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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Equality and Diversity Policy

The following is an addendum to existing policies, our aims and mission statement and is not meant to supersede other statements.

Statement of intent


Bridge Kids is committed to valuing diversity by providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and families. Our ethos is one of social inclusion as highlighted in our mission statement, our general aims and objectives and the methodology used in the Creche.

Aims


  • Provide a secure environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are valued;

  • Include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity;

  • Provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and people with disabilities;

  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity;

  • Make inclusion a thread which runs through all of the activities of the setting.

Admissions


  • Our setting is open to all members of the community.

  • We reflect the diversity of members of our society in our publicity and promotional materials.

  • We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form.

  • We provide information in as many languages as possible.

  • We base our admissions policy on a fair system that is we work from a waiting list.
  • We do not discriminate against a child or their family, or prevent entry to our setting, on the basis of colour, ethnicity, religion or social background, such as being a member of a travelling community.


  • We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to our setting because of any disability.

  • We ensure that all parents are made aware of our equal opportunities policy.

  • We develop an action plan to ensure that people with disabilities can participate successfully in the services offered by the setting and in the curriculum offered with the help from CEIS (Clare Early Intervention Services), Enable Ireland and County Childcare Committee.

Curriculum


The curriculum offered in the setting encourages children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

We do this by:

  • Making children feel valued and good about themselves;

  • Ensuring that children have equality of access to learning;

  • Recognising the different learning styles of children, making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities.

  • Reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources;

  • Avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of materials;

  • Celebrating a wide range of festivals;

  • Creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance;

  • Helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable;

  • Ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities; and
  • Ensuring that children whose first language is not English have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning.

Valuing Diversity in Families


  • We welcome the diversity of family life and work with all families.

  • We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life into the setting. We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of the setting and to contribute fully.

  • For families who have a first language other than English we will develop means to ensure their full inclusion. (we translate our parent hand book into different languages to aid in their full inclusion where possible)

  • See our Parental/Guardian Involvement Policy and Open Door Policy

Food


  • We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met.

  • We help children to learn about a range of food, and to respect the differences to cultural approaches at mealtimes.

Meetings


Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to be involved in the running of the setting are included. This is achieved, by extending an open invitation to attend our Board of Management meetings.

  • Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways - written, verbal and in translation - to ensure that all parents have information about access to the meetings.

ADMISSIONS POLICY

Pre-Admission


Children are placed on a waiting list on a first come, first served basis. Parents are actively encouraged to put their child’s name on our placement list as early as possible.

SETTLING IN POLICY

At the end of the school year, next year’s pupils are invited to come for an open morning, where they are free to drop in and spend some time with the parents in the Creche. For parents joining the service midyear, they are invited in to meet with staff at any time so they can see their room in action.

Parents are encouraged to fill in a “Getting to know the child” form at this stage to allow the child to mingle. This form will provide staff with individual information so they may talk about family with the child or organise activities based on each child’s likes, making them more comfortable.

The parents are encouraged to point to the child sized furniture, explaining that it is just for children and emphasising that only the child will be lucky enough to attend school in September.

This day is also used to familiarise the child with the lay out of the service, and to meet the staff and other children

In September, parents are encouraged to leave the child as quickly as possible, as the children usually find it distressing if too many unexpected strangers (and other children’s parents are unexpected strangers to a small child) hang around

Parents are of course; welcome to stand outside the service where all interactions can be heard clearly, or parents can go to reception to see their child on the CCTV system. Parents are welcome to phone at any time during the session, and staff will contact parents if a child becomes unduly upset.

Please be assured, many of the staff are parents too and understand parents apprehension on this big occasion. We will strive to ensure that your child is as happy and as nurtured as possible while in our care.

For children / babies who attend our full day care service, we ask that parents provide their child’s daily routine, i.e.) meal times, sleep times etc. Full day care children are invited into the Creche with their parent/s and we recommend that initially the child / baby attend for short periods of time, progressing to full day over time.





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