Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Animals in the Classroom

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) will ensure that only “allowable” animals will be brought into the HS/EHS Classroom and appropriate safety and sanitation procedures will be followed at all times.

PROCEDURES:

  1. NOCAC HS/EHS follows the Caring for Our Children and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Day Care Licensing Rules.
    1. Animal licenses and inoculation records will be kept on file at the center.
  2. Visiting animals should be curriculum embedded.
  3. All pet cages will be cleaned/disinfected once a week by staff (latex gloves should be worn to protect staff). Make sure that the animal is not put back into the cage until it has a chance to completely air dry.
  4. Children will only hold the animal(s) outside the cage. If an animal “potty accident” occurs the children must wash hands and clothing immediately. Only staff’s hands are to be inside the animal cage.
  5. Animals cannot roam the classroom freely without supervision. When they are out, they must be closely monitored to ensure that any accidents are cleaned up with disinfectant immediately.
  6. Animals must have appropriate sized cages. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other gerbils need room to explore and use their large muscles and it is also important for children to see adult’s model humane treatment of animals.
  7. Animals can visit the classroom under certain circumstances
    1. A traveling pet show can visit a classroom if they are registered with USDA. However, special sanitation arrangements must be made if snakes and reptiles which can carry Salmonella bacteria are to be allowed in the classroom. The Center Manager and Health and Safety Manager will be utilized in the planning of such an event.
    2. Dogs and cats from outside organizations can only be brought in if they have no history of biting/scratching, have an updated rabies vaccination and children in the classroom who might be afraid are taken into consideration prior to allowing the pet to visit.
    3. Other animals with the exception of snakes, turtles and other reptiles can be brought in for sharing and for a limited time if they do not bite and hands are washed before and immediately after handling.
  8. If an animal bites a child, follow appropriate first aid and accident reporting procedures and remove the animal from the classroom immediately. In order to avoid a bite, be sure to follow these guidelines:
    1. Talk about how to handle animals (or not to handle) prior to introducing the classroom pet
    2. Teach animal safety – Children need to be well supervised when handling animals. Sometimes children want to test limits with animals or they are unaware of how big and strong they are in comparison with a small animal. In either case, an overzealous squeeze or shake may lead to a painful bite.
    3. Staff and children’s hands must be washed prior to handling an animal. The smell of food may invite an animal to bite.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    5101:2-12-12(C)(2)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Active Supervision

POLICY:

NOCAC staff utilizes Active Supervision strategies to ensure the safety of children at all times.

PROCEDURES:

Definition:

Active Supervision requires staff to focus attention and intentionally observe children at all times with face to name recognition. Staff positions themselves so children are within sight and hearing at all times. Staff anticipates children’s actions and is vigilant about child safety indoors, outdoors, during special events, transitions and when children are arriving at or leaving the center.

ENVIRONMENTS

  1. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds/gym will be set up to optimize the supervision of children at all times.
  2. Centers, classrooms and playgrounds will be clutter free and provide clear play spaces.
  3. Classroom doors will be shut when children are present.
    1. Staff will close the door by pulling/pushing with their hand when leaving a room after scanning for children.
  4. Exterior doors will be locked and/or monitored at all times.
  5. Playground gates will be closed and latched at all times (they must be unlocked while children are present on the playground).
  6. Buses must be locked at all times when not in use and the “Bus Checked, No children left on bus” sign must be displayed in the back window of the bus.
  7. When children use a restroom not in the classroom, NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start Staff will escort children to and from the restroom. Children will be within sight and hearing distance of the staff at all times.
    1. Staff will follow the Classroom Transition Policy at all times.
  8. Staff purses (or other personal belongings) may not be stored anywhere in the classrooms or anywhere accessible to children.
  9. No adult conversation or sharing personal information during class time. Staff should be actively involved with the children during all parts of the day. Please keep this in mind when talking with parents and other professionals as well. Prepare all materials that you will need throughout the day ahead of time. Focus all of your attention on the children during class time rather than completing staff duties (cleaning up, paperwork, phone calls, organizing activities, etc.)
  10. Staff’s priority for child safety will be evident at all times:
    1. Staff will not engage one another in conversations that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques. (for example: personal conversations, sharing confidential information, discussing behaviors, etc)
    2. Staff will respectfully redirect parents, visitors, volunteers, and other staff that distract them from applying daily Active Supervision techniques.
    3. Staff will not make or receive personal phone calls, use cell phones or blue tooth devices when children are present.
    4. Staff will not permit personal visitors into the classroom during school hours.

