Caterpillars ChildcareParent HandbookUpdated January 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroductionSettling in PolicyHealthHygiene PolicyPolicy on IllnessAdministration of MedicationNutritionSafetyChild Protection PolicyIdentifying & Reporting Child AbuseEncouraging Positive BehaviourAccidentsAccident PreventionOutingsPartnership With ParentsBabysittingCollection By OthersPersonal Property & BelongingsSoothersPolicy on Non PaymentOpening HoursPrice ListHygiene PolicyFeesSleep Policy
Fire SafetyRecord Keeping PolicyHoliday SchedulePolicy on Wii/XboxDVD’s & VideosCleaning Toys & Play EquipmentCurrent ImmunizationsBouncyCastleTrampolinePotty TrainingAssistingToilet Trained ChildrenDietary NeedsBirthdaysHolidaysAbsenceEqual Opportunities PolicyPhotographsYour Contact DetailsInteraction Between The ChildrenRegulationItems From HomeParents Need To SupplyAgreeing To Terms & ConditionsModifications Of Terms & ConditionsTermination Of Care
Dear Parents,Welcome to the Caterpillars Childcare handbook,the purpose of this is to give a clear and concise view of how we all work together.James and I are constantly reviewing the different avenues we use to keep all parents up to date. The most important one is obviously face to face contact on a daily basis or a telephone call of course is always welcome. The other options being our notice board, website, seasonal newsletters, yearly customer satisfaction surveys and our parent feedback box.We have now created this handbook which gives parents a clear picture of our operation. This handbook will be updated when any changes to our policies and procedures are made. We hope you find it a useful tool.Best regards and many thanks for choosing Caterpillars Childcare.___________________Grainne & James
Record keeping Policy:It is the policy of Caterpillars to keep confidential, all documentation on file and in a secure placewhich is notaccessible to unauthorised persons.A record keeping system, accessible to all staff, is in operation in order to ensure the welfare and safety of children.If we need toamend any change of circumstances involving a child in our records e.g. personal/health details. Parents will be asked to signature the amended changes.All records are open to all authorised personnel: individual records to respective parents/guardians.Holiday ScheduleCaterpillars Childcare are open 51 weeks per year . Closed for one week at Christmas. Exact dates will be posted on the front door of Newport &RearcrossPlease Note: Bank Holidays are treated as a normal day , however we do not currently open on Bank Holidays.We are open each Good Friday.
Outings:Our policy regarding outings is the following:Parents and guardians will be given advance notice of the trip by means of a notice on the front door or a note in their child’s bag.Parents and guardians are very welcome toattend.Theinsurance company, (broker) IPPAwillbe notifiedof anytrip 3 working days in advance.If relevant aCoachwill be booked(busesare fitted with seatbelts).A basic first aid kit (bag containing relevant first aid equipment based on the type of tour being undertaken)willbe taken on the tour.Refreshments, snacks, toilet paper, paper towels, paper cups and plateswill bebrought just in case the children get hungry.A mobile phonewill alsobe brought with a list detailing the name and number of each child’s parents.We welcome ideas and suggestions from parents/guardians on suitable day trips for the children.
Child Protection PolicyThe welfare of children is of paramount importance. We appreciate a proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents/guardians and families, but where there is conflict the child's welfare must come first.Children have a right to be heard, listened to and to be taken seriously.Children will be provided with a safe and secure learning environment.Caterpillars staff will continuously receive training on 'keepingchildren safe'.It is vital that children feel respected and valued and that this is always demonstrated through interactions between children and staff, parents and staff, and amongst other children.Concerns for a child will be raised through the HSE guidelines and where appropriate in conjunction with parents.A safe and recognised method will be used to recruit new employees.Clearprocedures are in place to provide specific guidance to staff who may have reasonable grounds for concern about the safety and welfare of children who attend the playschool.Any accidents/incidentswill berecorded in the appropriate log book and notified to the relevant parent.
