ALCOHOL AND DRUG
- Directors, Visiting Teachers and Educators MUST NOT be under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substance while responsible for children attending the service. This also includes people living in the home where children are participating in the learning programme.
- Where the instance is a Director the Ministry of Education will be contacted immediately to deal with the situation; where the instance is a Visiting Teacher this would incur instant dismissal; where the instance was an Educator this would incur service being instantly pulled from the home. In all these circumstances it would be an ‘Incident Notification’ to the Ministry of Education; where the instance is a person living in the Educator’s home this will become a non-compliance issue.
- People visiting the Educator’s home while children are in care MUST NOT be under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substances. This includes parents of children.
- Where the instance is a visitor to the home the person will be told to leave; where the person is a parent or person collecting the child – stall and contact another parent or emergency contact. Should this person become aggressive follow the ‘threats’ process in the ‘Emergency plan’.
- To support families/whānau to protect their children.
- To provide a safe environment – free from physical, emotional, verbal, sexual abuse or neglect.
- To alert parties to the indicators of physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect.
- To give a clear procedure that is followed by all parties when abuse is suspected.
- The interest, safety and protection of the child are paramount in all actions.
- We recognise the rights of family/whānau to participate in the decision-making about their children.
- We have a commitment to ensure that all staff and Educators are able to identify the signs and symptoms of potential abuse and neglect and are able to take appropriate action in response.
- We are committed to supporting all staff and Educators to work in accordance with this policy, to work with partner agencies and organisations to ensure child protection policies are consistent and high quality.
- We will always comply with relevant legislative responsibilities.
- We are committed to sharing information in a timely manner and to discuss any concerns about an individual child with the Visiting Teacher or Director.
- We are committed to promoting a culture where staff and Educators feel confident that they can constructively challenge poor practice or raise issues of concern without fear of reprisal.
Definitions: Child abuse: Includes physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse as well as neglect which is the direct consequence of a deliberate act or omission by an adult and which has the potential or effect of serious harm to the child.
- No child is to leave the care of the Educator with an unauthorized person, as per the enrolment form or without notification by the family. Should this happen the Educator is to contact the parent immediately for confirmation.
- All parties will have knowledge in how to recognise and respond to child abuse. (See appendix one)
- Resources are available from your Visiting Teacher or refer to information attached to the Policy.
- Ring the Oranga Tamariki call centre on 0508 Family (0508 326 459)
ALL PARTIES SHOULD FOLLOW THE RECORD KEEPING PROCEDURE BELOW IF THEY ARE CONCERNED. THE CHILDSPLAY HOMEBASED EDUCATION SERVICE VISITING TEACHERS AND DIRECTORS SHALL BE INFORMED IMMEDIATELY.
Responding to suspected abuse
Follow the flowchart in appendix two:
When parents or other people are suspected:
- Keep good records (Confidentiality books can be sourced from Visiting Teachers)
- Date/Time noticed
- Bruises, scratches or other injuries not conducive with normal bumps and grazes are to be recorded.
- If possible, discuss with the parent any concerns you may have so they have the opportunity to explain how this may have happened. Record the response also. Keep any texts or messages from parents regarding your concerns.
- Observation of any significant changes in child’s emotions or behaviour, frequent bedwetting, unusual tiredness, frequent tantrums or other behaviour out of character for the child to be recorded.
- Record any information told by the child
- Photos may also be useful.
- Confidentiality of the records must be maintained at all times.
Should a child disclose abuse to you:
Always believe the child. Remember your first reaction can seriously affect the child.
- Don’t blame, be judgmental, or interrogate.
- Use open-ended questions
- Show that you’re pleased the child has spoken about the abuse.
- Reassure the child that the abuse is not their fault.
- If the child wished to keep the information a secret, explain that this may not be possible to do.
- Let the child tell as much or as little as they want. Embarrassing or unpleasant details are not to be sought.
- Record all children’s responses
If there is clear evidence or reasonable cause to believe an instance of child abuse has taken place:
- Childsplay Homebased Education Service will support the Educator in making a notification to Oranga Tamariki. Childsplay Homebased Education Service will act only in a support role and cannot act on second hand information.
- Oranga Tamariki Social Workers are not to be invited into the Educator’s home while other children are in care.
When a staff member/ Educator is suspected.
These concerns may come directly via a parent or a Visiting Teacher/Educator and need to be directed to the Directors immediately. This will be investigated by the Directors following the process set out in the Disciplinary Policy or Non-compliance Policy. The Directors will also seek legal advice if necessary and invite the staff member/Educator to do the same.
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE
Where abuse is suspected or confirmed, every effort is made to protect the child. Childsplay has a statutory obligation to act.
- Responding to a child in immediate danger – referral to the Police and Oranga Tamariki.
- Responding to a child when the child discloses abuse or when there are concerns about abuse or neglect – a phone call to the Oranga Tamariki Contact Centre to discuss appropriate next steps. The individual Educator can do this at any point.
- Responding to more general concerns about the wellbeing of a child (where referral to the statutory agencies (Oranga Tamariki or the Police) is not appropriate) – referral to a family/whānau support agency in the community, such Strengthening Families or Whānau Ora is more appropriate. This will be done with the support of Childsplay Homebased Education Service.
All observations, after an investigation has been notified, shall be kept in writing but the file will be sealed for confidential reasons.
Any person reporting suspected child abuse is protected from any criminal, civil or disciplinary action by section 16 “Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989”
Childsplay 2015 LTD is the selection organisation. They are responsible for the appointment of Educators. They will follow the underlined format:
- A personal interview is organised with the potential Educator. Applicants are recruited through independent means.
- Applicant’s work history is thoroughly checked prior to enrolment to the service.
- Seek information from other agencies – Education Council
- Police Vetting is completed before care and education of children begins. To comply with legislation set under the Education Act 1989 and The Education( Early Childhood Service) Regulations 2008.
- Verify ID (must sight two forms of ID plus proof of name change)
- Contact referees
- Complete the risk assessment statement on the Induction form
- New Educators will complete an induction programme that includes information about signs of abuse and reporting of abuse.
RELATIONSHIP WITH PARENTS
- Parents are encouraged to communicate with the Educator/Visiting Teacher/Directors regarding their child’s growth and development.
