Policies and Procedures

It is the policy of Ratoath Childcare ltd to administer medication if required to the children in our care. The Medical Administration Authorisation and Indemnity Form must be signed on the child’s record form if medication is to be administered.

The following steps will be taken when you present medication for your child:

  • The staff member will present you with a medical form to be filled out.
  • The staff member will check for authorisation to administer the medication with a supervisor.
  • The medication, if authorised, will be stored in a designated locked cupboard within the room or if required kept refrigerated in the kitchen away from other foods and children.
  • A note will be made in the room communication book.

The following step will be taken when administering medication to your child:

  • A qualified member of staff will administer the medication, as per the written instructions
  • It will be witnessed by another member of staff
  • The medication form will be filled out
  • Parents will be required to sign this form when collecting their child that evening.

All medication must:

  • Be in its original container
  • Have an expiration date
  • Have the relevant child’s name on the label
  • Have instructions on its administration
  • Date from start of medication
  • Duration of time medication is to be administered

Should you receive medication where no pharmacy label is available then Ratoath Childcare ltd will accept a letter from your GP stating the following:

  • Name of child for whom medication is intended
  • Date medication was prescribed
  • Length of time medication is to be administered
  • Instructions for administration of medication

Should we have any concerns or queries about medication to be given to a child in our care we will:

  • Contact the parents using the information provided on the child record form and express our concerns
  • Refuse to administer the medication

This policy is to prevent wrongful or accidental administration of medication. At all times the health and wellbeing of the children in out care is paramount.

(Parent also refers to carers and guardians)

Statement of intent
The safety and welfare of children attending Ratoath Childcare Ltd is of paramount importance. At Ratoath Childcare Ltd we have established procedures for the drop off and collection of children to ensure a smooth transition and effective time keeping within our service. All procedures follow legislative requirements as per the Child Care Act 1991 (Early years services) Regulations 2016.

Dropping off a child

  • The front door will be kept closed but unlocked to ensure the safety of all children and staff.
  • Parents must accompany their child to the playroom/kitchen and make contact with a staff member relaying any relevant information for their child’s care for that day/session.
  • Children must not be left in the reception area or outside the service at any time.
  • Parents and children are encouraged to say goodbye to each other before they leave.
  • Any person may drop a child to the service. This is not the case on collection. Please see collection section for clarification.

Collecting a child

  • Any parent collecting a child from Ratoath Childcare Ltd must make contact with a staff member of their child’s room and go through the “handing over” process. This involves the staff member talking to the parent and relaying any and all relevant information pertaining to that child’s day.
  • Any person collecting a child must be aged 16years or over.
  • Any person collecting a child must be named as “Authorised to collect” on the child’s record form. If a person collecting a child is not named on the child’s record form as an authorised person, written or verbal permission from the parent must be provided to a staff member before collection. Until known to staff this person will be asked to provide photographic identification such as a drivers licence or passport.
  • Any person’s collecting a child from our full day care service, whether named as Authorised to collect or not, and parents have not informed staff of such arrangement will be asked to wait until a parent confirms permission to collect on that day. Should this be an on-going situation then a written letter stating on-going consent may be provided and stored in the child’s file.
  • In our sessional services once a person is “Authorised to collect” they may do so at any point and time during the calendar year.
  • No child will be permitted to leave the service with an individual Ratoath Childcare Ltd cannot confirm has authorisation to collect.
  • For separated/unmarried parents once they are named as the child’s legal guardian/parent on the child record form they are authorised for collection. A Custody or Restraining Order must be provided to supersede this. A copy of such will be kept on file.
  • In the case of legal guardianship paperwork must be provided to confirm this. A copy of such will be kept on file.

Late collection of children

  • Ratoath Childcare Ltd requires parents to contact the service where they know they will be late collecting their child after the agreed time. They are required to make alternate arrangements.
  • When a parent is late and does not telephone the service Ratoath Childcare Ltd will contact the parents and/or emergency contact person as per the child’s record form.
  • Regulations require two members of staff to remain present when children are on the premises.

Non-collection of children
If a child is not collected within one hour of the day/session finishing and the service is unable to contact the parents/emergency contact person then the following procedure will apply:

  • Staff will follow procedures outlined in the Child Protection Policy and contact the Health Service Executive, Child Protection and Social Work services on 046-9097870 (Child and Family Agency, Duty Social Work Department, Enterprise Centre, Trim Road, Navan, Meath. Opening hours from 9am to 5pm)
  • A full report of the incident will be recorded

Attempted collection by a person who has been denied access in a Court Order

  • A parent who has been denied access to a child through a court order will not be permitted on the premises. A copy of the court order must be on file.
  • If the parent becomes threatening and insists on attempting to collect/see a child in the service the manager/assistant manager will contact An Garda Siochana.

