pOLICY & cONDITIONS
- Mission Statement
- Philosophy Statement
- Aims of our program
- Working in partnership with parents
- Custody of children
- Complaints / Suggestion policy
- Release of children policy
- Sick Child policy and immunisation Policy
- Safety and First aid policy
- Nutrition Policy
- Hygiene Policy
- Emergency Evaluation & Procedures Policy
- Enrolment Policy
- Behaviour Guidance Policy
- Equal Opportunities & Children with special needs Policy
- Child Protection Policy
- Whistle blowing policy
To provide an inclusive, safe, stimulating and caring environment for children. Thus through play we encourage, support and nurture each child's physical, social, emotional, intellectual and cultural development.
At TLC Childcare Centre we embrace the child, and the period of childhood as a unique and important stage of life. We are committed to seeing each child within the context of their family and extending childcare to include the carers and teachers at the Centre. This commitment includes quality care and learning (meaning overall development) for every child.
Aims of our program
Extend and compliment the home by providing a loving, stable and secure environment that holistically supports each child's development. Develop and maintain each child's self-esteem by building strong feelings of self-worth and personal potential.
Foster the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and creative development of all children attending.
Encourage children to develop independence, inter-dependence and personal responsibility.
Show children peaceful means for expressing their emotions and managing their environment. This includes fostering positive attitude, respect for diversity, sensitivity to the needs of others, and well-developed communication and problem solving skills.
Appreciate and encourage parent participation and contribution in the centre's programs and management; recognising their own needs, interests and opportunities.
We respect your privacy
In order to provide you with the highest standard of service our organisation is required to collect personal information from you about your children and parents/guardians before and during the course of a child's enrolment in our service. We are committed to protecting your privacy and we abide by the National Privacy Principles contained within the Privacy Act.
Privacy of your personal information is important to us and we conduct our business with respect and integrity.
What information do we collect, why and how is it used?
Basic details are usually collected directly from parents/guardians such as your names, addresses, phone contacts but it is also necessary for staff to collect details regarding your child's name, date of birth, medical details, likes and dislikes which make up a personal profile.
All this information is vital in assisting us to provide the best possible individual care for your child.
Naturally much of this information regarded as 'sensitive' and not the unnecessarily disclosed to others.
We assure you that:
This information will only be used by our childcare professionals in order to deliver your child's care to the highest standards.
It will not be disclosed to those not associated with the case of your child without your express consent.
You may ask to seek access to the information held about you and your child and we will provide access without due delay.
We will take reasonable steps to ensure at all times that the details we keep about your family are accurate, complete and up to date.
We will take reasonable steps to protect this information from misuse or loss and from unauthorised access or disclosure.
Our staff is committed to respect these principles at all times.
Working in Partnership with Parents
Parents play a very important role in our centre. We believe that in order to promote and enhance each child's developmental skills and provide the best possible care, we need to work hand in hand with the parents.
Each day we will send home in the child's school bag a filled in form explaining what activities the children have been engaged in, and other information related to the child's day at the centre. This will help the parents to know what has been done at the centre and should they wish to do other activities at home with their own children they could pick up a similar activity done at the centre and thus acting as a continuation of what was started at the centre.
Our doors are always open to greet parents. Parents can walk right through the centre any time and any day.
We are always open to suggestions and new ideas. We believe in an open communication relationship and would greatly appreciate if parents would bring forward any complaints or suggestions to that member of the staff who they feel most comfortable talking to. This will then be passed on to the centre's manager and discussed with all parties involved.
Custody of children
In cases such as single parents, separated parents and adopted children, legal paper are to be presented on the first day that the child attends the centre or as for children already attending the centre, as soon as the legal procedures are completed.
The center will not take any responsibility for any incidents connected with this matter, if legal paper are not handed over to the centre.
Complaints / Suggestions
The service is committed to provide a high standard of quality care for all children. If you have any concerns , complaints or suggestions with regards to my aspect of your child’s care, you are kindly requested to forward them to the management and not the staff.
Please note that children at this stage find it rather difficult to share their belongings. In order to avoid unnecessary argument we kindly ask to refrain from bringing toys at the centre.