Guidelines on Identifying & Reporting Child AbuseN.B.It is not the job or roleof Caterpillars Childcareto say or decide that a child is being abused.During the course of everyday work if marks/bruises/weltsetcare noticed on a child,it will be recordedin the accident/incident book andthe manager will be notified.If a child tries to make a disclosure to a member of the Caterpillars team,we will notask questions or try and guess what the child is going to say, we willrecord everything the child has said.We willnotmake promises to the child thatwe willnot tell anyone. It isour staff dutyto informthe managerwho will then call the relevant social welfare office to relay the concerns and evidence that has been collected.After prior discussion with the social welfare, the parents may also need to be told that a call has been placed.
Settling in Policy:We would like parents to stay withtheir childfor an agreed period of time to ensure that thechild becomesfamiliar with their newenvironment.It is important that our staff are relaxed and friendly so that the children can settle in more easily.Prior to the child commencing, we encourage parents to come to Caterpillars when it is convenientfor them sothe childcanbecome familiar with the environment.We encourage children to bring items, e.g.pictures of their family to help them settle in.A settling in period of a week is normally suggested, e.g. 1 hour the first day, 2 hours the second day, and so on. We do not charge for this settling in period.If a child is finding it difficult to settle inwewill discuss withparentswhat else we caneachdo, to make the settling in period smoother.
Equal Opportunities Policy:Caterpillars welcomes all children regardless of race or creed and provides a caring and professional service to all children.We believe children from all backgrounds can come to value and celebrate comparisons between their own lives and those of children from other cultures and backgrounds.We also include a section in our curriculum about other cultures – by showing pictures andobjects relevantto each country.
Encouraging Positive Behaviour Policy:Inappropriate behaviourbya child attending our playschool serviceswill becorrected in a caring constructive and consistentmanner. By establishing clear boundaries,(tothe child's level ofunderstanding)children become aware of theroutinesand procedures and know what is expected of them.Positive methods of discipline, which encourage self-direction, self esteem and co-operation will be used.Fairness and consistencywill always be inevidence when dealing with children’s behaviour.We believe exhibitions of challenging behaviour are natural at certain ages and stages of development, and children need to be supported through thistime.In implementing this policy it is important to involve parents/guardians/staff and if possible children, this will assist in ensuring co-operation in implementing this policy.Time Out -A child is asked to sit on their own chair for a number of minutes, normally 2 minutes and take a little time to think about how their behaviour is making the people around them sad. Queries around this policy should be directed to the manager.
Partnership with parents:We recognise that a close relationship between staff, parents and guardians and their involvement in the running of thecreche, is a clear indicator of a quality childcare service.We welcome parents/guardians comments, questions and feedback at all times.Parentsmaybe involvedin activities,outings, etc.Parents receive a quarterly newsletter and also 3 progress reports on their child throughout the year.All relevant updates are posted on our front door.Parents receive a letter at the beginning of the year detailing what fun we will be having through-out the year.We will always ensure our activity curriculum and any changes to policies and procedures are highlighted to parents through therelevantmedium.CommunicationMethods withParents:Notice BoardWebSiteDirect One to One Contact Every Day.Feedback BoxSeasonal NewsletterYearly Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Fire Safety Policy:On hearing the alarm (the alarm is one press of the smoke alarm), it is our policy to evacuate children as quickly and safely as possible, without causing panic to children.Each carer will ask the children in the relevant rooms to form a line and will then ask them to walk to the assembly point at the front of thebuildingNewport, rear of buildingRearcrossThe Pre-school Teacher will be responsible for taking a roll call.All our fire equipment is checked and serviced byAntifyreIreland.All staff have been trained on how to activate and use the fire extinguishers.An evacuation drill will be held monthly to ensure the childrenkownexactly what to do when the fire alarm goes off and hopefully do not become frightened.Tony & James will assist Eve & Siobhan in evacuating their baby and wobblerroom (non walkers).Fire Drills will be conducted on a monthly basis.
Accident Prevention:Our policy is that theservice shalltake all reasonable measures to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of children attending the service by ensuring compliance with the following procedures.Safety covers for electrical sockets will be in place.Correct supervision will be in place at all times in the play yard and when using specific play equipment.HSE Staff/Childratios will be adhered too.Any accidents or incidents will be recorded and notified to the parent.All doors will be fitted with safety finger shields.All staff will be trained and refreshed in First Aid.Our premisesis inspectedby the HSE on a continuous basis.