- Our Complaints Policy is made available to parents/guardians/whanau and Educators at enrolment and is available on our website.
- Our Child Protection Policy is made available to parents, guardians and Educators.
- Reading material is available on request for parents on child abuse and support is offered in connecting parents to community services.
Vulnerable Child Act 2014, Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, Children, Young Persons and their Families Act, Disciplinary Policy, Code of Ethical Conduct, Staff Appointment Policy, Non-compliance Policy
To be reviewed: at least every three years
Appendix One: Signs of abuse and neglect
Information used from Child, Youth and Family. For other information have a look at www.orangatamariki.govt.nz
The physical and behavioural signs, symptoms and history listed below, may indicate abuse or neglect. However they are not specific to abuse or neglect. In certain situations, context and combinations they may indicate other conditions. All signs must be examined in the total context of the child’s situation.
- Consider physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect
- Recognise Disclosure and a sign of abuse
Record Parent, Caregiver or Family Signs:
- Exposure to family violence,
- unrealistic expectations,
Identify Developmental Signs:
- Global developmental delay
- Specific delays: motor, attachment, speech and language, social, cognitive, vision and hearing
- Unusual developmental patterns
- Mental health
- CFY history
- Age of parents or child
Observe Behavioural Signs:
- fear and regression,
- overly responsible,
- substance abuse,
- suicidal thoughts/plans
Recognise Physical Signs:
- Bruises and welts,
- cuts and abrasions,
- scalds and burns,
- head injuries,
- abdominal/stomach pain,
- emotional abuse,
- genital injuries,
- sexually transmitted diseases,
- failure to thrive,
- inadequate hygiene and clothing,
Appendix two: Reporting Abuse Flowchart
You see a child being abuse OR you observe signs of abuse in a child OR a child reports being abused.
RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD •
- Ensure the child is safe from immediate harm.
- Call the police if the child is in immediate danger
- Attend to any physical or emotional distress in the child
- Listen to the child
Are you an Educator?
CALL THE POLICE IF THE CHILD IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER!!!
Immediately Inform your Visiting Teacher or the Director and you can ring Oranga Tamaiki at any stage.
If the suspected abuser is your Visiting Teacher or Director, inform one of other Visiting Teachers or Director OR Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 OR ring the police
Prepare Written Record
- Date, time and place of observation/disclosure of abuse
- Names of anyone present
- What the child has said—exactly
- Any physical or behavioural signs of abuse
Your Visiting Teacher will give you a book to record this information in.
Your Childsplay Homebased Education Service Visiting Teacher, in consultation with you, will write up a formal report which will include the actions to be taken next.
Report Abuse Oranga Tamariki 0508 326 453. If its an emergency call the police.
Childsplay Homebased Education Service generally will not make the call to Oranga Tamariki but will be there as support. This is due to the second hand nature of the information and the types of questions that will be asked as part of the reporting process.
You will be asked whether you want to give your name or make an anonymous notification. That is up to you to decide.
Other information asked about:
- Childs full name and any nicknames
- Date of birth
- Name of the parents, caregivers and current living situation
- Current legal custodians
- Reasons why it is believed that the child has been abuse
- Other background information
- Any concerns for your physical safety in making the notification
ASK WHAT HAPPENS NEXT—get a timeframe
Alleged abuse by a person outside of the service:
- If you are concerned about the child going home tell the Oranga Tamariki or the police.
- While the child is in your care ensure the child is kept safe and secure.
- Follow the instructions of Oranga Tamariki or the police.
Alleged abuse by a person inside of the service
- Maintain close liaison with Oranga Tamariki / the police.
- Follow the process set out in the Disciplinary Policy/Non-Compliance Policy.
- Recommend the suspected abuser seeks legal advice
- Ensure records are kept of any comments or event relating to the complaint(s) and/or allegations and follow-up action is taken and documented.
- Get employment/legal advice where needed.
ATTEND TO THE HEALING OF OUR COMMUNITY
If there is disruption to Childsplay Homebased Education Service, negative impacts on other children and/or staff/Educators, or media interest contact: Traumatic Incident Helpline for support on 0800 848 326
In the case of an emergency there things that need to be considered:
- Designated assembly area for evacuation purposes outside the home need to ensure children are kept safe from further risk. Parents need to know where your assembly areas are.
- If you have to evacuate the premises then you will let families know via cellphone. In the case of Civil Defence emergency and there is no cell phone reception then you will leave a note on the door or letterbox to inform them where you will be.
- Access to a phone whether landline or cellphone. In the case of a cellphone this must have credit on it at all times to ensure you are able to ring out.
- Access to not only the parent’s contact details but also the child’s emergency contacts.
- Supplies and resources sufficient for the age and number of children and adults in the home should you have to evacuate. See Appendix one for Emergency Supply Kit details
- Any heavy furniture, appliances, fixtures and equipment that could fall needs to be secured. These include, but not limited to:
- Stereos or sound systems
- Items on shelves: ornaments, books, boxes etc
- Items on the walls: photos, paintings etc
- Regular practice with ALL children that come into care will support the process if an emergency ever happens. All practice needs to be documented. This information will be recorded in the Educator Manual.
- Older Oscar children must not carry non-walking children during a drill, nor should they be responsible for the evacuation of ECE children.
- A review of the emergency procedure in each home will be done yearly or as required and recorded in the Educator Manual
- On hearing the alarm all occupants should evacuate the building in a calm and orderly manner, by the shortest and safest escape route. Educators to assist any children that need help
- Educator to ensure that all the children have evacuated the building and if possible will turn off appliances and close doors and windows as they leave.
- All to go to the designated assembly point that will be known.
- Call 111 as soon as possible.
- Check that everyone is safe and reassure the children.
- Do not return to the building until the “all clear” is given by the Fire Service.
- The continuing operation of the service will be determined by the nature of the fire and the state of the building, resources and the well-being of the Educator and children.
- If indoors:
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops.
- Drop, take cover under a desk or table and hold onto the legs until the shaking stops. If there is no desk or table near the children should drop to their knees, putting their hands on their heads while their faces are buried in their arms (see Turtle Safe for more information). Stay in this position until the shaking stops.
