Communication


Last updated 1 July, 2018

Principle and statement of intent

Effective communication is a vital part of creating and maintaining a safe and efficient workplace environment.

How we interact with not only the children in our care, but our colleagues, management and the parents of the children enrolled in Bumbles Day Care will affect how well the organisation functions and how satisfying you find your job to be.

Strong, professional communication skills are absolutely essential in day care. Children need good role models and grownups need to be able to co-operate, collaborate and resolve conflicts without creating undue animosity and other emotional obstacles.

The aim of this policy is to set out protocols and guidelines to promote good communication within Bumbles Day Care that demonstrates our commitment to care and our professionalism.

Workplace communication guidelines

Communication can be internal or external or both. Internal communication is between staff at Bumbles. External communication is between staff at Bumbles and parents or other community members or service providers.

Knowing how to use the different types of communication and following the correct procedures will help ensure that our interactions are professional and positive.

At Bumbles Day Care routine workplace protocols exist for:
written communication (sending and receiving information), and
verbal communication (giving and following instructions and messages)

Types of written communication used at Bumbles Day Care include:

  • email and letters (internal and external)
  • Use of Famly to send messages and comments about their child  to parents 
  • Social media – Bumbles Day Care website and Facebook (external)
  • forms, reports and memos (internal and external), see appendix
  • minutes and agendas for meetings (internal)
  • technical and procedural handbooks (internal)
  • workplace signs (internal)
  • whiteboards and notice boards (internal and external)
  • Notebooks and Learning Diary’s (internal and external)

Written communication is a vital part of communication at Bumbles Day Care, and we recommend that all written communication:

  • is simple and easy to understand,
  • is to the point and avoids unnecessary repetition,
  • avoids slang, and must not contain offensive, discriminatory, racist or sexist language.

Types of verbal communication at Bumbles Day Care include:

  • handovers e.g. from staff to staff, from a staff member to a parent/collector or from a parent to a staff member
  • telephone (internal and external)
  • meetings (internal & external)
  • Arrival and Departure of children (external)

The way we speak to other people can make a difference to the way information is received. Verbal communication can be improved when:

  • it is clear and concise,
  • it is friendly and professional,
  • appropriate feedback is given,
  • active listening is used,
  • there is an awareness of non-verbal communication styles, e.g. Body language, eye contact, tone of voice, can all have an impact on how the spoken word is communicated.
  • there is an understanding of cultural differences., e.g. shaking the head for no in the UK means yes in India, or a thumbs up gesture of approval can be considered offensive in some countries

When communicating with others, take into consideration:

  • who you are talking to,
  • the type of information to be communicated (for example; confidential, good news/bad news, difficult technical information, instructions, general daily information),
  • what the most appropriate type of communication to use is (for example; verbal, email, memo, handover). This may be determined by the type of information to be communicated.

At all times staff need to be respectful and polite to one another and to clients. At no time should voices be raised, swear words used, nor anyone speak in a manner that makes another person feel belittled.

Cultural awareness

Bumbles Day Care aims to create a safe and culturally aware work environment.

We need to recognise that people come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and with them they bring a variety of different values, attitudes and beliefs.

All staff need to be non judgemental, respectful and tolerant of each other’s differences. When communicating with people from other backgrounds care needs to be taken to ensure that cultural differences in both verbal and nonverbal communication are considered.

Professional development is provided to staff to assist in this process.

Disability support

Bumbles Day Care aims to create a work environment that is safe and supportive of people with disabilities.

Alternative methods of communication are maintained and developed when appropriate (for example; translators, voice recognition software, browser readers).

Professional development is provided to staff to assist in this process.

Communication hierarchy

In all organisations there is a correct line of communication. At Bumbles Day Care the first line of communication is your Co-ordinator / Deputy Manager or Manager. You can discuss any issues or concerns you may have with your Co-ordinator, who may then either take your concern to the next level or you may be advised to do so.

If you go straight to the director of the company you will be advised to discuss the matter first with your Co-ordinator Deputy Manager or Manager.

Protocols for workplace communications

Computer use

The administration and access of Bumbles Day Care computer network and social media sites are carefully managed. We have Confidentiality and Data Protection policies that all staff sign, ensuring that no information of a personal or sensitive nature is ever passed to any outside source.

When using computers at Bumbles Day Care, staff must ensure that they:

  • Do not allow access to visitors to view information relating to clients
  • File any printed information in the appropriate place
  • Ensure any printed information of a sensitive nature is shredded before being discarded

Email

When writing emails:

  • use polite and correct language,
  • start with a greeting, for example “Dear Jane”, until you know the person well enough to be able to address the email as “Hi Jane”,
  • explain yourself clearly,
  • don’t use abbreviations in emails; write all out in full,
  • end the email correctly saying i.e “kind regards” or “regards, Jane”.

Remember that the person reading your email can’t see you so they can’t read your body language to see if you are joking, angry or serious.

Telephone use

Phones should be answered promptly and always give your name. On answering the office phone give the name of the organisation and then your own name. For example:

  • Good morning/afternoon, Bumbles Day Care, ‘Jane’ speaking, how may I help you?
  • Speak clearly and at a speed that enables people to understand you.
  • Write any information down as you are listening as it is very easy to get off the phone and find you have forgotten who was speaking.
  • If taking a message, ensure you record the time, name, phone number, email or address if necessary and which information they wanted.
  • Repeat the information back to ensure you have the correct details.
  • End the telephone call confirming some kind of resolution for the person who rang, either by transferring the call, taking a message for them, asking the person to ring back at a later time, or agreeing the action you have taken.
  • When making or answering an internal call, always give your name

Forms

In Bumbles Day Care we use a variety of forms, such as applications for child care places, registrations, risk assessments as well as to record accidents or incidents that occur to children or staff. You must make sure that you know which forms to fill in, when you need to use forms and where to find the necessary forms.

