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Tip Sheets ITERS-R & ECERS-R

Breaking Down the Personal Care Routine

Greeting and Departing: Greeting and departure are two significant daily transition times for children in child care programs. During both times, children must make an adjustment between home and school and often they feel insecure as a result. To ease these insecurities, it is important to make these transition times personal for children. For example, take time to greet your children by name and talk with them individually when they arrive in the morning. Be sure to show children how happy you are to spend the day with them. Encourage parents to come into their child's classroom and to create and follow a transition routine. As children leave at the end of the day, be prepared by having their belongings ready for them. Meanwhile, all children should be engaged in an activity of their choice until their family member arrives. One staff should be with children, leaving another one available to talk to parents. When their families do arrive, take time to speak to each one and give them specific information about their child's day. Greeting and departure from your child care program should be a warm routine that meets the specific needs of each child and family. Meals and Snacks: Child care programs should plan well-balanced meals for all children and meet their individual needs. Meal menus should follow the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) standards for infants, toddlers and children. Substitutions for children with allergies or other family dietary restrictions should be made. A list of children's names with specific allergies or dietary restrictions should be posted in every classroom, but it is important to protect the privacy of the individual child. Food allergy lists should be covered with a blank sheet of paper or posted on the inside of a cabinet. For infants and toddlers, it is important to accommodate their individual schedules by offering food whenever they show signs of hunger. Remember to talk with parents about how their infants or toddlers are adapting to new foods and share any preferences that are noticed. Meal and snack times are great opportunities for adult-child interactions and should focus on the children's growing language and self-help skills. For example, children should eat meals in small groups with a teacher sitting at the table to initiate social conversation. They should also be encouraged to develop their self-help skills by helping set the table and feeding themselves. During meal and snack time, there will also be opportunities for them to expand their cognitive skills, such as understanding amounts, sizing, textures, and shapes of foods. Keep in mind, that the mealtime atmosphere should remain pleasant and non-punitive to further enhance social skills. By personalizing meal times, you can work with your children on a one-on-one basis to strengthen their individual skills.

Created by J Blair 11/2010 1

Tip Sheets

Basic sanitary procedures should be considered with meals and snacks, including hand washing of adults and children, cleaning and sanitizing eating surfaces and equipment, and serving uncontaminated food. Children and teachers should follow proper hand washing techniques before and after meal preparation and mealtime. All surfaces used for eating meals and meal preparation should be cleaned and sanitized before and after meals, using a two step process for cleaning and sanitizing with a soap solution followed by a bleach solution. Nap and Rest: What does a relaxed naptime look like? Picture soft music, low lights, and teachers rubbing children's backs and you'll have a good idea. These things are all components of a relaxed naptime. The child care program should strive to meet the individual child's need for rest. For example, infants and toddlers should be allowed to sleep as needed throughout the day to meet their individual schedules (keeping in mind that cribs are a place for sleep only, not for extended play). Children that are two to five years of age should be offered between a two hour and a two and a half hour rest period. Infants should be placed on their backs to sleep. Children should not be forced to nap. They should be offered alternative nap activities, such as being allowed to read a book, work a puzzle or use art materials. Doing so will meet the child's needs without disturbing the rest of class's naptime. Cots should be placed three feet apart or separated with a solid barrier. This will reduce the spread of germs. With such a cozy atmosphere, it may be easy to get very relaxed yourself! However, it is important to stay alert and attentive for the entire rest period. Child care providers or teachers should supervise napping children at all times and be accessible to them. Naptime should be personalized if possible by using names on cribs or cots, or special blankets for the toddlers on their cot. Diapering and Toileting: The most important component of the diapering/toileting procedure is proper sanitation. During the diapering procedure, staff and children's hands should be cleaned with clean wipes after the soiled diapers and staff's gloves are thrown away in a hands- free trash can. After the diaper change, children's hands should be washed under running water at the sink (when they have enough head control) and a paper towel should be used to dry them. The faucets should be turned off with a paper towel and thrown away in a hands- free trash can. Staff's hands should be washed after the diapering/ toileting procedure, even when they wear gloves. The diapering/ toileting areas should be in close proximity to a running water source. Ideally, there should be a separate sink for hand washing and meal preparation. However, if the same sink is used by either children or adults for both diapering/toileting and food related routines (including brushing teeth) it should be cleaned and sanitized in between uses. Changing tables should be cleaned and sanitized after every use and toilets should be flushed. . Remember to use a two step process for cleaning and sanitizing the changing surfaces, using a soap solution followed by a bleach solution. Like other aspects of children's schedules, diapering/ toileting schedules should meet the children's individual needs Bathrooms with child-sized equipment or stools to help children reach will promote