- If possible gather the children all together in the hallway of the home as it has no windows, is structurally safe and will provide more than one escape route.
- If outdoors:
- Keep away from buildings and power lines.
- Children will assume the “turtle position” – drop to their knees, putting their hands on their heads while their faces are buried in their arms. Stay in this position until the shaking stops.
- When the shaking stops:
- Ensure your own personal safety.
- Check the children and reassure them.
- Administer first aid and if required call 111 for further medical assistance.
- Do a health and safety check of the premises. Keep the children away from dangerous areas.
- Only evacuate if required.
- Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of the Civil Defence.
- If possible, the Educator will turn off appliances and power/gas at the mains.
- The continuing operation of the service will be determined by the nature of the earthquake, the safety of the buildings and the well-being the of Educator and children.
Flooding in the South Canterbury area may be cause by heavy rain causing overflowing creeks, rivers and city infrastructure. It could also be as a result of wear and tear on pipes, vandalism or the result of earthquakes
- Check the source of the flooding – ensure that no occupant in the home is in danger
- Depending on the source of the flood evacuate if required.
- Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of the Civil Defence
In the event of a Tsunami:
- Listen to the radio for advice and information.
- Depending on how close to the coast you are; you will need to follow the advice of Civil Defence in determining where you need to evacuate too.
- If there is sufficient time to evacuate take your Emergency Supply Kit and any other important documentation
Unauthorised/Under the Influence of Mind-Altering Substances/Mentally Unwell Person
This is where a person enters an Educators premises and either:
- Doesn’t have permission to be there (Court Order), or
- The Educator hasn’t been informed that someone else is picking up, or
- Their behaviour is such that, as per regulations and policy, Childsplay Homebased Education Service would not give permission for them to be there.
- Assess the nature of the person: benign or aggressive?
- Ensure the safety of the children and stay calm
- Greet the person and ask why they are there:
- If the reason appears legitimate, inform them that you need to check in with the parent first before letting the child go – especially if you haven’t been informed earlier.
- If the reason is not legitimate, explain that they have to leave.
- If the person refuses to leave:
- Ring the police
- Notify the parent and Visiting Teacher/Director if possible and as soon as possible
- If it is safe, stay with the person until the police arrive – stall
- If the person becomes aggressive you need to walk away. Move to a lockable room with the children if you can do so safely
- The continuing operation of the service will be determined by the nature of events and the well-being of the Educator and children
- With the support of your Visiting Teacher a report documenting events will be written.
- Childsplay Homebased Education Service will seek the support of the Traumatic Incident Helpline 0800 848 326
Rationale: The health and wellbeing of all who attend the Early Childhood Centre/Service is of paramount importance.
Purpose: To comply with relevant legislation at all times to ensure we provide a safe and healthy environment for all staff, children and their parents. .
- During the day – Educators will be expected to “clean as they go” ensuring spills and messes are cleaned up immediately.
- Wiping down of eating areas, art areas and tidying up of toys will be undertaken by Educators
- Separate cloths for bathroom, general and food areas will be used
- The carpets will be cleaned quarterly.
- Educators will ensure that all resources used by children are cleaned at least once a month, or more regularly if required. Toys mouthed by children will be cleaned daily.
- Bedding is to washed weekly either by the Educator or parent.
- Bibs are to be washed daily and separate from bedding etc in accordance with Tikanga.
- Dress ups to be washed weekly or as needed.
- Other items such as towels or cloths are to be washed as needed or on a daily basis.
- Kitchen and bathroom linen to be washed separately from bed linen; and separate from the household wash.
- It is recommended by Regional Public Health Services that all washing is done in hot water with adequate detergent. If hot water is not available choose one of the following options:
- Soak/handwash in hot water then rinse and spin in the washing machine
- Wash at a friends home who has hot water for their machine
- Drying preference is outside on the line or clothes airer
- Soiled items are to be soaked in a recommended solution such as Frend Oxy Action for the recommended time frame. This includes, and is not limited to, vomit; diarrhoea; blood; urine.
- All washing is done in hot water with an adequate amount of laundry detergent.
Nappy Changing and Toileting Procedures
Make sure that you have all that you may need within arm’s reach, particularly if you are nappy changing up high, i.e. on a changing table.
- That all children are to be treated with dignity and respect during this routine. Remember to verbally let the child know what you are going to do.
- Change children in an area of the home that ensures health and hygiene is considerate of meal areas.
- Children’s nappies will be checked regularly and nappies will be changed on a needs basis, ie as soon as possible when soiled
- Wash your hands with soap, hand sanitizer or put on disposable gloves. Gloves must be worn if you have broken skin on your hands.
- Whether changing on the floor or using a changing table, lay the child on an appropriate non-porous mat that can be wiped down. If using a towel there must still be a non-porous mat under the towel. The towels need to be stored separately – must not be stacked on top of each other.
- Remove the wet and/or soiled nappy and place in a plastic bag or directly into the nappy bin.
- Any creams applied need to be authorized
- If soiled, in particular, clean the child’s bottom with a wipe or flannel.
- Throw the wipe in the plastic bag with the nappy or directly into the nappy bin, the flannel into the soaking bucket.
- Put clean nappy on child
- Assist the child to wash their hands before re-joining the play
- Clean up the area, wiping down changing mats with diluted bleach spray and finish by washing/sanitizing your own hands.
- Educators are responsible for changing their own children’s nappies that are in their care
- In the event of any spillage of bodily fluids the areas concerned will be disinfected immediately. (1 part bleach to 9 parts water solution)
- If you need to leave the area to change a nappy, please ensure the other care children know where you are and that they are left in a safe environment. If out and about ensure you have communicated with your care children and other adults that you are leaving the area.
Injury Prevention Strategies
- All doors to adult-only areas will be closed at all times, to ensure children do not have access to these areas.
- All chemicals will be stored in marked containers and be kept out of the reach of children at all times. This will include cleaning agents. Staff will constantly be aware of the potential danger of things such as water spills, and clean them up immediately.
- Hot drinks will be consumed away from where they could potentially spill on children.
- Children will be encouraged not to sit on tables, nor jump off furniture and chairs.
