Policies & Prodecures

Pembroke Montessori, Dublin 4

 

ADMISSIONS POLICY

It is the policy of Pembroke Montessori that our school is open to all families in our community. We offer equal access to children and their parents/guardians inclusive of special needs, cultural and religious orientation. We ensure that each child feels welcome and safe and receives the highest standard of education, care and commitment.

 

Statement of Intent

All employees must follow the admissions policy and procedure (Siolta Standard 10: Organisation, Siolta Standard 12: Communication) (National Standard 1: Information, National Standard 2: Contract, National Standard 4: Records, National Standard 12: Health Care, Nationsal Standard 16: Equal Opportunities)

 

Admissions procedures

  • Each child must be at least 2.5 years of age and toilet trained when starting at Pembroke Montessori school.

  • Pembroke Montessori offers a one year free (3 hour) pre-school place for children eligible for the ECCE scheme. Children outside of this age bracket can avail of a place based on parents paying the appropriate fee. We operate a 38 week scheme. Camps are available for a further 10 weeks.

  • Parents seeking to secure a place for their child must complete an enrolment form. This must include: the child’s and parent/guardian information, medical & immunisation history, permission to obtain medical assistance in the event of an emergency, photograph consent, collection consent form and all other relevant information. 

  • A completed enrolment form must be lodged with the school prior to the child attending the school. 

  • Places are allocated on a “first-come-first-served” basis. If there are no remaining places a waiting list will be drawn up. When a place becomes available, we will offer the place to the first person on the list.

  • Places will not be held without a deposit or enrolment form. 

  • Pre-admission, parents are encouraged to call into the school with the child to allow the child to become familiar with the school, teachers and other children. 

  • Children with special needs and disabilities are welcome. Parents need to be aware that it may be required for them to provide a special needs assistant.  

  • We reserve the right to refuse admission.

  • We reserve the right to terminate our services.

  • Parents should familiarise themselves with the school policies and procedures. They will be reviewed and changed accordingly with new developments from Tusla.

 

Admission Procedures for Children with Allergies

If a child suffers from any allergies, it must be recorded on their enrolment form. A risk assessment form is completed to detail the following:

  • The allergen - the substance, material or living creature the child is allergic to such as nuts, eggs, bee stings, dogs etc.

  • The nature of the allergic reaction - anaphylactic shock reaction, including rash, reddening of skin, swelling, breathing problems etc.

  • What to do in case of an allergic reaction, any medication used and how it is to be used.

  • Control measures - how the child can be prevented from contact with the allergen.

  • This form is kept in the child’s personal file and a copy is displayed where staff can see it.

  • Parents must show staff how to administer special medication in the event of an allergic reaction. 

  • If a child is identified to have a nut allergy, other parents are made aware (through a note sent home and a note on the notice board in the hall) so that no nut or nut products are accidentally brought in, for example to a birthday party.

 

Oral Medication

  • Asthma inhalers are regarded as “oral medication”. Oral medication must be prescribed by a GP and have manufacturer’s instructions clearly written on them. 

  • The manager must be provided with clear information on how to administer such medication.

  • Pembroke Montessori must have written consent to administer medications and this consent is kept on file. 

 

 

Life Saving medication and Invasive Treatments

Adrenaline injections (Epipens) for anaphylactic shock reactions (caused by allergies to nuts, eggs, etc) or invasive treatments (such as rectal administration of Diazepam or epilepsy).

 

The manager must have:

  • A letter from the child’s GP/consultant stating the child’s condition and what medication if any is to be administered. 

  • Written consent from the parent or guardian allowing staff to administer medication.

 

All records kept by Pembroke Montessori are kept secure and confidential.

 

 

 

FEE PAYMENT POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori endeavours to reflect best practice with regard to the forecasting of the budget costs for the provision of a quality educational and childcare service and that ensure the long term sustainability of the school.

 

Statement of Intent

This policy applies to all parents/guardians who use the services of Pembroke Montessori for their children.

  • A deposit of €100 per child is required to secure a place. Deposits are deductible from the child’d last month fee’s in the school, provided one month’s notice has been given that the child is leaving.

  • Fees must be paid monthly in advance by direct debit.

  • Fees must be paid even when the child is absent due to illness and/or on holidays. 

  • Fees may be reviewed annually.

  • Parents/guardians will be notified 4-8 weeks prior to any increase in fees.

  • Pembroke Montessori reserves the right to request Parents to withdraw their child from the school if fees are unpaid. 

  • A discount of 10% applies to parents who pay for the year in advance and for siblings that attend 5 days per week.

