Building My Early Childhood Program
Brigitte P. Wullur
Dr. Linda Ruhe Marsh
Planning and Managing Early Childhood Programs – EDUC – 6168-6
20 July 2014
Building My Early Childhood program
Part 3: Policies and Procedures
Three State Safety Policies which are adopted from the regulations for the State of New York (National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, 2014):
- Care for emergency awareness and precaution that are provided or socialized to all caregivers, staff, children and parents or families.
- All materials and play equipments are free from rough edges and sharpness.
- Provide emergency plan. This is not only to socialize the emergency awareness, but more to provide procedures or steps on what to do in an emergency situation like an earthquake or fire.
Three State Health Policies which are adopted from the regulations for the State of New York (National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, 2014):
- Prepare health care plan
- Accept only healthy and free from communicable diseases children to attend the center.
- Equip the center on each floor with the first aid kit which is accessible for an emergency treatment.
Three Nutrition Policies which are adopted from two different States’ regulations:
- Prepare written statement for parents to agree with all nutrition policies implemented in the center as required in the State of New York (National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, 2014).
- Provide supply food for children whose food provided by the caterer or parents are inadequate or insufficient as required in the State of New Jersey (National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, 2014).
- Shall not force-feed, or provide sugar sweetened and artificial sweetened beverages. Should parents provide food themselves, a staff member will have to inspect or make sure that it is healthy and fresh as required in the State of New Jersey (National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, 2014).
Three Federal Laws to be considered:
- Enhance the growth and development of children in cognitive, emotional, and physical health areas (Office of Head Start, 2012).
- Prioritize for managing food allergies. This is to ensure the daily management of food allergies for individual children, to prepare for food allergy emergencies, to provide professional development on food allergies for staff, to educate children and family members about food allergies, and to create and maintain a healthy and safe educational environment (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013).
- Provide children who are receiving special education services the opportunity to participate in school through the least restrictive environment. This is in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (Federal and State Education Policy, 2013)
Health, Safety, and Nutrition Policies
I interviewed the director of a daycare in my neighborhood called I-Care Childcare (Ananti, Exclusive Interview, July 18, 2014). For a country where a daycare has not been popular or considered as a basic need, I-Care Childcare has set many requirements to meet their vision and missions to help working mothers nurture the children.
They do care with the safety policies and procedures. Since it is in a two-story building, they provide railings and small doors on every end of the stairs to avoid children going up and downstairs by themselves or falling down. They provide 24-hour CCTV equipments all around the center where they can monitor every activity, and possibly for the children’s parents to have a direct access to see their children from the office. All electrical sockets are labeled so that the children will not be able to reach and touch them.
In terms of health policies, I-Care Childcare is very prepared with what procedures to be followed when a child is found to be mildly ill on the day. They will not let the child mingle with others or do the activities, but they will have the child rest in a separate room, notify the parents to possibly pick him or her up as soon as possible. In addition to standard health procedure of hand washing, they train all caregivers minimum in every three months, clean all toys and equipments every Saturday when the center is closed, change all pillow cases on daily basis, and have a doctor come to the center once a week to see or monitor the children’s health, provide any consultations when necessary for the caregivers and families, and record each child’s health history based on her examination.
The nutrition policies are proved to be well-managed. They do not provide food, but parents do it or in cooperation with a catering, they provide the food for the children with the information on menu in weekly basis. They set the requirement not to have food color, monosodium glutamate (MSG) on each food, and they must be fresh. The children who have reached a year of age are taught on how to eat nicely by sitting on their chair and put the plates and glasses on the proper place once they are done with their lunch. The impressive nutrition policy that this center has is to integrate nutrition education into the curriculum. For example, when they have a healthy fruit week, then the children will be guided to color a picture of a fruit that they like or the one that their mother brings from home on that day. They believe this way will not only introduce the children to nutritious food, but they will also know and care of what such food will benefit for them (Ananti, Exclusive Interview, July 18, 2014).
Policies and procedures may sound so rigid and bureaucratic, but they are created and set in order for all parties to have guidelines on what are good to follow and not to follow or to avoid. Freeman, Decker and Decker (2013) state policies as the program’s specific plans for achieving particular goals; while procedures describe specific strategies for complying with established policies. How I-Care Childcare lets parents bring food for their children, or separate a child who has been exposed to a communicable disease from other children and notify his or her parents immediately (Ananti, Exclusive Interview, July 18, 2014) are examples of policies they set. It is a prove of how they try to ensure that young children receive the best possible protection of their health by advocating for preventive health care (Freeman, Decker & Decker, 2013). The way they train all caregivers on how to serve, take care of the children, set the hand washing policy, and a doctor’s health evaluation record provided for the parents on weekly basis are the procedures that they set and follow to promote health care for the children that they expect the children’s parents to be informed and to cooperate with.
Thus, policies and procedures are clearly to be helpful for all parties in the early childhood field. They make things more efficient and well-managed. They avoid confusion and inconsistencies. However, a director of an early childhood center should consider the culture and the needs of the community in the region where they are set and applied. No matter how perfect the policies and procedures are set and prepared in the United States, for example, they are not all applicable in Indonesia. What I have gained from the course and resources are really good, but modifying them with the needs and condition in my country will be a perfect contribution to the operation of quality program which provides clear policies and procedures that are applicable for and accepted by the norms held by the community in Indonesia.
Freeman, N. K., Decker, C. A., & Decker, J. R. (2013). Planning and administering early childhood programs (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Chapter 4, “Establishing Policies and Procedures” (pp. 60–82).
Freeman, N. K., Decker, C. A., & Decker, J. R. (2013). Planning and administering early childhood programs (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Chapter 10, “Providing Nutrition, Health, and Safety Services” (pp. 263–299).
I-Care Childcare. (2014). The Center Profile. Retrieved from http://www.i-careindonesia.com/
Laureate Education. (2013). Course Project: Building Your Early Childhood Program – Part 3: Policies and Procedures. Retrieved from http://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201460_04/MS_MECS/EDU C_6168/readings/EDUC_6168_Week03_BuildingYourEarlyChildhoodProgramPart3 PoliciesAndProcedures.doc
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (2014). New York Regulations. Retrieved from http://nrckids.org/default/assets/File/StateRegs/NY/ny_418_sub_2.pdf
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. (2014). State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Retrieved from http://nrckids.org/default/assets/File/StatesRegs/NJ/1_NJ_CCCmanual_122.pdf
Office of Head Start. (2012). Compilation of the Head Start Act. Research, Demonstrations, and Evaluation. Sec. 649. Retrieved from http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/Head%20Start%20Act
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). Voluntary guidelines for managing food allergies in schools and early care and education programs. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/pdf/13_243135_A_Food_Allergy_We b_508.pdf
Federal and State Education Policy (2013). Services for Texas Students with Disabilities Ages 3-5. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147494988