Safety:Parents are responsible for making suitable arrangements for taking their children to and from the playschool/creche.Children, atall times while on our premiseswill beunder supervision of a responsible adult, in no circumstanceswill achild be allowed to go home or leave the premises except in the care of a parent or person who has been named in advance by the parent of the child.If a person other than a child’s parents calls to collect a child, the parents must be phoned and consent received before the child can be let go.The front and back of the building have been fitted with flood lighting to allow safe entry and exit on dark evenings.Safety Gates are fitted on all back doors and internal rooms. An additional timber gate is fitted outside the back door as an extra precaution.
Hygiene Policy:Cleaning is of paramount importance in preventing the spread of infection in the school.It is our policy that the premises in which we hold our services should be clean, bright and attractive with adequate natural light and ventilation.There are 4 toilets provided, 3 for the children and 1 for staff.Hand disinfectants are provided outside each room and also on the front door of Caterpillars.Routine checks are carried out to ensure the toilets are clean, and floor is dry.Paper towels and hand washes are provided in each bathroom.Separate mops and buckets are provided for the kitchen, bathroom and general rooms.GreasanandFinnesseare used to clean all counters and floors.Each room and its equipment are cleaned on a regular basis. A record of this is kept in each room.All waste is disposed of promptly. We have weekly bin collections.Disposable latex gloves and aprons are provided for staff when dealing with blood, vomit, changing nappies, cleaning tables, cooking food and emptying bins.A policy for dealing with blood and vomiting incidences is posted in each room.Gloves are provided inside the door of each room.
Health:Children who show signs of illness are assessed on a case by case basisto determine suitability to attend school.Parents are asked to call Caterpillars on 061 378270 if they are unsurewhether their child should attend.James or Grainne will inform all parents when a case of any infectious disease has occurredatCaterpillars childcareFrom time to time we may need to isolate a child until their parents call to collect them, e.g. vomiting bug, conjunctivitis.DrMoroneyor his nurse will be called for advice whererelevant. Achild will be brought to the doctor(afterconsultation with theirparents)byCaterpillars staffif parents cannot get back in the required time.If a child becomes unwell while in the school the parent/guardian will be contacted if appropriate and asked if medicine (calpol) can be administered.If an accident occurs the situation will be assessed quickly and first aid applied.Parents are asked to keep their child at home for the first 24 hours of taking antibiotics. Please see below for our specific illness policy.
Policy on IllnessFor the protection of the children, any child presenting with the following illness/symptoms, will be asked to remain at home for the recommended period of time by GP/Creche/Parent· Infectious diseases/illnesses· Diarrhoea (after two consecutive bouts)· Vomiting (after two consecutive bouts)· Temperature of 101*F/38*C· LiceOr the following communicable disorders:· Chickenpox· Measles· Mumps· Meningitis· Hepatitis· ImpetigoWhen a child becomes ill, he/she will be isolated from the other children, and the parent will be notified to pick up the childwithin an hour. If the parent cannot be reached, we will contact the person indicated by you on your child’s emergency care form.
The “stay at home period” extends to the first 24 hours of an anti-biotic.Any other illnesses/symptoms may be excluded following the doctors recommendations. Parents/guardians or staff may seek advice if they are unsure if a child should be present at Caterpillars Childcare.Parents may be asked to keep their child at home, should they suffer any of the following:· Diarrhoea· Vomiting· Temperature of 101 F/38 C or over· Earache· Complaining of a sore head orstiffnessin the neck· Persistent cough· ‘Whooping’ cough· Severe congestion· Lice· Contagious illnessIf a child becomes ill during the day, the parent/carer will be contacted and arrangements must be made to collect the child as soon as possible. In the event a child becoming seriously ill, the on-call doctor will be contacted immediately or an ambulance will be called and the child taken to hospital. A record of actions is signed by relevant parties and kept on premises. Copies of these can be obtained through management.
