearly so it shows the children’s name, prescribed dose, date and expiry date.
  • Have evidence of the time the lasted dose was given.
  • Adhere to health and safety procedures for example,
  • Wash hands before and after administering medicine.
  • Have a staff member present to witness the medicine being administered and counter sign.

 

Storage and disposal of medication

The service should ensure that medication is stored and disposed of, in a safe way. Services should consider the following :

  • The service will have a lockable cupboard, out of reach from children, where medication can be stored.
  • Self-administered medications are also stored in a locked cupboard. The person in charge will have the key on her/him.
  • If medication needs to be refrigerated, the fridge has a lock, to prevent children accessing the medication.
  • Unused medication is returned to the parent to dispose of in a suitable manner, for example return unused medicines to the pharmacy.
  • When medication is handed over to the service, ensure it has the child’s name on it.
  • For non-prescribed medication, make sure it is labelled and in its original packaging.

 

Sun cream application

The service is going to manage the application of sunscreen to children. Each child will have their own sun protection creams and hats and t-shirts will be worn for outdoor play activities. Document the time and frequency of application of sunscreen. Parental consent obtained for the application of sunscreen not supplied by parents?

 

Bumps and Bruises

All possible care is taken to ensure your child’s safety, however we would ask parents to appreciate that there will be the occasional bump or bruise as there would be at home. Wewill notify parents of incidences as soon as possible by phone call, followed by an accident repot form and a further discussion at pick up time.

 

Emergencies

Should an emergency arise, parents will be contacted immediately. One to one attention to the child will be maintained until the arrival of parents. Our Security Policy and Procedures:

  • The purpose of this policy is to ensure the children’s safety at all times.
  • Parents are asked to adhere to our policy and procedures at all times.
  • Main security doors should be kept shut and locked at all times.
  • Parents must sign their child in and out when bringing their child to nursery and collecting. This is so we have a record of who is in the nursery in case of an evacuation.

 

Fire Evacuation Procedure

  • The evacuation signal is a continuous Siren of the fire alarm.
  • In the event of an emergency evacuation, children will be taken from the building by staff to the assembly point to await clearance for the safe return to the nursery.
  • All staff are fully aware of emergency call points and are familiar with locations of the various types of fire equipment and their purposes.
  • If possible, on discovering a fire, staff will use the nearest emergency call point to raise the alarm whilst taking care not to endanger either themselves or the children in their care.
  • The member of staff raising the alarm will telephone the fire brigade, giving full details of the nursery.
  • The Manager/Deputy Manager/Supervisor will be responsible for collecting the children’s emergency contact box, children’s register and the phone.
  • The Assembly point will be out the front of the building.
  • All play rooms have two exits to ensure a safe escape at all times.
  • All staff will bring out the register for their room.
  • Fire drills will be done once a month so both children and staff are familiar with the procedure.

Note: Fire evacuation should be carried out per room rather than the entire building during the period of Covid-19.

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool we are committed to safeguarding the well-being of all the children and young people with whom our staff come into contact. We aim to provide an environment in which children and young people will feel safe, secure and cared for. Our policy on child protection is in accordance with Children First Act 2015 and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool certain procedures are to be followed when a mandated

person has a concern regarding the health and safety of a child in their care, where they may suspect some form of child abuse is taking place including within the workplace. This could be in the form of Physical Abuse, Neglect, Sexual Abuse or Emotional Abuse. (As defined in Children First Act 2015). Under the Children First Act 2015 and Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, 2017, mandated persons are people who have contact with children and/or families and who, because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm. Mandated persons include professionals working with children in the education, health, justice, youth and childcare sectors.


 

Procedure:

  • Any sign of a mark or injury to a child when they come into crèche will be recorded.

  • We ask parents to inform us of all accidents that happen at home.

  • If there appears to be any queries regarding the injury of a child, the Designated Child Protection Officer within the Crèche will be notified, either Aoife O’Driscoll or Tara McPhilbin.

  • Where Aoife, Tara or any member of staff has been informed of a serious incident/ have been told that there is a risk of significant harm to a child they are obliged as mandated persons to contact the Local Duty Social Worker on 091-548317 for further advice and guidance. On this advice the mandated person may then wish to make an official mandated report to the Social work department at Tusla by completing the Standard Report Form, copies of which are held in the Manager’s Office.

 

Reporting Procedure:

As a mandated person, under the legislation you are required to report any knowledge, belief or reasonable suspicion that a child has been harmed, is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed. The act defines harm as assault, ill-treatment, neglect or sexual abuse, and covers single and multiple instances. (Children First; National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children.) For concerns in relation to abuse of children/young people by people employed or volunteering with this organisation the following procedure will also be followed in relation to the protection of the child. However, in addition, the ‘allegations’ against staff and volunteers procedure’ will also be followed in respect of the rights of the staff member or volunteer.

 

The employee/Volunteer/Student etc.

  1. (as appropriate to the organisation) -will inform the designated liaison person

  2. The Designated Liaison person: Aoife O’Driscoll/TaraMcPhilbin/KrisztinaFarago -will consider and record the concern. -They may ring the duty social worker for informal advice, i.e. discussing their concerns without identifying the child or family. However, after discussion with the duty social worker and when advised to do so; 

  3. Together as mandated persons they will make a formal joint report on the standard reporting form and forward it to the Social Work Department at Tusla; The Child and Family Agency. The local number for the Duty Social Worker is 091-548317.

Policy:

Under the Children First Act 2015 & the Children First; National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, a list of mandated persons within the service must be maintained.

Procedure:

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool, all staff are given information about their responsibilities as a mandated person under the Children First Guidelines. Staff are encouraged to complete the Tusla E- earning online course and to attend Children First Training. A list of mandated persons is available to view by all staff and parents as it’s displayed on theinformation wall within the crèche.

It is our policy to keep confidential all personal information about the children, families, staff and volunteers involved in our service. Personal information about the families in relation to child protection concerns will be shared on a need to know basis in line with our child protection policy.

Parents will have access to records kept in the service, but only in relation to their own child. All new staff and volunteers will be informed of the service’s confidentiality policy and procedures as part of their induction programme.

Information held in the service in relation to child protection concerns will be stored in a separate locked drawer and will be shared only on a need to know basis in line with child protection policy.

We are committed to working in partnership with parents/careers, therefore it is our policy to inform you of any concerns we may have, and of any referrals or advice sought from the Child Protection Team within the Health Service Executive.

Good Practice

  • We will ensure that staffs are not left alone with children for any length of time.
  • Children will be under the supervision of more than one adult.
  • All Staff shall be Garda vetted, prior to commencing employment.
  • Elected staff will attend Child Protection training. This will be updated every two years to allow us to update our policy.
  • Aoife O’Driscoll and Tara McPhilbin are our designated Child Protection Officers.