  • There is no reduction in fees for Public/Bank Holidays. 

 

 

 

ECCE

Children in Pembroke Montessori may be part of the ECCE Scheme. The ECCE scheme is ‘Free Pre-School Year in Early Childhood Care and Education scheme (ECCE Scheme) under the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA).’ 

Children part of this scheme are entitled to the following: 

  • 38 Week SchemeChildren enrolled in childcare services will receive free pre-school provision of 3 hours per day, 5 days a week over a 38 week period (term time).

  • If children are in Pembroke Montessori for more than 3 hours per day, Parents must pay a top-up for the remaining hours of the day. 

 

Closure in Exceptional Circumstances

The following will apply: 

  • Full fees for the closure will be payable.

  • If Pembroke Montessori is open during adverse weather conditions and your child does not attend, the full fee will be payable.

 

Withdrawal of Children from Pembroke Montessori

Parents wishing to terminate their place in Pembroke Montessori should give one months notice in writing or pay one months fees in lieu of notice.

 

Persistent Late Collections

Persistent late collections of children will result in a surcharge being imposed. A fee of €10 per 15 minutes or part thereof will be charged. 

 

Switching and Additional Days

  • Parents must give at least one-months notice should they wish to switch their child from part time to full time care. This is granted subject to availability. 

  • Switching days will be subject to availability and on a first come first serve basis.

  • Fees for additional days will be charged accordingly. 

 

 

 

 

COLLECTING CHILDREN POLICY

Principle

Pembroke Montessori is committed to ensuring the safety and care of the children upon arriving and leaving the service.

 

Statement of intent

All Parents/employees must follow the collections policy and procedure.

 

Arrivals

  • Once a child has settled into school, parents should say goodbye to the child at the front door/porch and allow them to walk into the classroom with a teacher.

  • Parents should ensure that all external doors are securely closed for the safety of all the children when they leave.

 

Collections

  • It is the policy of Pembroke Montessori that only the person(s) named on the registration form may collect the child.

  • The parent must notify the teachers in writing (by text/email) if an alternative named person is to collect the child.

  • Children must be always collected on time.

  • If the parent is late arriving to collect the child the teacher will try to contact the parent.  In the event of being unable to contact the parent, the teacher will contact the other named persons to collect the child.  

  • Persistent late collections of children will result in a surcharge being imposed. A fee of €10 per 15 minutes or part thereof will be charged. 

  • Children will not be released into the care of a person who appears to be incapable of caring for the child.  Should this situation arise the staff will contact an authorised collector.  If no one is available to collect the child then the staff should contact the Tusla social work child protection team. No child will be released to anyone unknown to the staff without prior arrangements. 

  • In the event of a parent collecting another fellow child, a prior arrangement must be made.

 

Early Collection

If a parent needs to collect a child early for any reason, the parent should let the teachers know so that the child is ready for collection and therefore minimises disrupting the rest of the group.

 

 

RECORD KEEPING POLICY

Records, as required by the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006, will be maintained and made available to parents and any relevant persons, to ensure the health, safety and development of all children attending the school. 

 

In Pembroke Montessori, we keep records under two areas, Child/Family Records and Personal and Operation Details. All of these records are stored securely. Staff have access to these records where appropriate. 

 

Statement of Intent

We aim to ensure that all records are factual and written impartially. Under the Freedom of Information Act 1997, parents will have access to all records pertaining to their child only. Staff members will only have access to records of children in their care and will be used to inform staff on how best to meet the needs of each child and plan for further learning.

The school will only share information with other professionals or agencies, with consent from parents or without their consent in terms of legal responsibility in relation to a Child Protection issues. 

 

Staff use the guided approach of Aistear and Síolta, The National Quality Frameworks for Early Childhood Education in relation to various aspects of record keeping within the school.

 

Details of records:

  • A register which includes details of the children attending the school.

  • Details of parents/guardians.

  • Details in relation to the child’s health.

  • Details of accidents and administration of medication. Records will be kept in relation to medical administration and accident report forms which will be co signed by parents / guardians and staff. (Written parental consent is kept to allow the service to seek medical assistance for a child in case of an emergency.)Information on children’s allergies will be displayed in the kitchen so that all staff are aware of allergies.

  • The daily arrival and departure time of each child is recorded for each child.

  • Details of staff members.

  • Details of the services operations.

  • Details of fire procedures - all fire drills that take place, the number, type and maintenance record of all fire equipment and smoke alarms on the premises. 

  • Details of the cleaning programme in relation to furniture, work and play equipment, kitchen and bathrooms. 

