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February Curriculum Planning Pack – Now Available!

The February Curriculum Planning Pack is now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop. The pack includes some great activities from three other packs available from the website. This includes four activities from the Spring Pack, 3 from Valentine’s Day Pack and 3 from Chinese New Year Pack. There are a number of themes that you can incorporate into your Curriculum Planning for the month of February. The obvious one is a ‘Love’ theme with the celebration of Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February. However, there are various other themes that you can also include. Below is a list of some themes that you might like to use for your February learning.

Ideas for February Curriculum Planning

  • Kindness – The theme of Love will be common to do in February but closely linked to that is a Kindness theme. Being kind is a way of showing love to others. It is important for children to learn from a young age how they can show kindness in their everyday lives. There are many different ways of showing kindness at home and in school. Encouraging the children to help their parents and siblings as well as their peers gives them a sense of pride. In addition, it instills kindness in them from a young age. Kindness acts can be as simple as a smile, helping with chores, or helping a peer with their bag or coat. For more on kindness you can read our Kindness Blog.
  • Reading – On Wednesday, 3rd of February World Read Aloud Day is celebrated around the world. Millions of people join together to celebrate the joy and power of reading and sharing stories. Reading to children from a very young age should be encouraged and can be done by parents or by teachers. Children should be encouraged to pick out their own books to read aloud themselves. Although, at preschool age they won’t be able to read the words they can still use pictures to communicate their story. 
  • Daffodils – Daffodils are one of the first flowers to arrive in Spring. Their vivid bright yellow colour brightens up homes, gardens and parks every year at Spring Time. Talk to the children about planting the bulbs in the ground and how they grow before blooming in Spring. There are a number of different craft ideas that can be done with daffodils. You can draw them or use yellow and green crepe paper and cupcake holders to make 3D versions. The learning can be extended to talk about seeds and bulbs, their growth and other types of flowers. Maybe you could even plant your own flowers and watch them grow! 
  • St. Brigid’s Day – St. Brigid’s Day is an Irish traditional festival marking the beginning of Spring. Saint Brigid is one of Ireland’s patron saints. One of the traditions is to make Saint Brigid’s Crosses. These are normally made from rushes but other materials such as pipe cleaners could be used also. The cross typically has four arms tied at the ends and a woven square in the middle. This is an opportunity to talk about old traditions. It is also a good chance to talk about history and the way people lived before us. 

February: The 2nd Month of the year, 28 days, leap year 29 days, start of Spring  Flowers: Daffodil, Primrose, Violet Weather: Low Temperature, Humid, Cloudy,  Birthstone: Amethyst

February Curriculum Planning Pack FREE with EYRF Membership

If you are already a member of the Early Years Resource Factory, the new February 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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Continuing Strict Hygiene and Sanitising Measures at Your Service!

It is critically important to continue with strict sanitising and hygiene measures upon the reopening of your service. Now is a good time to re-check that your cleaning and hygiene routines continue to be at the expected standard and that you have suitable personal protection for staff members working at your service. If there is an area that you feel is not satisfactory or could be improved upon now is the time to make those changes. This will give you the peace of mind that you are doing all that is reasonably possible to keep the COVID-19 virus out of your service.  At the Early Years Shop we are delighted to offer a number of different personal protection and cleaning products that are suitable for use at your service.
January Sale on Hygiene and Safety Products: 15% OFF on all face masks, cleaners, disinfectants, hand sanitisers and other safety products for infection control for all orders over €125!

PPE Equipment

Face Masks At The Early Years Shop, we have a range of face masks to suit all services individual requirements. We stock disposable masks of medical grade as well as KN95 certified masks. We also stock Irish handmade washable masks (Standard and Superior). In addition, we have recently added personalised masks for any service wishing to add a service name or logo to their washable masks.
Disposable Aprons and Gloves  Disposable Aprons are lightweight and waterproof with the aim of protecting staff and their clothing while carrying out various tasks. The aprons can be used when dealing with sick children, nappy changing, food preparation and for arts and crafts activities. Aprons should be disposed of immediately to reduce the likelihood of viral contamination. Our plastic disposable gloves come in packs of 100 and can also be used for various tasks throughout the day such as food preparation and dealing with a sick or injured child. Like aprons, gloves should be disposed of immediately to ensure that there is no risk of contamination.
Infrared Thermometer Our high-quality non-contact infrared thermometer measures the body’s thermal radiation from a distance, providing a quick, accurate temperature reading. The thermometer provides an accurate reading (within .2°C) for temperatures in the human body range (35°C to 42°C). The large backlit screen makes it quick and easy to read in different lighting conditions. It takes a temperature measurement in less than one second. It is CE approved (European certification for health and safety). It is battery-operated (2x AAA batteries) so it can be used anywhere.

