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Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool
*Participation of volunteers and students


QUALITY AREA 4: STAFFING ARRANGEMENTS

VOLUNTEERS AND STUDENTS POLICY

 

POLICY:

Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool values volunteer participation as a connection to our local community and exposure to a range of people and experiences. The preschool will promote a positive role for volunteers and encourage a wide range of family participation.

Accepting students on placement is part of our professional responsibility to support our sector and provide valuable experience and learning opportunities.

 

Our service is committed to providing a safe environment for all children where their health, safety wellbeing is of paramount importance. In order to ensure this is preserved during the engagement of student and volunteers, and in order to remain compliant with regulations and legislation, the service will abide by the strategies and practices outlined in this policy.

 

BACKGROUND:

Visitors to our preschool are a regular occurrence. Family members or potential families want to visit a service when deciding on care for their children. Students attend practicum periods; volunteers may choose to spend time in the preschool along with maintenance personnel, educators and staff from other centres and other authorised volunteers. The presence of visitors must be monitored and documented. The preschool encourages students and volunteer participation as we are committed to assisting students gain valuable experience in early childhood settings.

 

As a non-profit, community based organisation, Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool, relies heavily on the use of volunteers to help provide a high quality and affordable program for the children and families.

 

Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them a wonderful array of experiences, skills and interests. Their participation has much to offer this community preschool and helps the organization truly reflect the population who attend this Centre. By providing support to the preschool the Centre is also able to provide more affordable care to families in this area without compromising the quality.

 

It is hoped that the volunteer experience will also provide assistance to the volunteers themselves; providing opportunities to spend time with their young children in an educational setting,the acquisition of work skills and experience, helping to maintain self-esteem, confidence, and self-respect and developing broader social contacts.

 

Volunteers provide support at all levels within the preschool including managing the centre,  supporting the educational program, developing policy, supporting other families, fundraising and cleaning/maintenance.

 

As a vital support group, it is important that volunteers are appropriately trained, supported and their role recognised within the organization


LEGISLATION:

·       Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

·       Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

·       Child Protection (Working with Children)Act 2012 NSW

 

LINKS TO NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD:

·       4.2 Educators, co-ordinators and staff members are respectful and ethical

·       6.1.2 Families have opportunities to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions

·       7.1 Effective leadership promotes a positive organizational cultures and builds a professional learning community

·       7.3 Administrative systems enable the effective management of a quality service

 

KEY RESOURCES:

·      Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) www.acecqa.gov.au

·      NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/working-with-children-check

·      Volunteering NSW : www.volunteering.com.au

 

GOALS:

·      Records relating to visitors and students to our service will be maintained.

·      Educators and staff will abide by regulatory protocol when visitors are in the service.

·      Promote a positive role for volunteers within the preschool.

·      Encourage a wide range of parent/family participation within the preschool.

·      Provide a volunteer workforce for the preschool to help provide affordable, high quality care and education.

·      Utilize the range of experiences,skills and interests which can be provided by the parents, families and community groups.

·      Provide support and clear guidelines for the operation of the volunteer program.

·      Provide recognition of the contribution made by the volunteer group.

 

PRACTICES:

 

·      A Working With Children Check will be phased in for unpaid students and volunteers between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018. All students and volunteers will be required to undertake a working with children check from this date. Volunteers and students do not make up part of the staff to child ratio and cannot be used to fill the place of an employee.

·      Volunteers and students must not be asked to perform tasks:

o  that they are untrained, unqualified or too inexperienced to undertake

o  that put th echildren or themselves in a vulnerable or potentially unsafe situation.

 

Roles and Responsibilities:

 

The Approved Provider will:

Ensure the service operates in line with the Education and Care Services National Law and National Regulations 2011 with regard to the delivery and collection of children at all times.

·       Ensure that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are adequately supervised at all times, and that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the service is protected.

·       Ensure that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children.

·       Ensure that parents/guardians of a child attending the service can enter the service premises at any time that the child is being educated and cared for, except where this may pose a risk to the safety of children or staff, or conflict with any duty of the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor or staff members under the law.

·       Ensure that the staff record contains information for all volunteers/students attending the service with details of name, address, date of birth, days and hours of participation and details of the Working with Children (WWC) Check

 

The Nominated Supervisor will:

·       Provide supervision, guidance and advice to ensure adherence to the policy at all times.

·       Ensure that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are adequately supervised at all times, and that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the service is protected.

·       Ensure that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children.

·       Provide volunteers/students and parents/guardians with access to all service policies and procedures.

·       Ensure that volunteers/students and parents/guardians comply with the National Regulations and all service policies and procedures.