  • Food hygiene practices are guided and recorded under the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and the Food Hygiene Regulations 1950 – 89 and the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2000.

 

 

Procedures

  • All records in line with the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006 are kept up to date and accurate at all times.

  • All confidential records are stored securely when not in use. 

  • Parent, carers or guardians will be asked to co-sign the medical administration form and accident report form, when necessary. 

  • All records written are impartial and factual. 

  • Records in relation to Child Protection concerns are stored in a separate locked filing cabinet and are shared only on a need-to-know basis in line with our Confidentiality Policy.

 

Observation, Assessment and Programme Planning

Staff use regular observation and assessment as a means of planning for children’s learning. Observations and assessments are recorded in the form of written observations and discussion, photos and use of children’s work. These will in turn be shared regularly with staff and parents to ensure a cohesive approach to ensuring the needs of each child are met. 

 

  • A record of the planned programme/activities is clearly documented through short, medium and long term plans. Observations and assessment records are used to inform the plans and ensure that activities are suitable for the age, stage and interests of children in the service.An Individual Educational Plan (IEP) may be used to support the individual needs of children with additional needs. These will be regularly shared with parents and relevant professionals working with a child.

 

 

 

Records of each child are available on the premises for inspection by 

  • (a) A child’s parent or guardian but only in respect of information concerning their child.

  • (b)Staff members with whom the information is relevant

  • (c) An authorised person

 

Staff Records

  • A recruitment policy and procedure is in place and written evidence will be kept in relation to recruitment procedures for all staff positions.

  • Records outlining the name, position, qualification and experience of each staff member, volunteer and student are maintained. 

  • Records are kept in relation to all documents and records relating to Garda vetting and references from previous employers for all staff members. 

  • Staff monitoring notes are kept relating to staff appraisals and supervision. 

  • The weekly roster and daily meal break times of each staff member is recorded and available to view in the Kitchen.

  • All staff records are strictly confidential (see confidentiality policy). 

 

Records Related to the Running of the Service Include:

  • Details of the maximum number of children catered for at any one time.

  • Details of the type of service and age range of children using the service.

  • Staff/Child ratio’s within the service.

  • An outline of the type of programme under which the service operates.

  • Opening hours and fees.

  • Policies and procedures currently in place.

  • Daily attendance sheet of all children present in the facility.

  • Staff roster.

  • Details of any accident, injury or incident involving any of the children attending the service.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

Confidentiality is a matter of extreme importance at Pembroke Montessori. 

  • It is our policy to keep confidential all personal information about the children, families, staff and volunteers involved in our school.

  • Personal information about families in relation to Child Protection concerns will be shared on a need to know basis in line with our Child Protection Policy.

 

Statement of Intent

Pembroke Montessori respects the right for all information, records and observations to be treated with respect and with due attention to confidentiality and privacy.

 

Confidentiality procedures

  • All information and records relating to a child in Pembroke Montessori will be kept by the Manager confidentially.

  • This information and records relating to a child’s personal circumstances will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared with anyone except with the teacher directly in charge of that child and on a ‘need-to-know-basis’.  

  • Parents will have access to records kept in the service, but only in relation to their own child.    

  • All new staff and volunteers will be informed of our confidentiality policy and procedures as part of their induction programme. 

  • This policy will be reviewed at staff meetings to remind staff of it’s importance. 

  • In the case that a child’s welfare is at risk, is it permissible for the manager to share confidential information with Tusla. This is in line with our Child Protection Policy.

  • Information held in the service in relation to Child Protection Concerns will be stored in a separate locked drawer and will be shared only on a need to know basis in line with our Child Protection Policy and with Data Protection Legislation.

  • Any breach of confidentiality by any member of staff will lead to disciplinary action. 

 

 

 

STUDENT POLICY

 

It is our policy to assist students in developing their skills in Montessori teaching. Students will work closely with staff, to develop a professional and child-centered approach to working with children.

 

Procedures for Students on Placement

All students must be over the age of sixteen. 

All Students must sign a Student Agreement prior to commencing work experience in Pembroke Montessori. 

As part of their induction, students are requested to read the appropriate policies and procedures of the school. 

Students will not work unsupervised with either individual or groups of children.

The Manager will be responsible for students. 

Students should have a clear defined role, i.e. duties and responsibilities of the student.

Students will not deal with parents.

Pembroke Montessori is aware of their responsibility to provide a ‘real and rich’ learning environment for the student. 

Support and information is provided, if assistance is needed with projects or assignments. 

Our school has ongoing contact with the relevant college. 

 

 

During Placement

The Manager is responsible for assessing the training needs of students on placement and ensuring that they are given the opportunities to build on existing skills and to develop new skills.

