Policies and Procedures
Before a child commences at the Centre, an enrolment form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian and accompanied with a non-refundable booking fee. No child can be enrolled at the Centre unless the child’s parent or guardian has authorised the Centre to seek emergency medical, hospital or ambulance service. ALL children must be re-enrolled before the end of each calendar year.
Once enrolment procedures have been completed parents will be given a copy of the Centre policy book. Should any details on the enrolment form change, please notify the Centre as soon as possible.
A waiting list is kept and as vacancies occur the next appropriate person on the waiting list will be notified. Priority will be given to families who qualify under the
Commonwealth Childcare Program – Priority of Access guidelines, and to families already attending the Centre.
PLACING CHILDREN IN GROUPS
The management reserves the right to the final decision on enrolments and room placements.
An audit of all children in attendance is done each day.
Children may from time to time be moved around the Centre to cope with numbers and for orientation in line with our flexible room arrangements. Where possible parents will be told, however, Management reserves the right to make changes at short notice.
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE/CENTRE FEEDBACK
The procedure to deal with any concerns or grievances from parents who use the Centre should be as follows:
1. Concerns/Grievances should first be discussed with the Room Leader in charge of your child’s room.
2. If you are still concerned, the matter should be discussed with the Children’s Services Team Leader, who will follow it up appropriately within the Centre.
3. The Department of Human Services is another avenue which parents may approach regarding concerns and or/grievances they may have with the Centre.
Department of Human Services
Children’s Services Officer
A Communication Box is located in the foyer, and suggestions boxes in each of the rooms, if you wish to submit written feedback on the Centre, its services and programs, otherwise please see the Director.
SAFETY & EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Emergency evacuation procedures in case of fire etc, are displayed in each of the children’s rooms as well as the foyer.
Our staff are trained to deal with such emergencies and at regular intervals emergency evacuations are practiced with the children.
Staff at the centre have First Aid training and are equipped to handle emergency First Aid situations.
In the case of a localised disaster requiring the Centre to be evacuated, children may be collected from Jedem Close, Viewbank,
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
All children are to be signed and timed in and out of their daily attendance book located in the foyer.
1. Upon arrival, the child must be timed and signed in.
2. A time of departure and the person who will be picking them up also needs to be recorded.
3. If your emergency contact number for the day is different to the one on your enrolment form, please write it in the comments section so staff have a way of contacting you during the day (Children’s Services Regulation 1998 No.14)
4. If someone other than the parent or guardian is to collect the child, staff need to be notified.
5. If the person is not listed on the child’s enrolment form and unknown to Centre staff, they will need to show proof of identification and the parent will be contacted before they are allowed to collect the child.
6. If parents are aware that they may be late in collecting their child they should contact the Centre as soon as possible.
These procedures are rigidly adhered to in order to protect the child during transfer of legal responsibility and parents/guardians co-operation and support is essential in this matter.
FAILURE TO COLLECT A CHILD FROM THE CENTRE
If the designated person fails to collect a child from the Centre by 6-30pm, the following procedure will take place.
1. Staff will try to contact parents on given phone numbers.
2. If unable to reach parents, then emergency contact person will be called.
3. In event of staff being unable to contact anyone, two staff will have to remain with the child at the Centre.
4. Parents must ensure they provide adequate and accessible emergency contact people.
5. A late fee will be charged to cover additional staff costs
VISITORS TO THE CENTRE
Viewbank Child Care Centre adopts an ‘open door’ policy, where family and friends are always welcome to come and visit and participate in the program at any time. We hold special days throughout the year for this, however visitors are welcome at any time.
All staff make themselves aware of visitors to the Centre, and question and request identification from any visitor with whom they are not familiar.
Parents should also be aware of who they are opening the front door to in the mornings and evenings. If you do not recognize the person, please refrain from opening the door to them.
All visitors to the Centre are asked to enter their details and reasons for their visit in the Centre’s ‘Visitor’s Book’, located at the front desk, and should be directed to the person in charge of the Centre or the room they are visiting.
CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY
CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY
CHILDREN’S HEALTH POLICY
The centre does not have separate facilities for the care of sick children. Parents are asked not to send sick children to the centre. More importantly, staff/child ratios prevent staff from providing the degree of individual care and comfort that an unwell child deserves. Staff will ask you to collect your child if it is felt that they are ‘physically unwell’. This includes displaying symptoms of fever, mucous discharge from nose or ears, rashes and/or general lethargy.
Please Do Not Send Your Child If He/She Has:
Diarrhoea - A child who has an acute period of watery stools should be kept home and not return to the centre until he/she has been free of diarrhoea for 24 hours. If, however your child has an allergy or condition which regularly causes diarrhoea, please inform staff at the time of enrolment.
Vomiting - A child who is vomiting should be kept home until vomiting has stopped for 24 hours. Micro-organisms that cause vomiting and diarrhoea are highly contagious and will spread quickly throughout the centre.
Fever - A child with a fever of more than 38°C should be kept home as this indicates that the child is unwell. It is advised that the child should have a normal temperature for 24 hours and his/her activity level and appetite have returned to normal before returning to the Centre.
Unexplained Rash - A child with unexplained rash needs to be seen by a Doctor to diagnose the cause of the rash. If the rash is not contagious the child will be allowed to return to the centre on presentation of a medical certificate.
Chicken Pox - A child with chicken pox should be excluded until fully recovered or for at least five days after the eruption first appears.
Conjunctivitis - A child should be excluded until discharge from eyes has ceased, usually 48 hours after commencing prescribed eye drops (please note that over the counter drops are not as effective in treating the symptoms of conjunctivitis).
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease -A child should be excluded until all blisters have dried.
Source: NHMRC (The National Health and Medical Research Council) ‘Staying Healthy in Childcare’- Dept of Health and Family Services
If a child suffers from asthma, upon enrolment, parents must supply the Centre with an ‘Asthma Action Plan’ from the child’s doctor. Details required must include symptoms and signs of asthma, what triggers their asthma attacks, name of medication, how to administer that asthma medication and an emergency action plan. These ‘Asthma Action Plans’ are kept in the ‘Children’s Health Management Folders’ kept in each room’s bathroom.
Any medications such as pumps, inhalers etc, should be clearly labeled with the child’s name. This medication can either be kept at the Centre or brought in each day your child attends and handed to staff.
All rooms have ‘Asthma First Aid’ posters displayed on their information boards, and an ‘Emergency Treatment of an Asthma Attack’ poster which are to be followed, in conjunction with the child’s emergency plan, in the case of an asthma attack.
Source: - Asthma Foundation of
- Asthma Foundation Website www.asthma.org.au
If a child has live headlice present, they are to be excluded from the Centre until treatment has commenced and all live lice and eggs have been removed (the most important part of the treatment is the removal of eggs with a comb; -treatment alone does not remove the lice and eggs). A medical certificate is not required as per Health (Infectious Disease) Regulations 2001, however we request that parents either bring in the treatment to show it has been commenced, or a signed declaration witnessed and stamped by a pharmacist confirming that appropriate treatment has commenced.
Treatment should be repeated in 7 days to ensure that any live eggs that weren’t removed in the first course of treatment are killed off before hatching into lice.