When filling in a form:

  • read the form carefully,
  • fill in all the required details,
  • only include necessary information,
  • write clearly and simply,
  • check that you have completed it properly,
  • send or give it to the appropriate person, or file in the appropriate place.
  • If you have difficulties filling in forms, ask a colleague or your Co-ordinator for some help. It can be useful to obtain copies of forms that have been filled in which you can keep and use to help you.

Famly

At Bumbles Day Care we use a tablet and cloud-based room management system that utilises the highest security standards, and allows faster touch screen record taking for or staff which will reduce the amount of paper records.

The management team are responsible for inputting children’s records on the Famly system. This will include each child’s photograph, any known allergies, care plans as well as collector’s details and photographs.

Staff will record the following information for each child as appropriate:

  • Arrival and Departure times
  • All snacks, meals and appetite
  • Sleep and rest times
  • Activities and Photographs of children, individual as well as group
  • Nappy and Toilet – essential information
  • Messages from your room,

Parents will be able to log on to Famly at any time via their computer, tablet or smart phone and using their own unique username and password to see their child’s daily routine, pictures and messages.

All information recorded by Bumbles staff on Famly, must be checked for accuracy, spell checked where appropriate and comply with the guidelines laid out in this policy.

Handovers

When doing a handover to another member of staff:

  • make sure that all relevant information is passed on,
  • check that the next person has understood everything by asking and answering questions,
  • do not rush

Arrival and departures

As per our Arrival and Departure policy, time should be given to parents/carers at the start and end of day to communicate any concerns or information regarding their child’s care. Always start out a conversation with positive information. If there is anything negative to say about a child, place that information in the middle of a conversation. So in other words, start with positive comments, then negative, and always end in positive.

Recording on Famly  / Compiling Learning diaries

All information written in Famly or in a child’s Learning Diary should be recorded following Bumbles guidelines on written communication:

  • written neatly and clearly
  • information should be accurate and relevant
  • slang, discriminatory, racist or sexist language must not be used

Policies & procedures

All Bumbles Policies and Procedures, which are the guidelines and rules to assist us in maintaining our standards of excellent child care are available on our website www.bumblesdaycare.com. These policies and procedures are reviewed annually and also when any new legislation or change is introduced to ensure that they are always in line with our Vision, Purpose and Values. Staff and new parents are requested to acknowledge that they have read these policies by completing an on line acknowledgement form.  It is the responsibility of the Policy Development Administrator to ensure that Policies are current and reviewed and to notify management and staff of any effective changes. Policies will be dated with the date of issue or latest review date.

It is the responsibility of the Web Administrator to ensure new or revised policies are uploaded to the website within 24 hours of receipt.
Any new policies or significant changes will initially be notified to staff by e-mail and then updated on the web. All staff are required to review policies via the website within one week of notification. Staff must then confirm using the online acknowledgement formal that they have read and agreed to abide by any changes contained therein.

Any member of staff who cannot access policies or updates via our website must make it known to a member of the management team ASAP who will ensure access to a hard copy is made available in the staff room for a period of 2 weeks after implementation or update.

Room Notice boards

All information posted on room notice boards should be current and relevant to that room. The Co-ordinators should review their room notice boards weekly and remove any outdated posts.

Parent Notice boards

The Management team will ensure these will be updated monthly and will highlight specific pieces of policy and related articles alongside detailed information about a particular activity. In addition, registration and insurance information will always be displayed.

Staff Communications

Agendas and minutes of meetings will be communicated to staff via email. Meetings will be planned and details accessible in the Meeting Framework in the Team Zone area of the website.

  • Reminders will be sent with weekly schedules of upcoming meetings.
  • Minutes will be sent within one week of a meeting being held.
  • Bulletins will be initially communicated via email and then placed in the Team Zone on the website.
  • Holiday and Appointment Request forms can be completed and submitted via the Team Zone on the website and you will receive an acknowledgement and a response within 48 hours. Any urgent requests, please speak to management directly.

Appendix

The following is a list of all forms currently in use at Bumbles Day Care.

Staff forms

  • Holiday Requests – web
  • Appointment Requests – web
  • Return to work – web
  • Mileage Record
  • Time in Lieu Record – web
  • Staff Accident 
  • New Employee Notification/Bank Details
  • Team Schedule
  • Daily Attendance Rota
  • Lunch Rota
  • School Runs
  • Course Evaluation – web
  • Policy Acknowledgement – web
  • Zone Evaluation
  • New/Replacement Toy/Equipment
  • Resource Request
  • Risk Assessment

Parent / carer forms

  • Enquiry – web
  • Registration Contract
  • Parental Consent/Agreement – web
  • Photo Consent Form – web
  • New Start
  • Transfer
  • Policy Acknowledgement Form -web
  • Accident – Famly
  • Individual Care Plan
  • Nappy Changing Record – Famly
  • Routine Medication Record Medication Record
  • Individual Child Sickness Record
  • Biting Incident Record
  • My Learning Diary
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Reflections

Management forms

  • Group checks
  • Performance Reviews
  • Fire Drill Records
  • Incident Records
  • First Aid / H&S Records
  • Staff Support and Supervision Meeting / 1:1’s
  • Reference request

HAACP forms

  • Hygiene Inspection Checklist
  • Food Delivery Records
  • Cooking/Reheating Records
  • Fridge/Cold Room/Display Chill Temperature Records
  • Outside Risk Assessment
  • Risk Assessment Forms – General
  • Outing Risk Assessment Forms