The Manager will monitor the student’s progress and liaise with the student’s assessor at regular intervals throughout the period of the placement.

Students must adhere to the service’s policies and procedures.

Students who are required to conduct child studies or work with children must obtain written permission from the parents of that child.  Parents will have access to any written study.  Students will consult with the Manager on all written records.

 

 

While on placement Pembroke Montessori will support students by: 

 

Providing ongoing support to make the placement as useful and beneficial as possible for students.

Providing the information and support necessary for students to carry out any written assignments and prepare for assessment visits by the placement supervisor.

 

Dress Code

Dress must be neat, clean and tidy.  It must be non-revealing and smart.

Any tattoos should not be on view. 

Hair should be clean, washed, neat and tied back at all times.

Nails should be short and clean at all times. 

Comfortable shoes should be worn at all times. High-heels, toe-less sandals (flip flops) or backless shoes should be avoided in light of the dangers these can prevent to staff and children.

Chewing gum is not permitted.

 

Confidentiality

Working as a student within the service may on occasion give rise to students being aware of confidential information in relation to children and families attending the school. 

Students must not disclose or permit to be disclosed any information which concerns any child/children and/or families to any other person or agency/organisation unless you are required to do so in the context of child protection procedures or as required under legislation. 

Students should not share any information about other students or staff colleagues with a third party. 

Students will be advised as to the setting of boundaries between the working relationship and friendship with parents.  Do not engage them in unnecessary conversations of a personal nature.  Conversations should be restricted to greetings. Parents requesting information from students should be directed to the senior staff member in the room.   If parents have an issue/complaint they should be referred immediately to the Manager. Students may not use social networking sites to befriend parents whose children attend Pembroke Montessori or to exchange any information about the school or children attending the service.

 

 

 

TRAINING POLICY

 

It is our policy that all staff will have access to ongoing in-service training, to keep them up to date and to develop their childcare and education skills.

 

Procedures

  • Induction training: All newly appointed staff/students/volunteers are provided with the basic information they need to settle into the job, this includes: health and safety, child protection procedures, conditions of employment, policies and procedures.

  • External training and attendance at conferences/workshops/seminars is supported.

  • At staff meetings, staff are given the opportunity to feed back the information from the conference/workshop/seminar they attended.

  • A “training needs” analysis is carried out and reviewed on a regular basis, to establish what type of training is required, and if it is relevant to the work, individual and the service.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

 

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH POLICY

 

It is the policy of Pembroke Montessori to promote a healthy lifestyle through prevention of illness and establishing healthy eating patterns. It is our policy to comply with current regulations including the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006 and Food Hygiene Regulations.

 

Healthy Eating

  • A balanced diet is provided with fresh, nutritious food.

  • Lollipops and chewing gum are prohibited.

  • Special dietary needs of children are met.

  • An adult always sits with the children at meal times to encourage good eating habits, stimulate conversation and enhance the quality of the interaction.

  • It is important at this young age to introduce and educate our children about good nutrition and the health benefits of eating well. (Siolta Standard 9: Health and Welfare) (National Standard 9: Nurture and Well-Being, National Standard 13: Food and Drink)

 

 

Illness Policy for Children

  • Children or adults who are sick or who may be a source of infection should not attend school.

  • Parents are advised that a child who has been sick during the night should not attend school the next day.

  • A child with a communicable illness should not attend school.

 

  • Such illnesses include:

  • Gastroenteritis – exclusion while the child has diarrhoea or vomiting. Children should not return until 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.

  • Scarlet fever – can return to school 24hours after commencing antibiotics.

 

  • Impetigo – exclusion until lesions crusted/healed, or 48hours after commencing antibiotics.

  • Shingles – exclusion only if rash is weeping and cannot be covered

  • Scabies – exclusion until treated.

  • Exclusion until condition has settled for 24 hours:

Giardiasis, salmonella, shigella

  • Exclusion for 5 days:

Chickenpox, measles - From rash onset

Whooping cough - From starting antibiotics

Mumps - From onset of swollen glands

Hepatitis A – from onset of jaundice or stools going pale

  • Exclusion for 6 days:

German measles - From onset of rash

  • Children with conditions suggesting a more serious illness should not come to school e.g. fever, sluggishness, persistent crying, irritability, or difficulty breathing.

 

  • All parents are informed if a child attending the service has a communicable illness.

  • Any medication including cough sweets, inhalers & cough bottles must be labeled and given to a teacher, to be placed in the Medication cupboard.

  • There will be a record kept of the time a child is given medication.

