My early childhood centre is being relicensed shortly so this means a thorough reading of the Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008

http://www.lead.ece.govt.nz/~/media/Educate/Files/Reference%20Downloads/Lead/Files/Criteria/2008LicensingCriteriaforEarlyChildhoodCareCentresBooklet%20Aug09.pdf

Our centre has just reviewed all our policies, procedures and processes to support our licensing and made some minor procedural changes to reflect current practices. There are subtle differences in the definitions of policy, procedures and processes. A policy is a statement to determine decisions, a procedure is an established way of doing things and a process documents steps towards a goal.

The last review of our philosophy statement was in 2012 and it outlines our fundamental beliefs, values and ideals, what is special about our service and is the basis for decisions about the management of our service. The people and the things that make our centre special grow the culture of our centre. Our culture means the understandings, patterns of behaviour, practices, and values shared by our people. Relicensing means, we need to be able to surface and articulate the culture of our centre.

ECE services must meet the licensing criteria as well as other regulatory requirements contained in the regulations in order to gain and maintain a license to operate. The criteria should be read in conjunction with the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The purpose of the criteria is to assess compliance with the minimum standards set out in the New Zealand ECE Regulations 2008 (43, 45, 46, & 47).

Regulation 43 is about curriculum. The basis of our curriculum is Te Whāriki, the national early childhood curriculum, and includes all of the experiences, interactions, activities and events – direct and indirect, planned and spontaneous – that happen at the service. All our teaching practices including planning, assessment, and evaluation form part of the service curriculum.

Planning – got to come up with the perfect definition for this one

Assessment means the process of noticing children’s learning, recognizing its significance, and responding in ways that foster further learning. It includes documenting some, but not necessarily all, of what and how children are learning in order to inform teaching, and make learning visible

Evaluation – got to come up with the perfect definition for this one

The criteria to assess Curriculum are professional practice, culture and identity, children as learners and working with others. Professional practice looks at consistency with curriculum, how well planning, assessment and evaluation informs the curriculum, quality of interactions and relationships. It also considers knowledge of relevant theories and practice in early childhood education. Culture and identity reflects how children develop knowledge and an understanding of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, confident in their own culture and respectful of others culture. The Children as learners section looks closely at the inclusiveness and responsiveness of the curriculum. It considers how children are involved, respect for child preferences, the richness of language used, opportunities, and experiences offered – indoors and outdoors, individually and for groups. How the curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour. Working with others concerns parents and whānau. It looks at how we respect and acknowledge their aspirations, how we communicate, how they are involved in decision-making, and how we access support and guidance from outside agencies.
The documentation required to show how we meet requirements is already in our centre. They include portfolios, wall displays, policies and procedures. They must include:
• a process for positive social guidance (social competence policy);
• a process for family/ whānau to communicate formally (complaints procedure) or informally (kanohi-ki-te-kanohi, portfolio discussions, parent evenings, meetings with the centre leader);
• how family/ whānau are involved in decision making about their child (questionnaires, dialogue, portfolio contributions);
• feedback on various issues, and discussion with staff and
• a record of information and guidance sought from agencies or services.

Regulation 45 is about premises and facilities. The premises and facilities must consider the age and number of children attending, be of sufficient space including food preparation, eating, sleeping, storage, toileting, and washing. It must also have suitable heating, lighting, noise control, ventilation, and equipment to support appropriate curriculum delivery, safe and healthy practices, and comply with Schedule 4 (which relates to activity spaces) and the premises and facilities standard: general.

The criterion to assess premises and facilities considers how the layout and design supports indoor and outdoor experiences, includes quiet spaces, areas for physically active play, space for age appropriate individual and group learning. It considers effective adult supervision and if access to the licensed areas is not unnecessarily limited. The premises conform to any relevant bylaws of the local authority and the Building Act 2004.

The documentation required to show how we meet requirements is already in our centre. They include Building Warrant of Fitness, Code Compliance Certificate issued under Section 95 of the Building Act 2004 and a procedure outlining how we meet hygiene and infection control when washing sick and soiled children.

