Always Active Club Policies
Statement of purpose and function
At Always Active After-School Club, our aim is to provide after-school care with assisted homework and lots of supported outdoor play. Our team is dedicated and passionate about childcare and are fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our after-school club children. All of our policies reflect our overall vision of our service.
Always Active Club is committed to providing a quality service to children and their parents/guardians and we regularly evaluate our services in order to ensure this and to monitor the standard of our performance.
While this is always our aim, we accept that sometimes things do not always go to plan. In such circumstances, we want to know, so that we can put things right and learn from our mistakes.
We welcome all comments on our services, positive or negative. Complaints will be accepted and investigated irrespective of the nature of the complaint or who the person making the complaint is.
Always Active Club gives a commitment to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. All complaints will be dealt with seriously, sensitively and appropriately to ensure that the standard of service provided by [name of service] is maintained at a high level. The quality of the service provided to any child and family will never be adversely affected because a complaint has been made.
The complaints procedure is kept as simple as possible. Anyone making a complaint will be supported through the process as needed and given a copy of the ‘Complaints Policy and Procedures’. The complaints policy and procedures are displayed at the premises.
When a complaint is received the manager will be informed immediately. Every effort will be made to address the issue informally before moving to a formal procedure.
If necessary the complaint will be fully and appropriately investigated. A written acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint will usually be sent within 3 working days and a response within 5 days.
Parents have the prime responsibility for their child’s health and should provide the service with information about their child’s medical needs including information on medicines their child needs as well as contact information for their child’s GP. In general Always Active Club advises parents/guardians to ensure medicines are administered to children before arrival at the centre and after they have left.
The service manager will discuss and agree with the parents/guardians on what is to be the service’s role in relation to meeting the child’s medication needs, in accordance with this policy.
The written consent of the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be obtained in all cases using only Form. A medical consent form will be provided. The consent form must be completed in full.
Both prescription and non-prescription medicines (such as Paracetamol) can only be administered where specific written consent has been obtained from the child’s parent/guardian. Only medications suitable for children will be given to a child. Where a parent requests any other medication, the service will seek written confirmation from a registered medical practitioner.
All medications will be administered by a staff member competent and authorised to do so. All medications will be stored safely away from children’s reach and according to manufacturer’s instructions including refrigeration if required. All medication received from parents/guardians, administered to children and/or returned to parents/guardians will be fully and accurately recorded.
In respect of those children who have long-term medical needs such as chronic conditions (e.g. asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, severe allergic reactions), written consent of parents/guardians must be renewed when any change to the administration of the medication is made.
Any child who may require emergency medication will always be in the care of a staff member who has received the required specific training.
Parents remain responsible for ensuring that the service has adequate supplies of the medication their child needs (prescription and non-prescription) and renewing any medication for chronic conditions.
In some cases an Individual Care Plan may have been developed and the service ensures that the medication required in the plan is given as detailed. The Individual Care Plan may be drawn up by the relevant health care professional in conjunction with the service if appropriate. Such a plan will include details of any chronic diseases or health issues the child is currently receiving treatment and care for, such as allergies or asthma. The plan documents current medications, medical treatments and other therapeutic interventions and specifies how the service will meet the child’s needs.
The service will only accept prescribed medicines that have been provided in the original container marked with the date, name of the dispensing pharmacist, expiry date and clear directions. The service will only administer medications as prescribed and will not change this at the request of parents without a registered medical practitioner’s written direction. The service reserves the right to contact a health care professional if authorised staff members are unsure about administering medication to a child, even if the parent/guardian has requested the medication to be administered.
Infection Control Policy
This policy must be read in conjunction with Management of Infectious Disease in Childcare Facilities and Other Childcare Settings (2012) from the Preschool and Childcare Facility Subcommittee at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), which guides practice in infection control in this early years service.
There are three basic principles of infection prevention outlined in the HPSC guidance:
1. Handwashing is the single most effective way of preventing the spread of infection and should be used at every opportunity
2. Immunisation. All children and staff should be appropriately immunised
3. Exclusion. Any unwell staff member or child should be excluded
[The HPSC guide outlines the most effective ways to prevent infection and can be summarised as follows:
To protect staff and children from the spread of infections, [early years] staff need to understand how diseases are spread and which measures interrupt their spread.
The spread of germs can be greatly reduced if standard precautions (see below) are used consistently and regularly.
It is vital that staff receive training in the use of Standard Precautions. This is particularly important because some diseases are contagious before symptoms appear and because the disease status of a child may not be known.