Should any parent feel that their complaint was not taken seriously and no action has to be taken, they are free to contact our regulatory body which is the Department for Social Welfare Standard and bring their complaint forward directly to this Department
Telephone number for DSWS is: 22788000
Release of Children Policy
The centre has a duty of care to the children that attend the centre. A part of this duty of care is to ensure that access to a child attending the centre is limited to persons authorised by the parents/guardian and this includes collection of the child from the centre. This policy endeavours to provide a procedure for staff to ensure only authorised persons have access to the children, and that no child leaves the centre with any one not authorised to take them and/or who are not deemed by staff to be adversely affected by alcohol, drugs etc.
We must ensure that any child attending the centre only leaves the centre with a person authorised to take them and that the person collecting them is fit to have the child released into their care. All due care will be taken by staff to ensure that no child leaves the centre with any person other than those people specified and legally able to do so.
On enrolment Parents/Guardians will be required to provide information regarding those people authorised to pick up their children and/or contacted in an emergency.
Parents/Guardians will be required to provide information regarding any court orders affecting access to their children.
Parents/Guardians will be required to provide details of any people whom they do not wish to have contact with their children, in addition to those affected by court orders.
Parents/Guardians will be required to provide TLC Childcare Centre with information relating to any changes in people authorised to have contact with or collect their children as necessary.
lnformation regarding children's contacts and people authorised to collect them will be maintained and updated by TLC Childcare Centre every 6 months.
Where the parents/guardians have made other arrangements for the collection of their child from the centre, the centre should be notified in the following manner.
In the morning when child is left at the centre the parent or other responsible adult should advise a staff member of the name and phone number of the person who will be picking up the child, this information should also be recorded in the sign on book. Where arrangements for the collection of the child change through the day the parent/guardian should phone the centre and advise a staff member of the name, relationship to the child and phone number of the person collecting the child. This information will then be recorded in the daily diary and appropriate staff advised.
If the person collecting the child is not already known to centre staff, ID Card may be requested when the person arrives at the centre.
Sick child Policy & Immunisation Policy
A child who appears to be unwell before leaving home should not be brought to the centre under any circumstances and should be kept at home until fully able to cope with the routine and activity of the Centre.
It may not always be possible to determine why a child is unwell but prompt and effective action is needed to ensure the well-being of the child and reduce the risk of possible infection to other children in the group. When notified that their child is unwell, parents/guardians are expected to make immediate arrangements to attend the centre to collect the child who will be isolated from other children and given appropriate preliminary treatment, until this occurs.
Asthma and Weather allergy Policy
Children suffering from asthma and allergies will be accepted to attend the Centre as their condition is not contagious to other children. The necessary medication and/or inhalers should be supplied. Parents/Guardians are expected to properly document their requirements and staff is expected to ensure that this has been done before any medication is administered. It is imperative that staff is told about any medication being administered while the child is not attending the Centre. Medication will be administered by a Team Leader or a permanent staff member in accordance with the information given on the Medication Instruction Book signed by the parent/guardian.
Children suffering from asthma and/or allergies will only be accepted to attend the centre upon presentation of Doctor's medical certificate confirming that their symptoms are not contagious to other children.
Staff are to ensure that all medications are stored safely. Parents/Guardians are to clearly label any medication which will be left at the centre with child's name and surname, advice staff and document the medication.
All children must be age appropriately immunised on enrolment at TLC Childcare Centre. On enrolment Parents/Guardians must provide proof of the child's immunization status. A photocopy of the child's immunization record sheet must be kept on file.
Safety and First Aid Policy
Despite health and safety precautions, injuries may be sustained by children while at the centre. Arrangements are necessary to ensure that appropriate first aid is available throughout the centre operating hours. Where first aid is administered, this must be done by a qualified member of the staff. All members of the staff carry a valid first aid qualification.
The following items are not to be brought into Centre under any circumstances:
Plastic bags or wraps (including lunch wraps);
Glass jars, glass bottles or crockery;
Ropes (even clothes with strings attached to hoods etc)
Balloons (except under supervision)
Peanuts or other nuts.
Children with pierced ears should only wear a little stud. It can be extremely dangerous if a child is pulled from a dangling earing.
Parents/Guardians will be asked to sign a consent form to allow staff members to seek professional medical attention should it be required. This will be implemented should the child be involved in an accident and parents/guardians or any other contact numbers given to us are not reachable at the time of the accident.