- Children will remain seated while eating and be supervised by a staff member.
- Staff will wear gloves at all times when blood is present.
- The environment is checked daily to identify, minimize and isolate hazards for children using the same procedures as for health and safety of Adults.
- The outside is checked for vandalism, dangerous objects and animal droppings
- The indoors is checked to ensure children do not have access to chemicals and that exits are clear.
- Daily checks are signed on the Daily Health and Safety Check found in the Educator Manual
- Hazards are recorded on the Hazard Identification Record Form and followed up by the Visiting Teacher
- Regular checks will be made by Educators through their daily and monthly maintenance checklists.
- Before new plants are purchased, they will be checked against current guidelines concerning New Zealand poisonous plants. All plants given as gifts will also be checked.
- Information is available to Educators and parents regarding classification of poisonous plants.
- Educators talk with children about not eating seeds, leaves and plants unless approved by an adult. All plants that are of educational benefit, i.e. swan plants, will be allowed in the Educator’s home provided they are supervised at all times.
- Rooms used by children; lounge, bedroom, playroom, toilet; are to be kept at a minimum temperature of 16oc at 500mm above the floor whether this be through a heat pump, fire or natural heat.
- Heat sources are to be safe for children. Heaters are to be behind a heat guard or at a temperature that if touched will not burn. Fires are to be behind a fireguard that is securely attached to a wall; cannot be removed by a child; cannot be reached by a child overtop, through a side or through a gap in the fireguard.
- All air conditioning and heating units will be regularly inspected and serviced. Documentation will be kept by the Educator and included on the Annual Health and Safety Check.
- Rooms used by children must not be so warm as to be uncomfortable and/or create over-heating.
- Thought into how to minimise draughts for children on the floor such as crawling children and babies needs to be considered.
- There needs to be ventilation through natural or electrical means especially in sleeping and sanitary areas, that allows fresh air to circulate.
- Materials and soft furnishings will help to reduce noise levels; such as curtains, carpet, couches & lounge chairs, cushions.
- Monitor the noise level inside the home environment and also environmental noise outside the home, being aware of the impact of this on children.
- The water temperature for children’s use will be maintained at 40 degrees C. or less and for adult use at 60 degrees C.
- Regular safety checks of equipment and the indoor/outdoor environment will be monitored by the Manager/Supervisor and recorded appropriately.
- Washing facilities will be available for sick or soiled children.
Care of Animals
- All animals are to be shown respect and empathy, treated kindly and cared for sufficiently according to their needs.
- Children and adults who handle animals are to practise sound hand washing procedures afterwards.
- Children are to be supervised when interacting with animals.
- Pets in Homebased settings need their habitats cleaned and maintained as required.
- Outdoor areas are to regularly checked for animal droppings and these removed.
- All animals visiting or living at the home must be able to be restrained in an area away from the children and from the entry/exit of the home.
- When care is in a rural home, children are to be supervised during any interaction with farm animals and Educator is to be aware of location of surrounding livestock etc.
- Refer to Appendix one for further information regarding care of animals.
Preparation and Eating of Food
- Food is to be prepared, served, stored and cleaned hygienically.
- Lunches should contain something from each food group:
- Breads and cereals: bread, buns/rolls, pita bread, wrap, rice, pasta, crackers
- Fruit and vegetables: chopped vege sticks, fruit – fresh, dried, canned
- Milk and milk products: yoghurt, cheese, milk
- Protein based products: chicken, eggs, beans, tofu
- Food is served at appropriate times to meet the nutritional needs of each child. Where food is prepared by the Educator, it is of sufficient variety, quantity, and quality to meet their needs.
- Where food is prepared by the parent, it is of sufficient variety, quantity, and quality to meet their needs.
- Any food not provided by the parent must be recorded in the diary. This is to include the quantity given (eg baking, playgroup morning teas).
- Children will wash their hands before and after eating. Faces will be cleaned respectfully after eating.
- Children are encouraged to eat sitting down either on a mat or at a table whether inside or outside.
- Children are encouraged to eat their ‘everyday food’ before they eat their ‘sometimes food’ such as biscuits and muesli bars etc.
- Water only to drink and it will be available for children at all times.
- Educators will supervise all eating times.
- Educators are encouraged to eat with the children to model, healthy eating choices. Using this as an opportunity for providing some intentional teaching and development of relationships
- Information for parents on healthy eating, children’s nutritional requirements and oral health is available
- Educators will keep in close contact with parents regarding children’s eating requirements and habits.
- Babies less than 6 months old must be held while being fed. The family MUST provide the milk whether it breastmilk or formula, bottles etc. Hygienic practices to be followed with preparation i.e. sterilization of bottles, handwashing, timing of preparation, following instructions of formula preparation.
- Children must not have any access to any fluid while in bed or their sleeping or resting-place.
- Never take hot drinks near children or leave unattended. Perhaps use a travel mug.
- All Educators and Visiting Teachers to have a first aid qualification gained form a NZQA accredited first aid training provider. This is to be renewed every 2 years and copies of certificates will be kept by the office. First aid training must be completed prior to children beginning care.
Response to Infectious Diseases and General Illness
- Immunisation register maintained by Childsplay Homebased Education Service from information supplied on enrolment with the service.
- Refer to: Ministry of Health Infectious Diseases to determine what action needs to be taken. In the case of a notifiable disease we will follow the advice of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. healthed.govt.nz/system/files/resource-files/HE1215_Infectious%20diseases%20card.pdf
- Refer to Appendix two: Procedure for General Illness Exclusion to determine what action needs to be taken.
- Educators will notify parents when their child becomes unwell while in care. The parent must arrange for the child to be picked up from care as soon as possible. This is to ensure the health and well-being of all the children in care.
- If a child is prescribed antibiotics they are to stay out of care for 24 hours to ensure that they have had a full dose before returning into care. In some cases this time maybe longer if the child is clearly unwell.
- Educators shall not care for children while he/she has an illness, infection, contagious disease and/or mental unwellness. Educators will notify the family and Childsplay Homebased Education Service as soon as possible of the situation.
- Educators will not provide care if a member of the family has an illness, infection, contagious disease and/or mental unwellness, and they will be in the home at the time care happens. Educators will notify the family and Childsplay Homebased Education Service as soon as possible of the situation.
