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Monthly Curriculum Planning Pack for October 2020

October is the 10th month of the year and has 31 days. With it brings change including a decline in temperature and light, as we experience the clock going back by one hour on the 25th of the month. Children are gradually settling into their new classroom and they are not only getting to know each other but also themselves! According to the Aistear Framework, ‘Identity and Belonging is about children developing a positive sense of who they are, and feeling that they are valued and respected as part of a family and community’. As part of this you should encourage the children to think about themselves and who they are. You can encourage the children to do ‘All about Me’ posters with drawings of themselves, their family, their pets, homes, favourite toys and activities. In the October Curriculum Planning Pack we have included some great activities to support the Aistear theme Identity and Belonging. 

Autumn is another great theme for classroom discussions and projects in October. There are many changes around us such as the weather and nature. The days are getting a little shorter and colder and the leaves are beginning to fall from trees. Vegetables planted in Spring are now ready to be harvested. Bring the children outside and let them collect some different coloured leaves, acorns and conkers. Talk about the leaves and why they are all different colours. Use the items to make pictures, a nature table or use them as part of an Autumn Sensory bin. The children will love our Autumn activities such as Hungry Squirrels, Leaf Measuring and How Leaves Change Colour – all included in the October Curriculum Planning Pack. 

Halloween is of course one of the big themes for October and children will only be too delighted to talk about it and get involved in any class projects that celebrate it. They will love to dress up and talk about their favourite dress up characters and make Halloween decorations to make their classroom look spooky! From spiders and witches to pumpkins and ghosts, there are endless possibilities! Many of the Halloween activities are also educational including improving children’s fine motor skills such as our ‘Fine Motor Spider Web Activity’ that is included in the October Pack. Using simple items such as fake spiders and tweezers can help children to control and coordinate their bodies while learning to move and handle equipment all while celebrating Halloween! Check out the new October Curriculum Plan Pack for more details! 

  • October: The 10th Month of the year, 31 Days, Clocks go back on the 25th October at 2am
  • Flowers: Alstroemeria, Gerbera, Iris, Chrysanthemum, Freesia, Magnolia, Calendula
  • Weather: Declining temperatures and light, wind, rain
  • Birthstone: Tourmaline and Opal

If you are already a member of the Early Years Resource Factory, this new October pack comes free as part of your membership. If you are not already a member you can sign up here. You can also sign up for a trial which will give you access to EYRF for 7 days so that you have a better idea of what the service entails. Click here for your 7 day trial.

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Thursday Tip: New Ways to Communicate with Families

Effective communication methods with the parents/guardians and/or carers of children attending your service is an additional requirement by Tusla during the current COVID emergency period.

As with all other control measures required to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 into your service, ensuring families/carers receive clear, consistent and up-to-date information on a regular basis is vital.

Services are required to explore effective and safe methods of communication depending on the individual needs of their families and carers of children attending. These methods may include displaying factual posters, distributing visual aids, using closed group WhatsApp platforms, email, zoom group meetings, phone calls etc.

The Tusla Inspection Tool now requires Early Years Services to develop communication plans to keep in touch with parents during COVID-19. Inspection will be seeking compliance and evidence of the following:
  • Has the service developed new methods of communication with and feedback from parents in light of COVID-19 restrictions?
  • Has the service developed new methods for the exchange of information on play, feeding, sleeping, settling, preferences, nappy changing and developmental milestones?

Does your service provide a monthly newsletter?

A monthly newsletter is a great way to provide parents and families with news, scheduling changes, and particularly anything interesting the children have been doing or that you are planning for the future!

With the monthly Newsletter Creator provided by the Early Years Shop, you can easily create a 1- or 2-page newsletter and distribute as a handout or by email to parents. Each month Canavan Byrne provides a range of interesting articles that you can choose from, edit as desired, and add your own news and information. This makes the process of creating a professionally designed, informative newsletter quick and easy. Your newsletter will also be personalised with the name of your service and your contact details.

You can purchase access to the latest Newsletter Creator for the month of October on the Early Years Shop, or sign up for a membership in the Early Years Resource Factory and get access every month as part of your membership.

Have you seen the new Parent Communication Pack for Early Years Services during COVID-19?

Canavan Byrne have developed a new Parent Communication Pack providing a great range of templates, forms, and information for parents that you can easily print out or email. As with many of the other great form packs on the Early Years Shop, the Parent Communication Pack was developed in response to services looking for a resource like this – and is definitely a help complying with the new Tusla guidelines.