Good nutrition is an essential ingredient of quality childcare. It is essential for normal physical and emotional growth and as implications for future healthy adulthood. A child develops life-long eating habits as a result of early eating experiences.
We recognise that parents/guardians using our Centre have very busy lifestyles, juggling work and family commitments, and wherever possible use whatever shortcuts they can to cut down on their workloads. We also recognise that as carers of children we have a commitment to each child to ensure that they are eating healthy nutritious food whilst in our care. The most important factor is to ensure that children are exposed to a variety of foods and that a balance of all types of foods is provided.
Our aims are :
To meet the nutritional needs of children whilst in our care.
To maintain good hygiene standards.
To ensure that mealtimes are relaxed, pleasant and timed to meet the needs of the children.
To incorporate nutrition education into the program appropriate to the age of the children.
To prohibit the use of food as a reward, bribe or punishment.
To encourage independence and social skills at meal times.
To communicate with parents/guardians about their child's food intake.
To encourage parental involvement in the nutrition program.
To respect the cultural and religious wishes of parents/guardians.
Some examples of food that could be sent are :-
Sandwiches (filled with butter and ham, tuna, cheese but no peanut butter or nutella).
Yogurts (full fat yogurts only)
Some examples of food which is not allowed are:-
Sweets and chocolates
Light yogurts - these are harmful to very young children as they contain aspartame, a very dangerous chemical additive used as sweetener instead of sugar.
Meals should be readily cooked. Fruit must be cut, peeled and prepared in a bowl.
Staff will do everything possible to encourage and maintain a high level of cleanliness and remain vigilant for activities among children which could lead to cross infection. Our aim is to minimise the risk of infection through appropriate contamination prevention procedures and the routine application of effective cleaning routines.
A list of cleaning duties is issued daily by the Centre and the Head of Centre makes sure that all duties on the list are seen to and signed for. Cleaning of the Centre will be carried out before and/or after operating hours.
Disposable gloves will be worn during:
First aid procedures
Handling body fluids
Washing soiled clothing
Personal belongings such as beakers, jackets, hats etc will not be allowed to be shared. All personal belongings must be clearly labelled. All dummies must be attached to a chain and clearly labelled. Dummies which are not labelled will be left in the school bag. Borrowed Centre clothing is to be laundered before returning to the Centre.
Emergency Evacuation & Procedures Policy
Evacuation may be necessary in the event of a fire, bomb scare, earthquake and other emergency.
In order to ensure that staff and children are familiar with Emergency Evacuation Procedures, evacuation drills will be scheduled four times a year, will cover all staff and times of the day and will follow the Emergency Evacuation Procedure.
The emergency procedure will be short and simple, but will cover all necessary steps. All members of the staff will need to know the total plan and know their role within that plan.
A register containing emergency contact numbers will be maintained with up-to-date information that can be taken in case of evacuation.
The Centre is equipped with the necessary fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
Upon evacuation staff shall:
Search all areas in designated area.
Direct children under their supervision to the assembly area.
Do a quick headcount of children
Ensure Sign In/Out sheets are collected for the purpose of determining all staff and children are present and emergency contacts can be notified
Advice Head of Centre that the area has been evacuated.
Remain in control until "All Clear" signal is given by Brigade or emergency personnel.
To ensure that the enrolment process proceeds smoothly and meets the needs of the child and his/her family, the centre is to ensure that the parents/guardians are given all necessary forms to complete and are made aware of and understand all Centre Policies and procedures.
The parents/guardians must visit the Centre in person to attend an enrolment meeting. At this meeting the parents/guardians will:
Be given and asked to complete an enrolment form. Where the parent/guardian are of non English speaking background and have difficulty in understanding English, arrangements will be made for these to be translated into the Parents/Guardians home language.
Need to provide the Centre with names, addresses and phone numbers of two (2) emergency contacts. These contacts will be used should a parent be unable to be contacted in the case of illness, injury, emergency evacuation of their child.
Need to provide proof of their child's immunisation status by bringing the child's immunization details or a statement from their family doctor
Need to provide a copy of any Court orders or Restraining orders concerning Custody of the child.
Be given a copy of the Centre's Manual of Policies and procedures.
