- By Daniel Smith
- Published 04/27/2012
As per the legal statutes of Ireland, every childcare service needs to adhere to certain rules and regulations. As per the Child Care Act (1991), the Health Service Executive (HSE) is the body responsible for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of children, under the age of 6 years, attending pre-school childcare services.
The services that need to adhere to these standards include creche, day care, nursery, childminder, and play school. Understanding the standards that the childcare services need to meet would give you an idea about what to expect. This would also help you understand whether a particular childcare centre is a good choice for your child.
Facilitating the learning, development and welfare of the child is the primary task of the childcare service. For this, the service needs to provide proper and adequate opportunities, activities, experiences, materials and equipment. Interaction appropriate for the age and developmental phase of the child is also important.
Ensuring proper management of the centre is also important. The HSE guidelines specify the number of qualified, trained and experienced adults who need to work with a particular number of children. There may be limitations set regarding the number of children a particular facility can cater to, depending on the number of staff members.
Keeping detailed records of each child attending the service is also essential. This must include the name, date of birth, contact details of the parents and the doctors of the child. Moreover, the childcare service also needs to provide every detail regarding the staff, age and number of attending children, care facilities and fees for the parents.
Maintaining safe and appropriate premises and clean and hygienic work and play areas is another responsibility of the childcare services. The building structure needs to be stable and sound and there needs to be adequate space for each child. Heating, lighting, ventilation, sanitary arrangements and waste storage and disposal needs to be suitable.
Adhering to safety standards is also necessary. This includes securing gates and doors, fencing the outdoor area as well as any pits and ponds, arranging for fire extinguishing equipment, and fixing guards against heat emitting surfaces. The staff members and children need to be trained for emergency evacuation.
Keeping a well-equipped first aid box is important for every pre school Dublin. It is also necessary to ensure that medical assistance is available in case of any emergency. Along with this, the childcare service needs to ensure that all children attending the service have adequate insurance coverage against injuries.
Creating policies and procedures for dealing with and managing the challenging behaviour of a child is necessary. There also needs to be policies and procedures to help the child to manage their own behaviour. Along with this, no corporal punishment must be imposed on any child in any circumstances.
Providing nutritious, appropriate, adequate and different food for the children is also the responsibility of the childcare service. For this, the centre needs to have facilities for preparing, cooking, serving and storing food. There needs to be adequate facilities for washing for the children as well.
Daniel Smith is an educational consultant and child care expert. He provides tips and suggestions for parents looking for more details on the guidelines affecting every childcare facility, like a nursery, for pre school children. If you were looking for a Montessori school for your child, he recommends you visit http://www.cocoonchildcare.ie/.