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Safety First is the golden rule for Early Years Services

All children are dependent on adults for their basic needs such as water, food, clothing and shelter. Like adults, children need an environment that makes them feel secure and safe and they depend on adults to protect them from any harm. A safe environment allows children to develop into confident teens and adults who can build strong relationships and meet their best potential. According to Tusla ‘It is the duty of every person working in a preschool service to take all reasonable measures to safeguard the Health, Safety and Welfare of the children attending the service and to comply with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and the Child Care Regulations (The Childcare Act 1991) (Early Years Services) (Amendments) Regulations 2016. Safety includes things such as providing safe toys and materials, maintaining safe adult-child ratios, ensuring a safe sleep policy is in place and protection and response to injuries. Daily, monthly and yearly risk assessments are required to ensure that necessary measures have been taken to keep children safe. 

Available Health & Safety Products 

In partnership with Canavan Byrne, The Early Years Shop offers Irish childcare services many products and tools to guide and help with all aspects of Health and Safety within their service. We offer products such as the Risk Assessment – Audits and Records Pack which includes all the forms you need to carry out daily, monthly and yearly audits and risk assessments that ensure your service is safe for children and the Sleep Policy Pack to ensure that you have everything you require to be compliant with Tusla for the safe sleep of children in your service. New to the Early Years Shop for 2020 are safety products that can assist you with the prevention of accidents at your service. The new products include door guards to protect little fingers, electrical socket covers and edge and corner protection kits. These products are hard wearing and easy to use anywhere within your service and can help to keep babies and young children safe from hazards such as electric shocks, falls, trips and head injuries. Being proactive where health and safety issues are concerned ensures that services are being compliant for any inspection but most importantly that they are endeavouring to keep children safe on a daily basis!

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New Biting Support Pack Now Live On The Early Years Shop!

Due to a high level of queries in relation to biting the Canavan Byrne team have put together a Biting Support Pack. The pack contains a parent booklet and a policy on biting. The parent booklet includes a customised cover page where you can insert your service name (if desired) and the biting policy can be added to your behaviour policy. Biting is a developmental stage that children may go through and happens in almost all childcare settings where there are young children together. All incidents of biting are upsetting for children and should be dealt with in a calm and clear manner. Having a biting policy in place ensures that everyone understands their responsibilities if biting occurs. Parents and guardians will have read and understood the policy and staff will have received training on the policy. 

Biting Support Pack: The Parent Booklet

The main purpose of The Parent Handbook is to provide parents with the following:

  1. Information and understanding of the reasons why young children bite.
  2. Ideas and strategies to help prevent biting in young children.
  3. Information & advice on how to respond appropriately and support children who bite and are bitten.
  4. Strategies that should not be used when children bite.

The parent booklet should be made available for all parents/guardians of children attending your service, regardless of whether biting has occurred or not. 

Biting Support Pack: The Biting Policy

The Biting Policy is a document that you can add to your Behaviour Policy. The document outlines what procedures you have in place;

  • for the prevention of biting.
  • to follow when biting occurs.
  • to support the child that has been bitten.
  • to support the child that has bitten.
  • that follow a biting incident. 

The document should be read by all parents/guardians of children attending your service and staff should be given appropriate training in relation to biting and the policy in place for biting. The Biting Support Pack is now available on The Early Years Shop. Once you place your order you will receive an email with a downloadable link giving you immediate access to the policy for you to edit and have in place for your service, as well as the informational booklet for parents with your customised cover.

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Early Years Shop – Top 10 Products in 2019!

A new year is a great time for reflection. It is a great opportunity to take stock of what has happened over the past year and to use the knowledge gained to help prepare for the year ahead. Reflection will always include highs and lows, gains and losses, and opportunities and challenges. It will also include the mistakes that were made, the lessons learned and the joys that were shared together with colleagues and loved ones. At the Early Years Shop we have reflected upon the products sold on our online shop. From this reflection we have come up with a list of our Top 10 Best Selling products for 2019! These are the top products that have been sold all across the country and have guided and helped educators in the running of efficient and compliant services.

The Top 10 list includes a mixture of hard and soft products. The hard products include our ever popular A Child’s Learning Journey Book and our newly updated Children’s Roll Book. Our soft (downloadable) products include HR products such as the Employee Management Pack, Curriculum products such as the Curriculum Planning Toolkit and administrative and communication products such as the Risk Assessment (Audits and Records Pack) and the Parent Handbook (full day care and school aged children).

So what are the Top 10 Selling Products in 2019?