The single most important way to prevent the spread of germs is by handwashing.
Maintaining a good standard of environmental hygiene, coupled with appropriate cleaning of toys, personal care items, utensils and bed linen as well as appropriate disposal of items soiled with body fluids are other important precautions.]
Standard precautions are applied when anyone has contact with:
All body fluids, secretions (nasal secretions) and excretions (urine, faeces, vomit) except sweat, regardless of whether or not they contain visible blood
Non-intact skin (broken skin, sores)
Mucous membranes (eyes and mouth).
The key elements of standard precautions taken in the service include:
Handwashing and skin care
Use of protective clothing, e.g. gloves and plastic apron
Management of spillages, i.e. blood or other body fluids
Management of cuts, bites and needle-stick injuries
Coughing and sneezing etiquette
Safe handling of laundry
Safe handling and disposal of waste including sharps
Children are excluded only if they are actually ill, present a danger or a risk to others (children or adults) or are unable to benefit from the service’s normal activities.
There are some particular illnesses where exclusion is necessary. In general, parents/guardians are asked to keep their child away from the service, and staff members are required to stay away until they have seen their GP if any of the following are evident:
Diarrhoea and vomiting.
A temperature of 101°F / 38°C or above.
Rash or skin disorder.
An earache or a bad cough.
Note: Diarrhoea can be due to infectious and non-infectious causes. Common non-infectious causes include antibiotic use or food intolerance. Other diseases such as coeliac disease and cystic fibrosis can have diarrhoea as a symptom. With these situations the diarrhoea is not usually associated with symptoms such as vomiting and fever. This type of diarrhoea is not contagious and will not spread to other people.
We inform parents/guardians about this policy on enrolment and seek information from families about the behaviour guidance strategies they use at home.
We recognise that it is important to understand the expectations of parents/guardians regarding our approach to behaviour guidance in the service before children first come to our service. We do our utmost to keep open lines of communication with families on an ongoing basis.
Always Active Club's approach to supporting and promoting children’s positive social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing is reflective of up-to-date professional practice.
Our approach to supporting children with their social, emotional and behaviour skills is to ensure as far as possible that children are kept comfortable, relaxed, happy and engaged in play and other activities while the adults model positive ways of relating to them and each other. We recognise the need to understand children’s behaviour as a form of communication and to consider what might be triggering the behaviour and what the child is communicating. Children will be supported to learn how to express their feelings in appropriate ways and helped to learn how to deal positively with conflict.
The methods of dealing with challenging, unsafe or disruptive behaviour in this service will be only those that help children to develop self-regulation and are developmentally appropriate. When we work to promote positive behaviour with children, we are aware of the theory of child development. Only positive approaches to guidance are used, including logical or natural consequences applied in problem situations, redirection, anticipation of and elimination of potential problems and encouragement of appropriate behaviour.
Corporal punishment is prohibited as are any practices or the threat of any practices that are disrespectful, degrading, exploitative, intimidating, emotionally or physically harmful or neglectful. Children are never humiliated, segregated or have food withheld.
Staff interactions with children are aimed at promoting their well-being and development. This includes their social and emotional development. Adequate and appropriate stimulation is provided for each child and any inappropriate or challenging behaviour is dealt with sensitively and appropriately without threats or punishment. [If you have an Interactions Policy refer to it here].
While staff are aware of and respect individual children’s and families’ backgrounds and beliefs, it may sometimes be necessary to balance these with our knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices and current best practice recommendations from recognised appropriate authorities, in the best interests of the child.
Dropping Off and Collection Policy
On enrolment, information must be obtained by the service about:
Who the child’s guardians are and their contact details
Names, addresses and telephone numbers of anyone, other than a guardian, who is authorised by the legal parent/guardian to take the child from the service.
This information is updated as often as necessary. Parents/guardians must inform the service in person and/or in writing of any changes to the planned arrangements for their child/ren leaving the service. See Appendix B for a Sample Form.
All persons authorised/ by parents/guardians to take a child from the care of the service must be over the age of 16 years, be fit to care for the child and be authorised in writing or in person by the child’s parent/guardian.
Parents/guardians must inform the service if a child will not be attending on a given day by 10am and also inform us when their child is expected to return.
To ensure that children transition safely into the service, parents/ guardians or their nominated carers must ensure that they make direct contact with an appropriate member of staff on arrival, and share any information that is relevant to the child’s care, wellbeing and development for the day/session.