Blath Beag’s procedures for the assessment of Special Educational Needs is developed and adapted to meet the specific needs of children in our nursery.

We recognize that the knowledge, views and experiences of parents/careers are vital and that effective assessment and provision will be secured where childcare staff works in close partnership with them.All children who attend the nursery with Special Educational Needs will be offered access to the full range of activities. These activities will be appropriate to the age and the skills of that child taking into account the child’s culture and individual needs. They will also link in to the foundation stage of the national curriculum, depending on the age of your child.

Each child will have a record, kept in our Special Educational Needs file in the office. This is confidential but is accessible to parents. This record will include:

  • Reports of the child’s progress.
  • Behaviour Observations.
  • Any problems and how they are overcome.
  • Areas of strengths and weakness.
  • An undated profile of the child.
  • Any copies of Individual Educational Plans (IEP’S).
  • A register of all children.

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool firmly believes in a positive approach to managing behaviour. We aim to actively encourage children to be helpful, polite, caring and understanding to each other, and the adults in their environment. Children must be encouraged to recognize that bullying, fighting, biting, hurting and racist comments are not acceptable behaviour.

Staff must adhere to the following points:

  • Never use any form of physical punishment or restraint.

  • Staff should use a gentle calm tone, especially when dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

  • Training will be offered to all members of the staff team at staff meetings and on training days.

  • Staff must demonstrate a good standard of behaviour at all times as they represent role models to you.

Following are some of the behaviour management strategies we use:

  • Distract the child. If a child repeatedly takes a toy from another child ask him or her if they will come and help with another task. This will take both parties out of the negative situation. This strategy may not work with older children.

  • Redirect a situation where tension is building up.

  • We cannot “force” a child to share. If a child is playing with something another childwants we encourage the second child to ask the first child can they play with it “after”.

  • We never “force” a child to apologize. An apology is meaningless unless it is internally motivated.

  • Encourage children to sort out their own differences without running to an adult – this is a valuable tool and will stay with them all their lives.

  • Adults never take sides, judge or assign blame – even if we know exactly what has happened. We are always independent. Encourage both sides to explain what happened and give the children time to work out a compromise.

  • If an older child is aware that a particular behaviour is unacceptable and yet they persist they must be presented with options and consequences. E.g. “If you smack Peter with the doll I will have to put the dolls on the top shelf until after lunch. But if you don’t hit Peter with the dolls anymore you can play with the dolls now. Which would you like to do?” This is quite complicated to a small child and believe it or not, they may have to think about it for a few minutes! And remember, hold to what you say.

  • Monitor and change the child’s environment regularly – often fights or arguments break out because the children are bored or frustrated – activities are too easy or too difficult for them.

  • Try to ignore negative behaviour as much as possible and focus on positive behaviour. For example, if Billy will not put his books away after himself, leave the books there and praise Bobby, for putting his books away. Billy will want some of that praise!

  • Monitor where and when arguments break out. Maybe there is a problem with that particular area and it may need to be rearranged. Maybe children are hungry or tired at that time and lunch or nap time may need to be changed.

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool we recognise and respect the rights of all adults and children in our service. We value the ability, individuality and cultural background of all children by providing each child with the opportunities they need to reach their full potential as active learners within an inclusive culture. We aim to actively promote equality of access and participation and eliminate discrimination on grounds of, gender, ethnicity, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the TravellingCommunity. We ensure that individuals are recruited, selected, trained and promoted on the basis of their own skills. By doing this we will ensure that everybody will be treated equally on the grounds of gender, ethnic origin, race, colour, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, age or disability. This policy represents the agreed principles and commitment for inclusion, in line with Early Childhood Care and Education National Inclusion Charter.

Procedure:

  • All children attending Blath Beag are supported to:

  • Feel secure and know that their contributions are valued

  • Know they belong and are valued as unique individuals

  • Feel strong and confident about their identity

  • Know their cultural backgrounds are respected and valued and to celebrate cultural festivals which are relevant to them.

  • Learn in groups that allow them all to experience success

  • Engage with materials and experiences that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds i.e. gender and ability books, musical instruments, baking activities, crafts, dress-up, home corner, multicultural dolls, games, and other props. Families attending the service are supported to;

  • Consult with the service about the care of each child to minimise conflict between the service’s philosophy and family values.

  • Access information about the service and the policies and procedures by translating information into their home language if necessary.

  • Participate in the service’s programme and to introduce their culture’s food, art, music, language, celebrations and dress to the other children in the service as much as possible.

Early years educators will promote equality, diversity and inclusion by;

  • Removing assumptions, judgements and expectations about the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of all families and the team.

  • Regarding all individuals equally, showing sensitivity and providing equal opportunities for all children of all background.

  • Actively intervene in situations when bias is shown and encourage children to challenge bias.

  • Demonstrating positive attitudes when making changes to accommodate all children.

  • Work as a team with parents and other professionals to develop, carry out and review plans for

  • children with additional support needs.

  • Adhering to the National Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter.

Dealing with Discriminatory Incidents:

  • The first step in handling incidents involving discrimination is to recognise and acknowledge what is happening.
  • Staff will endeavour to determine the real reason for incidents involving exclusion or conflict. It may not be a discriminatory incident, so staff will be careful not to make assumptions.
  • Some issues may be brought into the early childhood service by the child, arising from comments made by adults outside the service. Staff will recognise when it is an adult issue, and identify appropriate actions for addressing the issue with the child’s parents or guardians.
  • An incident should be considered from the perspective of all individuals involved as well those who witnessed it. Appropriate actions need to be taken, at circle time or in group discussions, in order to address incidents witnessed by children who were not involved. This does not mean singling children out in the group.
  • By showing empathy and expressing our feelings, we help children to express their feelings.

The Inclusion co-ordinator within our service are;

Aoife O’Driscoll & Fiona Jennings

During toilet training the child needs to be dressed in “user friendly” clothing as much as possible. The best items are pants with elastic waists; these allow the child to reach the toilet on time and allows the child to pull his/her pants up and down. Comfortable clothes are best for play or a tracksuit is ideal; please do not let your child wear tight jeans or belts/braces; as these are awkward at toilet time. Outdoor play is a major feature of the curriculum throughout the year so warm clothing, rain wear and ‘Wellie’ boots are essential every day in winter.

A ‘safe sleep’ policy is in place at this service, which facilitates each child’s individual need for sleep/rest. While parents are consulted on their child’s sleep routines, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow recommended safe practice.

All staff and emergency assistants receive induction on sleep policy. All childcare workers will follow our Safe Sleep Recommendations which are guided by First Light.

All staff will also be trained in:

  • a step-by-step guide to resuscitation of a child who is not breathing

  • guidelines on what to do in the event of a cot death

Parents are also encouraged to be involved in meeting the individual needs of their child.