- Families to notify Educator as soon as possible of ill health of children – particularly with infectious or contagious disease. Educators will notify the other families and Childsplay Homebased Education Service as soon as possible.
- Medical Certificates can be requested by Management, Educators and parents to ensure any children going into the home will be safe from any illness whether it be physical or mental.
- Children with vomiting or diarrhea must remain out of care until symptoms have ceased and continue to have a clear 48 hours without symptoms.
- Children are to be washed when they are soiled to prevent health risks to others. Supervision of other children in care is to be considered when Educator needs to leave the room to attend to this. Consideration of the child’s privacy and respectful interactions need to be paramount.
- Good hand washing procedures will be followed for both adults and children. Hand sanitizer can be used.
- All broken skin, cuts and abrasions on children or Educators must be covered with a waterproof dressing.
- Bodily fluids or blood must be cleaned up immediately. Gloves must be worn and the area cleaned with disinfectant.
- Children with headlice are required to be treated. If they are found while in care the Educator will ring the parent to come pick up. Children can come back to care once they have been treated. Refer to appendix three for the headlice procedure.
- Ensure all hygiene and cleaning routines are completed thoroughly.
- The aim is to protect other children, families and Educators. Educators will have no hesitation in ringing parents to take their children home when necessary. Please respect and understand the reasons for sending them home.
Keep a child with symptoms of illness home until:
- The symptoms disappear
- The doctor declares the child can return to care without spreading infections to other children.
If all parents keep sick children at home – everyone’s children, including their own will be sick less often.
Medical Assistance and Incident Management
- The Educator will take all practicable steps to get immediate medical assistance for a child who is seriously injured or becomes seriously ill. Should it be required, the Educator will follow the guidance of the medical professionals until the parent is present.
- Parents are to be notified as soon as practically possible of any event resulting in injury or illness – no matter how minor
- The process that will be followed is:
- Attend to the child
- Call appropriate medical assistance
- Advise parents/whanau/caregiver
- Advise Visiting Teacher
- If needed, the Educator will go with the child to hospital. The Visiting Teacher will stay with the other children and contact their parents to be picked up if necessary.
- Complete the accident/illness form
- Documentation & discussion of children’s ill health or any accident resulting in injury that occurs while in care will be recorded & signed for by the parent in the accident/illness register. This is found in the Educator Manual.
- Visiting Teachers will sign this also and record the incident on their Service Accident/Illness register. The visiting Teacher will go over the report with the Educator to:
- Identify key triggers to the incident
- Minimise the hazard
- Add to the Individual Hazard Register if required
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure
- This all kept in the Educator Manual
- Visiting Teachers will discuss these incidences each month and do a review quarterly to look for trends. May lead to some PLD for Educators
- In the event of accidents involving blood, contact is to be prevented by using gloves or other shield such as a towel.
- Serious injury and serious illness will be reported to the appropriate agency.
Refer to: The Health Act 1956 in regard to certain infectious diseases; Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008: Licensing Criteria for Homebased Education and Care Services 2008; Child Protection Policy, fees policy
Administration of Medicine
- There are three categories of medicine that require different authorisations from parents:
Category (i) medicines
Definition – a non-prescription preparation (such as arnica cream, antiseptic liquid, insect bite treatment spray etc) that is:
- not ingested;
- used for the ‘first aid’ treatment of minor injuries; and
- provided by the service and kept in the first aid cabinet.
Authority required – a written authority from a parent given at enrolment to the use of specific preparations on their child for the period that they are enrolled. The service must provide (at enrolment, or whenever there is a change) specific information to parents about the Category (i) preparations that will be used.
Category (ii) medicines
Definition – a prescription (such as antibiotics, eye/ear drops etc) or non-prescription (such as paracetamol liquid, cough syrup etc) medicine that is:
- used for a specific period of time to treat a specific condition or symptom; and
- provided by a parent for the use of that child only or, in relation to Rongoa Māori (Māori plant medicines), that is prepared by other adults at the service.
Authority required – a written authority from a parent given at the beginning of each day the medicine is administered, detailing what (name of medicine), how (method and dose), and when (time or specific symptoms/circumstances) medicine is to be given.
Category (iii) medicines
Definition – a prescription (such as asthma inhalers, epilepsy medication etc) or non-prescription (such as antihistamine syrup, lanolin cream etc) medicine that is:
- used for the ongoing treatment of a pre-diagnosed condition (such as asthma, epilepsy, allergic reaction, diabetes, eczema etc); and
- provided by a parent for the use of that child only.
Authority required – a written authority from a parent given at enrolment as part of an individual health plan, or whenever there is a change, detailing what (name of medicine), how (method and dose), and when (time or specific symptoms/circumstances) the medicine should be given.
- Childsplay provides a source of documentation to record all medication administered on the ‘Medication Register’ provided in the Educator’s diary. This must include date, time, child’s name, medication and amount administered, and be signed by the Educator at time of administration and the parent.
- Educator’s must have written parent authority to administer medication, except under medical advice in an emergency.
- Training will be undertaken for the administration of all medicines and recorded in the Educator manual. This will be done yearly at the Forum night closest to winter.
- All medication is to be stored safety and appropriately. It will be disposed of or sent home with the parent when no longer required or if past it’s use by date.
- Expiry dates of medications to be taken note of to ensure that they are not being administered past their use by date.
- Prescription medication can only be given to the child whose name is visible on the label of the medication.
- For children who have a pre-diagnosed condition such as asthma, epilepsy, allergic reaction, diabetes, eczema etc; parents must sign a health plan on the child enrolment form and complete a Regular Medication Form. This form must be reviewed regularly, at least once a month, depending on the type of medication. Parents will discuss their child’s health plan with their Educator. This form may be done by the Educator if the child develops a condition requiring Category 3 medication and a copy sent to the office
- Training of ongoing medication will be given by the parent or health professional prior to care starting or once a diagnosis has been made. This training will be recorded on the health plan.
- Medications to be kept separate from first aid supplies.
The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 require that accurate immunisation records are kept of all children on the roll.
- The Ministry of Health requires all licensed Early Childhood Centres to sight and record every child’s immunisation history on enrolment, or in the case of a child under 15 months old, once that child reaches the required age.