Role of parents- precautions you can undertake to prevent the spread of head lice:
· brush your child’s hair vigorously at least once a day. Teach your child how to brush their own hair vigorously. Head lice are fragile creatures and easily damaged
· inspect hair and scalp weekly (daily during an outbreak)
· shampoo hair regularly
· keep long hair tied back in a plait or a pony tail
· do not share combs, brushes or hats. Wash combs, brushes and hats regularly
Role of the Centre:
· to distribute up to date and accurate information on detection, treatment and control of head lice to staff and parents
· to ensure all families are kept up to date with current information on head lice and any changes to the policy
· to ensure all families are aware of the Centre’s head lice policy and ensure it is reinforced during outbreaks
· to use the Banyule City Council Health Nurse to provide head checks during outbreaks, for families that consent
· only exclude children from care who have live lice
· notify parents of any outbreak of head lice via the ‘Children’s Health Board’ in the foyer
· educate children, staff and parents about head lice and why personal items (like hats and combs) should not be shared
Source: - ‘Health Hints from your school nurse APRIL 2000 HEADLICE’- Dept of
- ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’- Dept of Health and Family Services
24 HOUR EXCLUSION POLICY.
Where medication has been prescribed to a child for the first time, the child must not attend the centre for 24 hours. This is a precaution against a reaction to the medicine and to minimise the spread of infection. When the visiting Doctor prescribes a medication to a child for the first time, the parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their child.
If your child is diagnosed as having an infectious disease, it is your responsibility to notify the Centre immediately and provide a Doctor’s Certificate upon returning to the Centre. Parents will be notified of any cases of infectious diseases in the centre via the ‘Children’s Health Board’ up the front of the Centre.
Do not send your child to the Centre if he/she is infectious or has come into contact with an infectious disease, for the period as specified by the Communicable Diseases Section, Victorian Government Department of Human Services, May 2001, located on the Centre Information Board. Sending your child will place other children, parents and staff at risk. Children not immunised will be excluded.
Your child’s immunisation must be up to date, and your child’s immunisation book will need to be shown to Administration Staff at the time of enrolment and when new information has been added. Immunsiations must be kept up to date while your child is at the Centre and are available through our visiting doctor service.
Any child unimmunised will be excluded from the Centre during an outbreak of a vaccine preventable infectious disease.
Any child with an Infectious Disease must be excluded from the Centre for the period specified in the ‘Minimum Period of Exclusion from Schools and Children’s Services Centre’s for Infectious Diseases Cases and Contacts’ located on the Centre Information Board at the reception area.
Source: - ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’- Exclusion of sick Children
- National Health and Medical Research Council
To protect your child from incorrect administration of medications, strict policies have been developed.
Children may only be given medications at the centre if:
1. The medication was prescribed by a medical practitioner and is in the original container labeled by the pharmacy, with the child’s name, the dosage and within the use-by date.
2. Parents complete and sign the Medication Administration Book authorising staff to administer the medication. Medications will not be given if parents fail to complete the medication book.
Over the counter type medications will only be given for up to three consecutive days in any one week without a Doctor’s note, stating the child’s name, medication, dosage and period of time the medication is to be given. This policy has been designed to avoid the possibility of the inappropriate use of medication with young children.
Medications must be stored in your child’s bathroom in the designated “Medication Area” or in the fridges allocated to each area. NO MEDICATIONS ARE TO BE LEFT IN YOUR CHILD’S BAG.
To guard against the over use of panadol, and minimise the risk of masking the underlying reasons behind high temperatures, the following panadol policy will be strictly enforced:
Staff will only administer panadol (paracetamol) if it is accompanied by a doctor's letter prescribing the name of the child it is to be adminsitered to, the reason for administering, the dosage and length of time (date and days) it is to be administered for. If a child presents with a fever at the Centre, we will notify the parents immediately and ask them to organise collection of the child within 2 hours, and encourage them to visit a doctor to find the cause of the temperature.
While waiting for the child to be picked up, staff will follow the following steps in first aid to help treat the fever:
* some of the child's clothing will be removed to cool them down
* Plenty of fluids will be offered to the child
* the child will be rested and encouraged to lay down
* a cool facewasher will be apllied to the forehead
* the child's temperature and general well-being will be monitored
The parents of a child who has a chronic condition (e.g. asthma) requiring prolonged preventative medication, are requested to supply the Centre with a Doctor’s Certificate at the time of enrolment or diagnosis of the condition and an action plan for treatment of the condition. A letter from the parent authorising staff to administer the medication on any given day or time that symptoms arise may also be supplied rather than writing it up each day in the Medication Book.