There is a long list of criteria for premises and facilities around health and safety of children in our care. They include design and layout, the need for a telephone on site, food preparation, hand washing, toileting, and sleeping.

Regulation 46 concerns health and safety. Health and safety involves hygiene, emergencies, sleep, hazards and outings, food and drink, child health and well-being and child protection.

There is a lot more documentation required showing how we meet these criteria and it is already in our centre. The first is a procedure for the hygienic laundering of linen and then:
• a procedure for changing nappies that ensures hygiene and children are treated with dignity and respect,
• a current Fire Evacuation Scheme approved by the New Zealand Fire Service,
• a written procedure and list of supplies sufficient for the age and number of children attending the service. The procedure outlines how staff will access appropriate help and support in a variety of emergencies
• evacuation procedure for the premises;
• a record of the emergency drills carried out with children; a procedure for monitoring children’s sleep.
• The procedure ensures that children:
o do not have access to food or liquids while in bed;
o are checked for warmth, breathing, and general well-being at least every 5-10 minutes, or more frequently according to individual needs,
o a record of the time each child left in the care of the service sleeps, and checks made by adults during that time
• A hazard identification and management system that is consistent with the requirements of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, but goes beyond the consideration of significant hazards to employees to include all hazards to children.
• A record of outings or excursions, records include: the names of adults and children involved; the time and date of the outing; the location and method of travel; assessment and management of risk; adult: child ratios; evidence of parental permission and approval of adult: child ratios for regular outings or excursions; and evidence of parental permission and approval of adult: child ratios for special outings or excursions
• Evidence of parental permission for any travel by motor vehicle, in most cases, this requirement is met by the excursion records required for criterion HS17.
• A record of all food served during the service’s hours of operation (other than that provided by parents for their own children). Records show the type of food provided, and are available for inspection for 3 months after serving
• a record of all injuries that occur at the service that include:
o the child’s name;
o the date, time, and description of the incident;
o actions taken and by whom;
o evidence of parental knowledge of the incident
• Copies of teachers current first aid (or medical practicing) certificates
• A record of serious illnesses that occur at the service, records include:
o the child’s name;
o the date, time, and description of the incident;
o actions taken and by whom; and
o evidence of parental knowledge of the incident
• a record of the written authority from parents for the administration of medicine in accordance with the requirement for the category of medicine outlined in Appendix 3.
• A record of training and/or information provided to adults who administer medicine to children (other than their own) while at the service.
• A process for the prevention of child abuse
• A procedure for responding to suspected child abuse.

Governance, management and administration are the focus of Regulation 47. It involves parent involvement and information, professional practices and planning and documentation.

There is documentation required to show how we meet these criteria and it is already in our centre. This documentation includes a complaints procedure displayed, information available letting parents know how to access child information, the service’s operational documents, and the most recent Education Review Office report. Other documentation includes written information letting parents know: how they can be involved; the fees charged; the amount and details of the expenditure of any Ministry of Education funding; and about any planned reviews and consultation. In addition, evidence of opportunities provided to contribute to the development and review of the service’s operational documents. A philosophy statement, and a process for reviewing and evaluating the service’s operation (for example, learning and teaching practices, philosophy, policies, and procedures) by the people involved in the service. The process is consistent with criterion GMA4, and includes a schedule showing timelines for planned review of different areas of operation. Also required are recorded outcomes from the review process and processes for human resource management; including:
• selection and appointment procedures;
• job/role descriptions;
• induction procedures into the service;
• a system of regular appraisal;
• provision for professional development;
• a definition of serious misconduct; and
• discipline/dismissal procedures

Processes for human resource management; including:
• selection and appointment procedures;
• job/role descriptions;
• induction procedures into the service;
• a system of regular appraisal;
• provision for professional development;
• a definition of serious misconduct; and
• discipline/dismissal procedures

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