- These records will be maintained on the Childsplay student manangment programme and will remain confidential. Miranda is responsible for recording this information.
- In the case of an outbreak in the home of an Educator, any child who is not immunised in that home must be removed from care until the incubation period of the disease is past and no further cases are reported.
Supervision of Children Procedures
- Educators will set up the environment so that they can see the children:
- Furniture at waist height or shorter
- Small areas will be clear of clutter
- Larger areas are set up so children have clear play space
- Educators will avoid carrying out activities that will draw their attention away from supervision.
- Educators are aware of children’s abilities to safely use outdoor equipment such as: swing sets, slides, climbing fames, trampolines etc. Educators will teach the appropriate and safe ways of using this equipment.
- Any use of electronic devices will be supervised (also refer to the 21st Century Learner Policy)
- Any activity where water is involved requires constant visual contact and the Educator to be in close proximity to the children at all times. If the Educator needs to move away they will take the children or take the necessary safety precautions to ensure the water is not available.
- Educators will make sure there are always clear paths to where children are playing, sleeping and eating so they can react quickly if needed.
- Active supervision of children can be achieved in a number of ways including:
- Direct and constant monitoring by the Educator in close proximity to the children when supervising an activity with some element of risk, for example cooking experiences and any activity that is near water.
- Careful positioning of the Educator to ensure they are observing the children and are close enough to intervene promptly to prevent injury.
- Scanning or regularly looking around to observe all children and to be aware when one moves out of view.
- Listening closely to children near and far to supervise areas not in the Educator’s direct line of sight. This is particularly useful when listening out for sleeping children or older children using the bathroom.
- Observing children’s play and anticipating what may happen next will allow Educators to assist children as difficulties arise and to intervene where there is potential danger.
- Balancing activities to ensure risk is minimised.
- Oscar children are not to be responsible for the supervision of ECE children.
- There will be natural shelters (trees) and other shade areas providing enough coverage for all children playing outside. (big umbrellas or gazebos can be used)
- Children will use available shade areas outside. Those children who do not have appropriate hats or clothing will play in shade areas or inside.
- Children will wear appropriate clothing when outside which includes hats that need to protect their face, neck, and ears. (A bucket hat is ideal)
- Educators are to ensure that all children wear sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and re applied every 2 hours. Application to be recorded on the daily page of the diary. Rubber gloves can be used to apply. (SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen).
- Educators will discuss with each parent about their child’s sunscreen requirements and who will provide this.
- If parents are to provide this for their child, that there is a tube in their bag during the summer months.
- All children will have a hat in their bag during the summer months.
- If parents want their child to wear their own sun glasses, they must be fitted and cover much of their eye area.
- Educators, staff and families will be good role models when outside, wearing appropriate clothing and hats, wearing SPF 30+ sunscreen and seek shade where ever possible.
- When providing outside activities remember to schedule them to minimize time in the high UV danger period which is between 10am-5pm
Appendix one: Care for Animals
Train Your Children
Training your dog is only half of your job! In addition to teaching your dog how to behave around children, you need to teach your children how to behave around dogs.
- Children need to understand that not all dogs love them. Teach your children to always ask pet parents for permission before approaching any animal. Have mock greetings at home so that your children can practice what they’ll do when they want to pet a dog they don’t know.
- In addition to learning that they should never touch strange animals without permission, children must understand that they should never reach through fences or car windows to pet dogs who are unattended—even if they know the dog can’t get to them.
- Teach your children how to handle dogs gently. Show your children what polite petting looks like, and have them practice with a stuffed animal. Discourage unpleasant treatment, like poking, pinching, slapping, hugging and pulling on fur, tails or ears.
- Teach your children what to do when they encounter unfriendly dogs.
The best strategy is to supervise your dog and the children at all times.
When you’re not able to supervise the interaction between your dog and your children, it’s best to confine your dog to a safe area away from the children. Make sure that the children can’t access your dog’s confinement area. Some children get bitten when they reach through crate bars to touch or taunt a dog who wants to be left alone. When the children are very young, physically prevent them from wandering into your dog’s confinement area. When they are old enough to understand the rules, teach them that the area is off limits to them.
Some Other Recommendations for Parents
Be aware of the fact that any dog can attack. From the smallest to the largest, even the most friendly, cute and easy-going dogs might bite if provoked. The vast majority of dog attacks are from a dog known to the child—his or her own pet, a neighbours or a friend’s. You can help protect your child from dog bites by discussing with her the appropriate way to behave around dogs. To help parents educate their children about basic safety around dogs, we offer the following tips:
- Children should not approach, touch or play with any dog who is sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or bone, or caring for puppies. Animals are more likely to bite if they’re startled, frightened or caring for young.
- Children should never approach a barking, growling or scared dog.
- Children should not pet unfamiliar dogs without asking permission from the dog’s guardian first. If the guardian says it’s okay, the child should first let the dog sniff his closed hand. Then taking care to avoid petting the dog on the top of the head, he can pet the dog’s shoulders or chest.
- If a child sees a dog off-leash outside, they should not approach the dog and should tell an adult immediately.
- If a loose dog comes near a child, they should not run or scream. Instead, they should avoid eye contact with the dog and stand very still, like a tree, until the animal moves away. Once the dog loses interest, the child can slowly back away until out of sight.
- If a child falls down or is knocked to the ground by a dog, they should curl up in a ball with their knees tucked into their stomach and their fingers interlocked behind their neck to protect the neck and ears. If a child stays still and quiet like this, the dog will most likely just sniff and then go away.
- Children should never try to outrun a dog. If a dog does attack a child, the child should “feed” the dog his jacket, bag, bicycle—or anything that they have for the dog to grab onto or anything that can be put between the child and the dog.
The following activity will help you and your child understand the difference between safe and potentially dangerous interactions with dogs. Recite aloud with your child the following list of pledges:
- I will not stare into a dog’s eyes.
- I will not tease, try to go near or pet dogs behind fences, dogs in cars, or dogs chained or tied up in yards.
- I will not touch a dog I see loose (off-leash) outside.
- If I see a loose dog, I will tell an adult immediately.