  1. A Child’s Learning Journey Book continues to be one of the best selling products on the Early Years Shop in 2019. This over-sized scrapbook style journal allows you to capture the child’s individual learning experiences in a 20 page A3 size book. You can add photographs, observations and samples of the children’s work and at the end of the year it becomes a beautiful keepsake for each family to take home with them. 
  2. The newly updated Children’s Roll Book with Sign In and Sign Out for the 2019-20 term is fully compliant with the requirements of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and the Quality Regulatory Framework  (Tusla 2018). This newly designed spiral bound product allows the book to lie flat for ease of use and most importantly it allows for roll call, child sign-in and sign-out by an adult and staff sign-in and sign-out. Children’s details are just entered once for the full year.
  3. Aistear Stickers were created almost four years ago based on customer feedback. Developed to support staff in the labeling of Aistear assessment and observations, artwork, photographs and stories. Linking Aistear themes, goals and aims can be very time consuming but with Aistear stickers to hand it makes life for educators very easy by just adding a label and circling the goal and aim as required. 
  4. In order to maintain compliance with regulations and in case of Tusla inspection services need to ensure that they have good records of all accidents and incidents that take place. The Accident and Incident Book ensures consistency with the recording of all accidents and incidents with each form in triplicate – allowing one copy to stay in the book, one copy to go on the child’s file and one copy to go to the parent or guardian. This book also conforms with new GDPR rules as it includes a confidentiality clause with each form. 

The Best Selling Downloadable Products 

  1. The Employee Management Pack and the Employment Contract Template are the two best selling products in relation to the HR side of business. The Employee Management Pack is packed with forms, checklists and policies that you need to have in place once you have a team of staff working in your service. The pack includes a guide on how to use each of the forms and where they should be kept. The Employment Contract Template is a great sample contract for early years settings and can be used for all fixed-term, specified-purpose, hourly-paid, full-time, part-time or term-time contracts. Both products are soft products that you download via a link you receive to your email. This has the benefit of immediate receipt of product for you to save and edit as and when you require. 
  2. The Risk Assessments (Audit and Records) Pack is another very popular product available on the Early Years Shop. Risk assessment is a very important element of any business and one which is crucial to ensure businesses are pro-active regarding the prevention of injury and illness. The pack includes risk sheets to allow you carry out risk assessments for buildings, operations and staff whether it be on a daily, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. This is also a downloadable pack that will be sent immediately once ordered so that you have the benefit of getting to work immediately. 
  3. On the curriculum side of business, the Curriculum Planning Toolkit is most certainly the most ordered product on the website. This toolkit comprises templates which will aid and support the educator in how they may implement curriculum planning templates for early years services. The templates are based on the core principle of Aistear that play is central to the children’s learning. 
  4. In terms of curriculum packs, the Diversity Curriculum Plan: Celebrating Difference has proved very popular in 2019. This pack is a great way to open discussions with the children around how we celebrate the differences that may come through gender, ability or ethnicity and includes 10 activities to support this. Like all of our curriculum packs this pack also helps to build your library of resources to respond to the emerging interests of children. 
  5. The child registration pack is available in both English and Irish. Before a child starts at your service you need to ensure that you have all of the correct information about the child to ensure that you can provide the highest safety and care. The Child Registration Pack provides you with the templates that will allow you to gather all the correct information relating to each individual child who will attend your service. 
  6. Although it is not a legal requirement to have a parent handbook in place, educators see this as hugely beneficial in order for parents to read and understand the policies that are in place. It is a great way to welcome parents/guardians and engage them in their own child’s learning and development. You have the option of purchasing a self-edit version or a customised version that is developed by Canavan Byrne specific to your service. 

The Early Years Shop came to life in April 2014 in partnership with childcare experts and award winning company Canavan Byrne. Since then thousands of orders have been processed for our customers across the country! Now that we have reflected upon 2019 it’s time to look forward towards a new year and a new decade in 2020. We will ensure that we continue to support the early education sector alongside our partners, Canavan Byrne, by providing lots more new products and services with the aim of making our customers already busy schedules a bit less hectic! Make sure to keep an eye on our website and social media for more information on new products coming soon! 

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Insurance and Risk Assessment Requests: Thursday Tip

The Canavan Byrne team have been notified by a number of clients that their insurance company are requesting detailed risk assessment, before quoting them this year, especially where there is large climbing equipment or risky play items within their outdoor areas. In a number of cases the insurance company has requested a ROSPA accredited risk assessment which is a UK accreditation but will require it to be done to the same standards.

Ensure that you always keep the manufacturer’s documentation when purchasing equipment and have this on file. This can also be used when risk assessing a particular piece of equipment.

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