Child Protection & Safe Guarding Statement:
- Bumble Bees undertakes to promote the general welfare, health and development of children and protect them from all kinds of harm. This safe guarding statement has been developed in line with the requirements under the Children First Act 2015. This a available to view on Childpaths in the storage section.
- As of December 11th 2017 ‘All persons carrying on or running a registered early years service and all who are employed in them as childcare staff are Mandated Persons under the Act and will acquire new legal obligations’ . This means that any person employed directly with children from that date will be legally obliged to report child protection concerns over a certain threshold to Tusla. As well as our recruitment policy and Garda vetting requirements (see page: 28) We are committed to ensuring that staff are trained in the recognition and signs of abuse (neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse) and how to report these signs. Staff are always kept informed of the latest training and new guidelines. In January 2018 all staff completed the E-Learning module ‘Introduction to Children First’.As with any organisation we acknowledge the rights of children, children are to be protected, treated with respect and have their views taken into consideration. The welfare of children always comes first and therefore a procedure for suspected abuse must be in place and is as follows:
- If staff members have any concerns for a child’s safety or concerns of neglect, abuse,
- or if a child discloses information of such to an adult in the setting it must be reported to the Designated Liaison Person (Laura McLoughlin) immediately.
- The Designated Liaison Person (D.L.P) will take a factual description of the child’s behaviour/appearance including the exact words of the child and signature of the reporter.
- The D.L.P will also decide whether there are reasonable grounds to report to Tusla (previously HSE), and may speak to another trained professional for advise on the matter. In the case of involving a third party, the child’s and family name need not be disclosed and remain confidential. If the incident is not to be reported, it will be documented and kept on file in case needed if another situation arises in the future.
- The D.L.P will then meet with the parent (unless doing so is likely to endanger the child) to discuss any change in behaviour or unexplained bruises/marks.
- Depending on the outcome of this meeting, or if there are further concerns for the child the D.L.P will contact the child protection officer in Tusla (or the Garda Siochana in the case of a serious concern to the welfare of the child or where Tusla personnel may not be available I.E out of hours/emergency), the parent will be notified of this.
- Parents will be made fully aware of what is expected of them
- All records will be made available to Tusla and the child and family will continue to be welcomed at the Crèche and throughout the investigation. We will do all in our power to support the child and family during this time.
- In the event of a child making an allegation of abuse against an employee –two separate procedures would be followed. The DLP would be responsible to report the matter to Tusla (if there are reasonable grounds to do so) and the policies above would apply, Laura McLoughlin would be responsible for addressing the employee. The employee would be kept informed of any allegation made against them. All stages will be recorded. If the person making the allegation is the adult – a written statement will also be requested in writing. An investigation may be required. The principles of natural justice, the presumption of innocence and fair procedures will be adhered to. Further action in relation to the employee will be guided by Employment Legislation via our HR Company.
Fostering Good Behaviour at Bumble Bees
- Positive behaviour management:
Bumble Bees respects children as individuals with their own interests and strengths and respects their right to experience childhood fully. We believe that promoting positive behaviour is the most constructive method of ensuring that children behave in a way which is acceptable most of the time. We will acknowledge all children’s efforts and achievements with encouragement that will lead to the growth of their self-esteem. We will endeavour to diffuse conflict between children and encourage them to resolve issues themselves by supporting them and teaching them how to behave in such situations. Through careful observing and; ‘knowing’ the child we will recognise what caused the incident and how to perhaps prevent it re-occurring. In a case where an issue does re-occur we will ask for parental support and involvement, this may take place at end of day hand over or perhaps in a prearranged meeting. Sadly from time to time we are sure to come up against sensitive situations (i.e. bullying, biting and unruly behaviour towards other children/staff) where we will need the family to understand & manage an appropriate course of action to be agreed upon by management & parents. We will offer as much guidance in the matter as possible but sometimes outside assistance or as a last resort removal of a child from the Crèche may be the only solution. This is a very last resort and only used if together we have exhausted every other course.
- Procedure for dealing with difficult behaviour at Bumble Bees: Each employee at Bumble Bees must adhere to our Code of Behaviour. The Code of Behaviour sets out clear guidance for staff and volunteers on how they are to treat children in the service. Its sets out clear boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.It is our aim to:
• Always comfort an upset child.
• Show empathy to the feelings which the child may be experiencing.
• Challenge the behaviour – not the child
• Help the child to understand the effect of their behaviour on others, always explain the reason why we want them to behave in a certain way
• Defuse minor situations before they develop into more serious issues
• Ensure the environment is suitable so that the children play safely and are not continually told ‘not to touch’.
• Give plenty praise and pay lots of attention if they make any effort to behave in a nice way
• Listen to children, allow them to express their feelings ‘it’s ok to be angry’
• Be consistent
The following practices are prohibited:
• Physical punishment of any kind
• Any actions that may humiliate the child
• Excluding the child
• Discussing the behaviour with the parent opposite the child
• Bullying of any kind
• A culture of respect is in place within the afterschool and we expect all school age children to show the following:
• To be polite, friendly, respectful and helpful to others.
• To play fairly and include others in our activities.
