ItemCritical Incidents in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services: Supporting Children’s Emotional Wellbeing(Barnardos, 2023) BarnardosAll Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) services are required to have a service level Critical Incident Plan that outlines how the service will prepare for and respond to critical incidents should one occur. For information on how to prepare for critical incidents see the companion guide Critical Incidents in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services: Planning and Responding. As well as the practical considerations involved, it is essential that you think about how you will support the emotional wellbeing of both the children and the adults in your service. All of the children in your setting, from the youngest to the oldest, will need this support. When there has been a traumatic event in a community, for example, an accident, an attack or death, or an incident such as a fire or flood causing severe damage to the service buildings and facilities, everyone is impacted, even if they were not a first-hand witness to events. Children are reliant on their parents and other primary caregivers to protect them from harmful experiences but, sadly, we cannot always protect them when potentially traumatic serious incidents happen in or near their setting, or in their community. Thankfully, we can provide supports for children that can help to minimise the impact that such an incident could have on their wellbeing. This resource provides information on the kinds of support that will help children in an Early Learning and Care setting or a School Age Childcare setting to cope better following a critical incident, which will have a positive impact on their wellbeing both now and in their future. ItemCritical Incidents in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Services: Planning and Responding(Barnardos, 2023) BarnardosAll Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School Age Childcare (SAC) services are required to have a service level Critical Incident Plan as outlined in the Tusla Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF) and the National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare Services. All employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees, under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. This guide has been developed from previous guidance on critical incidents planning, including the Critical Incident Plan Toolkit and the extensive work of the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), to support ELC and SAC services to think about and plan for critical incidents and to have practical supports in place should it be necessary to respond to a critical incident. It also clarifies the roles and responsibilities at national and local levels when responding to critical incidents. Incidents may occur outside normal working hours or may require a response outside normal hours including evenings, weekends or holidays. This guide does not cover every aspect of what settings should do in relation to emergency planning. Settings must comply with their legal responsibilities, including health and safety legislation, and should seek legal advice as needed. Risk assessments, policies and plans should be continuously reviewed and updated to reflect new and updated guidance. ItemNote: This is a Legacy Copy of this Publication. Supporting Young Children’s Behaviour Skills(Barnardos, 2016) BarnardosChildren naturally learn about the world through play and, as they mimic the world around them, they develop an understanding of everyday life. Through play they keep house, run shops, drive cars and then move to fantasy worlds, sometimes even with superhero powers. Humans are social creatures and, by preschool age, children are eager to play with others, and thus begin to learn early friendship skills. Playing and interacting with others, however, involves complex processes such as sharing, cooperation and negotiation, all of which can elicit powerful emotions. Friendships are rewarding, but playing with someone of a similar age can be much harder than playing alone or with an older child or an adult – it requires communicating, sharing and cooperating. Tantrums, blow-ups and/or meltdowns are common in young children. Regulating emotions is very challenging for young children. Emotions can take over and shift in an instant. Preschool-age children are only starting to develop empathy for others and are egocentric about most things and generally they want their own way. When children are not able to compromise, frustration, jealousy, anger and disappointment may be displayed and it can be challenging for adults to respond appropriately to their behaviour. The early years is a critical period for all learning, in particular social-emotional learning, and early years educators play a central role coaching and supporting children to develop the skills required to understand and manage their emotions and be accepted by and play well with their peers. Emotional and social development occurs across all stages of childhood and children are learning from birth. This publication focuses mainly on preschool-age children (3–4 years), but every experience for the child up to attending an early years setting has impacted on the child’s social and emotional development. Social-emotional skills are as important as cognitive skills for learning and development. Children with friendship skills, who are good at understanding their own and others’ emotions, who can self-regulate when needed and who are able to solve social problems do much better in primary school as well as in their everyday lives than children who have not developed these socialemotional skills. By having fewer behavioural issues they will find it easier to make friends and be more content in school. It is essential to remember that being a young child is just as important as being older and to recognise the early years as a stage in life that is as worthy of value as any other life stage. Early years educators can, nevertheless, help young children to prepare for their next stage of development by supporting their social and emotional development and guiding their behaviour skills, giving them a solid foundation on which to realise their full potential. ItemYour Young Child's Behaviour: How You Can Help(Barnardos, 2023) BarnardosBeing a parent is one of the most important jobs we can do, but it can also be one of the most difficult and we have all had times when we are frustrated, confused and stressed by our child’s behaviour. When young children behave in ways that we find challenging, it is often simply because they are overwhelmed by their big feelings and they have not yet learned any other way to express themselves, or they do not yet understand what is expected of them in certain situations. With your support and encouragement, your child will learn the skills they need to manage their own emotions and their behaviour. This booklet is for parents of young children up to the age of six. It aims to give you a better understanding of your child’s behaviour and what it is that your child is trying to communicate through their behaviour. It also offers some ideas that you might find helpful in guiding you to support your child to express their emotions, needs and wants effectively. ItemImplementing Change in Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Settings(Barnardos, 2023) BarnardosChange is inevitable in the operation of any early learning and care (ELC) or school age childcare (SAC) setting. Change may be necessary due to requirements imposed from outside a setting, such as regulatory or legislative requirements, or due to decisions made within the setting. It may be necessary to improve or enhance the quality of service provision or it may be due to financial or other reasons such as a move to a new premises. The types of change are many and varied. Some change processes will have minimal impact on those who work in the setting and on the children and families who use its services, while others may have a more significant impact. Whichever the case, for the change to be introduced positively and successfully, it is important to focus on how to bring it about in a way that is not overly disruptive and that achieves the desired goals efficiently and effectively. It is essential also that everyone involved has a clear understanding of both the rationale for the change and what it is hoped it will achieve. What is most important is that the process is well managed, with the needs and rights of children kept at the centre of any change being made. This resource aims to support anyone taking an active role in the implementation of change in an ELC or SAC setting at any stage of the process. It will also be useful for anyone whose role is to support those who are implementing change, such as development workers or mentors, and for students of management and leadership in children’s services. This resource outlines how to plan for and drive change effectively, how to consult and communicate positively with key stakeholders, how to ensure the change is implemented as planned, and how to review and evaluate the process to ensure the change is meeting the needs of all concerned and is sustained.