Staff are aware of the importance of having a dental care routine that is followed through at the centre and at home, and the importance of establishing good dental care practices at an early age. Hygiene is an important consideration to be taken into account when dental care is being incorporated into the program with so many young children. Children up to the age of 6 require adults to assist in tooth brushing. Given the number of children in the rooms, time prohibits us from giving children the 1-on-1 time and supervision they require for effective tooth brushing. Also the high risk of cross contamination and the hygiene factor of storing and cleaning toothbrushes makes tooth brushing an ineffective procedure at the Centre.
Staff at Viewbank Child Care Cente encourage all children to practice correct dental hygiene by:
· encouraging children to drink after meals – thereby rinsing their mouths
· minimising sugary foods to protect teeth
· not allowing bottles in cots or children to fall asleep with bottles to minimise the effect of milk and the teat on teeth
· providing milk at lunch time as a source of calcium - dairy products have a proven protective effect in oral hygiene
· providing water throughout the day which provides fluoride for the teeth
· encouraging children to drink and enjoy water and to eat fresh fruit
· educating children by having discussions and stories in relation to correct food choices that strengthen teeth and reduce tooth decay
· providing families with information on dental care practices that are recommended by recognised health and dental care authorities
· displaying posters promoting healthy teeth and gums and correct oral hygiene
· having annual visits from the Pre-school Dental Service to educate pre-school children on dental hygiene and also to check children’s teeth (with parent consent)
· reminding children that the most important times of the day to brush their teeth are before bed, so any sugar etc, is removed before they go to sleep, and in the morning.
By promoting all of the above, in conjunction with educating children, staff and families, we hope to promote a strong awareness of dental care throughout our Centre, our programs and within the home.
Source: - ‘A Toothbrushing Program in Early Childhood Centres’- Human
Services October 1996
- Parents of Viewbank Child Care Centre
- Staff at Viewbank Child Care Centre
HEALTH AND HYGIENE POLICY
Staff adhere to and follow strict hygiene practices to ensure that cross-infection is kept minimal. Staff encourage children of all ages to carry out basic hygiene practices by:
· role modeling for the children, and using correct procedures
· initiating discussions with the children about good hygiene and dental care and the reasons for them
· providing information for parents on hygiene and dental care
· encouraging children to follow basic rules of hygiene
· supervising bathrooms at all times and talking children through procedures if necessary
All Staff ensure they wash hands:
· when arriving at the Centre - this reduces the introduction of germs
· before handling food
· before eating
· after handling garbage
· after changing a nappy
· after going to the toilet
· after cleaning up faeces or vomit
· after wiping a nose, either a child’s or their own
· before going home - this prevents taking germs home
When outdoors and a tap for hand washing is not available, antiseptic sanitizing hand gel is used in place of hand washing. This is proven to be as effective as hand washing and is approved by relevant Food Safety Authorities.
Staff also follow these hygiene procedures to ensure cross infection is minimal:
· ensuring nappy change benches are sprayed with cleaner between each child, and thoroughly cleaned with cleaner and sanitizer after lunch
· tables are cleaned and sanitized each time before and after food is served
· toilets and basins are cleaned at least twice a day
· bathroom and room floors are swept and mopped at least twice a day
· toys are cleaned each day and immediately after being placed in the mouth
· bed sheets are washed at least weekly, either once a child has finished for the week, in between different children using the mattress, or when soiled.
Source: - ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’ Issue No. 97/11
· All staff are involved in and responsible for practicing and carrying out the Centre’s Food Safety Program
· All staff at the Centre are trained annually to increase their awareness of good practices in ensuring quality food handling and storage requirements are met and carried out
· The Centre has information from recognised health and safety authorities about hygiene practices and food safety standards
· The Centre undergoes a comprehensive food safety audit annually, which is carried out by a registered food safety auditor. The Health Department also carries out spontaneous audits
· Due to the Food Safety Program, the Centre does not allow families to bring food into the Centre, however we are happy to discuss with families where this may be necessary for cultural, medical or religious reasons
· The Centre respects families wishes for cultural or religious aspects of food preparation
Source: - Food Safety Program
- Food Handlers Course
Staff will adhere to Mandatory Reporting Laws as outlined in appropriate legislation.