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New Parent Communication Pack for Early Years Services during COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought about many changes including the way in which we are able to communicate with parents on a daily basis. Parents are now simply dropping and collecting their children, resulting in less face to face contact between educators and parents. This means that there is less opportunity for an exchange of information on how the children are progressing on a daily/weekly basis. In response to this, Canavan Byrne has developed a brand new Parent Communication Pack that includes a range of resources to support both Educators and parents during this unprecedented time. It is worth noting that these are not intended to fully replace direct communication with parents. All the templates and forms can be printed and are also in ‘e-card’ version. This allows you to send to parents in different formats depending on the needs of your service and of course the needs of your parents.

An Introduction to the Parent Communication Pack from Holly in Canavan Byrne

The Tusla Inspection Tool now also requires Early Years Services to develop communication plans to keep in touch with parents during COVID-19. Inspection will be seeking compliance and evidence of the following:

  • Has the service developed new methods of communication with and feedback from parents in light of COVID-19 restrictions?
  • Has the service developed new methods for the exchange of information on play, feeding, sleeping, settling, preferences, nappy changing and developmental milestones?

The pack explains to parents how research has shown that working with Educators benefits the children by doubling their ability to learn. The child uses the same language, the same skills and learns the same concepts in the learning environment as they do at home. It is important that the parents are on board and understand why there is a need to continue the communication in the absence of face to face time.

There are four sections in the pack:

Section 1: Parent Fact Sheets – How parents and educators working in partnership with each other benefits children.

Section 2: Parental Developmental Prompt Sheets on a number of different topics (including Morning Routine, Let’s Read, Maths at Home, Art at Home, Learning to Rhyme, Bedtime Blues, Toilet Training and Healthy Eating to name but a few).

Section 3: Editable Parent Communication Templates (including a Sharing Certificate, You Did It Award, I am so proud of you Note, Child Learning Journal Template).

Section 4: Editable Parent Communication Log Form and Editable Parent Feedback Form

This new pack comes in downloadable format so once ordered you will receive an email with the link to the pack which you will then save to your Laptop/Desktop for future reference. We provide it as a master PDF document with everything included for convenient browsing as well as separate pages to easily print or email relevant documents to parents.

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NEW! Alcohol-Free Disinfecting Wipes on the Early Years Shop

Promoting good hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting are all very important actions that everyone must take in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Practising good hand hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from being sick. When the virus that causes COVID-19 is on hands and not washed off it can be passed from person to person. Therefore regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or hand rubbing with hand sanitising gel (where access to a sink is not available) is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the virus.

Sars-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to be spread from person to person, but it may also spread by touching a surface that the virus is on and then touching your own mouth, nose or your eyes. It is therefore very important to ensure that high touch items and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Cleaning and disinfecting helps reduce spread by killing viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms on surfaces and items that people touch frequently. In an early years setting this can include door handles, handrails, chairs, tables, sinks and toys. What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? Cleaning physically removes any dirt, grime and impurities on surfaces and items using a soap (detergent) and water. To disinfect, antiviral products such as ready-to-use sprays, wipes or diluted concentrates must be used to kill microorganisms, bacteria and viruses. Therefore it is advised that you clean first and then disinfect all surfaces and high-touch items.

We are delighted to announce two brand new disinfecting products that are now live on The Early Years Shop. The first product is our Alcohol Free Antiviral Surface Wipes (200 Pack). These wipes are antiviral and antibacterial and are used widely across many health services. They are alcohol-free and can kill coronavirus within 30 seconds of contact. The wipes are pre-moistened and therefore ready to use immediately. They are a multipurpose disinfectant and cleaner and are handy to have as a quick and easy way to wipe down high-touch surfaces such as taps, door handles and table surfaces, as well as toys, screens, wipeable posters and book covers.

The second new product now live on the shop is the Sanisafe Alcohol Free Antibacterial Surface Wipes (1500 Pack). This product is ideal for the disinfection of medium food preparation and work surfaces. The product is quat and biguanide free and proven to eliminate cross-contamination with a single wipe. Sanisafe wipes have been shown to be effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Both of these products are alcohol-free and therefore less damaging to surfaces used and safe to use around young children and those with respiratory sensitivities.