 

Illness Policy for Staff

  • Staff with a communicable illness should not attend the service.

  • Arrangements are in place to provide relief cover while staff are on sick leave.

 

Immunisation Policy

  • When you enroll your child in our school, please complete the immunisation section, in the registration form supplied.

 

Parents have the right to choose to Immunise their child or not.

  • Not all children attending this service may be immunised. In the event of an outbreak of any infectious disease, all parents will be verbally informed. A dated notice informing all parents of any infectious disease outbreak will be displayed on our notice board.

 

 

 

 

HYGIENE POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori is committed to promoting a healthy environment and a high standard of personal hygiene for adults and children. It is our policy to comply with current regulations including the Child Care (Pre-School Services) (No 2) Regulations 2006 and Food Hygiene Regulations.

 

Hygiene Procedures

  • All new staff and volunteers are informed of the hygiene procedures as part of their induction programme.

  • Hand washing must be carried out after using the toilet, after outdoor play, before and after handling food.

  • Cuts and sores must be covered with suitable dressings.

 

Dealing with spills:

  • Disposable gloves must always be used when cleaning up spills of body fluids

  • Disposable towels must always be used when cleaning up spills of body fluids

  • A supply of clean clothing is readily available for accidents.

  • The area of the accident is treated with suitable disinfectant

 

Cleaning procedures:

  • All toilets, surrounding walls and sinks are cleaned and disinfected every day.

  • Floors, tables and equipment, where necessary, are cleaned and disinfected daily.

  • Sand is always covered when not in use.

  • Hard surface toys- should be washed at least monthly or sooner if visibly soiled. Toys with moving parts or openings can harbour dirt and germs in the crevices and must be washed and scrubbed using soap and warm water/detergent wipes, before thorough rinsing and drying.

  • Bins and Recycling- The classroom should have two bins, one for green bin recycling and one for everything else.  Children will be encouraged to use the appropriate bins.  Staff should ensure that bins are never allowed to overflow. The bins should be emptied and rinsed out at the end of every day. If a bin has a lid, the lid must be closed at all times.

  • All left over food is properly disposed of.

 

Staff hygiene

  • It is imperative to wash hands after handling bins, changing nappies, cleaning up vomit or urine, cleaning children’s noses, before handling food, after handling food etc. This will help in the battle against infections.

 

 

 

 

HEAD LICE POLICY

 

 

Unfortunately, it's always possible to catch head lice, no matter how careful we are. Children can pick up head lice just by coming into close contact with someone who is infected. It is important to know how to recognise the problem early and to know how to cope with it.

 

Procedures

  • Staff will inform other parents verbally or in writing in the event of an outbreak of Head Lice. Staff should be tactful and maintain confidentiality.

  • Staff should inform parents to check their child's hair carefully and regularly, and to use the treatment recommended by the public health nurse, chemist, doctor or local health clinic.

  • The importance of not sharing other people's combs, hats etc. is stressed to parents and children.

  • If more advice is needed, the service will contact the public health nurse.

 

 

 

 

TOILETING POLICY

 

 

Children must be toilet trained before they begin school in Pembroke Montessori. It is the policy of our school and in the interest of the children's health and safety, that a high standard of hygiene is promoted at all times, when children are learning to use the toilet.

 

Procedures

  • To create an awareness and understanding of good hygiene practice, staff members do a project with the children about the importance of self-care for example: flushing the toilet, washing hands etc.

  • Anti-bacterial soap and disposable paper towels are used for washing and drying hands.

  • A cleaning schedule is in place to ensure that children's toilets are kept in a clean and hygienic condition at all times.

  • The staff should treat accidents sensitively.

  • Praise and recognition is used when children are being toilet-trained to encourage self-esteem and a sense of achievement.

  • The child's privacy is always respected.

 

 

 

 

ACCIDENT PREVENTION

Accident and Safety Policy

 

It is the policy of Pembroke Montessori to promote the health, well being and personal safety of all children and adults involved in our school, through developing and regularly reviewing accident prevention procedures and fire safety procedures.

 

Accident Prevention

  • A Safety Statement has been prepared and is reviewed on a regular basis. All new staff and volunteers must be familiar with the Safety Statement

  • Children are supervised by adults at all times

  • Care is taken to ensure that no child can leave the premises undetected. When the main entrance is locked the key must remain in the position that is known and accessible to all adults.

  • Staff must know which children are present at any one time.

  • Furniture and equipment are laid out to minimise safety risks.

  • Only suitable and age appropriate objects are available to children.

 

Accident Procedures

  • The First Aid Box is always fully equipped, easily identifiable and in a location which is known to all adults.

