All parents are given daily feedback on their child’s day at crèche.
We keep a diary for every child, what your child has eaten, how much they have slept and what activities they were engaged in are recorded daily.
We believe that the outdoor play area is a valuable learning environment for children and children go outside every day whatever the weather.
They wrap up warm in the winter and wear wellies to splash in the puddles and in the summer, the children wear hats and we apply sunscreen so the children can enjoy lots of fun activities.
It is important for children’s health and well-being to enjoy outdoor play so we plan lots of sports and activities to develop children’s gross motor skill and hand eye co-ordination. We also plant lots of vegetables and herbs and the children love to watch them grow and then taste them!
We offer early starts and late closing times to facilitate the flexible working pattern of mums and dads so this shouldn’t really be a problem.
We do request that parents collect their children on time but we do understand that there are rare occasions when you may be running late.
We ask that parents contact the centre directly and advise them so that we can ensure that your child will not be upset.
At Giraffe we work together with parents over a settling in period of a few days to ensure that your child is happy and comfortable in their new surroundings.
During this period, as your child settles in and establishes a bond with their key carer and gains confidence, we learn about your child’s daily routine, their mealtimes, sleeping patterns and all the other little things special to your child.
In our experience, it takes about 3-5 days to settle your child but every child is different so we always work with you to make this as smooth as possible for both you and your child.
The ratios for full day care crèches are set by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency and for babies the requirement for children from 0 – 1 years is 3:1.
All our crèches meet this requirement and we employ additional support staff to cover over lunch breaks and at pinch points throughout the day.
Our other crèches may also be able to support or we can also call on reserve personnel for back up.
All meals are freshly prepared on the premises in our professional kitchens and our menus have been carefully devised by our cooks and change seasonally.
We cater for vegetarian diets and any dietary or specific allergy requirements your child may have and all our dishes have a low salt and low sugar content.
We use only fresh meat and vegetables in all our dishes and we do not add any salt, artificial flavourings or colouring to the food and all our stock is home made. We use a very reputable wholesale butchers, fresh fruit and vegetables are delivered weekly and fresh milk is delivered daily.
For babies and younger children, we provide separate meals in purée or chopped form and we work closely with parents when your child is weaning to provide a range of suitable foods.
To facilitate individual preferences and requirements, parents provide all their child’s bottles, ready made up.
Bottles are clearly labelled with your child’s name and stored in fridges until used.
All Giraffe staff are qualified to a minimum of Fetac Level 5 and many are level 6 and above.
In addition we operate an internal training programme delivered through our Giraffe Academy to ensure that are staff are fully trained to support children at all stages of their development.
We also avail of external training opportunities with Early Childhood Ireland such as Understanding Children’s Behaviour and Developing Play Opportunities for Children.
All staff members are Garda vetted and written references are always checked and validated before any new staff member starts works at Giraffe.
Every centre has a number of staff trained in paediatric first aid so we are equipped to respond correctly in any situation.
Refresher training takes place annually and we have first aid dolls on site so that the staff can practice during their skills development sessions.
The manager and deputy in all our crèches are supernumerary (additional to the ratio) and are there to cover and help out as required.
The manager may also call for support from the area support manager or from another centre to secure reserve personnel for back up.
All bedding is changed weekly and we will always ensure that your child’s linen is clean and fresh.
If your child has a temperature or becomes unwell at crèche, the manager will call you and request that you either pick up or your child or we will administer medication if parental permission has been given.
We will then complete regular observations, take your child’s temperature and will ensure that your child has plenty of fluids.
Our staff are trained to support children during this developmental stage. We work closely with parents and ask that you bring in plenty of spare underwear and clothing!
Remember, don’t put any pressure on your child to get through toilet training faster than he or she is ready to. Let your child take their time and get used to this new process and he’ll move from one stage to the next at his own pace.