Outdoor and Playground Safety Policy and Procedures
Outdoor play is an integral part of the daily schedule at We B Kidz and plays an important role in the development of children’s overall well-being. At We B Kidz we are aiming to provide a safe, fun outdoor space for children where they can engage in various physical activities. In addition to providing physical benefits, outdoor play strengthens functioning in cognitive areas such as perception, attention, creative problem solving and complex thinking.
- All staff must do a headcount of both children and staff, then they should compare the results with attendance prior to going into the playground. Staff must inform their classroom teachers of the number of children that they are taking outside. Staff must know at all times how many children are in their care, small groups are to remain outside, and you must know the whereabouts of your individual small group to ensure proper supervision at all times.
- Staff members will be the last to leave the playground area. All staff is to do a headcount of both children and staff along with a comparison with the attendance prior to leaving the playground.
- Children will always be supervised by staff during outdoor play.
- Staff to child ratios will be maintained on the playground at all times.
- Reduced ratios will never be used on the playground.
- Staff must take an emergency bag pack outside which contains
- All emergency medication accompanies children, where applicable;
- All emergency contact information for children;
- Allergy and dietary restriction lists;
- First-aid kits will be accessible to all staff in case of an emergency
- If a child needs to use the washroom, staff must take enough children inside with them to ensure that the playground is within ratio
- Staff will position themselves throughout the playground and rotate their position where required to ensure children can be visually supervised while engaging in play. Staff are not allowed to sit in the playground unless they are doing activities with children.
- Staff will ensure that all gates are securely closed at all times.
- Staff are to follow the playground rotation that is posted in each classroom and ensure that small groupings are followed accordingly
- Outdoor play space and surfacing checks will be conducted on a daily, monthly and annual basis.
- Each morning a designated staff member will be responsible to check the playground using the Daily checklist. They would need to walk around the entire outdoor play space or playground to look for and identify hazards and defects as indicated in the daily playground inspection checklist. They also need to remove any garbage, hazards or defects using gloves.
- All playground inspections will be documented. All documentation and reports will be filed by the supervisor or designee in the Playground binder.
- All items identified in the checklists as requiring repair will be documented in the repair log and will be filed in the Playground binder. The items needing repair should be repaired or addressed in a timely manner. The amount of time required to do so will depend on the scope of the work and who is required to conduct the repairs.
- Staff will report any broken or damaged equipment or materials to the supervisors upon which a repair order will be completed and any and all necessary repairs will commence as soon as possible/needed.
Children participate in outdoor activities for at least two hours daily, weather permitting. Parents to provide seasonally appropriate clothing.
- In winters: Jacket, snow pants, hat, mittens, and snow boots. The use of scarves during winter months should be monitored closely and all ends of the scarf should be tucked inside the coat.
- In summers: Children must have a hat and all children must have sunscreen applied unless otherwise instructed by parents in the child registration package. Children are not to go outside with slippers and flip flops because increase of tripping and falling hazards. Shoes with proper backings are to be worn at all the times
- We do not go outside while it is raining, however; children will go outside after it has rained thus the ground may be wet. We ask that a supply of extra clothing is provided.
Winter cut off (including windchill): Temperatures colder than -10°C are within our winter cut off. The supervisor will use their discretion regarding the length of time outside, wind gusts, sunshine and how the children are coping.
Summer Cut off (including humidex): Temperatures hotter than +32°C are within our summer cut off. The supervisor will use their discretion (limit time outdoors, seek shade, offer water and water play, squirt bottles, etc.). All children are to wear sunscreen unless parents have permitted otherwise with written consent. We also exercise caution when the air quality is poor. All children will remain indoors when the air quality index is 50. The use of sunscreen is encouraged throughout the year as the weather dictates. Parents are asked to apply sunscreen to their child in the morning and the teachers will reapply it in the afternoon (as long as the parent has signed emergency card indicating the use of the sunblock). A bottle of sunscreen is labeled and kept at the centre. Please check the expiry dates on the sunscreen.
Review of Policy
All employees, volunteers and placement students must review Outdoor and Playground Safety Policy and Procedures prior to start date, on an annual basis after starting work and at any time that the program statement is modified.