Children under two years of age have access to a standard cot.

Children over two have access to sleep mats/stacking beds.

We have consulted our local fire officer regarding the placement of sleep facilities on our premises.

A separate sleep room of adequate size has been provided for all children under 2 years of age.

This room is in close proximity to the playroom and a viewing panel permits staff to monitor the children.

All under 2’s attending this service have access to their own standard cot, which is of good design; solid and stable.

As the following are not recommended, we do not use:

  • Travel cots/portable cribs (which are intended for occasional use only and the mesh sides are difficult to adequately launder)

  • Pillow, cushion, beanbag or waterbed – their surface is too soft and is associated with a significantly higher risk of cot death

  • Sofa or settee – young toddlers can roll, fall off and sustain an injury• Car seats/buggies – restraining harnesses can slip and cause hanging

  • Duvets or quilts – risk of over-heating

Safe Sleep Practice & Procedures :

  • Baby always put to sleep on back

  • Feet at foot of cot (Feet to Foot)

  • Bedclothes tucked in securely

  • Babies clothes are loose and light

  • 1 child per cot.

  • Bibs, bottles or toys removed

  • No quilts, pillows or cot bumpers – we use cellular blankets

  • Baby’s head never covered

  • Electronic monitor used

  • Visual sleep checks recorded in a sleep log every 10 minutes. This records the time, the baby’s position and who checked.

  • Ventilation – natural/mechanical ventilation achieves 3 air changes per hour.

  • Temperature – the sleep area is maintained between 16°C and 20°C. A wall mounted thermometer monitors the temperature in the room

  • Lighting – lampshades are inverted/lights are fitted with shatterproof diffusers; blinds/curtains control incoming light

  • Safety – no cot is directly adjacent to a heater, curtains or anything that might help the baby to climb out, or near blinds whose cords could cause strangulation

  • Space – At least 1.4m² is allowed per cot, allowing adults unhindered access to each sleeping child. A minimum of 4.2 m² is allowed per baby room, with at least 0.5 m² between the cots.

  • Linen is not shared – separate linen is available for each child and this is laundered weekly or when soiled.

  • Linen changes should be documented.

  • Sofas, beanbags, buggies are not suitable for children to sleep in.

  • No travel cots will be used.

  • All clothing with ties, including coats, hats, scarves, bibs or hoods will be removed before sleeping

  • Toys and stuffed animals will be removed from the crib when the infant is sleeping.

  • Pacifiers will be allowed in infants’ cribs while they sleep.

  • A sleep log will be maintained.

1. Prepare

  • Wash your hands and the child’s hands.

  • Put on a disposable apron.

  • Cover the nappy changing mat with paper towel as required.

  • Bring your supplies (e.g., clean diaper, wipes, nappy cream, gloves, plastic bag for soiled clothing, extra clothes) to nappy area.

  • Put on disposable latex gloves.

  • Place the child on the changing mat, always keep a hand on the child.

 

2. Clean Child

  • Remove clothing and unfasten the nappy. Leave a soiled nappy under the child. Place any soiled clothing in a plastic bag to send home.

  • Clean the child thoroughly with disposable wipes. Always wipe front to back! Be sure to clean all creases and cracks in the child’s skin. Roll up the soiled nappy with the used wipes inside, place in a nappy sac bag and dispose in a lined, covered bin.

 

3. Remove Gloves and apron.

  • Remove gloves by grabbing one glove from the middle and pulling it off, then pulling the cuff of the other glove by sliding your hand inside the cuff and pulling it down toward your fingertips. Turn the second glove inside out over the first glove as you take it off. Avoid touching the glove surface with your bare hands. Dispose of gloves. Remove and dispose your apron. Wipe your hands and dispose of wipe.

 

4. Put on a clean nappy

  • Slide a fresh diaper under the child.

  • Apply nappy cream, if needed, with a tissue or a freshly gloved finger.

  • Fasten the nappy and dress the child.

  • Wipe your hands and dispose of wipe.

  • Return the child to the play area without touching anything else if possible.

 

5. Clean Up

  • Spray the entire surface with disinfectant and wipe thoroughly with paper towel, dispose of paper towel accordingly.

 

6. Wash Your Hands

  • Wash your hands and the child’s hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  • Record the child’s nappy change on the daily record sheet.

Statement of Intent:

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool it is our aim to minimise the spread of infection for staff and Children through the implementation of controls which reduce the transmission and spread of germs. We aim to promote and maintain the health of children and staff through the control of infectious illnesses.

Aims:

  • We aim to control infection by providing on- going infection control training for staff (hand washing, food hygiene, cleaning).

  • Exclusion guidelines as recommended by the Preschool Environmental Health Officer apply in the case of all suspected infectious conditions. These guidelines will be distributed to all parents and staff.

  • Parents will be informed should staff, children or visitors to the centre report the presence of any contagious condition to the centre.

Procedures:

  • Reporting/Recording of illness:

  • A contingency plan is in place should an outbreak of an infectious disease occur. All staff roles and responsibilities regarding reporting procedures are clearly defined.

  • Staff will report any infectious illness to the Pre-school Owner / Manager.

  • The Pre-school Owner / Manager will report an outbreak of any infectious disease to the HSE Preschool Environmental Health Officer and the Public Health Department.

  • The Pre-school provider or manager will record all details of illness reported to them by staff or reported by parents of a child attending the Service. These details will include the name, symptoms, dates and duration of illness

Exclusion from the Service:

  • Children will be excluded from the service based on the timeframes outlined in the Preschool EHO exclusion criteria (see attached).

  • A doctor’s certificate may be required for certain conditions to ensure they are no longer contagious before children return to the service.

  • Children should remain at home if they are suffering from general diarrhoea or vomiting until 48 hours after being symptom free.

Hand Hygiene:

  • Hand washing facilities are always available for children and include hot (not exceeding 43 degrees) and cold water, liquid soap and paper hand towels.

  • Hand washing facilities are available in all toilets, nappy changing areas, kitchens, baby, toddler and pre-school rooms.

  • Children are encouraged and reminded to wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating and after playing outside.

  • Staff must wash their hands;

  1. before preparing or serving food,

  2. before feeding children before eating or drinking

  3. after going to the toilet

  4. after assisting children at the toilet

  5. after nappy changing

  6. after dealing with any body fluids

  7. after cleaning procedures

  8. after caring for sick children

  9. after handling soiled clothing or items

  10. after dealing with waste

  11. after removing disposable gloves and/or aprons.

  • Hand washing technique: Wet hands under hot water (not exceeding 43.0C for children to prevent scalding), apply liquid soap, rub vigorously paying particular attention to palms, backs, wrists, fingernails and fingers and rubbing between each finger and around the thumbs, rinse, dry thoroughly using disposable paper towels and turn off taps using the paper towel.

