POLICY AND PROCEDURES.
Pre-school policies are reviewed and up-dated annually by the Board of Directors in conjunction with the staff, Early Years and Social Services.
The following are the agreed policy statements of Play-A-Way Childcare Centre as laid down by the Board of Directors and staff.
All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the children and families who use the Centre.
We believe the group activities should be open to all children and families regardless of social, religious, or cultural background.
CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES.
It shall be the policy of the group that each child and their family will be valued as unique individuals, irrespective of class, race, gender, disability or religious beliefs.
Families will be welcome and supported in the group for as long as it takes to settle their child.
Flexible admission procedures are in place to meet the needs of the individual families and children.
Reassurance is given to parents whose children seem to be taking a longer time to settle. It takes longer for some children than others and parents should not feel worried by this.
Before the child’s first term, the child and parent may spend time in the group to allow the child to become familiar with the playroom and staff.
Children will commence into the group on a staggered basis, for example two children a day for a week rather than ten children at once.
Parents are encouraged to remain with their child for as long as necessary during the settling-in period.
We encourage parents, where appropriate, to separate from their children for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences.
PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS.
The group recognises that parents are the first educators of their children and the aim of the group is to support parents. In order to do this;
CHILDREN’S RECORDS & INFORMATION.
Parents will have access to all written records of their children; both formal and informal observations recording the child’s progress will be shared with parents.
This information will be shared each term, with parents. However Key Workers will be available at any time throughout the year to discuss children’s progress or any concerns parents may have about their child.
Parents will be encouraged to play an active part in the management of the group by joining the Board of Directors or by being available to assist with special occasions i.e. Christmas party or outings.
Children and their parents are entitled to expect that careful attention will be paid to their needs and wishes. Our intention is to work in partnership with parents, and we welcome suggestions on how to improve our service to you.
A parent who is unhappy about any aspect of the group should, in the first instance, approach the Pre-school leader. If there is no satisfactory outcome, or if the problem reoccurs, the parent should then speak to the Manager. If there is still no satisfactory outcome, the parent should then put his / her concerns in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Directors requesting a meeting with the Board.
We are committed to creating a safe environment for the children, which is free from abuse and where any suspicion of abuse is dealt with promptly and appropriately. We will comply with Health and Social Services Guidelines on Child Protection and will appoint designated persons to deal with Child Protection issues in the group. (See full policy).
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES.
To ensure the safety of the children they must be collected by the regular collector .If the regular collector is unable to collect a child, staff must be informed and a change to collection form completed. Children will not be released to any other collector without prior arrangements being made with the staff.
Adults should not open the main door either to leave the building or to admit anyone to the building as this compromises the security of the building. Staff are responsible for the security of the main door and all access to the building.
The childcare centre has employers and public liability insurance, which is displayed in the reception hall.
We believe that children and adults flourish best in an environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else. We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. (See full policy).
STAFF TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT.
To ensure high standards of care and education are maintained staff will regularly attend training to improve their practice and upgrade their childcare qualifications. All staff will renew first aid and child protection training as required. Staff will attend cluster training four times per year and the pre-school will be closed twice a year to facilitate this training.
VISITORS TO THE GROUP.
During the year there will be several visitors to the group i.e. Dental Nurse, Crossing Petrol Person, Police Officer, Road Safety Officer, NSPCC Officer. If you have an occupation which would be of interest to the children i.e. nurse, vet, construction worker etc and would be willing to spend a short time speaking about your role, please let the Pre-school Leader know and we will be happy to arrange for you to visit.
The group has an Early Years advisor who spends time in the group observing our practice and making recommendations for improvement. The group is also inspected annually by Department of Social Services and regularly by the Department of Education to ensure the highest of standards are being achieved.
The full version of all our policies are kept in a file on the parents information rack, in the reception hall. Parents are encouraged to read these at any time.