We acknowledge that children will bring or carry with them certain personal belongings to the Serviceand as such, it is important to clarify responsibilities. This policy therefore outlines the types of belongings that children may bring with them on a regular basis and the level of associated responsibility.
NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
|QUALITY AREA 2: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY|
|2.2||Safety||Each child is protected.|
|2.2.1||Supervision||At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.|
|QUALITY AREA 5: RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHILDREN|
|5.1||Relationships between educators and children||Respectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.|
|5.1.1||Positive educator to child interactions||Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships, which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.|
|5.1.2||Dignity and rights of the child||The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.|
|EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL REGULATIONS|
|155||Interactions with children|
|156||Interactions in groups|
|168||Education and care services must have policies and procedures|
|Dealing with Complaints Policy (Family) Enrolment Policy Family Communication Policy||Orientation ofFamilies Policy Respect for Children Policy|
To ensure families and educators are aware of their responsibility regarding children’s belonging including keeping them safe.
This policy applies to children, families, educators, staff, visitors, the Approved Provider, nominated supervisor and management of the Service.
It can be distressing for children to misplace their toys from home whilst attending an education and care service. At times, toys brought from home can also cause conflict between children at the service. Children often want to share or show other children or educatorstheir special items from home, however, these ‘treasures’ may be inadvertently broken or lost. To save the upset and heartache, parents are requested to encourage children to leave their toys at home, unless they are essential to a child’s emotional wellbeing and/or sense of belonging (security items). We have numerous stimulating and challenging toys and resources catering to children’s interests that are available to play with each day.
THE APPROVED PROVIDER, NOMINATED SUPERVISOR, EDUCATORS AND STAFF WILL:
- allow children to bring personal belongings for news, including special items from gifts, holiday souvenirs, or items relating to a current interest
- facilitate opportunities for children to participate in news as a way to encourage children to talk about their special toy or personal belonging during group time. This practice encourages
- children’s social development
- children to verbalise thoughts, fears, and feelings
- and broadens the cultural and social understandings of all children involved in group time activities
- the development of language skills, and
- provides an opportunity for development of special interests for the group.
- store children’s items in a safe place throughout the day, retrieving them for news time, and then returning them to safety.
- remind parents, that if they choose to leave belongings in the Service during the day, it is completely at their own risk.
- re-iterate our policy, thatIf personal belongings are particularly valuable, fragile, or hold irreplaceable emotional value, it is recommended that the child bring in the item, show it to friends and educators, and then have the parent take it with them. This allows for the child to share the excitement and experience without the risk of loss or damage.
- provide appropriate storage for lost property that will be available to children and families at all times.
- manage any grievances or concerns related to lost, damaged, or stolen property of the childrenin accordance with the Dealing with ComplaintsPolicy and Procedure.
- request that if children wish to bring in DVD/Blu-ray, music, or electronic game, these should be discussed with management and be ‘G-rated’. Although media rated ‘PG’ (Parental Guidance) is generally appropriate for children, it cannot be assumed that all parents want their children exposed to this rating.
- take as much care as possible in ensuring that personal belongings are returned to the correct family. To assist us with this we ask families to ensure that any item that can be labelled, either has the child’s name on it, or the child’s initials (for example, on the tag of soft toys where space is limited). If an item cannot be labelled it is the parent’s responsibility to advise an educator that their child has this item in their possession.
- encourage children who bring special belongings into care to place them in a special ‘toys from home’ box to reduce the prospect of them becoming lost or broken. For added security this box will be placed in a position that requires the assistance of an educator to access.
- enforce a non-violent toy policy in which we seek family assistance in preventing their children from bringing in violent toys from home. Any such toys will be removed from the child immediately and placed in the reception area for parental collection at the end of the day.
- allow children towear dress-up clothes to the Service, however, we ask that accessories such as guns, knives, swords, or other weaponry are left at home. Such items can encourage violent play and may present a danger to the child and others within our child care environment.
- take as much care as possible in ensuring that children’s clothing and linen items are returned to their correct family. The labelling of all items can help staff achieve this. However, the Service cannot take responsibility for any damaged, lost or stolen items.
- actively encourage children to care for their belongings by:
- reminding children appropriately when belongings need to be placed in storage. For example, lunch box into bag.
- providing suitable storage to keep belongings safe
- negotiating a secure and safe position with families for any item or personal belonging that is either special, expensive, or at risk of being damaged but is nevertheless being left at the service.
- inform families through relevant newsletters and publications such as the Family Handbook of appropriate personal belongings required at the Service each day.
- be responsible for providing their child with appropriate belongings and property required for active participation in all service activities and experiences. This property may include (but is not limited to):
- enclosed footwear
- weather appropriate clothing
- sun safe clothing
- wide brim hat
- suitable school bag (backpack)
- container/flask for water
- appropriate food and lunch box (where required)
- ensure all personal property and belongings are clearly named or labelled or have been shown to an educator upon arrival if labelling is not possible.
COMFORT TOYS/ SECURITY ITEMS
Many children have a ‘security’ item that soothes them and helps them to cope throughout a busy day. Security items may include items such as a special blanket, dummy, soft toy, or even a strip of satin ribbon from a blanket etc.
We recommend that if children have a comfort toy or security item that it is labelled (if possible) and brought to the service each day. When not required or in use we will ensure that it has a designated storage space that is known to the child.
Parents are encouraged to regularly discuss the use of comfort toys/security items with educators as their child’s needs change.
Our Children’s Belongings Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in consultation with children, families, staff, educators and management.
Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics. (2016).
Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2017).
Privacy Act 1988.
Revised National Quality Standard. (2018).
|POLICY REVIEWED||MARCH 2023||NEXT REVIEW DATE||MARCH 2024|
|MODIFICATIONS||policy maintenance minor formatting edits within textcontinuous improvement/reflection section addedlink to Western Australian Education and Care Services National Regulations added in ‘Sources’|
|POLICY REVIEWED||PREVIOUS MODIFICATIONS||NEXT REVIEW DATE|
|MARCH 2022||minor edits||MARCH 2023|
|MARCH 2021||addition of related regulationsminor edits||MARCH 2022|
|MARCH 2020||Additional information added to roles of educators and staffSmall edits to sentences to improve flowSources checked for currency||MARCH 2021|