Toilets and potties:

  • Toilet areas, including toilet handles, doors, toilet seats and wash hand basins are cleaned frequently throughout the day in accordance with the cleaning schedule and immediately if soiled.

  • Potties are emptied into the toilet, cleaned (with hot water and detergent) and disinfected.

  • Each child has their own individual potty.

  • Trainer seats are thoroughly cleaned after each use.

Nappy Changing:

  • Nappy changing is only carried out in the designated nappy changing area.

  • Parents will provide creams or lotions for their child, these will not be shared.• The changing mat and area will be cleaned (with hot water and detergent) and disinfected and dried thoroughly after use.

  • Disposable gloves are worn by staff when changing a nappy.

  • Soiled nappies are placed in an impervious bag which is tied and disposed of in a lidded bin and emptied each day

  • The nappy changing area is cleaned in accordance with the cleaning schedule.

  • Changing mats are regularly checked to ensure the cover is not cracked or torn. Changing mats will be discarded of in such an event

Bodily Fluid Spillage:

  • Spills of blood, vomit, urine or excreta will be cleaned up as quickly as possible. The area will be sectioned off if possible until the spill has been dealt with.

  • Disposable plastic gloves are worn when cleaning up any bodily fluid spillage. Paper towels are used to clean up spillages and placed directly into a plastic bag for disposal.

  • Ordinary household bleach freshly diluted (1 to 10 parts water), is used for cleaning and disinfection of bodily fluid spillages. (This solution should not make contact with skin. If accidental contact does occur, the skin, eyes or mouth should be flushed with cold water.

  • If possible and safe to do so, diluted bleach will be poured directly over the spill, it will then be covered and mopped up with disposable paper towels.

  • Disposable paper towels and gloves are disposed of in a plastic bag and sealed.

  • A supply of bleach and plastic bags are kept together in a secure place in each room in case of such an incident.

Baby Feeding Equipment:

  • Bottles, teats and bottle brushes are washed thoroughly before sterilizing.

  • Feeding equipment is sterilised using a sterilising solution (which is changed daily and mixed according to manufacturers’ instructions) or steam steriliser

Food and Kitchen Hygiene:

  • Staff involved in toileting children or nappy changing are not involved in food handling.

  • Staff will not engage in any aspects of minding children while preparing food.

Cleaning;

  • All areas are cleaned regularly in accordance with a documented cleaning policy and rota. Toilets and hard contact surfaces (playroom tables) be cleaned frequently.

  • All cleaning equipment is kept separate to each area and easily distinguished e.g. colour coded.

  • Playroom tables are cleaned before being used for meal and snack times.

Toys and Equipment

  • Toys and equipment will be cleaned according to the toy cleaning programme and schedule.

  • Toys and equipment will be cleaned with hot water and detergent and disinfectant.

Laundry

  • Linen used for cots and sleep mats are washed after each use.

  • Linen is washed in the hottest washing cycle of the washing machine.

  • Cleaning cloths used in the playrooms, kitchen and sanitary accommodation are washed separately

Pets:

  • Children must wash their hands after playing with pets.

  • Pet’s feeding bowls are not accessible to children.

  • The play area is inspected before use and cleaned of any pet droppings or soil.

  • All pet animals are free of disease and have appropriate health checks.

  • Minded children will never be left alone with a pet.

Outings to farms or zoos

  • Children will wash and dry their hands after contact with animals, animals cages as well as before eating and when leaving the farm/zoo.

  • All meal breaks will be taken in designated areas away from where the animal’s kept.

  • Children will be constantly supervised during their visit to the farm or zoo. The importance of hand washing will be reiterated to the children by staff throughout the visit.

Items to be provided by Parents

Toddlers 1-3 years

  • Change of clothing

  • Rain Coat

  • Wellies

  • Sun Block

  • Sunhat

Pre-school 3-6 years

  • Change of clothing

  • Rain Coat

  • Wellies

  • Sun Block

  • Sunhat

The crèche will provide nappies & wipes.

The Service’s Infection Control Policy has been reviewed in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with HPSC and Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate Guidance and Information on how to plan for re-opening and operating as safely as possible at this time. What is set out below is the additional enhanced procedures and should be read in conjunction with the service’s standard policy.

Covid-19 is a new illness caused by a new coronavirus (SARA-CoV-2) which is spread mainly through tiny droplets scattered from the mouth or nose of a person with the infection. The droplets can be scattered when the infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or laughs. To infect you, it has

to get from an infected person’s nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth.

Anyone can get this illness but to date the evidence is that older people and those in at risk categories are most seriously affected.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Cough – this can be any kind of cough, usually dry but not always

  • Fever – high temperature over 38 degrees Celsius

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Breathing Difficulties

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear. Some cases are asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms, however the individual is still infected with Covid-19.

Children

The current evidence suggests that children seem generally less likely to contract the virus and are not more likely than adults to spread the virus to other people. Children can get this illness but the current evidence is that they have no symptoms or a very mild disease.

Symptoms in children include:

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

How it is transmitted or spread

  • COVID-19 is transmitted in breath, sneeze or cough droplets

  • The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids from an infected person’s nose or mouth coming in contact with your eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Transmission can be directly from person to person, however it is more commonly transmitted indirectly, when you touch surfaces or objects where the virus is present, followed by touching your face, where the virus enters through the mucous membranes

  • Children are not more likely than adults to spread the virus

How to reduce the risk of transmission:

Hand hygiene

We will follow the following protocol in terms of hand washing

We will wash our hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty for 40-60 seconds and in line with the WHO and HSE recommendations

  • The service will promote good hand hygiene techniques in line with HSE and WHO guidelines, and support children to do the same through modelling, signage, activities and games

  • We will ensure an adequate supply of liquid soap, hand gel or rub and disposable or paper towels available throughout the premises including the arrival and outdoor areas. All hand gels and rubs must be kept out of children’s reach.

  • All hand gels for staff, parents or visitors to the Service are alcohol based.

  • All hand gels for use by children are non-alcohol based.

  • We will use liquid soap and warm running water for hand washing and only use hand gels or rubs where running water is not available

  • Hand gel or rub must be applied vigorously over all hand surfaces, for 40-60 seconds, and are only effective if hands are not visibly dirty.

  • If hands are physically dirty, then they need to be washed with liquid soap and warm water and childrenand staff will have to go to the nearest sink or bathroom.

  • Staff and children will be encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, their mouth or nose with their hands

a. How to wash your hands with soap and water (HSE)

  • Wet your hands with warm water and apply soap.

  • Rub your hands together until the soap forms a lather.

  • Rub the top of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails.

  • Do this for about 20 seconds.

  • Rinse your hands under running water.

