Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Part 2: Important things a casual relief childcare worker should know.

Consult the centre's permanent staff about what they use. Each centre has DIFFERENT practices on this.
I-messages "I don't like it when you do that. It makes me sad. Tell the children why it is not acceptable behaviour.

- The way to handle a distressed child is that firstly, try not to let the crying or the emotions of the child to affect you, or the way you respond to them. It is important that as the adult, you do not panic as you are the person who will "contain" the child's emotions. If you can't handle your own emotions, it will interfere in the way you will settle the distressed child. I know it is easier said than done, but this will come with LOTS OF practice. The more, the better.

- A warning for the first incident.
- A warning & consequence for the third incident.
- Implement the consequence for the third incident. set a limitation, or re-direct the behaviour.

It's not the casual's roles/responsibility to communicate with parent about the children's developmental. Communication with parents in regard to any behaviour management concerns should be dealt with by permanent staff ONLY.

Start off with a question. Put it back to them. Broaden the horizon & reduce & eliminate discrimination.
Centres comment a lot on casuals not having the confidence on stepping in during a conflict where/when it happens.

Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) procedures.
- Protect your back by bending your knee.
- Sharing physcial tasks.
- Get another staff to help you, especially when lifting heavy playground equipment. Don't try to be a hero, and end up breaking your back!
- Put your weight on your leg when bending.
- Centre of gravity- where your baby will be if you (the mother) are pregnant.
- One person SHOULD NOT change the nappies all day. The tasks should be SHARED. That's what teamwork should be all about.

Duty of Care:
Mandatory Reporting- to the agency you are recruited to, not to the centre.
Let the agent handle it. Anything in writing will under a reputable & responsible childcare staffing agent "duty of care". The issues could fall under the category of Child Protection, Accidents/ Injuries (OHS concerns), Incidents, and Duty of Care & Quality. This can be made in email form, and does not necessarily need to be in a specific forms.

Other reminders for the casual staff:
-As a staff, and casual, you may disagree with the family's behaviour management strategies or their childrearing practices, but IT IS the family's practice.

-Try not to eavesdrop on a conversation between parent & permanent staff. It really is none of your business.

-You job/responsibility as a casual is to follow the routines & program the centre follows.

-Should an incident/arguments between children happen, report it to the permanent staff. Let the staff know how you have handled an incident that has happened. This is to PROTECT YOURSELF as an employee and casual,
and also for the permanent staff's knowledge.

- Although by law there is supposed to be an ECT in a centre with more than 39 children, the Dept. of Community Services is also aware of that (I can't remember what she said to that though).

- Finally, the agent also explained that it is common for qualified staff with a degree (from Australia) to not have experience with babies/nursery, as there has not been much focus by the universities on children from this age group. What is required to work in the nursery age group was mostly a qualification/credential in mothercraft, nursing. (or something similar).

- A quality childcare recruitment agency on receipt of negative feedback of a candidate's performance, should call the particular candidate to tell them. This is to help the candidate improve their performance at the next centre that they go to.

Ok, hope that you guys learnt something from here... If it was of any use, do pass this around to your other friends who are working as casuals in the childcare industry.


Mark said...

Are there many male agency relief staff in Australia?

Here in the UK, I've seen quite a few agency staff. 2 of them were guys. And all they did was just sit there, not doing anything...

One even pulled out a camera and started taking pictures!!! I doubt that's even legal, but he may have been doing it at the request of one of the other staf...


CheaYee said...

male staff not discriminated against in australia. its also not many. the chldren like them, bt nt sure abt parents.

but with men, there has to be a female supervising, esp. in the toileting practices due to parental concerns. males don't normally work with the babies or younger group, but more of the 3-5 yr age group children.

Mark said...

That sounds a lot like discrimination to me...If there are so many extra conditions for male staff, given a choice between two identical except for gender staff, an employer would surely favour the less restrictive female staff!

Is there something like Criminal Record Bureau checks for all childcare staff?

I was just talking about what it's like being a guy in Early Years Childcare. Come and drop a comment ;)


CheaYee said...

all childcare staff give permission to the employer to undertake a 'working with children' check during the initial interview.

for state of Victoria, they need to provide an additional police check. for the rest of australia, that is not necessary in NSW or QLD. not sure about ACT or Canberra though.

Mark said...

So looks like background checks are considered very standard for the Western countries.

Wonder if such a thing will be implemented in Malaysia.

Hm, but when you think about it, it probably won't do much to prevent unwanted cases.

It's sort of like asking people if they've poisoned anyone before, if they want to work in a kitchen. I mean, it's sort of a "you do it once" kinda thing...


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