Quality Area 2 – Children’s health and safety… sounds simple enough right? Feed them well. Ensure they have rest. Give them exercise. Make sure there’s no germs. Simple. But how often do you really and truly reflect on what this quality area really is asking you to do, and whether you are meeting the elements? Here are 5 tips to reflect on to help you meet quality area 2…
Explore “appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation” – In a lot of services rest time has always been a time where each child is put on a bed and either sleeps or lays there getting told to “LAY STILL” for rest time while the educators clean up after lunch, or write the program etc. Each child’s needs for sleep, rest and relaxation is going to differ, so is having beds for everyone meeting this requirement?
Explore “Children are adequately supervised at all times” – Supervised means that children are prevented from injuring themselves. It does not mean that educators need to stand around like statues watching the children play and barking instructions occasionally, the best way to supervise is to be playing alongside the children and keeping them engaged and busy. The other side to supervision is making sure that if you are engaged with a small group of children you constantly scan the area nearby, not assume that others are doing that. Reflect on your current supervision practices and see whether you are supporting children’s play while ensuring their safety.
Explore “effective hygiene practices are promoted and implemented” – We all know about hygiene but here’s some reminders for you to reflect on… Washing children’s hand before meals, updating policies on illness and ensuring cross contamination is minimised, ensuring gloves are worn when preparing and serving food, ensuring when gloves are worn they are not used for anything else (and are replaced if they are), children sleeping on beds are not placed with heads facing each other to avoid spread of germs.
Explore “physical activity is promoted through planned and spontaneous experiences and is appropriate for each child” – A lot of educators seem to have the idea that inside is for learning and outside is for playing. Or that inside is for teaching and outside is for supervising. How much learning occurs outside a your service? Is the set up inviting and challenging that changes regularly based on the children’s interests? How do you make sure it is appropriate for each child – do you engaging with the children to support the nervous and challenge the confident?
Explore “healthy eating is promoted and food and drinks provided by the service are nutritious and appropriate for each child” – Reflect on whether this is holistically embedded into your service or whether this is only for the menu. When doing cooking with the children do you promote healthy and nutritious foods or do you bring in cupcakes and pancakes and sugar laden “fun” foods? Do you tell the children they need to drink water when you are drinking a bottle of soft drink in front of them?
Hopefully these tips have given you a few things to think about and explore whether you feel that they are suitably met in your service. It would be good if you can say you meet all of these, but it would be great if you find out you could do better and plan to do this in your service. If you would like support with anything in your service please feel free to get in touch through http://www.rare.support
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