  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel.

b. Children should wash their hands and be supervised doing so

  • When they arrive at the Service and before they go home

  • Before eating and drinking

  • After a nappy change or using the toilet

  • After playing outside

  • After sneezing or coughing into their hands

  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty

c. Staff should wash their hands

  • When they arrive at the Service and before they go home

  • After coughing and sneezing

  • Before handling food, preparing bottles or feeding children

  • Before and after eating their own food – breaks/lunches

  • Before and after giving or applying medication or ointment to a child

  • After changing nappies, assisting a child to use the toilet or using the toilet themselves

  • After caring for babies or children who are teething or dribbling.

  • After caring for babies and young children who require close physical contact and comfort, where

  • contact points such as the neck or arms may become contaminated with secretions or mucous, these should be washed immediately.

  • If staff move from one room to another room or from inside to outside areas

  • If staff have physical contact with a child from another group other than their own group

  • After contact with bodily fluids (runny nose, spit, vomit, blood, faeces)

  • After cleaning tasks

  • After removing gloves

  • After handling rubbish

  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty

  • If in contact with someone who is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms

  • Before and after being on public transport [if using it]

  • Before and after being in a crowd

  • Before having a cigarette or vaping [staff are reminded the service is a non-smoking area]

Respiratory hygiene practice, good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub (for adults) and alcohol-free rub for children or soap and water for 40-60 seconds and in line with the WHO and HSE recommendations. It is better that children wash their hands where possible but where this is not possible alcohol-free rubs will be used.

  • Staff and children must adopt good respiratory hygiene and etiquette

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue

  • The Service ensures that tissues are readily accessible throughout the Service with a dedicated

  • pedal operated bin provided in each of the rooms and in the outdoor areas for easy disposal of used

  • tissues.

  • Staff and children should wash their hands after coughing or sneezing

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – the virus enters the body through eyes, nose and mouth so refraining from touching your face drastically reduces the chances of contracting the virus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The service will have an adequate supply of PPE for use when required by staff including disposable single use plastic aprons and non-powdered, non-permeable gloves e.g. when there is a risk of coming in contactwith bodily fluids.

Face Masks

The government has advised wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces where social distancing is difficult to maintain e.g. public transport, retail outlets. The public health advice is that the wearing of face masks by children under 13 years of age is not recommended and there is no requirement by others to wear masks in the childcare environment. Some specific tasks and roles may require masks e.g. administering some First Aid, caring for a staff member or child who presents with symptoms of COVID-19 while at the service, cleaning. We will use facemasks in these situations

only.

Social distancing

  • Maintain social or physical distancing, that is, leave at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between adults when staff are not engaged in childcare activity e.g. breaks or arriving at work

  • As part of social distancing a ‘no handshaking policy’ will be implemented

  • The service recognises that it is not possible for staff to observe physical distancing when caring for young children recommended and that it is young not practical children nor should physically distance from each other in their play pod

Specific measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our setting

Play pods

  • Where possible the service will implement the DCYA recommendation to organise children and staff into ‘play pods’ which comprise of a group of children and staff, who remain with that group of children as keyworkers each day and throughout the day as far as possible. The purpose of the ‘play pods’ is to limit the number of people a child and a staff member have contact with, to facilitate contact tracing and to support close, positive interactions between children and their adult caregivers.

  • Blath Beag will determine the maximum size of the play pod. The department has advised that there is no evidence on which to define a maximum pod size but that they should be kept as small as is likely to be reasonably practical in the specific childcare context. Pod sizes will take account of regulations relating to maximum adult-child ratios for the different age groups.

  • The department has also advised that there will no change to the adult-child ratios and space requirements for the different age groups and care categories under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016

  • As far as possible, there will be no contact between two or more play pods (children andstaff). Play pods will remain apart in separate or shared spaces including outdoors and at dropping off and picking up times. This will help to ensure that in the case of a confirmed Covid-19 case, only one play pod is affected and the service can still continue following disinfection, cleaning etc. Any decisions to close any part of the service will only be made in consultation with local public health staff.

  • In as far as practical, the service will structure the play pods to have at least two adults in the pod which may reduce the need for other adults to enter the pod to provide relief for breaks

  • Within a play pod social distancing between young children is not recommended and, therefore, we will not expect children to social distance in our Service.

  • In the event that a staff member has to move between play pods e.g. to cover for staff absences/breaks, staff must wash hands on entry and leaving a play pod and a record should be kept of this movement and should be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • The service will manage the circulation and movement of children in their play pod between their room, the toilets, the outdoor area and any other areas of the service so as to ensure no physical contact with children or staff in other play pods in as far as possible

  • The service will use markings on the groundand other ways to divide indoor and outdoor physical areas so as to support and guide children’s safe movement within their ‘play pods’ and reduce contact with children in other groups.

  • A record will be retained of the people (children and carers) in each pod on each day to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an episode of the infection.

Toys and equipment

  • The service will organise toys and play materials into a number of boxes for the different groups or ‘play pods’ of children and wash the toys after use each day. In this way each group or play pod of children has its own box of toys and there is no sharing across play pods.

  • The service will offer toys that can be easily cleaned, disinfected (where necessary) and dried on a daily basis

  • The service will consider carefully the use of certain toys that are difficult to clean e.g. dress up clothes, soft toys. If considered important for some children then the sharing of these items between children should be avoided and the toys should be washed and dried each day.

  • The service will limit the use of playdough, gloop and similar materials, and where being used should not be shared between thechildren and should be replaced daily

  • The service will limit food preparation activities (on a temporary basis during this Covid-19 emergency) where children take turns in preparing and later eating the food

  • Toys, jigsaws and puzzles used by babies and young children, which have been placed in their mouths, will need to be capable of being washed before reuse by another child in their play pod.

  • The service will offer sand and water play for the children in their play pods e.g. in their rooms, but must not be shared across the play pods

  • The service will ask parents and children NOT to bring soothers, comforters or favourite toys from home into the centre. If a child needs a soother it may have to be provided by the service for use in the service only or the parent could be asked to bring in a new soother which would be retained in the service.

  • The Service will be responsible for sterilising soothers, teething rings and other comfort items left on the premises. These items are retained in the Service.

(Details of further specific measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our setting can be found in our Covid 19 parental pack which every parent will receive.)

It is our policy to promote healthy eating habits.

  • We will encourage children to try different foods and aim to make meal times an enjoyable and social occasion

  • We will provide healthy nutritious meals for our full day care, prepared with fresh ingredients. There will be two meals and two snacks provided from two food groups of which one will be a hot meal. Milk and water will also be provided.

  • Healthy snacks will be provided mid morning and a hot snack will be provided in the afternoon. (See back for full 3 week menu.)

  • Popcorn is prohibited.

