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Preparing to Put Children First! (Installment 1)

The team at Canavan Byrne want to support Early years services easing back into their roles within the Early Years Services by providing some additional tips and advice over the coming weeks which will help to support you the children and families within your service to make the transition back to work as smooth as possible. We are starting off today with some links to relevant sites which will support you to ensure that you are confident with the implementation of the necessary measures as a result of Covid-19.

A huge congratulations to all of our Early years providers who have responded to the momentous task of re-opening their services on June 29th , and to those who will open in the coming weeks and months. Whilst this has no doubt been a significant challenge, despite all the new rules and regulations the overall consensus is one of joy for both staff, parents and very importantly our children. Families are delighted to resume a routine giving them much needed time to focus on work-related tasks. Children are delighted to have an opportunity to engage in play and socialisation with their peers whilst staff are delighted to resume the role of providing quality care and education to our youngest children.

As we move back to our roles within the Early Years sector life begins to become increasingly busy. Take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments that you and your colleagues have achieved over the past few months. The Early Years sector has always responded to the dynamic nature of the industry with changes to policies and practice. In all of our research and planning we could never have predicted the need to plan for a pandemic! Despite this everyone has risen to the challenge and within days of closure on the 12th of March, had embraced the use of technology as a means of supporting families and children in the continuation of learning and as a network of support for families facing unprecedented challenges.

We have seen a variety of adaptive responses from story-time and circle time via Zoom, to online arts and crafts, to both virtual and socially distant graduations, virtual tours of early years services and ‘meet the teacher’ via Zoom and various other apps. This all supports continuing professional development (CPD) and together with all of the other courses which educators have taken over the past few months all add to quality provision. We recommend that each person keep an individual record of their own CPD and that this is also recorded collectively within the service. To help support you in this regard, see the most recent Friday Freebie on the Early Years Shop: Continuing Professional Development Log.

We have all had to take significant measures in light of Covid-19, it is worth remembering that all of the initial policies, procedures and regulations still apply and we now must engage with the supplementary supports to ensure that policies, procedures, risk assessments, cleaning regimes and communications reflect the changes as a result of Covid-19. Whilst there is no definitive end in sight in relation to Covid-19, we can feel empowered by taking preventative measures and minimising the risk of infection for everyone. For ease of reference please see links to some of the following resources:

These documents will support you in making the necessary adjustments to your policies, procedures and daily routines. We recommend that a hard copy of these supports be maintained on site and that the links are made available to all staff. Don’t forget that we have a range of webinars available to help support individual staff and services in returning to work.

Many early years services would be familiar with our Covid-19 Return to Work Rescue Pack for Early Years Services which was developed by the Canavan Byrne team following guidance from the HSE and Tusla and will give you added reassurance that you have everything in place for re-opening.

We look forward to our next support document which will break down the recording of evidence of meeting the required new measures for inspection purposes. By preparing in this way we can appear calm and relaxed with the children and families and be prepared to do what we all do best: putting the children first.

The team in Canavan Byrne are very responsive to the needs of the Early Years sector. If there is a course, resource or additional support which you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to contact us on (01) 623 5908 or see the Canavan Byrne website.