Once enrolment is confirmed a deposit of €25 must be paid. This will not be refunded. Full fees will be charged from the commencement date specified by the Centre. Non payment of fees will result in loss of the place. Fees are payable one month in advance. Lost days can be replaced but not refunded. Parents/Guardians are expected to notify the Centre by 9am latest if their child will not be attending the centre on that day. Failure to do so will be considered as if the child was present and that day will not be replaced. Public Holidays falling during a week day can only be replaced. Lost days are not carried forward to the following month, these must be replaced by the end of that same month.
Children are expected to stay at the centre for a minimum of 4 hours every time If picked up before it will be considered as if they have stayed the whole 4 hours. Time agreed will be calculated from time of arrival. It will not be allowed that children are picked up late one day and that extra time deducted from another day.
The Centres' opening hours are as follows:
Monday - Friday from 06.30am - 18.30pm.
The following additional fees may also be charged:
Fee for late collection of children - Where children are collected after the stipulated time agreed, an additional charge of €2.50/hr will be charged.
Fee for late payments - Where fees are paid after the l5th of the month, an additional charge of €2.50 a week will be added.
We fully understand that it is very hard both for the parents/guardians and the child to separate from each other. We believe that we are the first step towards school hood and that if we start on the wrong foot, this could be of a very negative experience for the child.
To this effect we recommend that initially the child starts attending the centre on a daily basis and staying for only 1 hour every day. In this way we will “wean" the child to the centre and make the transition process as smooth as possible. We will then increase the duration little by little according to the child's individual needs.
Behaviour Guidance Policy
Adults perform a significant role as a model for the behavioural education of children. Children learn to behave in a socially acceptable way through the role modelling and positive reinforcement of adults. Children learn from observation.
Behaviour Guidance teaches children to be self-disciplined and to have an understanding of how their actions affect themselves and more importantly, others around them. When expectations are clear and understood, self-esteem is improved resulting in happy, confident children.
A behaviour guidance policy ensures that all staff is clear and consistent about what behaviours are important for children to learn, for the protection and safety of themselves and others.
What is Behaviour Guidance?
Behaviour Guidance is an adult teaching/showing a child:
What is good to do?
What is not good to do?
What is safe?
What angers or hurts.
It is essential that at all times, discipline is a positive experience for all involved. This occurs when discipline:
Does not damage self-esteem, but allows children to feel capable and competent.
Takes into account the child's developmental understanding and abilities recognising that needs and behaviour change as children grow.
Praises and acknowledges caring, cooperative, desirable behaviour.
Expresses itself positively - i.e. 'walk inside' - not 'don't run inside'.
Teachers give simple explanations; offer alternative so that a child can make judgments/choices.....and thus, in time, wise choices.
Shows what to do - not just what not to do.
Is based on self-control - not intimidation.
Leads to self-discipline - recognising this is a long-term process.
Is considered as a learning experience and consequently a normal part of a child's development.
Equal Opportunities and Children with Special Needs
At TLC Childcare Centre we try to ensure that all children are treated equally and that all children's individual needs are met. Sometimes when a child with additional needs is admitted to the Centre, the child requires a greater amount of individual care and attention, especially in the early integration phase. This policy therefore undertakes to ensure that steps are taken to:
Allow the child to become familiar with the Centre, staff and other children
Provide staff with the opportunity to gain knowledge pertaining to the child's needs, and ensure that any disruptions that may occur as a result of a child with additional needs being admitted to the centre are kept to a minimum.
Where necessary a meeting will be organised with the child's family/guardian, and representatives from all carers and professional personnel involved. At this meeting a plan will be devised to best meet the needs of the child, family and Centre. This involves ascertaining special requirements, other care arrangements, what TLC Childcare Centre's options are and to provide an opportunity to inform others present of what TLC Childcare Centre can offer.
It is to be noted that this step may be conducted in a less formal manner if the Head and staff deem it to be appropriate.
It is then recommended that regular reviews rake place at least every three (3) months to access the ongoing support needs of all concerned.
At TLC Childcare Centre we promote the principle of fairness for all individuals and their different ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds, levels of ability and disability, gender, age, sexual preference, social and educational status and personality traits. To this end, Centre programmes will support the child and adult's self esteem and pride in family, community, ethnic and linguistic heritage.
TLC Childcare Centre will acknowledge value and promote the human diversity that exists within our families, centre, community and the world in general.