  • At least one member of staff who holds an up to date First Aid Certificate is on the premises at all times.

  • Records are accessible to all relevant staff in case of an emergency.

  • Minor accidents will be treated in the childcare premises and parents/carers will be advised of the injury and the action taken, when the child is collected.

  • All accidents even minor ones, are recorded in the Accident Book.

  • The service has an arrangement with the local surgery in case of an accident or sudden illness.

  • In the case of serious accident the senior staff member will phone the doctor and the child’s parent/carer.

  • If the child has to go to hospital before the parent/carer arrives, an adult known to the child must accompany him/her to hospital and stay until the parent/carer arrives.

  • The child’s record card must be brought for reference.

  • All accidents must be reported to the insurance company.

 

 

 

 

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY

 

The Management and Staff of Pembroke Montessori believe that children should be encouraged to grow and develop to their full potential in a suitably planned environment, where they know what is expected of them, and where clear limits are set, appropriate to their age and stage of development and any special needs they may have.

Procedures

  • Children’s efforts, achievements and feelings will always be acknowledged so as to promote the growth of self-esteem and self- discipline.

  • The school will strive to manage behaviour consistently in order that children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up good patterns of self-discipline.

  • Teachers working in the school must be good role models by following codes of behaviour and showing respect for each other and the children.

  • Rules that apply to children and adults in the group will be discussed and agreed. These rules will be made known to all adults, staff, parents and children. Rules will be kept to a minimum

  • It is recognised that the key to behaviour management is good observation skills in the adults.

  • Physical punishment and humiliation are unacceptable forms of behavioural management and will never be used by the teachers in Pembroke Montessori.

  • It is our policy to work in close collaboration with parents.  We recognise and value the role of parents in managing children’s behaviour.

  • Pembroke Montessori reserves the right to ask a parent to remove their child from the school if the child’s behaviour is consistently affecting the other children in the class.

 

Our code of behaviour is based on an ethos of:

  • Listening to children

  • Valuing and respecting children as individuals

  • Involving children in decision making, as appropriate

  • Encouraging and praising children

Code of behaviour

  • While physical contact is a valid way of comforting and reassuring a child, it should only be in response to the need of the child, not the adult

  • Staff should never physically punish or verbally abuse a child

  •  Staff should never tell jokes of a sexual nature in front of a child

  • Staff should not develop favouritism or become over involved with any one child

  • All staff must respect the personal space, safety and privacy of each child

 

 

 

 

 

OUTINGS POLICY

 

It is the policy of our school to ensure the safety and well-being of the children and adults involved in our service when planning and undertaking outings.

Procedures

  • Prior information about proposed outings is given in writing to all parents.

  • All parents must sign a consent form prior to the outing.

  • The insurance company is contacted prior to the outing to confirm that the event is covered by the school’s insurance policy.

  • Ratios of adults to children will be in line with the Pre-school Regulations and the insurance company.

 

 

 

 

SUN PROTECTION POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori requests that parents apply sun cream to their child before coming to school in hot weather.

  • Parents must send in sun cream suitable for their child with the child’s name clearly labelled.

  • Teachers will apply sun cream to the children when appropriate and where the parent has provided sun cream.

  • Teachers will ensure that the child wears a sun hat when provided by the parent.

 

 

 

 

FIRE SAFETY POLICY

 

  • The school has all of the relevant fire safety equipment recommended in the Department of the Environment’s Fire Safety in Pre-Schools booklet including fire extinguishers and smoke alarms.

  • The fire safety equipment is checked annually.

  • Fire drill instructions are posted in each room.

  • The assembly point is clearly marked.

  • A fire drill is carried out with the staff and children every month.

  • A record is kept of all fire drills carried out.

 

 

 

 

CURRICULUM POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori is committed to developing a curriculum that creates a child centred environment, which empowers young children to actively pursue their own learning. This process will be facilitated by adults who will provide appropriate, timely, balanced intervention as well as support, continuity and progression to encourage positive attitudes towards learning.

Pembroke Montessori recognises that the establishment of daily routines is essential for all young children in our care. We strive to provide a programme of activities, which encourage the physical, social, emotional, intellectual, creative and language development of the children who attend the school.

Guidelines – Our Curriculum:

  • Based on the Montessori method using materials designed for development that invites the children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice.

  • Is based on clearly defined aims and objectives.

  • Is open to ideas on how to promote and meet the growing need of children.

  • Recognises that children are learning all the time, and that children learn best when they are actively involved and interested.

  • Includes a variety of activities that provides for the physical development of the children.