Procedure in the event of concerns about child welfare at departure time
Where a parent/guardian arrives to collect a child in an ‘unfit state’ due to for example illness, drugs or alcohol the senior member of management on duty will assess whether the child’s safety and welfare may be impacted if released into this persons care.

Staff members have no legal rights to withhold a child from a parent in circumstances where a parent arrives in an unfit state due to illness, drugs or alcohol. However, the following measures may be adopted where appropriate:

  • Ensure the child is cared for by another staff member while you discuss the situation with the guardian/parent in question.
  • Offer to contact a family member or friend, or the person(s) listed as the child’s emergency contact on their enrolment form.
  • Offer to call a taxi.

If the parent rejects the above suggestions and insists on taking the child, there is no legal recourse open to staff. However, if staff feel that the wellbeing of the child is at risk they have a duty to act as outlined in Our Duty to Care: the principles of good practice for the protection of children and young people, Department of Health and Children, 2002): ‘It is important to always put the child’s safety and wellbeing first, over and above any other considerations.’

It is, therefore, always the policy of Ratoath Childcare Ltd that ‘the welfare of the child is the most important consideration’.

For that reason, where there is a risk to the child, it is in the best interest of the child for staff to discuss their concerns with the duty social worker on 046-9097870 or, in case of emergency, to contact the Gardaí.

This procedure is established for the protection of the child. We are sure that parents will understand and support this policy.

Ratoath Childcare Ltd will abide by the ratio of staff to children as per their age in accordance with the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. These are as follows:

  • 1-2 years – 1:5
  • 2-3 years – 1:6
  • 3-6 years – 1:8
  • Sessional Services – 1:11
  • ECCE Services – 1:11
  • SAC – 1:12

Ratoath Childcare Ltd aims to follow the staff child ratios as set down in the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) 2016 using the following procedure:

  • An accurate record of the number of children attending each day will be kept and planned forward
  • The rostering of staff’s shifts will be based on this “numbers book”.
  • The overall ratio of staff to children will be taken into account as outlined in the National Standards for Preschool Services Full Day Care Services section 5.16 page 8. “The total number of childcare staff in the service, as opposed to the “per room” allocation, should be taken into account, once the immediate safety of the children is not compromised”.
  • A team of relief staff will be on standby in the event of absenteeism, emergency or annual leave.

It is the policy of Ratoath Childcare Ltd that any complaints received by us are dealt with in a professional manner, and that Ratoath Childcare Ltd will apply natural justice to all.

Parental/Guardian complaints:
The room supervisor will talk to the parent to understand their concerns. The room supervisor will then implement a plan that to deal with the situation in accordance with the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. The management will be informed of the complaint and the action taken by the room supervisor. Advice will be given as appropriate.

If the parent is still not satisfied or wishes to talk to the manager, an appointment will be made at the parent’s choosing to discuss the issue.

Written documentation will be taken at all meetings.

In the final incidence, the MD will talk to the parents and staff.

The MD will be made fully aware of all complaints made by the parents as regards the centre and its staff, and the outcomes.

All actions taken by Ratoath Childcare Ltd are limited and bound by the following legislation:

  • Childcare Act 1991
  • Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016
  • Protection of persons reporting abuse act 1998
  • The UN convention on the rights of the child, 1992
  • Adoptive leave Act 1995-2005
  • Carers Leave act 2001
  • Force Majeure Leave 1998-2006
  • Juries Act 1976
  • Maternity Protections Acts 1994-2004
  • Minimum Notice Acts 1973-2001
  • Organisation of working time act 1997
  • Parental Leave Act 1998-2006
  • Terms of Employment Acts 1994-2001
  • Unfair dismissals Acts 1977-2007
  • Employment Equality act 1998
  • Pensions Act 2002
  • Protection of Employees (fixed term work) Act 2003
  • Protection of Employees (part-time work) Act 2001
  • Protection of Young persons (employment) act 1996
  • Redundancy payments acts 1967-2003
  • Safety, Health and welfare at work act 2005
  • Safety, Health and welfare at work (general application) 2007
  • Public Health (tobacco) act 2002-2004
  • Fire services Act 1981
  • Industrial research and standards (fire safety)(domestic furniture) order
  • SI 316 of 1995
  • The European committees (safety of toys) regulation 1990
  • Infectious disease regulations 1980-2004
  • Food safety authority act 1998
  • E.C. (Official control of foodstuffs) regulation 1998 (contained within the food safety authority act 1998)
  • E.C. hygiene of foodstuffs regulations 2006 (S.I. No 369 of 2006)
  • Building control act 1990 and 2007
  • Building regulations 1997-2007
  • Building control regulations 1997-2004
  • Planning and development acts 2000-2006
  • Planning and development regulations 2001 and 2006 (S.I. No 685 of 2006)
  • Planning and development (no2) regulations 2007 (S.I. 135 of 2007)
  • European Communities (drinking water)(no2) regulations 2007
  • Radiological protection act 1991 (ionising radiation)
  • Order 2000 (SI 125 of 2000)
  • Income tax act 1967
  • Finance acts 1967-2008
  • National minimum wage act 2000
  • Payment of wages act 1991
  • Companies act 1963-2006
  • Equal status act 2000 and 2004
  • Employment equality acts 1998 and 2004
  • Freedom and information act 1997-2006
  • Data Protection act 1988 and 2003
  • Charities act 1961 and 1973

