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Avoid Big Fines Under New Employment Legislation by Ensuring Compliance

Are you familiar with the new Employment (Miscellaneous Provision) Act, 2018, which came in to effect in March 2019? This new legislation requires employers to issue employees with a core statement of employment within five days of their commencement of employment and a full contract of employment within 4 weeks. If an employer issues the employee with a contract/statement of terms and conditions prior to or within five days of the employee’s commencement, then core statement is not required.

Now is the time to ensure your house is in order and all staff have contracts of employment. If an employer fails to comply with the core statement document, they may be subject to fines up to €5,000 per breach.

Our Employment Contract Pack provides a template for the development of contracts specific to the early years sector and also includes the Core Statement document. It is available on our shop here: Employment Contract Pack.
This legislation also provides a ban on zero-hour contracts, except in circumstances where there is genuine casual work, emergency cover or short-term relief.
The early years sector is regulated and requires an adult/child ratio for various ages ranges in order to be compliant with the legislation. Therefore, this should suffice to meet the legislative requirement in the new legislation. Early Years providers should still be able to provide relief contracts where employees work occasional hours for emergency or short-term relief. However, employers should be aware that where this cover changes to a more regular arrangement or, for example, longer-term cover for sick leave then the contract type should change to a fixed term/specific purpose contract as may be relevant.

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Working with Movement is Essential for the Children in Your Early Years Service

Music and movement are truly essential parts of children’s early years education. Let’s take a moment to think about this!

Preparation for Starting Formal Education

Children need physical coordination and strength to be as successful as they can be in any learning environment. Why? They need to have good control of gross and fine motor skills in order to be able to learn to write effectively. They need to be comfortable sitting in a chair, which requires core strength and development of back and neck muscles. Eye strength is important for them to be able to focus on the teacher, on presentations and the whiteboard, as well as close-up, such as their own work.

Memory skills and sequencing are necessary for building logical structures of their ideas to put them to paper. These skills are also essential for reading.

Children also need their imagination and creativity nurutured to give them the confidence to express themselves and explore their learning journey.

Development of Spatial Sensitivity and Physical Strength

Dance and movement are great methods at any age to build strength and spatial sense. We develop better motor skills by focusing our awareness on our bodies; our position in space as well as our posture and position of our arms and legs. In the early years, children translate their spatial awareness of the physical world (their bodies, other children, their toys and games, and other things in their environment) to the ability to position and space letters and words.

Development of the larger muscles actually does have an impact on the fine motor skills, and weight-bearing movements such as crawling, jumping and hopping, help develop bone density.

Brain and Visual Development

The brain is an amazingly complex instrument, and we don’t understand its functions fully, but we do know that the left side of the brain is used primarily in processing data and logical structures (reading the words on the page and connecting them to concrete meanings) while the right side of the brain “paints pictures”, integrating these concrete meanings into more complete ideas of meaning including visual imagery. When we write, the left side is in charge of the physical control of creating the letters and words, while the right side exercises the creative impulse to decide what to write. Multi-sensory experience is necessary to activate the different parts of the brain together and develop a rich ability to understand and build ideas and expressions. Strength, dexterity and physical skill can be encouraged to develop with lots of fun activities for children such as hitting balloons back and forth or bouncing balls in a parachute. These kind of activities are great for developing awareness of objects moving unpredictably through space.

Play, Role Play, and Fun

Dance and music can also be an important part of a child’s play experience. Role play and dress-up are ways children can explore their sense of self and interpersonal modes with the other children.

Dancing with scarves can be a great way to enhance the experience of moving and dancing and is even more visually engaging.

New Funky Feet Module: Pop Like Popcorn

The Early Years Shop is very excited to announce a new release in the award-winning Funky Feet series of music and movement programmes: Pop Like Popcorn. This wonderful 20-song CD and Music Manual is a fun way to get the children moving together. They’ll love jigging like a pirate, partying with the dinosaurs, crawling like crabs and smiling like crocodiles!

If you purchase Pop Like Popcorn before Easter you can order any of the other Funky Feet programmes for 15% off! This is definitely the best time to purchase the complete set.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Free Aistear Stickers with purchase of 5 or more A Child’s Learning Journey

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We’re happy to offer a free pack of our very popular Aistear stickers with any purchase of 5 or more A Child’s Learning Journey scrapbooks. This offer is only until the end of March so avail of it today!

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Early Years Shop Prizewinner in our December Facebook Share Competition

We are delighted to announce that Marie Rice McCourt of the Redeemer Creche & Playgroup, Dundalk is the winner of our December competition. Here she is pictured in the Redeemer Creche with one of the Happy Birthday buntings and the giant BIC colours pack. We would like to thank everyone for sharing the post about our popular Inspection Essentials bundles.

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Free “Where I Live” Journal with Every Order of 10 Learning Journeys – January Only!

We have great news! We are offering a free “Where I Live” journal with every 10 individual child My Learning Journey orders for the rest of the month of January only. This is from our “Documentation Made Simple Series” and is one of our most popular products due to the fact that Community Involvement is an element of evaluation included in the DES (Department of Education & Skills) inspection.

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Partnership with Parents: The Regular Newsletter

Why not use our Newsletter Development tool to communicate with parents? A professionally produced newsletter gives you the edge and ensures parents are kept informed of developments. It can also be used to educate parents and create an awareness about curriculum and child development. Communication with parents is an important element of the DES inspection. Available here

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