Created by J Blair 11/2010 2

Tip Sheets

children's independence. This is a great time to teach children self help skills such as buttoning, zipping, and pulling up their own clothes. It also allows for one-on-one interaction between the staff and child. The diapering/toileting routine should be an opportunity for positive interaction. Remember, children who are toilet trained will still have accidents and it is important to handle them sensitively. Personal Grooming: Although it's not an ECERS-R component, personal grooming is an important part of personal care routines for the ITERS-R. This part of the scale focuses on taking care of the children's physical appearance. For example, be sure to clean each child's face and hands after messy play or after eating; and don't forget to wipe their runny noses! A separate towel, paper, or cloth must be used for every child. Use bibs to protect children's clothing during meal times and change clothing as necessary throughout the day. Children should have their own set of extra clothing to keep in their personal space. During the toddler years, dental hygiene should also be taught. In fact, toddlers should have their own individually labeled toothbrushes that can be stored and used once each day. It is recommended that you encourage older children to do many of the above personal grooming tasks on their own. Personal grooming can also be a good opportunity to teach children the concepts of body parts and types of clothing. Health Practices/ Policies: Health considerations include, keeping indoor and outdoor spaces, materials, and equipment clean and in good repair. Outside areas, including the playground, should be inspected for animal contamination, standing water or dirty sand. As a teacher, you can set a good example by properly washing hands and talking to the children about the importance of hand washing and how it keeps them healthy. Staff and children's hands should be washed many times throughout the day, especially before and after meal times, after diapering/ toileting, after outdoor and water play, after wiping noses or anytime hands look or smell unclean. Hand washing is the single best way to cut down on the spread of germs. Another health consideration is to ensure children are dressed properly to go outside. Also, ask parents to bring an extra change of clothes for their children, should they become soiled during the day. It is also important to establish and follow a clear set of policies regarding illness and medication. It is necessary to have an illness policy in place that indicates when parents must pick up their sick children and how long they should stay home when they are sick. A medication policy should be in place for children that require medication while they are in your care. You'll want to include information on how the medication should be stored, how it is to be administered, and how the process is documented. Finally, be sure all children are up to date on their immunizations. Keep immunization records for children and staff and emergency contact information on file. Safety Practices /Policies: A final and very important component of the personal care routine is to establish practices and policies regarding safety. Safety practices consist of a combination of minimizing hazards in the spaces used by children and diligent supervision by adults who care for them. This item looks at all hazards found in indoor and outdoor spaces used by or accessible to children. Created by J Blair 11/2010 3

Tip Sheets

Playground safety checks must be made daily to ensure the safety of outdoor play. Supervision on the playground is essential to reduce the risk of accident or injury. A complete first aid kit, cell phone and emergency telephone numbers should be easily accessible on the playground. If there is a child with medical issues such as Asthma, Allergies, or Diabetes, it is important to take their medication including inhalers, EpiPens, Glucagon or juice for a low blood sugar out to the playground. It is also important to have a policy in place for fire and other emergencies. An annual fire inspection by the Fire Marshal is required, as well as monthly fire drills with the staff and children. It is recommended that all staff be trained in First Aid/ C.P.R., and at least one First Aid/C.P.R.- certified staff member must be present at all times. All accidents should be documented in writing on an accident/ incident report form. Parents must be informed of any serious injuries immediately. It is important to have all safety policies concerning transportation, illness, and a sample accident/incident report form included in a parent handbook. Parents should sign the handbook and it should be returned signed prior to a child's enrollment in the program. Changes in policies, new policies and any other information, including safety updates, should be given directly to parents. .

Sources: Infant/ Toddler Environment Rating Scale, Revised Edition, by Thelma Harms, Debbie Cryer and Richard Clifford All About the ITERS-R by Thelma Harms, Debbie Cryer and Cathy Riley Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale , Revised Edition, by Thelma Harms, Debbie Cryer and Richard Clifford All About the ECERS-R by Thelma Harms, Debbie Cryer and Cathy Riley National Training Institute (NTI) Training Module Quality in Child Care and How to Measure it: The Environment Rating Scales, version 4

Created by J Blair 11/2010 4

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