Persons who have not been named in the enrolment form by the parent/guardian must:
Have a dated note from the parent/guardian allowing the child to leave with them; and
Present photo identification or an agreed password/code given to them by the child’s parent/guardian.
The parent/guardian also have confirmed this arrangement with the service by phone or in person beforehand.
Adequate supervision is provided to ensure that no one can remove a child from the service without at least one staff member’s knowledge and a record being kept. Any person, including a parent/guardian, who comes to take a child out of the service, must be over 16 and must make contact directly with an appropriate member of staff before doing so.
These rules are clearly set out for parents/guardians at enrolment.
On returning daily to take their child out of the service, parents/guardians or their nominated carers are encouraged to meet with their child’s Key Person to be given information on how the child has got on during the session/day and any on significant events, experiences or incidents involving or relevant to the child. If parents cannot attend in person and wish to be given the information directly, this can be arranged with their child’s Key Person.
The safety and welfare of the children will always be our first consideration. This includes where parents/guardians or their nominated carers fail to come for their child on time, or arrive for a child in what appears to be an unfit state. All appropriate measures will be taken to protect children in keeping with our Child Safeguarding Statement and Policy and we will do our best to support parents.
A custodial parent has the right to request that the service does not allow another parent to visit or call for the child, provided that the custodial parent makes the request in writing and shows the provider a dated letter from a solicitor confirming the existence of a certified copy of the relevant Court Order. Only a Court can limit the guardianship rights of parents even where they have separated or divorced.
At Always Active Club we do everything necessary to ensure that all reasonable measures for fire prevention and fire safety are taken.
We have a nominated Fire Safety Officer who implements and oversees fire safety in the service. Our Fire Safety Officer is appropriately trained. All staff members are trained in fire prevention and fire safety procedures and practices. Each individual staff member understands their role and responsibilities in relation to the fire safety measures in the service.
All of the children who are old enough are educated about fire, fire safety and the evacuation procedures and are supported to regularly practice how to evacuate calmly and safely from the building.
Appropriate fire detection and control equipment (fire alarms, smoke detectors, fire blankets and fire extinguishers) are in place and we ensure that they are properly maintained and in proper working order.
Records are kept of monitoring and maintenance of all fire detection and control equipment. Records are also kept of all fire drills as well as all monitoring and reviews carried out.
Fire exits are clearly identifiable. All fire doors are kept free from obstruction and are easily opened from the inside.
We have clear written procedures attached to this policy for all aspects of fire safety including:
Training and informing staff members
Educating and preparing the children on fire safety and safe evacuation
Raising the alarm if necessary and contacting emergency services
Notifying parents of any accidents or incidents
Monitoring, reviewing and recording all activities relating to fire prevention and fire safety
At Always Active Club a strong emphasis is placed on the importance of children's play, for its own sake and as a critical factor in children’s wellbeing, learning and development. We believe that outdoor play has much to offer children so rather than it being a short interval in the ‘real curriculum’ of the day, we see it as an essential part of the curriculum every day.
Outdoor play activities are a vital part of childhood experience and an important complement to our indoor activities. We consider that outdoor play is just as important as the indoor programme.
We aim to provide a safe, stimulating outdoor environment where space is used effectively to enable children to explore a broad and balanced curriculum using a range of interesting and engaging resources suitable to both their individual and group needs.
The outdoor environment is an invaluable place of learning and engagement and has a positive impact on children’s physical and mental wellbeing. It provides opportunities for children to explore, discover and develop an understanding of the natural environment around them with unique opportunities for: sensory experiences; physical activities; observations; constructive play with sand, water and mud; socio-dramatic play; art; early science, mathematics, environmental learning and many others. Therefore the outdoor play environment at Always Active Club is planned with the same care and attention as the indoor environment.
The outdoor space is designed to provide:
Varied, multisensory, challenging, creative and enriching experiences.
Opportunities for noisy, boisterous, vigorous, physically active play.
Opportunities for appropriate physical challenge and risk-taking that are inherent in the value of play.
Different surfaces and opportunities for the development of physical strength, balance and coordination.
Natural elements and loose materials that children can combine, manipulate, use and adapt in their own way, for their own purposes (open-ended materials).
Opportunities to develop language and social skills
Opportunities for exploration, observation and experimentation.
Safety is a primary consideration in planning all activities. Appropriate supervision of children while playing outside is paramount.
We aim to ensure that the risk of injury is minimised while allowing children appropriate challenges. This is important for their learning and development. Children are given the chance to stretch themselves, and to test and develop their abilities, without exposing them to unacceptable hazards.