It is the policy of Ratoath Childcare Ltd. that all emergency procedures are carried out in the safest manner possible.

In accordance with Regulation 23 of the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Ratoath childcare “shall ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of a pre-school child attending the service and that the environment of the service is safe”.

Fire Drill Procedure

  • The alarm will sound
  • Line the children up calmly and explain that it is a fire drill
  • In case of the Nursery, all non walking children to be placed in the fire evacuation cot
  • All windows, and connecting doors to be closed
  • Bathroom/changing rooms to be checked to ensure that no children are in there
  • Headcount of the children in accordance with the weekly Time In/Out record
  • Calmly leave the building and proceed to the nearest evacuation point located in the car park and signposted
  • Room Supervisor/leader ensures that the room has been cleared
  • Once at the evacuation point, headcount of the children again
  • Any missing staff/children/visitors to be reported to the Fire Officer/Management


  • Fire Drills are carried out, spontaneously, once per month
  • Fire extinguishers and blankets are stored around the building. All staff are familiar with their positions within the buildings as well as being familiar with how to use in case of emergency
  • Each room has detailed maps of the location of evacuation points as well as the procedure to be followed in the event of an emergency.
  • All fire safety equipment is serviced and maintained annually by a reputable and qualified engineer
  • Roll books are taken from the building during all drills and evacuations
  • Parents contact details will be taken from reception so that parents can be contacted. The phone in the opposite building may be used. In the case of an emergency in both buildings a mobile phone will be taken to contact the parents.
  • All staff are familiar with exit points and evacuation areas away from the buildings
  • Children are familiar with the procedure as well as what the alarm sounds like
  • Each room supervisor is responsible for ensuring that their room is empty and cleared before leaving the building
  • The fire officer will make contact with the authorities if deemed necessary
  • Once the drill has been completed the fire officer will authorise entry back into the building
  • In case of the fire brigade being called out, they will authorise entry back into the building.

In accordance with the Childcare Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016, Ratoath Childcare Ltd., shall keep a written record of all fire drills as well as the number, type and maintenance record of all fire fighting equipment and smoke alarms within both buildings. These records shall be kept for five years.

Ratoath Childcare Ltd will foster a culture of open communication and involvement from all parents and guardians of the children in our care. Ratoath Childcare Ltd believes that parental involvement is a valuable asset to both the child and the service. It includes regular two-way and meaningful communications between parents and childcare provider and involving parents in decision making regarding their child. It is essential that parents play an integral role in their child’s development and that they are encouraged to be full partners in their child’s educational and social progress.

Traditionally, the care and education of children have been viewed as separate entities. Research has demonstrated, however, that from birth to adolescence children need a variety of positive learning experiences provided in a secure and loving environment if they are to achieve their full potential. In recognition that parents are the primary educators of their children and have a life-long relationship with them, effective programmes of parental involvement are essential to enable them to support their children to be cared for and educated to the highest standard. Such involvement is beneficial to parents as it builds on their knowledge of child development and helps to support them in their parenting skills. In turn, parents are needed by the childcare setting if children are to optimise their cognitive, emotional and social learning. In effective childcare settings, practitioners find a real help in the presence of parents and in a good relationship with them. Each brings their own competence to educate the child and this requires mutual respect and understanding

Ratoath Childcare Ltd will foster its parental involvement policy with the following procedures:

  • Upon a child’s commencement within the service parents/guardians are required to fill out an extensive child record form.
  • Both parent/guardian and room supervisor will meet on the child’s first settling day to discuss the child’s likes and dislikes, personality quirks, parental requests for their child as well as many additional issues.
  • All parents/guardians are provided with a parent’s handbook detailing information about the service. They are asked to read this document carefully and to enquire about any areas they are unclear of.
  • Each room is equipped with a telephone through which parents/guardians can speak to staff at any stage throughout the day regarding their child.
  • Staff will communicate with parents/guardians both at drop off and collection times regarding any information pertaining to their child.
  • There is a comments box in reception that parents can put in ideas etc either named or anonymously. All suggestions are considered.
  • Parents are welcome to visit the service at anytime, as long as the service can accommodate them
  • Parents can discuss their child with a staff member either formally or informally.
  • Open evenings are planned throughout the year. These can vary from Christmas festivities to information nights.
  • If parents have any suggestions on how we can improve our service that they talk to a member of the man
  • We provide a detailed weekly/daily schedule for each child describing their day, what they ate, their sleeping times, form and all other relevant information when attending the full day care service. Sessional services communicate with parents via the staffs relating back how their day was and any other relevant information.
  • Parents/guardians are invited to visit the service and involve themselves in the curriculum from storytelling to arts and crafts as well as cultural and occupational demonstrations.