  • Includes stimulating sensory experiences (touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell) appropriate to the child’s level of development.

  • Encourages children to think for themselves, helping them to make their own decisions and find their own answers to questions.

  • Provides an atmosphere that offers the children suitable challenges and stimulates problem solving.

  • Encourages feelings of safety, trust and emotional security to the children in our care.

  • Helps children to develop self-esteem by giving them the opportunity to be actively involved in their own learning.

  • Encourages at all times, sociability, friendship and co-operation with others, through the provision of co-operative play and the opportunity for children to mix with siblings, same-age peers, younger and older children.

  • Aims to match all tasks with each child’s level of ability and attention span.

  • A range of activities is chosen to reflect various differences in cultures, gender and ability.

  • We regularly check our books, posters and other materials to ensure that they challenge stereotyping and that they positively and accurately reflect cultural and ethnic diversity.

  • Staff have regular meetings to plan and review activities within each area of our facility and to consider the needs of individual children.

 

 

 

 

EQUIPMENT POLICY

 

It is the policy of our school, that the equipment available is suitable, safe and age appropriate, while providing new challenges and experiences for the developmental needs of each child.

Procedures

  • All equipment must is kept clean and hygienic at all times.

  • Staff members are responsible for the equipment in their classrooms, by ensuring that all equipment is clean, safe and well maintained at all times.

  • Equipment is checked regularly for broken parts.

  • All equipment purchased is based on the children's developmental needs and interests.

  • All staff must have a thorough understanding of the developmental benefits children gain from the equipment.

  • All equipment must be age appropriate and suitable to the different stages of a child's development.

  • The layout of each classroom must ensure that the equipment is accessible to the children, to promote choice and a sense of independence.

 

 

 

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

 

It is our policy to respect the individuality of all children and adults involved in our service and to promote positive attitudes to differences of culture, race, gender, language and financial circumstances; to children with special needs; and to minority groups and members of the Traveller community.

Equal Opportunities Procedures

  • Recruitment and employment of staff will comply with all relevant equality legislation (see recruitment guidelines)

  • The school is open to all families in the community (see admissions policy)

  • A range of activities is chosen to reflect various differences in cultures, gender and ability.

  • We regularly check our books, posters and other materials to ensure that they challenge stereotyping and that they positively and accurately reflect cultural and racial diversity and differences in ability.

  • Special dietary needs of children and adults are catered for where possible

  • We will challenge any statements or behaviour by anyone in the school, which are racist, or sexist or which reinforce stereotypes or which are in any other way derogatory to an individual.

  • We ask families to share their own cultures, religions and traditions with our staff so that all values are respected and celebrated in the school.

 

 

 

 

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT POLICY

 

It is the policy Pembroke Montessori to promote the active participation of parents in the planning and development of the service, valuing parents as the first educators of their children.

Procedures to encourage parental involvement

  • Regular exchange of information with parents regarding their child’s development.

  • Parents are welcome to visit the service at any time. Pembroke Montessori operates an ‘Open Door Policy'.

  • Staff members are available to discuss any concerns a parent may have regarding their child and the school.

  • Pembroke Montessori welcomes comments and feedback from parents.

  • If parents are separated, we may contact both parents to discuss the development of their child.

  • We would welcome that parents inform teachers in the morning of any significant happenings such as a poor night’s sleep, tiredness etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SETTLING IN POLICY

 

It is the policy of this school that every effort is made to ensure that the settling in period is as easy and pleasant as possible for the children and their parents/carers.

Settling in procedures

  • Each parent is encouraged to drop in to the school with their child before the child start date, so the that the child can become familiar with the other children, staff and the day to day running of the school.

  • On the first day the parent is encouraged to stay with the child until he or she feels comfortable in their new surroundings.

  • No child will be pressurised to take part in any activity during the settling in period.

  • To help staff build a relationship with the child, staff will discuss the child’s interests with parents, as well as their likes, dislikes.

  • Parents will be given an account of the child’s progress that day during the settling in period.

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINTS POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori welcomes any suggestions, recommendations, comments or complaints made by children or their parents in relation to our school.

Any complaints made about the service will be dealt with in an open and impartial manner. The following procedures will be followed:

Complaints procedure

  • Complaints should be made to the manager.

  • Every attempt is made to resolve the matter as amicably as possible and to the parent’s satisfaction.

  • If agreement cannot be reached the parent may make a formal complaint in writing to the person designated to receive complaints.

  • The complaint is recorded.

  • If the complaint is made against a member of staff, the staff member must be informed that a formal complaint has been made and be given full details.

