That the National Standards reinforces children’s right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their health and safety?
Quality Area 2 of the National Standards is all about health and safety. Not only is OSHC required to provide a healthy and safe environment, but we must also teach children about healthy lifestyles, including nutrition, physical fitness, emotions, social relationships and personal hygiene (such as handwashing and dental hygiene).
OSHC also encourages children to take increasing responsibility for themselves and promote a sense of independence. When a child says “Mum forgot to pack my drink bottle” or something similar, we will generally ask “Whose drink bottle is it?” followed by “Who forgot to pack your drink bottle?” The next day, the child has checked or packed their drink bottle themselves. If a child approaches us and says “I can’t open this?” we will respond with “Oh, ok” or “that’s a shame”, the child will be confused at first, but eventually either find another way of opening it, such as getting a pair of scissors, or asking for help. By having children take on responsibility for their own things, actions and problems, it encourages resilience and independence.
You will see other examples of this at OSHC in our menus, the way the room is set up, our chore chart, Tooth brushing area, step stools available for children, even in the way our craft cupboard is set up. All aimed at helping children become independent and responsible.
We also provide a safe environment for children to take on this independent role. Educators are there to support and guide children or gently prod/remind, such as each child is asked in the morning “Have you had breakfast? Have you brushed your teeth?” (Some cheeky children, will often answer “yes, yes”, before I have even asked the questions). Educators will talk about everyday foods and sometimes foods when the children give their menu ideas. All our educators are now expected to have a First Aid certificate (including Anaphylaxis and Asthma Management). We have policies and procedures in place to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the children.
By setting up the environment this way and by teaching the children responsibility in their self-care, I am proud to say we have very few injuries and incidents. That doesn’t mean we get complacent, we are constantly looking for ways we can improve in this area.
We are currently reviewing Quality Area 2 – Children’s Health and Safety, so if you have any suggestions or feedback we would love to hear it.
If you would like to book for Before or After School Care, enquire about OSHC, or have a suggestion, please contact us on 0499 228 039 or email [email protected]
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