- I will not run and scream if a loose dog comes near me.
- I will stand still like a tree and be very quiet if a dog comes near me.
- I will not touch or play with a dog while she’s eating or sleeping.
- I will only pet a dog if I have permission from the dog’s owner.
- Then I will introduce myself to the dog by letting her sniff my closed hand.
Appendix two: General Illness Guidelines for Exclusion
In general children should be
kept away from Homebased
Education and Care
when they are ill and
causing concern or when they:
- Have no interest in activities or play
- Have little energy – want or need to sleep or rest for long periods
- Cry easily, are irritable or in pain
- Constantly want to be held and comforted, are ‘clingy’
- Have a fever
- Most definitely if they have diarrhea or vomiting
Appendix Three: Headlice Procedure
- Children should be kept out of care, and parents will be rung if there are any live bugs on the child’s head. They will need to be treated and all live bugs removed before going back into care. The Public Health Nurses recommend two methods:
- Wet combing
- Chemical treatment
For more information on these methods please see your Educator for the information from the Public Health Nurses.
- Live eggs are those found within 1cm of the scalp. Anything over this measurement are probably dead eggs. Children with just eggs, that have been treated (preferably with a treatment that kills both bugs and eggs), are welcome to be in care but please inform your Educator of this. Tying up long hair or wearing a hat at all times is required, until all eggs have been removed.
- It is the responsibility of the family/whanau to check weekly or more often if needed for headlice and to treat when necessary.
- Headlice are spread through DIRECT HEAD TO HEAD CONTACT; sharing hats and combs is not advisable.
- Educators are responsible for ensuring that the other children’s families are informed of an outbreak of headlice.
- Please talk with your Educator if you need support with the looking for, or treatment of headlice.
Rationale: The health and wellbeing of all who attend the early childhood centre/service is of paramount importance.
Purpose: To comply with relevant legislation, standards and codes of practice at all times to ensure we provide a safe and healthy environment for all staff, children and their parents. .
Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU):
A PCBU is a legal entity. In the context of early childhood the PCBU is a ECE Centre Board of Trustees as an entity, ECE Centre/service owner, kohanga reo, national education association, Ministry of Education or District Health Board (as landlords), sponsor, proprietor and/or self-employed educator. For Childsplay the PCBU are the Directors, Visiting Teachers and Educators.
Health and Safety Officer:
Officers are individual members of a board of trustees or board of directors, and any other person occupying a position that allows them to exercise significant influence over the management of the business or undertaking. For Childsplay these are the Directors.
Their role is to exercise due diligence, which means they must take reasonable steps to ensure that the Board/ECE (as the PCBU) meets its health and safety obligations. The purpose of due diligence is to inform governance decisions so they do not adversely or negatively affect health and safety. The officer will proactively undertake due diligence to ensure health and safety is prioritised by their Board/ECE in order to improve health and safety and avoid the risk of any liability.
A person who carries out work in any capacity for the ECE service, including employees, contractors (Educators) and the children in care.
Health and Safety Representative:
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are workers who are elected to represent their colleagues on health and safety matters and receive appropriate training. The Visiting Teacher is the HSR for Childsplay.
Health and Safety Committee:
A Health and Safety Committee (HSC) brings together workers (including HSRs) and management to develop and review health and safety policies and procedures for the workplace.
Childsplay Homebased Education Service recognizes the need for each of its employees and contractors to have a safe and healthy workplace. It is the policy of the company to make every reasonable effort to accomplish this in areas of accident prevention, injury protection and the active promotion of the health, safety and welfare of all employees. The following areas of responsibility are essential to ensure the successful implementation of this policy.
- Observe and enforce the relevant acts and regulations that apply to working conditions in the Early Childhood Home-based industry.
- Undertake to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all employees.
- Provide education and instruction to employees in the safe use of equipment and materials being used, and advise them of all hazards likely to be encountered.
- Observe and practice safe work methods
- Adhere to the Childsplay Homebased Education Service Health and Safety Policy and the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 and the Licensing Criteria for Home based Education and care Services 2008.
- Immediately report any unsafe working conditions or equipment to management.
Self Employed Educators:
- Educators will provide a safe & healthy home environment for the children in their care. Following all policies and procedures of Childsplay Homebased Education Service.
- Childsplay Homebased Education Service Health and Safety audit will be completed on enrolment with the service.
- All hazards will be identified on this form and a letter written to the Educator outlining these, with a copy of the Health & Safety audit done.
- These hazards will be check off during induction process or by the Visiting Teacher.
- Educators will take reasonable steps to ensure that ongoing health and safety standards are practiced within their home environment. (HS 11, 12)
- Daily property checks will be done and recorded in their diary.
- Termly Health and Safety checks will be completed by the Visiting Teacher. The other two months of the term the Individual Home Hazard Register will be reviewed and recorded in the Educator manual.
- Equipment loaned by Childsplay Homebased Education Service will be kept in good order, fixed or replaced if need be.
- Educators will follow procedures put in place to deal with fires, earthquake and other emergencies.
Health and Safety Workplace Management
All staff and Educators are encouraged to play a vital and responsible role in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace through:
- Ensuring complete understanding of all the Health and Safety policies and procedures
- Being involved in the workplace health and safety audit initially and termly.
- Completing the daily health and safe check of their homes before children come into care, these include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning agents, medicines, poisons and other hazardous materials to be inaccessible to children.
- Electrical sockets to be covered and appliances to be stores safely.
- Hazards present in laundry, kitchen and bathroom.
- Vandalism, dangerous objects, foreign materials.
- The condition and placement of learning, play and other equipment.
- Windows and other areas of glass
- Poisonous plants
- Bodies of water, and any water children come into contact with, e.g. handwashing, needs Educator to check first and supervise. (tank temp to be set at 600C)
- Points of entry and exit – safe accessibility
- Remedying anything that needs attention or writing hazards on the hazard form.
- Ensuring all accidents and incidents are written in the diary and reported to parents and/or the Visiting Teachers. This is to include injuries or accidents to Educators.
- Educators will contribute to the Monthly Accident/Near-Miss report.
- Helping new Educators to the workplace understand the right safety procedures and why they exist, through the induction process. They will be given information on identifying risks in the home.