  • If a complaint against a staff involves a child protection concern a second separate reporting procedure will be followed in line with our child protection procedures.

  • The parent is sent an acknowledgement that the complaint has been received and told how it will be dealt with, by whom, and within what time limit. The person investigating the formal complaint will keep dated records summarising what has been said and done by those involved.

  • If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome he or she may make a written request to go to the third stage of he procedure, which involves an independent mediator or panel.

  • The panel will include an external mediator e.g. a representative of the Dublin City Childcare Committee.

  • This panel will not include any person directly involved in the complaint or related to the complainant or staff member.

  • The panel, having considered all the relevant material and talked with all those concerned, will reach a decision and if necessary, make recommendations.

  • The complainant and other people involved will be informed of the outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

STAFF RATIO POLICY

 

The adult/child ratios are governed by the Childcare Preschool Regulations 2006. Pembroke Montessori will have the following ratios:

 

  • Sessional: 1:10

  • Full day 3-6 years: 1:8

  • Full day 2.5-3 years: 1:6

 

 

OUTDOOR POLICY

 

Children are supervised at all times when out in the garden. Staff will ensure that the garden is secure and it will be maintained regularly. Regular staffing ratios will be adhered to while out in the garden. The children will be outdoors every day, unless there are extreme weather conditions. Please keep this in mind when helping your child choose clothing.

 

 

 

 

 

DVD POLICY

 

The use of DVD’s in Pembroke Montessori is limited. It may be used as a treat on a Friday afternoon or in poor weather. It may also be used occasionally if the content of the DVD is relevant to what we are learning. If a DVD is used, it will be age and content appropriate. 

 

 

 

 

 

SECURITY POLICY

 

The safety, security and wellbeing of the children, staff and parents at Pembroke Montessori is of paramount importance. We make our school a safe and healthy environment for everyone by having policies and procedures in place and by following them.

 

  • The appropriate insurance is in place for Pembroke Montessori (Paidraic Smith & Co Insurance Brokers).

  • Staff have Child Protection, manual handling and first aid training.

  • The garden is securely walled and fenced and checked daily for potential hazards.

 

 

 

CAMERA & PHOTO POLICY

 

Photographs will be taken daily at Pembroke Montessori. Photos are used for planning, recording, observation, teaching and learning resources. Photos may also be used on the school website or Facebook page.

 

  • Parental permission is sought for on the registration form before a child starts in school.

  • Only the school’s camera may be used to take photos.

  • Photo’s are used to capture the child working or with their friends engaging in some school activity.

 

A professional photographer will come to Pembroke Montessori towards the end of the school year. A consent form will be sent home before this, so parents can choose to have their child in the class photo or not.

 

 

 

 

 

ABSENCE COVER

 

Pembroke Montessori ensures that there is always staff to cover the number of children present. We have relief staff to cover absences. We can also request that part-time teachers work extra hours. Relief staff are all Garda Vetted through Pembroke Montessori.

 

 

SMOKING POLICY

 

Pembroke Montessori has a very strict no-smoking policy. Staff, parents or visitors are not permitted to smoke on the school premises. 

It is the policy of Pembroke Montessori to ensure that children are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with teachers and staff in our school.

 

Statement of Intent

At Pembroke Montessori the welfare of the child is paramount. Therefore we want to make sure that the children in Pembroke Montessori are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with the staff and the students in this school.

 

We do this by

  • Ensuring that our teachers avail of training on Child Protection provided by the DCCC.

  • Giving parents, children and teachers information about what we do and what they can expect from us

  • Making sure that our staff and volunteers are carefully selected, trained and supervised in accordance with our Recruitment Policies and Procedures.

  • Applying for Garda Vetting for all staff, volunteers, students and any adults that may come in contact with children in our school.

  • Letting parents know how to voice their concerns or complain if there is anything they are not happy about.

  • Having reporting procedures and a named designated liaison person in place to deal with Child Protection Concerns.

  • Ensuring that all staff and volunteers are informed of the Reporting Procedures.

  • Having procedures on actions to take if an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer.

 

 

 

Policy

Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children published by the Department of Health and Children in 1999 form the basis of our services child protection policy and procedures.   A copy of this book is in the Managers office. 

Everyone must be alert to the possibility that children with whom they are in contact may be being abused.   Any reasonable suspicion of abuse must elicit a response.   Ignoring the signals or failing to intervene may result in ongoing or further harm to the child.   The welfare of children must always come first, regardless of all other considerations.

All staff and persons who work within Pembroke Montessori must read and understand this policy and procedures and it will be part of a new staff member’s induction training.    Clarification on any point may be sought from the Manager.