1. DEFINE WHAT THE SCHOOL AGE CHILDCARE IS AND IDENTIFY A RANGE OF TYPES OF PROVISIONS.
EXPLORE A RANGE OF ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE SCHOOLAGE CHILDCARE PROVISION.
After school care is defined as “childcare for school going children provided outside of normal school hours where the same children attend the childcare facility on a regular basis and access to the service is clearly defined by agreement with parents and guardians.” It is a type of service for children who are attending primary school. Children may attend before school or in the afternoon when the school has finished. This service may also care for children during school holidays.
A good after school service should provide:
Planned programme of activities to offer the children and young people the opportunity to play, take part of outdoor and indoor activities, do their homework with the help of their teacher and relax with their friends. •
Offer to children exciting and educational activities meeting the individual needs to each child in a variety of ways. •
Secure, stimulating and happy environment for all children with appropriate adult supervision. •
Relaxed atmosphere where children can develop friendships and grow in confidence, independence and respect for themselves and others. •
All children and youth should be welcome irrespective of cultural or religious background.
Children attending after school service have different social and educational needs, therefore school age childcare providers and staff need a relevant training and qualifications and the curriculum should be refreshed every week.
There is no specific regulation relating to school age childcare but the service staff have the civil responsibility and duty to protect the children. It needs to be remember that school age children can have a say in planning the activities provided.
Types of provision in Ireland:
Childminders- a service provide by person in their own house •
After school service- provide to take responsibility for children when they are not in the school setting (before school, after school and during holidays) •
Drop in centres- offer short term facilities to care for children of all age •
Before school clubs- primary school age children share breakfast and fun with friends before being brought to school. •
After school club- afternoon care for after school children with homework supervision by qualified staff and where children and young people can participate in after school activities. •
Out of school- school holidays, mid-term breaks, in service training days- full time and part time childcare for children and young people during primary school closes (summer camp, Easter camp , midterm camps) Many services offer a school collection and delivery to all local schools in their own school buses accompanied by member of staff.
Elements of good after school service:
Good reputation- welcoming friendly atmosphere and be known for the nurturing environment •
Established ground rules- clearly established regulations for everything and consider the right for everybody. •
Stimulating curriculum- centres should have structured schedules that include time for physical activity, quite time (including homework time, daily reading) group programmes, individual activities, meals, snacks and free time. Children and young people need a place that offer a regular curriculum with a range of age appropriate activities. •
Qualified, carrying staff- employees should be educated, should interact with children and youth. Caregivers should be fully qualified, responsible, enthusiastic and well prepared. •
Healthy food- service should listen to children likes and dislikes, and create menu to suit the children needs. Food should be fresh and healthy prepared in accessible kitchen and served in qualified lunchroom. •
Clean and safety facilities- good centre is clean and sanitary with adequate for each age group toilet facilities. Follows the basic rules of safety....
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