 

The Early Childhood Educators/Certified Supervisors will:

·       Comply with the requirement that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are adequately supervised at all times, and that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the service is protected.

·       Comply with the requirement that volunteers/students and parents/guardians are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children.

·       Enable parents/guardians of children attending the service to access the service premises at any time the child is being educated and cared for, except where this poses a risk to the safety of children and/or staff.

·       Encourage the participation and involvement of parents/ guardians at the service.

 

The Student/Volunteer will:

·       Ensuring they have provided all details required to complete the staff record.

·       Undertake a working with children (WWC) check and presenting a current WWC check card or other notification, as applicable.

Volunteer Involvement

Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool Inc. is a community based non-profit preschool that relies heavily on the support of volunteers.It is both managed and supported by volunteers from the parent body and local community. This assistance from volunteers helps the Centre meet the objective of providing affordable and high quality early childhood education.

Volunteers provide support at all levels within the preschool;

  • Management - The Management Committee is elected from the parent and community body at the AGM, held annually. The Committee manage the preschool and are responsible for the finances, employing staff, organising fund raising activities, and developing policies.
  • Financial - counting and banking money– completed by Management Committee members
  • Fundraising – completed by Management Committee
  • Social - organising and supporting social experiences for families – completed by Management Committee
  • Education - sharing skills and interests with the children in the education program.
  • Excursions - helping with special days, excursions, etc.
  • Cleaning/Maintenance –washing/ironing, working bees helping with repairs to building, odd jobs, sewing etc.

 

Paid and Unpaid (Voluntary) Staff

As part of the original structure and Constitution this preschool is managed by volunteers from the parent and community body. As a result the volunteer Management Committee play an important role in the overall and daily management of the preschool.

 

The Management Committee employs paid staff; Director/Teacher, Teachers, Additional Needs Teacher, Advanced Child Care Workers, Community Language Child Care Workers, Administration / Accounts Officer, Cleaners, in a range of full time and part time positions.

All primary contact educators counted in the child staff ratios must be paid staff.

 Volunteers, whilst a most valuable asset, are used to support these staff but not to replace these paid positions.

Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers

Rights:

Volunteers have the right to:

  • Protection (a safe environment)
  • Be listened to
  • Decide when and how long to beavailable
  • Supervision and instruction
  • A real piece of work or task
  • Promotion and variety
  • Negotiate the job, times and days
  • Know what the job is before starting
  • Have the right tools for the job
  • Contribute to the decision makingprocess
 

Responsibilities:

Volunteers have the responsibility to;

·      Be conscientious
·      Be punctual
·      Be responsible for what they haveagreed to do
·      Be reliable
·      Let the Director know if they areunable to work
·      Maintain confidentiality
·      Support other volunteers
·      Be a team member
·      Seek support when needed
·      Know their own limitations (time,money, physical needs, family and friendships)
 
Volunteers- Roles and Position Descriptions

·      The preschool uses volunteers in a wide range of positions and each has a position description, clearly stating the roles and responsibilities.

·      These position descriptions are available to all volunteers.

·      Most positions are described in the Preschool Information Book given to all families on enrolment.

·      Positions are also described in the Management committee Handbook

 

SpecificRoles

·      Management - The Management Committee manage the preschool and are responsible for the finances, employing staff, organising fund raising activities, and developing policies. All parents receive an overview of these roles and responsibilities in the Preschool Information Book that they receive on enrolment. More detailed job descriptions are available for interested parents prior to election and to all members of the elected Management Committee.

 

·      Financial - counting and banking fundraising money. This role is completed by Management Committee members, usually the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer,with other members of the Management Committee assisting as required. See Management Committee Job Description and Money Collection Policy.

 

·      Fundraising - raffles, toy catalogue, tea towels, cake stall,Treasure-Hunt-A-Thon etc. Fundraising is organised by members of the Management Committee, the Activity Coordinators, with other people for the general parent body assisting as required. See Management Committee Job Description

 

·      Social - organising and supporting social experiences for families, e.g.family evening etc. Social events are organised by members of the ManagementCommittee, the Activity Coordinators, with other people for the general parent body assisting as required. See Management Committee Job Description.

 

·      Education - sharing skills and interests with the children in the educationprogram, e.g. playing musical instruments, demonstrating science experiments,introducing another language, cooking etc. Parents are encouraged to shareskills and interests through the Preschool Information Book and regularnewsletters. As these are often “one off” experiences that vary, there is noposition description. The experience is discussed with, and supervised bystaff, and parents are given a copy of the Guidelines and Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers.