Administrationof Medication:With a parents agreement we will administere.gcapoland required medicines such as antibiotics. The relevant forms will need to be filled in by the parent.For specific medicines relevant to an individual child, parents will need to take responsibility for training Caterpillars Staff on how to administer them.The blue card needs to be completed by parents authorising us to givemedication.All medications must belabeledwith the child’s name and be in the original container.NutritionBreakfastis served at7.45amto8:45am in Newport and 7.15 to 8.45 inRearcross, Mid Morning Snack at 10.30am. Lunchat 1.30pm,and Afternoon snack at3.30pm.Caterpillars Childcare is inspected by the Environmental Health Officer HSE West and adheres to HACCP. Caterpillars Childcarewilldo its best to accommodateany special dietary needs of the children enrolled. Please adviseif your childhas food allergies.All meals are provided to full day care children, sessional children 9.30 to 12.30 are asked to bring a healthy morning snack with them.All baby bottles must be sterilised and contain water where appropriate prepared by the child’s parents. If your child has any dairy products in their bag or food that must be kept at a fridge temperature please inform us when you are dropping your child in.
Dietary NeedsAll meals are preparedfreshly onsite following the guidelines and regulations of “”safe food handling”” and the HACCP food management system. All dietary needs can be accommodated, however a detailed discussion is required in advance with the parent before the child begins attending Caterpillars.Birthdays:Parents are welcome to provide treatsfortheir child’s birthday. If you do not choose to do this, the staff will still make every effort to make your child’s day special.
OPENING HOURSCaterpillars isopen Monday to Fridayfrom7.45am in Newport and by request 7.15am inRearcross.We close at 6pm.We are open all year except for one week at Christmas
Price ListEach parent will be given an envelope at the beginning of each week with their child’s name, date and amount owed written on the front of the envelope. The envelope is to be returned the next day that your child is attending Caterpillars. Parents also have the option of paying by standing order on a weekly or monthly basis
SAMPLE ACTIVITY PROGRAMMESFOR THE CHILDRENPRESCHOOL (SampleActivityProgramme3yrsto 5yrs
SampleActivity Programme 8yrs plusAll of the above activities at a more complex level plus the following:Other Activities,Home Work Supervised, Facility to watch TV programmes
SampleSongs& NurseryRymesBabies seated in appropriateseatingin a circleshape.BabyMassage,Feet, Hands, Face, Legs,Arms,Tummy Time, Reachingfor age appropriateobjects.Touch &Feel, Eachchild is presented withdifferenttextures.Outdoor-Walk in buggy, time on swing,sittingon picnic blanket.Sounds - Drum, beans in a jar, spoonagainstobjects etc.FloorTime- Watchinglights rotating on thewallsand ceiling.StoryTime- Eitherone child on the laporbabies seated in a circle.Construction Work-Building blocks, activitycentreetc.NotesIt is also highly encouraged that babies/toddlers are brought out for their walks when the other children are out playing. The babies love watching the other children. The same applies when pre-school are doing song and dance activities.
SoothersIf you child uses a soother, blanket or comforter, these may be brought into the Crèche, please however double check that they are in your child’s bag before you leave the Crèche. All soothers will be placed in a sterile container in between use.If your child has ablankieplease ensure you have a replica at home.Policyon Non Payment·Ifpayment is not received on the relevant week, it will be marked down to be paid on the following weeks envelope.·Ifpayment is still not received the supervisor/manager will inform the parent that payment needs to be made in order to secure the child’s place.·Ifpayment is still not made after a period of 3 weeks, the parent will be told the child’s place in thecrechecan no longer be held.If left with no option and after further attempts to seek payment, outstanding debts will be sent to a collection agency.