- Telling your Visiting Teacher immediately of any health and safety concerns. Adding these to the individual home hazard register in the Educator Manual.
- An Educator at all times must be aware of where the children are. Particular attention must be paid to children participating in risky ventures – Active Supervision
- Keeping the work place tidy to minimise the risk of any trips and falls.
- All homes to have working smoke alarms in at least the sleeping area and play area.
- All homes to ensure furniture, fittings, equipment and materials for the use of children are kept safe, hygienic and maintained in a good condition.
The Home Safety Check – initial and termly
- For an initial home safety check, the hazards identified need to be signed off before children come into care. This will be done at a following visit to the home, within a 2-3 weeks’ timeframe. Once the hazards have been signed off a copy of the Home Safety Check will be given to the Educator.
- Visiting Teachers will keep original copy of the Initial Home Safety Check form.
- For the termly home safety check. The Educator will keep this in their clearfile and if anything needs actioned it will be recorded in the Visiting Teacher Checklist section of the Educator Manual. Educators will ensure they are actioned before the next visit (this is generally every two weeks).
Daily house/grounds check
- Educators are to mark off in the Educator Manual that they have checked hazards before children come into care each day.
- Educators will include comments if changes to the hazard occur. This needs to include what will be done to rectify the hazard and then sign off that it has been sorted.
- Visiting Teachers will check this on their monthly visits.
Individual Home Hazard Register
- When an Educator first starts with the service, this will be completed during the session on using the manual and daily diary.
- A full review of the hazards will be done two times a term, when Educators get their new manual, and as things arise. Educators and Visiting Teachers will discuss this at monthly visits to ensure it is kept up-to-date.
Staff/Educator Injury or Illness
This procedure is for if an injury/illness occurs when children are in care:
- Administer first aid immediately.
- If deemed necessary, call an ambulance.
- Contact your Visiting Teacher as soon as you can.
- Visiting Teacher to offer support and ensure the children are picked up
- Record details of the accident on the Accident/Illness form in the Educator Manual
- Investigate the cause of the accident to ensure prevention of reoccurrence.
- Complete relevant Health and Safety documentation and relevant ACC paperwork.
- All staff are responsible for ensuring any indoor /outdoor hazards are minimised, damaged equipment removed, and potential danger spots, e.g. spills, dealt with promptly.
- The Visiting Teacher is responsible for ensuring any repairs are attended to promptly or isolated.
- Environment Safety Checks will be completed by the Educator each day before children come into care. Checks are recorded in the Educator Manual
- Accidents involving visitors to the Educators home will be responded to using the above procedure.
- A serious illness or incident involving a child, Educator or a visitor to the home while children are in care, must be reported to the Ministry of Education and in some circumstances to other specified agencies such as NZ Police; Ministry of Health; Oranga Tamariki; WorkSafe NZ.
- After the incident has been managed (first aid, parent notification, ‘specified agency’ notified), Childsplay must call the Ministry area office advisor to advise of the incident.
- Childsplay will then send the Ministry a report of the notification and copies of any other paperwork that supports the incident, such as;
- communications between parents/Educators/Visiting Teachers/ health professionals/ NZ Police etc;
- incident/illness reports;
- any other relevant information
- The Ministry of Education will then follow up with Childsplay to ensure that any recommended actions are put in place.
- Childsplay will check systems in place such as policies and procedures, Educator education etc are adequate to reduce further occurrences of the incident.
- Refer to the link below for more information on when to notify a specific agency.
Children and their families will experience an environment where connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed.
To provide children with opportunities to visit places of interest in the local and wider community.
- Permission for the child to travel by car with the Educator will be given by the parent on the Child Enrolment Form.
- Permission for the child to be taken on regular/special excursions by the Educator will be given by the parent on the Child Enrolment Form.
- Regular Excursion (local places that Educators and children visit on a regular basis): All Educators will do a risk management plan that will include a meaningful hazard assessment and site specific supervision plan for regular outings for parents to view and sign at the commencement of care. Recording of these outings will be written in the diary on that day with child’s name, place and method of transport.
- Special Excursion (out of town, all day excursions and /or those excursions organized by Visiting Teachers): Special Outing/Excursion form is to be completed, including a meaningful hazard assessment and site-specific supervision plan that is to be read and signed by the parent prior to the outing. These permission slips will be collected in by the Visiting Teachers prior to the outing.
- Special Excursion (out of town, all day excursions organized by individual Educators): Special Outing/Excursion form is to be completed, including a meaningful hazard assessment and site-specific supervision plan that is to be read and signed by the parent prior to the outing. This can be found in the Educator Manual.
- Parents are most welcome to attend excursions arranged by Childsplay HES. They will be responsible for their own child unless their child is with their Educator
- Things to take on your excursion:
- Cellphones with parent’s contact details must be taken in case of an accident or emergency.
- First aids kits must be taken.
- Any personal medication for the children or Educator must be taken.
- Sun protection.
- Rain wear.
- Drinking water for all children and adults.
- Spare clothing.
- Personal appointments should be made for outside of work hours. If this is not possible, contact will be made to the Visiting Teacher who will assist with cover if required.
- Educators are only permitted to transport children in cars that are fitted with Ministry of Transport approved car restraints. Children at all times must be in these restraints. There is no exception to this.
- Educators must arrange with parents/guardians to leave the child’s car seat with them while in care, if they have no car seats available for children. Educators to check that all car seats are compliant. An expired car seat is NOT to be used for outings.
- Educators must ensure the car has a current Warrant of Fitness and the driver has a current (full) Driver’s License which Visiting Teacher’s will check at the Annual Health and Safety Audit.
- The ECE Educator must not carry more than four children in a vehicle. The Oscar Educator must not carry more than six children in a vehicle. This applies to the combination of ECE and Oscar children as well.
- Children must not be left in a vehicle unattended by an adult, e.g. outside a shop, outside kindergarten; unless taking them out will be more of a hazard. If this is the case children need to be visible at all times and it must only be for a few moments.
Refer to Education Early Childhood Services Regulations 2008 and Licensing Criteria for Homebased Education and care 2008; HS14 & 15. Child Enrolment form; Environment Health and Safety check.