In implementing this policy the following points will be recognised.
Access to services
It is essential that:
We recognise that every child, family and staff member has a right to access early childhood services which support their cultural identity and their community.
Services are planned, implemented and evaluated through ongoing discussions with service users and the wider community to reflect the diversity of that community
Families who are disadvantaged by the particular circumstance of recent arrival in the country or community are provided with special consideration regarding access and support.
Language and Learning
A diversity of language, literacy and communication styles is recognised, valued and used within all early childhood services.
In consultation with Parents/Guardians, children with languages other than Maltese and English are supported with resources and appropriated speakers of the relevant language to maintain, develop and extend their language within early childhood settings.
All children have opportunities to listen to, use and learn Maltese in a supportive environment where resources, materials and people are used to scaffold their learning of Maltese and English.
Programs that are developed to include cultural diversity benefit children, families and staff. Therefore it is essential that:
Programs provide opportunities for all children, staff and families to make use of a variety of communication forms including languages other than Maltese and English.
Programs reflect the diversity of cultures represented by the broader community and both extend children's knowledge of their own culture and knowledge to cultures other than their own.
Programs, policies, practices and curricula are not only culturally inclusive but consciously work to avoid bias, combat racism and reject stereotyping.
Teaching and learning strategies reflect inclusive and multiple ways of knowing and expressing knowledge.
Parents/Guardians and community are consulted in developing programs and value differences are clearly identified and discussed.
Staff will intervene where bias occurs to teach children how to advocate for justice and equity.
At our centre we have a duty to protect and care for each child during their period of attendance at the Centre. It is vital to remember that at all stages of development, children are vulnerable in different ways and at different times. A procedure will be followed in an instance of suspected abuse. The Service Provider has the obligation to report any instances of suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.
Abuse may be categorized under four main headings:
The persistent or severe neglect of child includes failure to protect a child from exposure of any kind of danger resulting in the significant impairment of the child's health or development. This may include any of the following:
Starvation or lack of adequate food.
Extreme failure to carry out important aspects of care including hygiene, provision of shelter, adequate clothing and recreation.
Leaving your children alone and unsupervised at home or outside.
Failure to give the child adequate emotional support.
Failure to provide a child with adequate medical attention or educational provision when required.
Physical abuse includes actual or likely physical injury to a child or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child. If a child is physically hurt by an adult this could be abuse. If an adult physically hurts a child even as punishment, then this could be considered as abuse. Failure to provide adequate care ofa child to ensure their safety will also fall under this category.
Sexual activity between adults and children is always abusive because children by definition are unable to give consent. Sexual abuse is any sexual activity where adults try to use children for their own sexual intentions. Sexual abuse may be perpetrated by both family and non-family members.
Actual or likely severe effects on emotional, social, cognitive and behavioural development of a child resulting in persistent or severe ill-treatment or rejection of a child.
The following procedure will be carried out:
All staff is trained to recognise signs of suspected abuse and is required to report these findings to the head of the facility. A child protection policy manual is available to the members of the staff.
The head of facility will bring this matter forward with the Parents/Guardians of the child.
If the head of facility and/or staff members notice repeat of this said abuse, the head of facility will be obliged to report this suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.
All cases of suspected abuse will be recorded in The Child Protection Book.
The staff members at the facility take every precaution to ensure that children attending the facility are protected against abuse.
Whistle Blowing Policy
The aim of this policy is to absolutely prevent any kind of abuse from being carried out while the children are at the centre.
Neglecting serious cases of abuse means neglecting one's professional duties. Thus it is imperative that educators take the appropriate action when there is a strong probability of abuse. Disciplinary action by the Child Welfare Division may be taken against a member of staff who does not pass on information about a known case of child abuse.
If any doubt arises whether a referral should be made or not, Child Safety Services and/or The Department for Social Welfare Standards should be contacted for advice. The safety and welfare of the child is of paramount importance and overrides all other considerations.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Agenzija Appogg - 22959000
24-Hour Support Helpline -179
Dept for Social Welfare Standards- 22788000
Abiding to the above, rules will definitely be very helpful in the day to day running of our Centres. Our primary aim is the well being of your children.
While we rely on your co-operation, we thank you in advance.
The Centre reserves the right to change or alter these policies without any notice.
The Management - Tender Loving Care