POSITIONING

  1. The Center Manager will complete a diagram of the site playground and divide it into two to three zones depending on the size of the playground. Staff will position themselves into their zone so as to have active supervision of every child in their zone.
  2. The zone diagram will be posted in the classroom and in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  3. Staff plan which zones they will supervise in each environment and anticipate the need to communicate with one another across zones to ensure child safety.
  4. Staff moves within their zones and interact with children during free play while keeping a direct line of supervision at all times.
  5. Staff stays close to children who may need additional support.
  6. See Transition from bus to center procedure for additional information.
    1. The bus transition location map will be in the Classroom Attendance Binder.
  7. During naptime, staff must position cots to assure that children can be seen at all times.
  8. Staff should remain next to the classroom door until it is completely shut.

SCAN AND COUNT/ATTENDANCE

  1. Staff will continuously scan the entire environment and watch/count children frequently to ensure the safety of children using face to name recognition.
  2. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Transition Policy.
  3. Staff will refer to and follow the Classroom Attendance Policy.
  4. Staff will only release children to adults listed on the ODJFS 01234 Child Enrollment and Health Form and the Authorized Pick Up list.

SIGHT AND HEARING

  1. Staff will account for all children in their care at all times:
    1. Sight
      1. Lighting will be bright enough to clearly see the children at all times, even during nap time.
      2. Staff will move when needed to ensure a direct line of sight.
    2. Sound
      1. Staff will listen for sound or the absence of sounds that may signify reason for concern.

ANTICIPATE BEHAVIOR

  1. Staff will use their long-term knowledge (e.g. interests, abilities, activity level) of children as well as developing information (e.g. illness, allergies, lack of sleep or food) to anticipate children’s behavior and actions.
    1. EXAMPLES
      1. Holding a child’s hand that is known to run off
      2. Knowing staff roles when a child becomes ill on the bus or in the classroom
      3. Knowing the behavior plan for aggressive children

ENGAGE AND REDIRECT

  1. Staff will positively engage and redirect children when they are unable to solve problems on their own while using Conscious Discipline techniques.
    1. Time out will not be used in any circumstance.
  2. Staff will teach children the appropriate and safe use of materials and equipment.
  3. Staff will create and post Classroom Safety Rules in their classroom environment.

TRAINING

  1. Staff will be trained annually, at a minimum, on this policy.
  2. New staff will be trained according to the new hire orientation plan, beginning on the first day of employment and reinforced throughout the first 90 days of employment.
  3. Future monitoring results from the Center Manager will determine the need for additional group, small group or individualized training.

MONITORING

  1. All classrooms with veteran staff will be formally monitored using the NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool  the first two months the program is in session and as needed thereafter. Classrooms with new staff will be monitored each month. The NOCAC Center Manager Monthly Monitoring Tool also covers active supervision on the bus.
  2. If action is needed, a plan and follow-up will be documented on the Active Supervision Corrective Action Plan by the Center Manager.
  3. The completed monitoring forms will be placed in a file at each center.

REPORTING

  1. Incidents of unsupervised children are considered a “Serious Risk Non-Compliance” per ODJFS and will be reported immediately to the Center Manager and the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director.
  2. When applicable, Child Protective Services (CPS) will be notified.
  3. The Center Manager will report the Serious Risk Non-Compliance incident to ODJFS Day Care Licensing using the OCLQS website following ODJFS rule 5101:2-12-16(G)
  4. The Head Start Regional Office will be notified by the Head Start/ECE Director within three days of the incident, including where applicable, any reports made or information shared with child welfare agencies, state licensing bodies and parents.