• Respect one another, accepting differences of race, gender, ability, age and religion.
• Use socially acceptable behaviour.
• Comply with Named Service code of behaviour which is developed by the School Age Children attending.
• Ask for help if needed.
If we feel it’s necessary, and that it may help the situation or the child to realise that their behaviour is not expectable we may use the timeout method.
- Staff get down to the child’s eye level and speaks to the child when the incident occurs, explaining in a calm way that the behaviour (not the child) is ‘not nice’. Adult explains why it is not expectable (to push, shout/bite etc.) Child is then asked to apologise (verbally/hug/shake hands etc.) to the other child. If necessary the hurt child is seen to immediately, depending on the incident the parents may be called by manager on duty.
- If required, the incident is written into the incident/ accident book and parent will be asked to sign on collection. Child paths are developing a feature on the APP that we can send the incident record virtually, this minimises the risk of contact between the adults.
- ‘Timeout’ may be used, during this time a child will be asked to sit for a number of minutes (usually matching age – so 3 min for a 3 year old) to calm down and literally take timeout away from the conflict. They are then free to return to activity and apologise to other child (if involved)
- In young children (under two) timeout is not used as it is unrealistic to expect too much at this age, the child is simply distracted, guided and directed by the carer in difficult situations. If the behaviour is repeated we will meet with parents to discuss.
- During timeout, children are not excluded from the activities but asked to sit beside an adult to calm down and think about their actions (age dependant)
- LEAST (Afterschool children only)
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. We like this method called the LEAST model where we willL: 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.
Time to one side with support of an adult In rare situations, it may be appropriate to use time to one side with the support of an adult, for short periods of time, to enable a child to calm down. Adult support is needed throughout this time, and a child must never be isolated in any space or room without adult support. Clear guidelines are followed by the early years’ service. This should not be used as a form of isolating a child.
• Holding or restraining a child to prevent harm The purpose of this intervention can only be to prevent injury to the child, another child or to an adult, or to prevent serious damage to property. Physical holding as prevention must only be used:
• To prevent injury to the child or other children
• To prevent an accident
Regardless of age, physical restraint must only ever be used for immediate safety reasons, with the minimum force and for the minimum amount of time.
If staff physically intervene to prevent injury to a child or others, staff are aware of the following:
• Physical intervention is used only as a last resort
• Staff ensure no pain is inflicted upon children
• An incident report is completed
• Parent/Guardians are informed of the staff intervening • An approved evidence-based method is used
• All staff have been fully trained on the method of intervention
Bumble Bees is committed to be a safe and friendly place for all children. We expect all children and staff to be treated with respect and kindness at all times. Bullying is not tolerated, and we have specific steps we follow in the event of bullying. Bumble Bees seeks to identify, responding and manage bullying in a timely and sensitive manner. Bullying can include different types of actions: • Verbal actions
• Gestures or signs
• Physical actions
• Taking or breaking other people’s belongings
• Leaving people out of games or any other type of exclusion
• Cyberbullying. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other things that could happen that are considered bullying. All incidents of bullying witnessed should be reported to Clio Hogan or Marie Ryan (Manager) as soon as possible.
The manager will investigate any bullying allegations. This might involve speaking to the children involved, gathering information on who is involved and in the case of cyberbullying recording any posts online. All bullying investigations are handled sensitively. Parents are informed of any bullying investigation. On occasion, it may be necessary for Bumble Bees to liaise with the child/children’s school. If a bullying issue is also ongoing at school, Bumble Bees and the school will communicate about the approach.
Following identification of a bullying issue, Bumble Bees will implement an intervention that is determined by the nature of the bullying and the children involved. All staff are fully trained on the appropriate interventions. Intervention might include:
• Negotiating agreements between pupils
• Working with parents and guardians
• Buddy/peer mentoring
Other strategies will be considered as necessary.
Cyber bullying can be defined as bullying above that occurs over the internet or via mobile phone. Bumble Bees is committed to preventing cyberbullying in our service. The following guidelines are followed:
• The children in Named Service are not permitted to have a mobile phone switched on while on the premises and grounds.
• The computers/tablets in Bumble Bees have block all social media website and are password protected. This limits access to opportunities to engage in any inappropriate activity online.
• Parents are requested to update Bumble Bees of any potential cyberbullying incidents they are aware of.
• Children are required to report any incident of cyberbullying to Bumble Bees and are encourage to talk to their key worker in person, via email or text – whatever they feel more comfortable with.
Child Leaving the School Aged Childcare Service:
Unaccompanied: During the hours that they are in Bumble Bees, children must not leave unaccompanied. They must be signed out by an adult unless prior arrangement has been made. If a child leaves unauthorised and unaccompanied the following procedure will apply:
• Children will never be left unsupervised – a staff member will follow the child if necessary
• The child’s parent/guardian will be contacted
• The Gardai will be contacted if there is a concern for the child’s safety
• The best interests of the child and their safety is the priority of Bumble Bees at all times. Should you wish a sibling to be on the authorised persons for collection – this person must be over the age of 18 and written consent will be sought.
Leaving the premises unauthorised is considered a serious behaviour issue.