Policy on Wii / Xbox·Wii/X-Boxplaying is limited to 30 minutes during after school hours.·Childrenare allowed to play with theirNintendoson Friday afternoons.Policy on watching DVD’s/Video’s·DVD’s& Video’s are shown for a maximum of 30 minutes a day as a treat.·Theyare played after lunch.·Themovies or cartoons will always be age appropriate.·Childrenare allowed to bring in cartoons for us to play.Policy on Cleaning Toys and play equipment.Toys and equipment are cleaned on a weekly basis, normally on Fridays, using Milton solution.Current ImmunizationsBefore enteringCaterpillars Childcare, your childmust have had all current immunizations. The immunizationform.This rule protects the child and other children in attendance from transmitting and receiving communicable diseases.
Policy on encouraging interaction between all ages of children at Caterpillars.We look for opportunities every day to let all the children interact together, e.g. during song and dance, while outside playing, during meal times. This allows the following:Siblings have a chance to see each other and play together.The younger children especially the babies loving watching the older children.It teachers the older children to play with care and consideration for others whensmallerchildren are about.RegulationCaterpillars Childcare is inspected by theTuslaPre-School Inspectors and Environmental Health Officer. HSE West. We are fully insuredbyKidd Insurance(Early Childhood Ireland)
Bouncy Castle UseBouncy Castles are only used under strict supervision. The fun house is for our wobblers and toddlers and the big slide for our pre-schoolers andafterschoolers.Potty Training·Thecaterpillars team will fully support each parent & child during toilet training.·Achild will be brought to the toilet on a regular basis.·Stepsare available in front of the toilets-Ifan accident occurs, children will be changed quickly to avoid anyupset.Parents must provide an ample number of under wear, pants and socks.Assisting Toilet Trained Children·Childrengoto the toilet by themselves unless they ask for assistance.·TheCaterpillarsteam will always help a child to clean themselves or assist with dressing, if a child wants them too.·It is important that a child asks for the help as we do not want to invade their privacy.
Items from HomeCaterpillars Childcareis equipped with appropriate toys; therefore, we request that playthings from homeonly be brought on days such as “Teddy BearPinics.Wealso ask that children donotwear rings and necklaces as they are not safe on playground equipment or in the gym. If such items are brought to theCaterpillars Childcarewe cannot be responsible for them.Parents Need To SupplyFull change of clothes .Nappies, Wipes and Relevant creams labelled.Bottles made for babiesWelliesand suitable outdoor (hat, coat, gloves) clothing on wet or cold days.
Sleep Policy·All children will be placed to sleep on their back.·Your child will be placedwith their feet to the foot of the cot.·In the event of a child smellingofsmoke, we will change their clothes beforeputting them down to sleep.·Nopillows are allowed.·We only use blanketswith the air holes,we donotallowany duvets, bumpers, or quilts.·We will checktemperatureof room upon entry everytime, which is 10 minute intervals.·Theroom temperaturewill be kept around 18 degrees·Ifa child seemsunwell, they will be put in a buggy beside their carer to sleep, not in a cot.Sleeping check sheets will be completed on the children.Rest TimeChildren who no longer require a cot will be provided with a low level bed, sheet & blanket. The same supervision rules apply as above.
Holiday AnytimeEach child is allowed 2 non fee paying weeks a year (holidays). One week may be kept for Christmas and the other week can be used at any time. A minimum of 1 week can be taken at any one time. Holiday cards must be filled in prior to the holiday or normal fees will apply.If you choose both your holiday week during the year, then the Christmas closedown will be chargeable.AbsenceTo retain a place, full fees are payable duringabsence orsickness for the firstfourweeks reducing to half fees for the subsequent weeks up tothree months.If holidays or sickness last longer than this and the place is still required, this is subject to negotiation. Should a child have to be sent home due to sickness or other reasons beyond the control ofCaterpillars Childcarethe full fee still applies.
FeesChildcare feesbased on a52-weekyear and are normally reviewed annually and at least one month’s notice will be given of changes in fees. Normal fees are payablefor public holidays,. Caterpillars Childcare reservesthe right to adjustfees.Parents have the choice to pay weekly or monthly by cash, cheque, transfer or standing order.If your child is unable to attend and you have booked days with us, the fees still need to be paid as the place is booked and we would be unable to fill it at such short notice.Please discuss your individual arrangement with us.Please Note: payment is required for all days booked on the registration form, regardless of whether your child attends or not. Payment is based on “days booked” not “days attended”.