Hand Sanitiser

We have a range of hand sanitiser available, both alcohol and non alcohol based and in a range of different sizes.
Alcohol Based – Our alcohol based products contain a minimum of 70% alcohol and are very effective in killing any virus particles on the hands. There are a range of different sizes available so that you are prepared in all instances. The 5 litre drum is a great option for services with a number of staff who will be sanitising multiple times through out the day. This is a cost effective and environmental friendly option as you can refill smaller sanitising stations from the big drum. The smaller bottles and sachets are very useful to have when outdoors with the children so that you are able to sanitise on the go, some are ideal to carry in a small bag or even your pocket.
Non-Alcohol Based – Our Dew sanitising range is a non-alcohol based product made from electrolysed water. It is 99.995% effective in killing bacteria, viruses and fungi and is free from any parabens, toxins and dyes. It has proven very popular with Early Years Services as it is safe to use with both adults and children. The products are vegan friendly, PH skin friendly and environmentally friendly. They are available in a range of sizes suitable for refilling smaller sanitising stations or for on the go.

Cleaning Products

All services now have more stringent cleaning policies in place with the ongoing pandemic. We have a number of different cleaning products available – both alcohol and non-alcohol based – that are suitable for use in Early Years settings.
Klorkleen and Klorsept – This is a family of cleaning and disinfecting products that are used internationally in hospitals, medical practices and a number of other centres that are sensitive to the danger of infection. The products come in tablet form, meaning there is no need to mix liquid and it is easy to store. Great for cleaning all floor areas and counter top work spaces. We have these products available in both regular and mini sizes.
Alcohol Free Antibacterial Surface Wipes – The antibacterial surface wipes are suitable for use in the areas of food preparation and general work areas. They are alcohol free and therefore less harsh than bleach on surfaces. They are available in packs of 200 and 1500.
Dew Superclean – From the Dew Range of Alcohol Free based products made from electrolysed water. This is a multi-surface, low-streak cleaner and degreaser free from harsh chemicals, dyes and parabens. It comes in a 500ml spray, 5 litre refill and a 500ml Concentrate.
Dew Disinfect – The Dew Disinfect Range is also alcohol free and made from electrolysed water. It can be used to disinfect work tops, sinks, bathrooms and toilets without the harshness of bleach based products. This product comes in a 500ml spray, a 2.5l refill5 litre refill 

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Document your CPD with Child-Led Curriculum Planning Video Training

ECCE services are closed until the 1st of February, however staff members are encouraged to use time at home for Continued Professional Development (CPD). The Child-Led Curriculum Planning and Effective Documentation Training Video is a great option to do while at home. The video concentrates on how to plan your curriculum. It promotes the use of Aistear and Síolta Practice when planning, implementing, recording and reflecting on your curriculum plans. This 40 minute video training demonstrates the different methods that you can use to document a child’s learning. It also explains how much documentation is enough. In addition, the video outlines the factors involved to fully comprehend and understand how an emerging curriculum works. These factors include:

  • How Young Children Learn
  • The Impact the Physical Environment has on Learning
  • The Emergent Curriculum
  • The Emergent Curriculum in Action and Documenting Your Curriculum

When these factors are fully understood by Early Years Practitioners it will lead to a successful curriculum.  This will in turn lead to the successful documenting of the curriculum. The video training was created in collaboration with an award winning setting. This setting has received 4 excellents in their most recent DES inspection and are fully compliant with Tusla. The training video makes a really useful tool for both new and existing staff members.

Certificate of Completion – Child-Led Curriculum Planning

The training is delivered as a custom link to the video meaning that it can be completed anywhere on either a computer, laptop or mobile device. Once you place your order online, register your details and you will generate video training links for each staff member who is to do the training. Once staff members complete the video they will then take a quick evaluation quiz and receive a Certificate of Completion (digital download). The certificate will show the staff name and date training was completed for CPD documentation.

Please note that each purchase is for a single-user license and you can purchase as many as you require.

Discount for EYRF Members – Remember, Early Years Resource Factory members get a 20% discount on training videos as well as discounts on all form packs, medical care plans, and other products on the Early Years Shop.

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Have you got all the correct signage in place at your service?

With the announcement of the latest closures for the Early Years Sector it is a good opportunity to take stock and to check that you have all the correct signage and posters in place at your service. It is important to have clear information and instructions for staff, families and children to ensure that everyone is continuing to take the correct precautions while engaging with your Early Years Services. At the Early Years Shop we provide a number of different posters, signs, floor stickers and stencils for both indoor and outdoor use. All of the products are designed to ensure that you can wipe clean for sanitising purposes. All posters are designed using bright and friendly colours and fonts to ensure they remain child friendly.  We are delighted to announce three new A3 wipe clean posters to the range. See details below for all our essential wipe-clean posters and other signage around COVID-19 safety and hygiene.

New A3 Wipe-Clean Posters

Floor Stickers and Stencils

In order to aid social distancing measures where required we have brightly coloured floor stickers available for indoor use. They have been designed with children in mind using bright colours and pictures. They are easy to apply and can be wiped clean as per hygiene requirements. We also have floor stencils available that can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. The stencils can be used with our huge range of spray paints for an impactful finish!