The child/staff ratios as per the Pre-school regulations 2019 are as follows:
Age Child: 4-12 years
Staff Ratio: 1:12* September 2019
Sessional (up to 3.5hrs per session): n/a
We provide children with breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack (depending on length of session) and we will ensure that we promote a healthy lifestyle. Afterschool children may have any of the items listed above on the main menu. Generally children will have same as lunch menu that day for their afternoon snack as well as fruit selection and water. On Fridays generally pizza is on the menu. We insist that meals are fresh, nutritious and balanced across the food chain. On occasion we do allow some treat items like a cake at a birthday party or small amounts of sweets, this is mainly at seasonal times. If any parent would rather the child not have these items please let us know.
Bank Holidays and School Holidays: Bumble Bees is open all year round except on Bank Holidays & Christmas shutdown; we are open on church holidays except Good Friday when we close for our annual cleaning day. Should you require childcare when primary school is off, please book in advance and see price list in policies or talk to Laura/Marie.
Charges: The school year is 38 weeks, fees are due for 38 weeks regardless of parents shortening the term due to own work schedule.
No fee due when children are on mid-term or summer hols as they are not attending the facility, all other random school closures incur fee.
See table below paid/no fee/extra fee days:
Normal PAID DAYS
Extra fees due
Mid term breaks
Half days , early arrival + lunch
Summer shut down
Child attends full day when school is off
Generally, before a mid-term break the children will finish early from school on the Friday, usually 12.00/12.30. We will collect the children from school at this time provided we have been notified by the parents. We will provide hot lunch and afternoon snack later. The charge for a half day is €10.00 extra. Please do not change DD, pay in cash or transfer. Please note is it not our responsibility to know the school time table – we are scheduled to collect at normal school times only, any change to this must be requested by the parents and booked in.
- Absent from School:
Should your child be absent from primary school and not require collection it is imperative that you contact us via telephone/text to alert us. This must be done by 12.00 noon.
- Positive Behaviour:
Please see our comprehensive policy on pages: 30-34 In addition to this We take into account that children of this age group have been in school for up to 6 hours already in the day, we recognise that tiredness and the need to let off steam are factors in their behaviour. As mentioned previously we like this method called the LEAST model where we will L: Leave it alone (sometimes best ignored) E: End the behaviour by distracting the child A: Attend to the child, tease out the problem S: Spell out directions , remind children that just like school we also have rules and respect must be shown to care givers and peers, T: track the behaviour, keep a record of on-going behavioural issues.
Children will be dropped/collected to/from school via the Bumble Bees car or on foot. We generally use the car but may walk to the school in good weather or on days where seven seats just isn’t enough, the crèche car is fully covered on their insurance policy for such collections
Both Laura and Marie’s personal insurance policies also cover collections as a contingency. Ellen Crowley is our staff member in charge of the school collections, both Marie Ryan and Ellen Crowley manage the drop offs. Children are supervised at all times from leaving the crèche in the morning, to arriving at school. As they will arrive firstly at the Boys school that is the first drop, the girls will accompany Ellen/Marie into the boys school too. Upon collection, Ellen will meet the children at the door of school and accompany them to the car, at this point once in her care the children are ‘logged’ in the roll book. She will go to crèche with each group as she collects them and return to school for subsequent collections. Once at the crèche the afterschool staff take responsibility for the children. No child is allowed to leave the crèche without an authorized person to collect them.
- Activities + Play:
Afterschool club provides children with a broad range of activities including but not limited to: Outside play, sports, board games, computer, DVD/Video, gardening, baking, card games, discos, arts and crafts, role play etc. Children have had a busy day at school and we like to give them choice rather than a set curriculum when they come back in the afternoons. Once the homework timeframe has been met, our ethos is that children are given ample opportunity for play, risk taking, let off steam, be boisterous or quite creative and most of all be themselves! Families are important to us so we endeavor to provide time with younger siblings during their day. ‘Children, especially older children will naturally seek out opportunities for risk taking while at play. Play is therefore to be seen as an essential method of teaching a child how to assess and take calculated risks. Risk taking can be essential to the development of a child’s confidence and abilities both in childhood and later in life’ (JELR:2005)
Are not allowed on the premises, in line with our play-based ethos we believe that we provide rich and engaging activities free from individual technology where other children cannot share or take part.
Most of our children in afterschool have been with us for some time, moving on to the afterschool room is for some like growing up overnight. We love to extend on this and give the children little jobs or responsibilities (they crave it!) so from watering the plants, helping cut the grass, running an errand downstairs, however minor they are helping and receiving praise for their efforts. Errands are always taken on in pairs (one older child/buddy). We promote independence, school age children should be able to complete tasks and have skills and competencies to become responsible for their own safety, look after their belongings and make correct judgements – we will observe these skills and will be heard many a time guiding them but not doing for them… ‘You can do that!’ ‘Use two hands’. Etc.
We have low sized children’s toilets for the after-school room.
Homework is the link between school and home and provides parents with insight to your child’s learning, homework also develops good study habits and concentration skills. It gives children a sense of achievement and re-enforces what was learned during the day. You will all receive your own homework policy from your child’s school on enrolment. We have liaised with the four local schools, and have drawn up the following homework policy taking into account the recommendations made from schools and of course our own procedures. It’s important to note that Parents remain responsible for child’s homework completion and we will ensure that children do not miss out on prime activities due to homework. Consistency and routine is important so we make sure to get the homework underway at the same time every day: just after the children’s snack.
- Homework Guidelines:
Children will be encouraged to complete homework themselves, we will help when the child is in difficulty by teasing out the solution not telling the child the answer. We will endeavour to prevent as many distractions as possible but bear in mind this is not a 1:1 exercise, there are many other children in the afterschool room (average 10 or up to 15). We will feedback the progress made and highlight any possible issues that can in turn be discussed with the school. Shared reading is intended to be an enjoyable exercise between parent and child and therefore must be done at home. Below you will see our time guidelines for the various classes. We will have cut off point for homework based on this table ensuring children do not become frustrated and also ensuring time for other activities, rest and of course play! Homework may also take place outdoors in good weather.
Junior Infants 10 min, Senior Infants 20 min, 1st Class up to 30 min, 2nd Class up to 40 min, 3rd class up to 45 min, 4th class up to 45 min, 5th class 60 min, 6th class 1hr 15 min.
If homework is consistently not getting done within the timeframe we will discuss with parents. Where a child presents a large amount of homework, we will advise doing the written work. We reserve the right to defer homework to facilitate a special event or activity. (We will however notify parents in advance). Any child who is disruptive or not interested in completing the homework will be asked to tidy up and return to activities, parents will be advised on arrival.