Photographs:

It is our policy at Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool to use photographs taken in the crèche to support the children’s learning and also to record children’s individual progress. Photographs recorded in crèche as part of a normal day are taken using a digital camera/tablet/ipad and are only taken by members of the staff.

Additional photographs or images may be taken of children as part of the work of the Crèche or by parents during events the crèche may have. Individual children will not be included in photos if written permission is not given by the child’s parents/guardians.

Photographs/videos are taken to:

  • Support the learning of each child’s individual record.

  • Illustrate work on display around the crèche/pre-school building/crèche facebook page and crèche website.

  • A letter of consent will need to be signed by parents in advance to give per-mission for their child’s photos/inclusion in a video to be uploaded onto the crèche web-site/social media.

Parent’s use of cameras/videos in crèche. Parents/carers will be invited to record their child’s inclusion in group events at Christmas, Graduation, outings and other celebrations through the year through the use of photographs or video on the understanding that they will NOT publish any material on the internet as the Crèche/pre-school has no control over these images once they are in the public domain.

We will ensure that the children of parents/guardians who do not wish their child to be pho-tographed or videoed are provided with other activities. At no time are staff permitted to bring in a camera from home, nor use their mobile phones in the crèche/pre-school rooms

Internet:

Introduction ICT, digital and mobile technology resources are now regarded as essential to support childrens learning, teaching, personal and social development. They form part of an essential life skill.

Internet access is an entitlement for children and young people who show a responsible and age

appropriate approach to its use.

In Blath Beag Crèche & Afterschool Internet access for children and young people will be

designed for:

  • Social and developmental use and will include age appropriate filtering.

  • Guidance about appropriate internet use will be part of the support for children and young people.

  • For younger users, access to the internet will be closely supervised by an adult allow-ing access to specific and agreed sites only. Older children and young people will be provided with wider access and greater autonomy in line with their age and maturity of use.

How will the risks be assessed?

In common with other media such as magazines, books and DVDs, some material available via the internet is unsuitable for children and young people. Blath Beag Crèche will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a computer. Blath Beag crèche cannot accept liability for the material accessed, or any consequences of internet access.

It is the policy of Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children and adults involved in our service when planning and undertaking outings.

Procedures

  • Parents are encouraged to take an active part in the planning, preparation and undertaking of outings.

  • Prior information about proposed outings is given to all parents.

  • All parents must sign a consent form prior to the outing.

  • There is always at least one adult to every two children.

  • The insurance company is contacted prior to the outing to confirm that the event is covered by the service’s insurance policy.

*Due to Covid 19 outings will be very limited at this time.

It is the policy of Blath Beag Crèche& Preschool to welcome any suggestions, recommendations, comments or complaints made by children or their parents in relation to our childcare service.

Any complaints made about the service will be dealt with in an open and impartial manner. The following procedures will be followed:

Procedure:

  • Complaints should be made to the manager/leader or a designated member of the management committee.

  • very attempt is made to resolve the matter as amicably as possible and to the parent’s satisfaction.

  • If agreement cannot be reached the parent may make a formal complaint in writing to the person designated to receive complaints.

  • The complaint is recorded.

  • If the complaint is made against a member of staff, the staff member must be informed that a formal complaint has been made and be given full details.

  • If a complaint against a staff involves a child protection concern a second separate reporting procedure will be followed in line with our child protection procedures.

  • The parent is sent an acknowledgement that the complaint has been received and told how it will be dealt with, by whom, and within what time limit. The person investigating the formal complaint will keep dated records summarising what has been said and done by those involved.

  • If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome he or she may make a written request to go to the third stage of the procedure, which involves an independent mediator or panel.

  • The panel will include an external mediator eg a representative of the Galway City & County Childcare Committee or the HSE.

  • This panel will not include any person directly involved in the complaint or related to the complainant or staff member

  • The panel, having considered all the relevant material and talked with all those concerned, will reach a decision and if necessary, make recommendations.

  • The complainant and other people involved will be informed of the outcome.

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool the safety and welfare of children attending our service is of paramount importance. We have established procedures for the drop off/collection of children, to ensure a smooth transition and effective time keeping within our service. All procedures follow legislative requirements as per the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

Procedures:

Dropping off a child:

  • The front door must be kept locked at all times to ensure the safety of all children and staff.

  • Only staff are permitted to open the door to parents and visitors to the service or parents can use key code where applicable.

  • Children must be taken into the service.

  • Children must not be left in the foyer at any time or left outside the service prior to the opening hours of the service.

  • On arrival parents should inform their child’s educator of any information that is relevant to their child’s care for that day/session.

  • Parents and children are encouraged to say goodbye to each other before they leave.

Collecting a child:

On returning to collect a child, parents are encouraged to meet with the child’s educator to be updated on the child’s day and receive the child’s communication / diary where applicable.

  • A person collecting a child must be aged 16 years or over.

  • A person collecting a child must be named on the child’s registration form as an authorised person. If a person collecting a child is not named on the child’s enrolment form as an authorised person, written or verbal permission from the parent must be provided to a staff member, before collection. On the first occasion, the person collecting the child must supply identification, for example, driver’s license.

  • The service will not release a child to anyone who is not authorised without prior consent

Note: Due to Coronavirus restrictions no parent is currently permitted to enter the building. Parents must phone the creche when they arrive with their children and a member of staff will come out to collect the child from the car and check their temperature. Upon collection of their child a parent should phone ahead 15mins before they are due to collect their child and a update will be given to the parent over the phone of their child’s day. The staff member will then meet the parent at the door and hand over their child to them. We would ask all parents/guardians/carers etc to wear a mask at drop off and collection of your child/children and all staff will do the same. This is an extra protective measure which we feel is now necessary given the current situation. We would really appreciate your cooperation. Please see further details in our Covid 19 Parental Pack.

Late collection of children:

  • Where a parent knows they will be late collecting their child after the agreed time, they are required to consult with the service to make alternative arrangements.

  • When a parent is late and does not telephone the service, then a late fee will be charged. A fee of €10 will apply per 10 minutes after collection time.

  • If a child is not collected by a parent 30 minutes after the agreed time the service will attempt to contact the parents or the emergency contact persons.

  • Regulations require two members of staff (or a staff member and another adult) to be in present at all times when children are on the premises.

Non-collection of children:

If a child is not collected at the end of the session/day and the service is unable to contact theparents or the emergency contacts, the following procedures apply;

  • A child will stay at the service in the care of two fully-vetted staff members until the premises close, or staff are no longer available to care for the child

  • Staff will follow procedures outlined in the Child Protection Policy.

Policy Statement:

It is the policy of Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool that visitors are made to feel welcome and are not subjected to unacceptable risks to their health & safety. Additionally, visitors are required to comply with Blath Beag Crèche policies and procedures and should not cause unacceptable risks to health & safety of Blath Beag Crèche employees, or other visitors.

