1.ADMINISTRATION OF FIRST AID
The First Aid Policy, strategies and practices are designed to support educators to:
- Ensure that ill or injured persons are stabilised and comforted until medical help intervenes
- Monitor ill or injured persons in the recovery stage
- Apply further first aid strategies if the condition does not improve
- Ensure that the environment is safe and that other persons are not in danger of becoming ill or injured.
2.ANIMALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT POLICY
Educators are “encouraged to foster children’s capacity to understand and respect the natural environment and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land.” (NQS element 3.2)
Responsible ownership of pets, animals or birds that may reside at the Education and Care Service or visit the premises is vital. Role models of appropriate behaviours with animals and guidance in caring for the needs of animals is beneficial for children. This policy also considers the management of unwanted visitors such as pests and vermin.
3.BEHAVIOUR GUIDANCE POLICY
The purpose of the centre’s Behaviour Guidance Policy is to:
- encourage acceptable forms of behaviour by using strategies that build children’s confidence and self-esteem;
- provide children with support, guidance and opportunities to manage their emotions and develop ways to appropriately control their own behaviour; and
- promote collaborative approaches to behaviour guidance and support between the centre’s stakeholders and/or external agencies.
Our service is committed to providing an environment that fosters health, development, spirituality, self-respect and dignity, free from violence and exploitation. Under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, children and young people must receive the care and protection necessary to ensure their safety, welfare and wellbeing. All educators and volunteers of our service are Mandatory Reporters and are required to report to the Child Protection Helpline (Phone: 132 111) if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a child or young person is at risk of significant harm and have current concerns about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or young person where the concerns arise during or from their work.
Our Education and Care Service affirms that people have a right to question and influence decisions made and services provided. We take complaints seriously and manage them in a confidential, timely, transparent and meaningful way. We achieve this by:
- Maintaining the confidentiality of all parties in line with policy and legislative requirements.
- Acknowledging that the common goal is to achieve an outcome acceptable to all parties.
- Acting in good faith and in a calm and courteous manner.
- Showing respect and understanding of each other’s point of view and valuing difference, rather than judging and blaming.
- Recognising that all parties have rights and responsibilities which must be balanced.
- Handling complaints objectively and in a manner where complainants will not suffer any reprisals as a result of making a complaint.
6.CURRICULUM, PROGRAMMING AND PROGRESS POLICY
The Centre’s curriculum is described as ‘all the interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned that occur in our environment which are designed to foster children’s learning and development’.
The Centre’s curriculum is guided by The Early Years Learning Framework together with professional knowledge which enables each child’s learning in the five outcomes:
- Children have a strong sense of identity
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Children are confident and involved learners
- Children are effective communicators
A learning framework is an important tool for helping educators to work with children and their families to achieve the best learning and developmental outcomes for children.
7.DEALING WITH INFECTIOUS DISEASES POLICY
Our education and care service is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all children, staff and any other persons attending the service by:
- responding to the needs of the child or adult who presents with symptoms of an infectious disease or infestation while attending the service;
- complying with current exclusion schedules and guidelines set by the Department of Health; and
- providing up-to-date information and resources for families and staff regarding protection of all children from infectious diseases and blood-borne viruses, management of infestations and immunisation programs.
8.ACCEPTANCE AND REFUSAL OF AUTHORISATIONS
Authorisation must be obtained from parent/guardians or authorised nominees in the following circumstances:
- administering medication to children (regulation 92)
- children leaving the premises in the care of someone other than their parent (regulation 99) other than the case of emergency
- children being taken on excursions (regulation 102)
9.DEALING WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS
This policy acts to ensure that:
- Children are supported to feel physically and emotionally well, and feel safe in the knowledge that their wellbeing and individual health care needs will be met when they are not well.
- Families can expect that Educators will act in the best interests of the children in their care at all times; meet the children’s individual health care needs; maintain continuity of medication for their children when the need arises.
- Educators feel competent to perform their duties; understand their liabilities and duty of care requirements; are provided with sufficient information and training regarding the administration of medication and other appropriate treatments.
- Collaboration with families of children with diagnosed medial conditions to develop a Risk Minimisation Plan for their child;
- All staff, including casual staff, educators and volunteers, are informed of all children diagnosed with a medical condition and the risk minimisation procedures for these;
- All families are provided with current information about identified medical conditions of children enrolled at the service with strategies to support the implementation of the Risk Minimisation Plan;
- All children with diagnosed medical conditions have a current Risk Minimisation Plan that is accessible to all staff;
- All staff are adequately trained in the administration of emergency medication.
10.DETERMINING RESPONSIBLE PERSON
An Approved Provider operates the service with an appointed Nominated Supervisor. The Nominated Supervisor does not have to be in attendance at the service at all times, but in their absence, a Responsible Person is to be placed in day-to-day charge.