Staff will report active supervision policy failures immediately to their supervisor. Supervisors will immediately report these issues to the Head Start/ECE Director and the Health and Safety Manager within 24 hours. Failure to report may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-19
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   7/11/16 Reviewed Date:   6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   7/11/16 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Classroom Transition Procedures

POLICY:

NOCAC staff utilizes Active Supervision strategies when transitioning children in and out of the classroom to ensure the safety of the children at all times.

PROCEDURES:

Transitioning the entire class out of the room to a different location.

  1. Staff will line children up and complete face to name recognition by saying each child’s name and looking at each child.
  2. They will compare the clips on the Classroom Transition Clipboard as they are saying the names to ensure the clips match the children that are present and in line for the transition.
  3. Staff will complete a visual scan of the room from one side to the other including looking under and around furniture.Staff will close the door when they leave a room after scanning for children.
  4. One staff will walk at the front of the line, backwards to ensure they can see the group.
  5. The other staff member will walk last in line to see the entire line.The clipboard will remain with staff at every location.
  6. When the class returns to the room, the clipboard will be hung on the hook on the classroom door.

 

Classroom Transition Clipboard

  1. Each clipboard will be labeled “Classroom Transition Clipboard” and should be used for this purpose only.
  2. Each clip (clothespin) will include the child’s first name and last initial (unless two children have the same first name and last initial in which case the entire name will be written for both of those children) on the front and their birthday on the back (ex: 4/12/12).
  3. The clipboard will have wording to indicate whether a child is at school or at home. The staff will put the clips in the appropriate place as they take attendance so they can do a face to name check.
  4. The clipboard will have a spot to complete daily for staff including the date, staff responsible for the day, total children, and total children present. This space must be completed daily as attendance is completed.
  5. When the day is over, the clips with the children’s names will be moved to the “At Home” side and all other daily information will be erased.
  6. The clipboard will remain on the classroom door when in the classroom.
  7. The clipboard will be carried by one of the staff responsible (noted on the clipboard form) only. Children will not assist with the clips or clipboard.
  8. The clips will remain on the clipboard or on your lanyard only when the group is separated. Clips will not be on shirts, name tags, pockets, or children.

 

Classroom Attendance Binder

The Classroom Attendance Binder will travel with the entire group when transitioning. If a group of children are separated from the others, the Classroom Attendance Binder will remain in the classroom or the location they are currently in (gym, outside, lunch, etc.).

The Classroom Attendance Binder will include:

  1. Medical Care Plan
  2. Blank Incident Reports
  3. Blank Child Health Observation Form
  4. Emergency Preparedness Plan – specific to each site
  5. Safe Meeting Place Location – specific to each site
  6. Playground/Gym Zoning Map – specific to each site
  7. ChildPlus report #2340 with Child Pictures

 

Attendance

  1. Staff will follow the Attendance Guidance Policy
  1.  

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-19
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   7/11/16 Reviewed Date:   6/11/21, 6/8/22, 8/16/22
Approved By Policy Council:   7/11/16 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Emergency Preparedness Plan

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start will establish and implement policies and procedures to respond to emergency situations of which all staff are familiar and trained.

PROCEDURES:

Disaster Plan

  1. The written emergency preparedness plan will be updated by the start of the program year, for each site, by each Center Manager.
  2. The Center Managers will submit changes for approval to the Child Development Director.
  3. All changes will be given to the Transportation and Safety Specialist to update, print and distribute to sites to be posted on the Family Information Board and the bus binders behind tab 2.
  4. The written Emergency Preparedness Plan will be communicated to all NOCAC staff and posted on the Family Information Board
  5. For a detailed description of what ODJFS requires to be included, go to http://emanuals.jfs.ohio.gov/ChildCare/ChildCareCenter/Rules/5101-2-12-16.stm

Medical or Dental Emergencies

  1. Every NOCAC Head Start Site will complete the JFS 01242 Medical, Dental and General Emergency Plan
    1. The plan will be posted by each phone and in each classroom and other spaces used by the children.
  2. Every NOCAC Head Start Site will complete the JFS 01201 Dental First Aid Plan.
    1. This plan will be posted in a location readily available to staff and parents.
  3. Choking posters must be clearly hanging in every room where meals are served and eaten.