Procedure:

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool welcomes many visitors throughout the year who are attending a variety of meetings/viewings etc. When bookings are taken for meetings or viewings the person dealing with the booking, either the Manager or supervisor will take full responsibility for the visitor and ensure they sign in and out in the visitors booklet.

Note: Due to Coronavirus restrictions where at all possible, we will limit access to the service to staff and children only. Please see further details of our current visitors policy in our Covid 19 Parental Pack.

It is our policy at Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool 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 is reviewed on a regular basis

  • All new staff and volunteers must be familiar with the Safety Statement

  • There are at least two adults on the premises at all times

  • Children are supervised by adults at all times•

  • Care is taken to ensure that no child can leave the premises undetected

  • When the main entrance is locked the key must remain in the position which is known and accessible to all adults

  • Staff must know which children are present at any one time

  • Furniture and equipment are laid out to minimise safety risks

  • Only suitable and age appropriate objects are available to children

Accident Procedures:

  • The First Aid Box is always fully equipped, easily identifiable and in a location which is known to all adults

  • At least one member of staff who holds an up to date First Aid Certificate is on the premises at all times

  • Records are accessible to all relevant staff in case of an emergency

  • 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 even minor ones, are recorded on an Accident Report Form which is then stored in a file on the premises.

  • 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, an adult known to the child must accompany him/her to hospital and stay until the parent/carer arrives

  • The child’s record card must be brought for reference

  • All accidents must be reported to the insurance company.

It is the Policy of Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool to ensure that appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to children is carried out. This requires getting two references from past employers and completing Garda vetting through the Central Garda Vetting Unit (CGVU). Blath Beag processes their Garda Vetting through Early Childhood Ireland. All employees, volunteers and students working in Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool must be Garda Vetted prior to commencing work.

Procedure:

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 require any person carrying on a pre-school service to ensure appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to a child. This involves:

  • Checking two employer references in respect of staff and checking reputable sources in respect of students and volunteers.

  • Seeking Garda vetting from An Garda Síochána.

  • Police clearance from any country that employees/ volunteers have lived in for more than 6 months.

  • Ensuring ID is verified by checking passport, drivers licence against other documents to ensure authenticity.

  • Staff must complete a Garda Vetting form prior to employment.

  • Employment is subject to clear Garda Vetting, previous criminal convictions may lead to withdrawal of employment offer.

  • Students under 18 years of age, their parent/guardian will be required to complete and sign a Garda Parent/Guardian Consent Form. This form gives consent for the CGVU to report to Blath Beag Crèche any previous convictions.

  • If a disclosure is made by the Garda vetting unit management may terminate the contract of employment. Risk will be assessed in relation to the individual in terms of the risk due to the disclosed offence.

The Garda Vetting form for completion will be supplied by Early Childhood Ireland.

Only completed Garda vetting Forms returned and finalised by the CGVU should be stored.

*The nominated Garda Vetting contact person for Blath Beag Crèche is:

Aoife O’Driscoll / Tara McPhilbin

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool it is our policy, to assist students in developing their skills in childcare. Students will work closely with staff, to develop a professional and child-centred approach to working with children.

 

Procedures for Students on Placement

  • As part of their induction, students are requested to read the policies and procedures of our service.

  • Students are not included in the adult/child ratio and are never used in place of staff.

  • Students are never left unsupervised with groups or individual children.

  • Students are supported through regular supervision meetings. Support and information is also provided, if assistance is needed with projects or assignments.

  • Manage decides on what information the students can have access to and what meetings they attend.

  • Our service has ongoing contact with the relevant school/college.

  • Proof of Garda Vetting for each student is sought from the school/college.

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool recognises the importance of outdoor play for all children. The outdoors provides opportunities to explore nature and the natural living objects as well as gives the children ample time to physical exercise in a safe secure environment. At Blath Beag Crèche we believe that outdoor play is central to young children’s learning. The outdoors offers children the opportunity to use effective styles of learning- playing, movement and sensory experience.

Aims of outdoor play:

  • To provide a stimulating, enjoyable and safe environment for children to play, investigate, explore, problem solve and use their imagination and creativity.

  • To provide active learning experiences for children so that they have plenty of opportunities to practise their developing skills, while enriching their understanding of the world around them.

  • To encourage the children to have respect for the outdoor environment and to care for living things.

  • To provide the children with the opportunity to relax and to release built up energy throughout the day

  • To provide the children with opportunities to co-operate with others and to build on their social skills

  • To stimulate the childrens senses by offering different sights, sounds, smells and touching/feeling opportunities.

  • To ensure that all staff understand the value of outdoor play and are enthusiastic and active in their approach to learning outside.

General Safety in the outdoor playground:

  • Children are supervised at all times.

  • The outdoor playground is secure.

  • All areas of the outdoor play ground are thoroughly checked each day prior to the children’s outdoor playtime.

  • The children are encouraged to clean up the outdoor play area after they have played in it.

  • When the children go out to the playground, the roll book, tissues, a water jug and little cups are brought outside also.

Safety on the climbing frame and slide:

  • Staff encourage the children to go down the slide with their feet first.

  • Staff encourage the children to wait until the slide is clear before they go down.

  • Staff get the children involved in drying the equipment if it has been raining before out door Safety in the sand pit:

  • Staff encourage the children to keep the sand in the sand pit

  • Staff encourage the children to use only the sand pit toys in the sand• The sand pit is covered daily in the playground and the sand is changed regularly.

Clothing:

Staff ensure that children are dressed appropriately for different weather conditions.

For hot weather:

  • Babies are required to wear light, loose clothing with long sleeves, full length trousers and sun hats with neck protectors

  • Pre-school children are required to wear t-shirts and sun hats which protect their face, neck and ears.

  • Each child must have a labelled bottle of HIGH FACTOR sun cream in the crèche during the summer months.

  • Staff will apply sufficient sunscreen to the younger children while older age groups will be encouraged and helped to apply sunscreen themselves • If the weather is too hot, the children will be brought to a shaded area. ∙Children will be given extra water while playing outside.

For cold weather:

  • All children must have an outdoor coat, hat or hood and preferably gloves or mittens.

  • For wet weather, each child should have boots and have a spare set of indoor clothes.

At Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool we aim to ensure children feel secure and safe in their education and care environment so that they can safely explore and learn about their world. In order to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury, at Blath Beag Crèche we must manage risks and implement procedures to maintain a safe environment for children, educators and families.

Procedures:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine potential hazards that may be relevant to the service.

  • Ensure a risk assessment occurs prior to excursions/outings.

  • Liaise with educators to ensure that risk management is part of daily practice and that procedures are developed and maintained to implement policies, record and review hazards.

  • Ensure that health and safety information and a training strategy is part of the induction and ongoing professional development strategy for all educators.

  • Ensure that educators and families are informed of the centres Risk Management Policies and Procedures and ensure that educator roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. These include:

  1. Emergency and Evacuation Policy;

  2. Preparing for Critical Incidents,

  3. Incidents, Injury, and Illness Policy,

  4. Excursion Policy,

  5. Safe Storage of Dangerous Goods

  6. Ensure that at any time the service is operational, at least one educator who holds a current approved first aid qualification.

Note: Our Risk Management policy has been reviewed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with HPSC and Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate Guidance and Information on how to plan for reopening and operating as safely as possible at this time. Please see further details of our updated policy in our Covid 19 Parental Pack.

Policy Statement:

Blath Beag Creche & Preschool is required to collect personal information of the staff, children and families who use the service. We have responsibility when collecting, using and storing of the information obtained and take our role very seriously. This policy is underpinned by the Data Protection Acts 2003 & 2018.

Procedure:

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool will abide by the requirements of the DPA legislation as outlined below:

  1. Obtain and process personal information fairly.

  2. Keep personal information only for the lawful purposes that have been explicitly notified to the end user.

  3. Use and disclose personal information only in ways compatible with these purposes.

  4. Keep all personal information safe and secure.

  5. Keep all personal information accurate, complete and up-to-date.

  6. Ensure that all personal information is adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose for which it was collected.7.

  7. Retain personal information for no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes.

  8. Give a copy of personal data to an individual, on request.

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool is committed to meeting our obligations to store records under the relevant regulations. Blath Beag has put together a step by step approach to familiarise all staff members with the relevant regulations as well as the procedures for storing records.

This policy is underpinned by the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and informed by the Workplace Relations Commission, Data Protection Act and Revenue.

Procedure:

  • Appropriate filing space will be allocated to store records to ensure they are kept securely and confidentiality.
  • All staff will be informed of how long each type of record should be kept.
  • All records will be signed and dated by the appropriate person.

 

The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 requires all services to keep the following records:

Type of RecordTime to be kept
Record of all visitors1 year
All child records2 years
Details of daily attendance2 years
Staff rosters2 years
Any accident, injury or incident involving a child attending the service2 years
Complaints received2 years
Medication administered2 years

 

Child Records:

In addition to the requirements under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 all services should keep Child Records until the child is 21 years old. This is for insurance purposes. Once a child turns 18 they have a period of three years to make a claim over an incident that occurred in the early years setting if their parents have not already done so. For clarity here are the type of child records you should maintain.

Type of RecordTime to be retained
Child attendance recordsUntil child is 21 years old
Child Accident/Incident reportsUntil child is 21 years old
Child ObservationsSend home with family when child finishes unless you have a specific reason for keeping
Child Development RecordsSend home with family when child finishes unless you have a specific reason for keeping

 

Financial Records

Type of RecordTime to be retained
Unsolicited applications for jobs1 year
Applications for vacant post1 year
General job descriptionsHold until superseded
Vacancy notifications1 ½ years
Copies of advertisement1 ½ years
Job Description1 ½ years
Applications/ C.V of for interview applicants1 ½ years
Candidates not qualified or short listed1 ½ years
Candidates short listed but not successful at interview or successful but do not accept1 ½ years
Allegations/ complaint2 years if unfounded or investigation not warranted
Training Files5 years

 

IT IS THE POLICY OF BLATH BEAG TO ENSURE, AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, THE SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELFARE OF CHILDREN AND STAFF THROUGH THE PROVISION OF A SAFE PLACE OF WORK AND SAFE SYSTEMS OF WORKING

IT IS ALSO THE POLICY OF THIS SERVICE TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS AND OTHER VISITORS TO THE ABOVE NAMED SERVICE

THIS POLICY REQUIRES THE COMPLETE OBSERVANCE OF ALL ELEMENTS OF THIS SAFETY STATEMENT BY ALL ADULTS, WITH RESPONSIBILITIES BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY THOSE TO WHOM THEY ARE ASSIGNED

IT IS OUR INTENTION TO REVIEW THIS STATEMENT IN THE LIGHT OF

EXPERIENCE AND DEVELOPMENMT WHEN EVER NECESSARY

Blath Beag Crèche & Preschool places the highest priority on the health, safety and protection of all children, staff and families using our service. We will ensure that our staff have training in fire safety and that all children are educated appropriately on the dangers of fire and what to do in the event of a fire within our service.

Principle:

This policy is underpinned by the Child Care Act 1991(Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, the Fire Services Act 2003 and the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2013.

Procedure:

  • Firefighting equipment including fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire blankets are supplied and serviced each year.

  • Children will be taught the reason for fire drills and the importance of learning what to do when they hear the alarm.

  • Fire drills will be carried out monthly while changing the time and day to ensure all children experience a fire drill.

  • The fire drill will be made up of the children and staff understanding where their nearest exit is and calmly making their way to the assembly point.

  • The assembly point location is at the front of the building

  • Our fire officer is Aoife O’Driscoll

Fire Evacuation Procedure:

  • The evacuation signal is a continuous Siren of the fire alarm.

  • In the event of an emergency evacuation, children will be taken from the building by staff to the assembly point to await clearance for the safe return to the nursery.

  • All staff are fully aware of emergency call points and are familiar with locations of the various types of fire equipment and their purposes.

  • If possible, on discovering a fire, staff will use the nearest emergency call point to raise the alarm whilst taking care not to endanger either themselves or the children in their care.

  • The member of staff raising the alarm will telephone the fire brigade, giving full details of the nursery.

  • The Manager/Deputy Manager/Supervisor will be responsible for collecting the children’s emergency contact box, children’s register and the phone.

  • The Assembly point will be out the front of the building.

  • All play rooms have two exits to ensure a safe escape at all times.

  • All staff will bring out the register for their room. .

  • Fire drills will be done once a month so both children and staff are familiar with them.

Note: Fire evacuation/drills should be carried out per room rather than the entire building

during the period of Covid-19.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations and the related Technical Guidance Documents for example;

  • Heating requirements as set out in the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (2014) Heat Producing Appliances Technical Guidance Document J.

  • Lighting requirements as set out in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government: Technical Guidance Document M: Access and Use: Building

  • Regulations 2010.

  • Ventilation requirements as set out in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government 2009 Technical Guidance Document F on Ventilation.

  • Fire safety requirements as set out in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government 2006 Technical Guidance Document B on Fire Safety.

 

Child Safeguarding

  • Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

 

Fire Safety

  • Fire Safety Legislation, fire certification and associated technical guidance documents issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and LocalGovernment 2006.

 

Food Safety and Hygiene, including Water Supply, for example;

  • Food Hygiene Regulations 1950-89, the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006 (SI No 369) Regulation, EC 178/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004.