In the case of serious illness or accident, staff will endeavour to contact the parent immediately. Please ensure that your telephone contact numbers you have given are correct and up to date. If emergency treatment is required, an ambulance will be called without delay. Under no circumstances will a staff member transport children in their own car. If it is necessary for a child to be taken to hospital a staff member will go with the child and stay until a parent or emergency contact arrives.
When enrolling children, parents are asked to sign the authority for staff to seek emergency medical and or ambulance assistance if necessary. The staff keep records of any accidents which occur at the Centre, and will ask parents to sign the accident record if their child has hurt him/herself. If a child requires medical treatment from a Doctor or hospital a copy of the accident report will also be sent to the Department of Human Services. Parents must meet all associated costs.
SUN SMART POLICY
The Centre adheres to a strict Sun Smart Policy. All children are indoors or in the shade between the hours of 11.00 am and 2.00pm all year, and between 11:00am – 3:00 pm from 1st October to 31st March.
The Centre provides 30+ sunscreen for the children or you may choose to provide your own.
Each family must provide a hat to remain at the Centre, for their children to wear while outdoors. Hats are to be worn at ALL times throughout the year. The Centre can provide families with slouch or legionnaire hats, t-shirts and polo shirts with Centre logos on them, at a small fee if you choose. Please note that our
NO HAT, NO OUTDOOR PLAY policy will be strictly enforced for children without hats.
On days forecasted at 30 degrees plus, a ‘HOT DAY’ indoors program will be run. To minimise your child’s exposure to the sun, the following items are NOT to be worn:
¨ Tank tops
¨ Baseball caps
¨ Thin strap dresses (unless with a t-shirt underneath)
When developing the outdoor environment, high priority has been given to the continual development of shady areas e.g. Shade sails, tree planting.
Staff model appropriate suncare behaviour at all times, by wearing hats, seeking out shaded areas and using sunscreen.
Source: - Anti Cancer Council of
- Sun Smart
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS PRODUCTS POLICY
Management and staff are responsible for ensuring that any potentially dangerous products, plants or equipment are inaccessible to children, including:
· cleaning products, chemicals, pest control treatments and devices
· sharp utensils
· soiled nappies, clothing or linen
· spiders or vermin
· power points, boards or cords, or electrical appliances
· any item or product that may potentially be dangerous or hazardous to children
To ensure your child’s safety at all times, the staff at Viewbank Child Care Centre ensure the following procedures are followed:
· All medications and dangerous chemicals are stored in clearly labeled areas and containers on high shelves out of children’s reach
· The main first aid kit and all room kits are kept out of reach of children
· All areas where potentially dangerous products are kept are clearly labeled with warning signs
· All hazardous products are kept out of children’s reach at all times
· Care is taken to ensure all plants in the Centre grounds are non-poisonous
· Staff thoroughly check each playground before the children go out, to ensure it is free of any potentially dangerous vermin or objects
· Staff discuss these dangers with the children to develop their awareness of dangerous products and objects
· The Centre aims to provide families with information from recognised health and safety authorities about the safe storage of potentially dangerous products in the home
· A first aid action plan and materials safety data sheets on products used in the Centre is displayed in the laundry, bathrooms and kitchen
· Where possible, the Centre aims to keep the use of toxic and other potentially dangerous products to a minimum, however does not wish to jeopardize the hygiene standards of the Centre.
We also encourage parents to follow these procedures in the home, to ensure their child/ren’s safety both in the Centre and the home.
Source: - Victorian Poisons Information Centre
- QIAS Source Book
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