A policy is a collective agreed statement of beliefs. It exists to protect children, parents & staff. It is a course of action recommended or adopted by a service”

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Many studies have shown unwashed or improperly washed hands are the main reasons for the spread of infections. Proper hand washing has shown to reduce the number of common illnesses in children in child care. Our practices are outline below and apply to all staff members in addition to the children;

Children stand at sink, a safety step at a height where the child’s hands hang freely under the running water is supplied where needed. Disposable paper towels and foam soap are available.

  1. Turn on hot tap.

  2. Wet hands with water and apply foam soap.

  3. Rub hands together until a soapy lather and continue for 20 seconds. Rub areas between; fingers, around nail beds, under fingernails, and back of hands.

  4. Rinse hands under warm running water. LEAVE WATER RUNNING.

  5. Dry hands with disposable paper towel.

  6. Shut off water with paper towel.

  7. Throw paper towel into lined bin.

If a child is unable to stand and is too heavy to hold safely to wash hands at the sink, staff members shall use the following method:

  1. Wipe child’s hands with a damp paper towel moistened with a drop of foam soap.

  2. Discard the towel.

  3. Wipe the child’s hands with a clean, wet paper towel until hands are free of soap.

  4. Discard the paper towel.

  5. Dry child’s hands with a clean paper towel.

All staff, volunteers, and children should wash hand at the following times;

  • Upon arrival for the day or when moving from one room to another

  • Before and after eating, preparing meals, snacks or bottles, giving first aid

  • Using the bathrooms
  • Preparing or giving medication

  • Blowing noses, coughing, sneezing, helping children with tissues

  • Playing in the water table

  • Handling uncooked food

  • Handling pets

  • Outside play

  • Playing in sandbox

  • Cleaning/handling garbage

Communication plan for staff and parents:

• Hand washing posters will be posted by all sinks.

• Staff members will supervise, assist and instruct children on proper hand washing in each room.

A detailed staff handwashing policy is available in all staff handbooks.

Sunscreen Policy

The purpose of the sunscreen policy is for the protection of all children so they can benefit from outside play whilst being protected from the sun. Children’s skin is sensitive at a young age, so consideration should also be given to this policy throughout the year but in particular during the spring / summer months when the sun is at it hottest

Sunrays are harmful to all so we ask that all parents provide sunscreen for their children. You can leave a bottle permanently at the crèche or in your child’s bag. Your child’s name can be written on the bottle so staff can ensure the correct cream is given to your child.

The crèche staff will ensure that all children have sunscreen applied to face, arms, legs, hands (visible skin) and ensure that children are not exposed to harmful sunrays and do not have long periods of play in hot weather.

To further protect your child from the sun, we ask that parents dress their children appropriately on warm days. The use of light summer hats should be provided on warm days to further protect your child’s face, neck and ears. Loose fitted clothing is recommended including longer length sleeves and longer length trousers so skin is kept covered.

Wet Gear Policy

We ask that parents provide wellingtons on wet days which can either be brought to the crèche daily or left with staff with your child’s name labelled on them. Wet gear is important for children so they can still benefit from outdoor play experiencing different environments yet still remaining clean and dry. Bridge Kids has provided for rain jackets and trousers for use in the crèche however you may wish to provide your own. We recommend that parents dress children in older clothes in the event they may get worn through messy play.

Pushchair Policy

We have double pushchairs to enable the smaller babies to explore the area around our service. These pushchairs are used as specified by the manufacturer, taking notice of the minimum and maximum recommended age. The harness straps are used at all times. The pushchairs are only used for trips out of the building and never for resting or sleeping.

Outdoor Play Policy

At Bridge Kids, we place a huge emphasis on outdoor activities and play. We have three different outdoor play areas that are available for children with age appropriate equipment to help encourage gross motor skills. In addition our facility is located on the same site as the main public playground so children have the opportunity to avail of the additional swings, frames and slides in this area. Outdoor play is an important part of a child’s day as it allows freedom of movement and encourages children to take interest in their external environment; this could be anything to a stray snail or an inviting puddle to splash! With this in mind outdoor play is made available for all children on a daily basis. Staff members inspect areas daily to ensure they are free from litter and equipment is not faulty etc.

The outdoors forms a large part of our curriculum and we bring as many indoor activities outdoors as possible. Outdoor activities may include splashing in the puddles, planting in the gardens, digging for worms or feeling raindrops on our faces. The outdoors is one of the best learning environments for young children, providing an opportunity to explore, experience and make meaning of the natural world (Early Childhood Ireland). We have several large outdoor areas, are situated on 4 acres of park and are adjacent to the community playground. Even in young children, physical activity is shown to be important for their immediate health and in developing a long term pattern of physical activity. With this in mind we have recently invested in our outdoor area with the provision of a covered area to facilitate outdoor learning in all Irish weather conditions. We provide wet gear for children and ask that parents leave a pair of wellington boots with us.

An outdoor play policy is available to all staff in our staff handbooks.

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