Our Education and Care Service will ensure a Responsible Person or Nominated Supervisor is physically present at the service at all times children are being educated and cared for.
Details of the Responsible Person or Nominated Supervisor on duty will be communicated and displayed for all users of the service.
11.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY
The centre aims to provide a child care environment which is free from bias and prejudice in which children learn the principles of fairness and respect for the uniqueness of each person. Differences in backgrounds, culture and abilities are valued and families are actively encouraged to share their experiences with educators, staff, carers and other families. The centre involves the community to assist educators, staff and children understand and accept the range of cultures and abilities of members of the local community. The centre will ensure that appropriate inclusion support services are accessed and referred to families in order to support children’s well-being and full inclusion into the program.
12.ENROLMENT AND ORIENTATION POLICY
Enrolment and orientation procedures form the foundation for strong relationships between families and early education and care settings and promote a quality experience of education and care for children.
Good procedures include consistent information around service operation and authorisations promoting compliance and a safe and secure environment for children and families.
It is the Centre’s policy to ensure the following goals are met:
- Enrolment and orientation processes are planned and implemented;
- Due consideration is given to culture and language in undertaking these processes;
- Appropriate documentation, including authorisations, are completed during the enrolment and orientation process;
- A thoughtful process is planned in consultation with families, to orient a child and family to the Centre.
13.ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
As an education and care community, we can encourage and increase awareness of environmental responsibilities and implement practices that contribute to a sustainable future. Children can be supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment. Providing children with time and experiences in nature plays a key part in this, as we feel children need to ‘fall in love’ with nature before they will want to care for and look after it. Environmentally sustainable practices and time in nature should be embedded into the operations of the education and care service and involve educators, children and families in order to be successful.
Our education and care service is committed to providing excursions that are well considered and planned, provide meaningful experiences and ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children at all times.
15.FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND COMMUNICATION POLICY
Family participation in the centre is an important part of making our centre a true part of the community and creating an environment that is welcoming and inclusive and supports a sense of belonging for children, families and educators.
We welcome and facilitate family participation and open communication in the centre by encouraging families to engage with their children’s education and care. Families are invited to attend Committee of Management (COM) meetings, assist with projects and attend social gatherings. The centre has an open door policy for families.
We value input of families, educators and the wider community to help create a centre that meets the needs of the children who attend.
We encourage open communication through the enrolment and orientation process, policy review, feedback forms, the COM, the daily program, documentation, formal and informal meetings, emails and conversations.
To enable our Centre to provide high quality early education and care for children we need to ensure we are financially viable at all times. Prompt payment of fees allows us to plan with certainty. We have a commitment to ensuring our fees are as affordable as possible and that all families have access to any subsidies that are available to reduce these fees.
Our Centre’s financial health and access to our Centre will be maximised by:
- ensuring families are aware of all fees and fee payment requirements upon enrolment;
- keeping fee increases to a minimum;
- ensuring the cost of administering fee collection is minimised;
- following the appropriate priority of access requirements;
- following all legal requirements required by our access to government funding;
- managing fee collection to avoid bad debts;
- families are notified as far ahead as possible and no less than 14 days of any changes to fees or the way fees will be collected; and
- ensuring we issue receipts of fees on a regular basis.
17.FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES POLICY
The centre prides itself on adhering to safe food handling and storage practices to prevent the contamination of food. It implements good personal hygiene, correct food handling and storage and effective cleaning and pest control practices.
The NSW Food Authority encourages businesses to implement the practices outlined in the Children’s Services Voluntary Food Safety Program (FSP) to ensure that safe food is prepared and served. The FSP template conforms to national Standard 3.3.1 of the Food Standards Code.
This policy is based on the procedures set out in the Children’s Services Voluntary Food Safety Program (FSP).
18.GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
Governance is the system or process by which organisations are directed, controlled and held accountable to ensure that the right decisions are made. Our education and care service recognizes the importance of having a framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes within, and by which authority is exercised and controlled in the organisation. We view good governance and management as essential to our provision of quality education and care.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environment is continually changing. Early childhood services now have access to a wide variety of technologies via fixed, wireless and mobile devices. ICT is a cost-effective, timely and efficient tool for research, communication and management of a service and an enriching addition to our teaching resources. ICT, however, also brings with it many legal responsibilities in relation to information privacy, security and the protection of employees, families and children.
20.INCIDENT, INJURY, TRAUMA AND ILLNESS
The National Regulations require an accurate Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Report to be kept and stored confidentially until the child is 25 years old.
Under the national legislation, an education and care service must record details in the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Report for the following occurrences:
- an incident in relation to a child,
- an injury received by a child
- trauma to which a child has been subjected
- an illness that becomes apparent.