It is our policy that all children within our care have suitable sleep and rest facilities, which is designed and tailored to each individual child. It is our policy that the child’s safety is of paramount. While parents are consulted on their child’s sleep routines, we ask you to remember that we are responsible for each child in our care and will always follow recommended safe practice.

Each room will be responsible for carrying out regular checks on the sleeping children and will keep a record of this as well as any other relevant information. Failure to do so can lead to disciplinary procedures.

Ratoath Childcare Ltd Safe Sleep Practices:

  • All children under two years of age will have access to a cot, which is located away from the main care room
  • Children over two years of age will have access to a stackable bed
  • Each child will have their own linen stored within a labeled cubby
  • All linen is washed regularly
  • Children are free to use a comforter such as a soother/teddy
  • All cots/beds will be evenly spaced to ensure staff have safe access to each child
  • The temperature of the room will be maintained between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Sleep logs will be carried out every 10 minutes on children under 2years of age. This will detail:
    – The time
    – The position of the child
    – Signature of the staff member

Safe Sleep for Babies

  • Babies will always be put on their backs
  • Babies feet will be placed at the foot of the cot
  • Babies clothes are loose and light
  • No bibs or bottles in the cot
  • No quilts, pillows or cot bumpers
  • Head never covered
  • Monitor used
  • Sleep log recorded every 10 minutes

In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, it is the policy of Ratoath Childcare Ltd to ensure, so as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all staff and to protect visitors, contractors, families, children and other persons at the premises from injury and ill health arising from any work activity. The successful implementation of this policy requires the full support and active co-operation of all staff, students, contractors, families, children and visitors to the premises.
It is recognised that hazard identification, risk assessment and control measures are legislative requirements which must be carried out by Ratoath Childcare Ltd to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all staff.

Ratoath Childcare Ltd, as the employer, undertakes in so far as reasonably practicable to:

  • Promote standards of safety, health and welfare that comply with the provisions and requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and other relevant legislation, standards and codes of practice.
  • Provide information, training, instruction and supervision where necessary, to enable staff to perform their work safely and effectively.
  • Maintain a constant and continuing interest in safety, health and welfare matters pertinent to the activities of the company.
  • Continually improve the system in place for the management of occupational safety, health and welfare and review it periodically to ensure it remains relevant, appropriate and effective.
  • Consult with staff on matters related to safety, health and welfare at work.
  • Provide the necessary resources to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all those whom it owes a duty of care, including staff, students, contractors, families, children and visitors.

Ratoath Childcare Ltd is committed to playing an active role in the implementation of this occupational safety, health and welfare policy and undertakes to review and revise it in light of changes in legislation, experience and other relevant developments.

It is the policy of Ratoath Childcare Ltd that all children settling into our care do so with the minimum of upset to them and their parents/guardians. We aim to do this by working in conjunction with the parents/guardians, staff and child.

When a child is settling into Ratoath Childcare Ltd the following will happen:
The child and parents/guardians are given a tour of our facility, with a member of management or the supervisory team. This member of staff will answer all and any questions that the parent/guardian may have of the service.
The parents/guardians will be given a copy of the parent’s handbook to take home with them as well as a copy of fees invoiced and the menu of the service.
The child will settle into the room on a phased basis for one week (they are not charged for this week). On the first day, the room supervisor (manager or lead staff member of that room) will introduce the child into the room. Once the child has settled into the room; the supervisor and parent/guardian will:

  • Discuss the day to day routine of the room
  • Go through the child’s individual routine
  • Ask the parents/guardians for any relevant information to help the child settle (toys, blankets etc)
  • Go through the child record form; ensuring that it is all FILLED out.
  • Discuss the menus
  • Go through the parent handbook and answer any questions they may have.
  • Inform the parents of the most common policy and procedures

Days 2-4 of settling, the parents may wish to leave the child straight away or spend a little time with them first. Either request is supported by Ratoath Childcare Ltd.

The parents at all times are welcome to ring and enquire about their children at any stage of the day.

At all times, we welcome the parent’s contribution.