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The Elements of School Age Childcare Services Programme Essay Sample 

This essay sample shall focus on the elements of a school-age childcare program in Ireland and shall also discuss the National Quality Guidelines for the School-age childcare service.

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The school-age childcare program is very essential for the children and their families to be able to create positive support and environment for them. Parents who cannot find time to take care of their children due to work or other reasons can help them to grow in such a setting.

It helps the children to grow socially, physically, and emotionally and help them to increase their horizon of interests and needs.

Childcare services in Ireland providing care services to school-age children must get themselves registered first with the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) by complying with the Childcare Act, 1991.

Elements of effective school-age childcare services

The school-age childcare addresses the child-related issues of safety and health through a center-based service for the young school-going children of 4 to 14 years of age.

Such a childcare service is being provided to children after the school working hours, before the school starts, and during the school holidays.

The services are provided in daycare units, pre-school premises, community halls, places of worship, libraries, standalone services, and even as a part of the school program.

School-age childcare services include services like school clubs, summer camps, breakfast clubs, etc. It can also provide homework support to children.

Childcare services must have guided procedures to effectively manage the behavior and attitude of the children.

Children must be allowed to play and perform activities on a daily basis by providing them enough outdoor green spaces.

An effective school-age childcare service emphasizes the importance of play and rest. Free time must be allowed for children so that they can play, perform hobbies that interest them. The fun activities help the children to grow and develop their cognitive skills, creativity, and thinking abilities.

It also enhances the social abilities, communication skills, leadership skills of a child by improving their sense of self-esteem, confidence, and academic performance.

National Quality Guidelines for the school-age childcare services 

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Education and Skills and School Age Childcare Standards Working Group developed the National Quality Guidelines which provides quality standards for school-age children.

Many organizations in Ireland, like the National Voluntary Childcare Organization, Mary Immaculate College, County Childcare Committees have developed childcare services and support for improving the quality of life of school-age children.

We will discuss some of the basic principles that need to be followed under the National Quality Guidelines for school-age childcare services. These are the following principles:-

Promotion of equality, inclusion, and diversity by the childcare staff and children 

Childcarers and staff have the role to promote equality, inclusion, and diversity in the setting. They need to prepare the children to accept and understand the vividness of culture and other children belonging to diverse groups or backgrounds.

They help them to share emotions and stories with each other promoting festivals, culture, and traditions to develop the mind of the children and to make them flexible and adaptive.

It ensures a positive environment and experience for the children and their family belonging to a different race, color, belief, sex, language, ethnicity, social status, religion, or economic class.

Children through this practice start valuing diversity and hence promote equality and growth.

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The holistic developmental approach towards children 

All children have different needs and expectations in life and children with disabilities have special needs that need to be taken care of by the staff.

Catering to the emotional, spiritual, physical, mental, and cognitive needs of the children ensures the overall or holistic development of the children and their families.

Children with special knowledge, talent, and abilities must be encouraged by the carers and family to help them learn and develop better.

School-age childcare services provide a home-based environment

Children who are under the supervision and guidance of the childcare staff have the responsibility to make them feel at home.

A warm, welcoming, and helpful environment must be provided to them to make them feel happy and comfortable. Such a home setting environment must be well maintained and have enough indoor and outdoor spaces for children to play and rest.

The needs of the children must be timely met so that they feel their interests are safe and secured and they must feel at home as it improves their productivity and academic performance.

Children have a right to expression and a sense of freedom or independence 

Children must have the right to be opinionated or not have an opinion at all. They can be free in their thoughts and expression and is independent to voice them.

Their sense of freedom or independence must not be altered or interfered with by the adults. They must be encouraged to be participative in developmental programs and must be given enough opportunities to learn and grow independently.

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The above sample is written to highlight the elements of school-age childcare programs or services.

Childcare QQI Level 5, Early Childhood Education Care and Education QQI Level 5, Supervision in Early Childhood Care QQI Level 6 students can refer to this essay for improving their knowledge in childcare services and environment.

This essay sample can also be read along with Childcare Act, 1991 (Ireland), Childcare Act, School Age Childcare Registration 2018, Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, and Children and Family Relationships Act, 2015.

We have childcare assignments on School-age childcare settings, reflection upon positive classroom environment in early childhood care and can assist the students of School-age childcare (5N1781) course in writing assignments.

The paid expert writers of Ireland assignment help can write instant childcare assignments for the Irish students and could also help them to write essays.

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