21.INTERACTIONS WITH CHILDREN
Educators at our service will:
- be responsive to children’s strengths, interests, abilities;
- provide opportunities to become self-reliant and develop self-esteem;
- uphold children’s dignity, rights, and agency;
- provide positive guidance and support towards acceptable behaviour;
- promote a safe, secure and nurturing environment;
- be authentic and responsive;
- be based in fairness, acceptance and empathy with respect for cultural and linguistic rights.
22.NUTRITION, FOOD, BEVERAGES AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
- This policy concerns the provision of healthy food and drink while children are in care and the promotion of normal growth and development.
- The service is committed to implementing the healthy eating key messages outlined in Munch & Move and to supporting the National Healthy Eating Guidelines for Early Childhood Settings as outlined in the Get Up & Grow resources.
- Further, we recognise the importance of supporting families in providing healthy food and drink to their children. It is acknowledged that the early childhood setting has an important role in supporting families in healthy eating.
23.PARTICIPATION OF VOLUNTEERS & STUDENTS
Our service is committed to providing a safe environment for all children where their health, safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance. In order to ensure this is preserved during the engagement of student and volunteers, and in order to remain compliant with regulations and legislation, the service will abide by the strategies and practices outlined in this policy.
24.PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Our education and care service recognises and respects the importance of privacy and confidentiality as an individual right and a basis for building partnerships. Our service requires personal information from families to provide appropriate and responsive care. This policy has been developed to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) (2014) and pursues the highest standard in the protection and preservation of privacy and confidentiality.
25.PROVIDING A CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Our service has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount and that we will provide training, resources, information and guidance to support this in order to:
- ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the service is protected at all times;
- ensure that people educating and caring for children at the service act in the best interests of the child;
- advocate and protect the rights of all children to feel safe, and be safe, at all times;
- maintain a culture in which children’s rights are respected;
- encourage active participation from families at the service, support a partnership approach and shared responsibility for children’s health, safety, wellbeing and development.
26.SAFE SLEEP AND REST TIME
All children have individual sleep and rest requirements. Children need a comfortable relaxing environment to enable their bodies to rest. This environment must be safe and well supervised to ensure children are safe, healthy and secure in their environment.
An emergency or critical incident is an abnormal or dangerous situation that occurs infrequently, requires immediate attention, and may be unpredictable in terms of the timing, nature and the extent of the situation. Examples of situations that may lead to an emergency situation and therefore require a calm, prepared, effective response, include (but are not limited to):
- A severe storm or flood (where the building’s structure is at risk);
- Where the children, educators and staff are at risk from an inside attack, i.e., a non-custodial parent wishing to harm others;
- Where the children, educators and staff are at risk from outside attack, i.e., a stranger not known to the Centre wishing to pose a potential threat.;
- A hazardous spill/gas leak;
- A bomb threat;
- A hold up;
- An earthquake;
- A terrorist attack;
- A serious vehicle accident at the front of the Centre.
28.CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
The Styles Street Code of Professional Conduct incorporates our core values, our policies and procedures, professional standards of behaviour and sound human resources practice.
Our Code of Professional Conduct encompasses the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics, the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the National Quality Standards for Early Childhood and the National Employment Standards. Implicit in our Code is the recognition of human rights, the principles of natural justice and a fair and just environment for children, families and our staff.
Our Code of Professional Conduct confirms our commitment to our values, to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct and affirms our belief in a responsible, fair and ethical work culture. The Code applies to all staff and clarifies the behaviour, practice and standards that we expect from all of our employees.
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Research has indicated that young children have sensitive skin that places them at risk of sunburn and skin damage. Exposure during the first 15 years of life can greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer in later life. Styles Street Community Long Day Care Centre plays a major role in minimising each child’s UV exposure as young children attend the service during the time of day when UV radiation levels are highest. Promoting each child’s health through sun protection is an essential element of the centre’s commitment to the National Quality Framework. Educators who are often outside with the children must also be protected from sun exposure.
30.TRANSITION TO SCHOOL POLICY
Starting school is a significant milestone in the life of any child and family. Our service supports continuity of learning and transitions for each child by sharing relevant information, clarifying responsibilities and by developing strategies that support a positive transition to formal schooling. (Standard 6.3)
Our service will liaise with local schools to develop a smooth and comprehensive transition to school program. We will work in collaboration with families to support the individual strengths and needs of each child and provide a high quality program to help children experiencing the transition to formal school.
31.WATER SAFETY POLICY
The safety and supervision of children in and around water is of the highest priority. Whilst water hazards at our service are kept to a minimum, we acknowledge that nappy buckets, water troughs, sinks and toilets can all be hazardous for children and diligent supervision is required.