 

·      Teacher Support - assisting with the children in the playrooms with the parentparticipation roster. These rosters are available in terms 2, 3 and thebeginning of term 4. The rosters are advertised and described in the PreschoolInformation Book and newsletters and placed on the notice board. Parents arefree to place their name on the roster. Parents who volunteer are given aPosition Description, Guidelines and Rights and Responsibilities.

 

·      Excursions - helping with special days, excursions, etc. Parents are to besupervised by paid staff at all times and only paid staff are to attend tochildren’s toileting and other personal needs etc. Parents will receive writtenand verbal instructions for the excursion before leaving the preschool.Attendance on excursions is open to all parents unless spaces are limited bythe travel arrangements or venue, in which case the excursion will beadvertised and parent’s names drawn from a hat will be accepted.

 

·      Cleaning/Maintenance/Working Bee – washing/ironing, working bees helping with repairs to building,odd jobs, sewing etc. “One off” maintenance jobs are advertised in thenewsletter and discussed in greater depth with volunteers.

 

Volunteer Recruitment and Employment

·      The role of Volunteers and thevolunteer positions are explained in the Preschool Information Book given toparents on enrolment and discussed at enrolment meetings. These positions arealso advertised with notes sent home to families, signs and newsletters senthome.

·      All parents, regardless of race, age,gender, education, etc. are free to volunteer for a role in the preschool.

·      Positions on the Management Committeeare elected from the parent body and community by the parent body at the AnnualGeneral Meeting held in February each year. Members of the executive of the ManagementCommittee are required to give permission to have a criminal check conducted onthem. This information remains strictly confidential.

·      If there are too many applicants for avoluntary position, other than the Management Committee, the first volunteerswill receive the position and a waiting list will be established. Otherpositions will be discussed with potential volunteers.

·      Volunteers are to be supervised andsupported by paid staff at all times.

·      If a Volunteer has difficultycompleting set tasks an alternative position is to be offered.

 

Orientation, Education andTraining

·      Prior to work the Volunteer receivesan orientation which includes;

o  Introduction to staff

o  Tour of building (if unfamiliar)

o  Location of Attendance book. Voluntarystaff are to sign on and off at each attendance.

o  Location of place to keep personalpossessions, e.g. bag

o  Location of adult toilet facilities

o  Location of telephone (inplayroom/office) and protocol of use (short, local calls only)

o  Explanation /training for job,including any Work Health and Safety issues.

o  Location of materials required tocomplete tasks.                  

 

·      All Volunteers receive an orientationinformation package including the following;

o  Preschool Information Book - receivedat enrolment.

o  Position Description - of theirspecific position

o  Guidelines for the Involvement ofVolunteers           

o  Rights and Responsibilities ofVolunteers

 

·      The elected members of the ManagementCommittee also receive a handbook including;

o  Forms required by Department ofEducation and Communities and forwarded to DEC as soon as completed

o  Management Committee - Roles and ResponsibilitiesPolicy

o  Committee Meeting Dates for followingyear

 

Support,Monitoring, Evaluation and Recognition

·      The Management Committee and Directorare responsible for supporting the Volunteer staff.

·      The Director may delegate thisresponsibility to other paid members of staff, depending on the voluntary role.

·      Volunteers are to be supervised andsupported by paid staff at all times.

·      It is the paid staff’s responsibilityto train volunteers adequately until they feel confident with the task andvolunteers are encouraged to ask for support as required.

·      Paid staff members are to ensure that volunteer’sfeel supported and valued with regular verbal thanks and discussion of value ofrole.

·      The retention of volunteers indiffering roles is also to be considered when evaluating the Volunteer Program.

·      The Management Committee members will receive a Thank You card, a certificate acknowledging their role and a small gift

gift.

 

Administration

·      Volunteer’s personal details are to befound on their children's record cards and are to be treated confidentially.These records are kept in a locked filing cabinet.

·      Personal records are updated annuallyand as required.

·      Volunteers are reimbursed by theDirector for any out of pocket expenses on the presentation of a receipt.

·      Volunteers are to sign on and off inStudent and Volunteers Attendance Book at each attendance.

·      Volunteers complete the sameaccident/injury report forms as paid staff. These records are kept in a secureplace until the statute of limitations expires and then destroyed.

·      Volunteers are covered by preschoolPublic Liability Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance for Volunteers.

·      Volunteers complete the same grievanceforms as paid staff.

·      It is the Managements responsibilityto ensure that Volunteers have a safe place to work free from any harassment.

 

EVALUATION

All educators andstaff will maintain a safe and secure environment for other staff, the childrenfamilies and visitors to the preschool.

The preschool willhave valuable input from volunteers and students.

 

Policy reviewed October 2015

 

 

 

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