Baby SittingWe have no objection to parentsasking membersofthe Caterpillars Teamon a casual basis for baby sitting, althoughwe would ask you tobear in mind that they may have to work early the next day.Collectionby OthersIf another person is to collect your child, please always inform us, preferably when you bring your child tocrecheIf for reasons beyond your control you cannot, and you need to telephone, we will need identification(registration form questions & answers).Our staff have instructions not to release children, other than to the usual parent(s), without authority and identification. If you have any problem collecting, call us as early as possible, and we will endeavour to assistPersonal Property and BelongingsWe cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to children’s property. Every reasonable effort will be made by Caterpillars Childcare to ensure the children’s belongings are not lost or damaged.Practical ‘inexpensive’ clothing is strongly recommended for children attending Caterpillars Childcare. It is the parent’s responsibility to name and clearly label all items of clothing.We suggest that all toys, books or other equipment are left at home.
PhotographsPhotographs of your childwill only be taking for the purchase of observations or arts & crafts activities. Pictures are available at all times for parents to view. No pictures will be used on our website or brochure.Updating Your Contact DetailsPleaseinformus ofany changes to your contact details immediately for the safety of your child. If your child is un-attending a session due to illness or other activities please inform the crècheon 061 378270 or 086 8145542ASAP.
AccidentsWhetherindoors, inthe playground, or on a walk outsideCaterpillars Childcare,the children aresupervised carefully, and in accordance with ratio guidelines.Accidents, though, occasionallydo occur. Any accident is reported to the parent. If emergency medical care is necessary theManager or relevant personmay take the following steps:Apply First AidAttemptto contact parent or guardian.Attemptto contact the child’sdoctor.Attempt to contact the parent or guardian through any of the other persons listed on the emergency information form you complete upon admission.If we cannot contact you or your child’sdoctorwe will do any or all of the following:1. Call anotherdoctor or 911.2. Call an ambulance.3.Take the child to Limerick orNenaghhospital.Any of the expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the child’s parents or guardians.
Termination of CareIn the event that you find it necessary to cancel your child care,please inform the manager. Youwill be required to bring your account up to date.Caterpillars Childcarereserves the right toask a family due to their child’s disruptiveand/or damagingbehaviour to make alternative childcare arrangements. This would only happenafter a period of time and conferences between the parent andowners,a child is unable to adjust to the routine of theCaterpillars Childcareand is causing disruptive and/or damagingbehaviourto persons and/or property, the child will be asked to leave. This policy is without regard torace/sex/creed/colour/religionand is instituted so that we can ensure the children attendingCaterpillars Childcareis safeand comfortable atmosphere in which to grow and develop.
Agreeing To Terms & ConditionsBy signing the Registration Form, you are acknowledging that you are aware of our Terms and Conditions and know that you are bound by the current version of them at all times.Modificationof Terms & ConditionsCaterpillars Childcare reservesthe sole right to amend its Terms & Conditions at any time, to comply with revised fiscal, legislative or operating requirements. Such changes will be notified in writing to parents, and will supersede all preceding Terms & Conditions issued by the company.
Babies BottlesAll bottles must be brought to crèche fully made.Bottles will be put in a designated fridge for baby bottles and food.Bottles brought to Caterpillars should be coming straight from your fridge or just freshly made.Beakers from home can be refilled here at Caterpillars if juice has been fully prepared at home beforehand, i.e. diluted already or juices such as Heinz bottles etc.Please let us know how your child likes their bottle, e.g. cold, lukewarm, warm etc.All bottles will be put back in your child’s bag each evening.
ParkingParking is provided at the front of the building for all parents.On turning into the Caterpillar premises please drive slowly as other parents may be entering or exiting the premises with their children.The car parking area has its own lighting installed to make parking on dark nights easier.Certain times of the day the car park can be very busy, these times normally are 9.30am and between 4.30 and 5.30.If you are in a rush at collection time and would like your child ready, i.e. coat onetc, please ring 10 to 15 minutes before you arrive.