Safety in early years settings encompasses more than physical safety. Children are the most vulnerable citizens in society and care must be provided to ensure their social, emotional, and physical needs are nourished for holistic health and wellness. Educators in the early years share this important responsibility in partnership with families.
Licensed child care organizations must adhere to the regulations set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 through guidance from Ministry of Education Program Advisors. Program Advisors typically visit annually and when concerns arise. Regular ongoing communication between licensed operators and Program Advisors provides additional guidance to ensure adherence to regulations. Public Health Inspectors are tasked with ensuring licensed child care facilities are in compliance with public health regulations. The Ministry of Environment oversees safe drinking water in early years settings. These regulatory bodies provide resources to help early years settings meet and exceed the regulations necessary for keeping children safe.
In this chapter, we will:
- Understand policies and procedures related to the roles and responsibilities in the supervision of children and adults, including prohibited practices;
- Identify the nature of childhood injuries, factors that increase the risk of occurrence and preventive strategies;
- Awareness of emergency preparedness, evacuation routines, and serious occurrence reporting.