Fire and Weather Alert Plans

  1. Every NOCAC Head Start Site will post fire and weather alert plans in each classroom and other spaces used by the children. The plan will include a diagram indicating evacuation routes.
    1. Every site will conduct monthly fire drills at varying times and document drills on the Record of Emergency Drills form from the Ohio State Fire Marshall which can be found at http://www.com.ohio.gov/documents/fire_RecordofEmergencyEvacuationDrills.pdf
    2. Every site will conduct monthly weather emergency drills in the months of March through September and document the drills on the Record of Emergency Drills form from the Ohio State Fire Marshall (see link on a).
    3. These forms will be turned in to the state fire marshal if requested.  If not requested, these forms will be kept at the center on file.
  2. Every NOCAC Head Start Site will conduct an emergency/lockdown drill quarterly and record it on the Record of Emergency Drills from the Ohio State Fire Marshall (see link above)

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47(b)(8)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-16(H)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   7/31/20, 10/15/21, 6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Facility Safety Inspections

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start indoor and outdoor spaces are safe for children and comply with all applicable performance standards and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Day Care Licensing Regulations.

PROCEDURES:

Playground Inspection

  1. The Center Manager (or designee) will complete a JFS 01281 Child Care Playground Inspection Report every month.
    1. The completed inspection report will be emailed to the Transportation and Safety Specialist by the 10th of each month.
    2. The original completed inspection report will be kept on file at the center for one year.

Monthly Safety Inspection

  1. The Center Manager (or designee) will complete a NOCAC Head Start/ECE Safety Checklist the first week of every month.
  2. The completed checklist will be emailed to the NOCAC Safety Coordinator.
  3. See the NOCAC Safety Guidelines for further guidance.

Fire Inspection

  1. The Center Manager (or designee) will secure a fire inspection from the state fire marshal or the local fire safety inspector annually.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-04(B); 5101:2-12-11(C)(3)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

First Aid Kits

POLICY:

All NOCAC classrooms and buses have readily available, well-supplied first aid kits appropriate for the ages served and available on outings away from the site and accessible to staff members at all times but kept out of reach of children.

PROCEDURES:

  1. First Aid kits are available in each classroom and bus and must be accessible to all staff members at all times. There are two different First Aid Kits. One kit remains on the bus at all times. The other is a backpack used for the center/classroom/playground.
  2. First Aid kits are to be kept out of reach of children at all times.
  3. The bus first aid kit must be secured to a surface.
  4. Classroom staff will carry First Aid backpack on all field trips.
    1. When on the bus, the First Aid backpack must be secured on the bus.
    2. The First Aid backpack cannot be stored on the bus.
  5. Classroom staff will carry a First Aid backpack when outdoors.
  6. Classroom staff will carry a First Aid backpack for any type of safety drill (fire, tornado and emergency/lockdown).
  7. Inventory of first aid supplies
    1. Center/Classroom First Aid Backpacks: An inventory of first aid supplies is to be conducted monthly and recorded on the inventory log.
    2. Bus First Aid Kit: Drivers must check first aid kit daily as part of their daily pre-trip inspection.
  8. Staff will restock depleted items immediately when used. If additional items are needed please request from the Transportation/Safety Coordinator
  9. Transportation and Safety Coordinator will order and keep supplies at the central office to be used out at sites.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

  • First Aid Kit Contents – ODJFS 5101:2-12-16 Appendix A – see below
  • Inventory form

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-16 & 5101:2-12-16 Appendix A
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:   5.6.0.1
Other Sources:    2016 Ohio School Bus Inspection Manual pg 26

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council: