The Educational Policy of after-school care 't Olefantje is based on the Educational Policy of day care 't Olefantje. Whereas within day care, a lot of attention is paid to the care of young children, we mainly try to realise a pleasant and stimulating leisure activity for the children of school age in the after-school care. After school, on study days and during school holidays, we provide care for children who attend primary school. We strive to imitate a safe home situation as much as possible, where every child is given the space to develop optimally. Children are encouraged to take part in all kinds of challenging activities, but are always allowed to decide for themselves whether they feel like taking part in something.
We do not have a set idea of how a child should grow up and what the right approach is. Each child has their own personality and it is that personality that makes each person unique. In order to maintain this individuality, it is important for the child to develop self-confidence. We trust that when the child is given warmth, space and structure, they will grow up as an individual with self-confidence. By warmth, we mean that the teachers are always there for the child. So with an open and attentive attitude for each child: both individually and in the group. By structure, we mean rhythm and routine (see daily schedule in general information) and indicating boundaries. The children must have space to be, and to express themselves.
In education, the transfer of norms and values always plays a role. During our six to eight weekly team meetings, the teachers and interns discuss the Educational Policy and how your own upbringing plays a role in the way you raise your children now. In this way, we remain aware of our role and inspire each other to take the education of the children entrusted to us seriously. In our Educational Policy, which you can download below, we have tried to explain as clearly as possible what our vision and way of working is. By means of examples, we hope that this will give you a concrete picture of how we work at 't Olefantje. You can download our pedagogical policy here
We base our approach on six interaction skills. These interaction skills are briefly explained below using a number of examples.
1. Sensitive responsiveness. We pay close attention to children’s signals and what is on their mind. We encourage them when they are interested and enthusiastic. We try to verbalise what they feel and ask about their feelings and thoughts. We talk to the children and not at the children. We do this by sitting with the children on the ground (eye level) and by asking them regularly for their opinion. Where possible, we consider the input of the children, or explain why it is not possible to do this. We also involve the parents to find out if a child does not feel understood or heard.
2. Respect for the autonomy of the child. We encourage the children to do as much as possible themselves. We let them discover for themselves and offer them the opportunity to decide for themselves. We ask them to help us think about plans, solutions and activities. We offer all children the space to be themselves. This means that in addition to fun joint activities, a child can also play alone when they want to. We also give the child the space to have their own (autonomous) emotions. Of course, we strive for cheerful and happy children, but we also find that they can be angry or sad. By observing the children and discussing details with each other and with the parents, we can help children quickly when they hit a roadblock. If necessary, we make arrangements for extra supervision for the child. Think of the birth of a new brother or sister or the frustration that may be felt by a child going through a developmental leap. We adjust the daily programme or daily routine if this is in the child's best interest.
3. Structuring and setting boundaries. We offer structure and continuity. For example, we have a fixed daily schedule and permanent teachers. We name the rules and agreements in the group and explain why we have these rules and agreements. We offer an alternative in case of undesirable behaviour, for example “Can you ask if you can play with that, instead of just grabbing it?” in order to steer the children in a more positive direction. We convey important values to the children by setting a good example ourselves. For example, we wait to eat until everyone has something to eat, we do not talk over each other, we are nice to each other and we are considerate towards each other.
4. Talking and explaining. We continuously use situations to talk to the children. We supplement these conversations with extra information and repeat what the children say in the right words. We explain what we do and why. We name what the children see and do. We read to the children interactively. We do this by asking open questions while reading or by engaging them in conversations about the subjects of the books.
5. Development stimulation We encourage the development of the children in different ways. We ask ourselves aloud how something works, or why something happens in a certain way. We make encouraging statements such as “your boots will probably fit me too”. Where possible, we encourage the children to do things themselves. Think about getting dressed or making a sandwich themselves. We speak using varied language and just above the level of the children in order to offer them as wide a range of languages as possible.
6. Guiding (positive) interactions between children We make sure that children feel safe and at ease with each other. We notice interactions between children and respond positively to (spontaneous) positive contact between children. We encourage conversations between the children and not only between the children and the teachers. We consciously create situations where children play together, share and help each other. The children often play in small groups and because of this, they feel safer. We teach the children to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with us and the other children. So, we encourage the children to observe others and respond to them.
All of our teachers are qualified for the position of educational worker according to the CLA for Childcare. In addition, they have a genuine interest in children and can create an atmosphere that is pleasant, safe and feels like home. In order to follow the development of the children well, all children have a mentor in the group. This is one of the teachers who works in the group and is assigned to the child. The mentor is the main point of contact for the child and parents, and regularly discusses the development and well-being of the child with the parents.
We are a recognised training company and like to work with interns. The interns are always under our supervision in the group. In the end, they perform the same tasks as the teachers, but do not yet bear final responsibility.
We like to have interns who do an internship with us for at least one school year. Advanced interns can be used as professionals if their level of education allows it. This is pleasant for the children because it offers continuity.
We work with as many permanent, enthusiastic substitutes as possible. Some substitutes or interns also look after parents, making it extra familiar for the children and parents.
We invest a lot of time in the teachers and interns and are happy to offer them the opportunity to continue their development through training and courses. In addition, they all have a child-oriented first aid certificate.
At the location of Nieuwegracht 30, after-school care 't Olefantje has space for two regular groups. One with a maximum of 22 children and the other one with a maximum of 12 children. At this moment, after-school care 't Olefantje has a regular group of a maximum of 22 children at the Nieuwegracht 30 location.
At the location of Nieuwegracht 49, there is an after-school regular group with a maximum of 16 children.
In all regular groups, we take care of children between the age of 4 and 12.
The number of educational workers in the groups depend on the legal professional-to-child ratio.
The children are taken care of in their own regular group during the fruit/drink moment at the beginning of the afternoon.
The teachers at after-school care 't Olefantje are Hajar Ben Hamau, Isabel De Jager, Jolie Leujeune and Najia Kodade.
In all groups, we work with interns as much as possible. In general, the interns are supernumerary. Our interns usually do an internship as part of their educational training, but sometimes also as part of a sports training. The Municipal Health Service (GG&GD) has authorised the use of an intern as a substitute when a permanent teacher falls ill on the day itself. An intern will never be alone in the group. During the summer holidays, the educational workers are not supported by the interns.
During the unstructured play moments, there is an open-door policy. The children can then choose between playing outside, quiet games (reading, drawing, etc.) and more active games. For this purpose, several rooms are adequately equipped.
We have created the option to split up the group by means of a curtain and sliding doors. This makes it possible to offer specific activities for the different age categories, normally 4 to 6 and 7 to 12. The children can pursue the activity of their choice.
If the group occupancy allows it (i.e. if fewer than 10 children are present at the after-school care), only one teacher may be present. Support will then be given by our back-up (colleagues of the day care). There is an emergency button, which the children can use themselves if the teacher or intern is unable to do so. By pressing the emergency button, an automatic emergency call is sent to the back-up.
Health & Safety
We strive to provide children and employees with the safest and healthiest possible work, play and living environments where children are protected from dangers with serious consequences and learn to deal with minor dangers. The dangers within our day care are the responsibility not just of management, but of all of us. Our teachers and interns are actively involved in identifying and evaluating unsafe or unhealthy situations and are also involved in the measures that are taken. In this way, we ensure that we continuously learn from experience.
Here you can view the Health and Safety Policy of after-school care 't Olefantje. This Policy Plan clarifies how we work at our location. The aim is to provide children and staff with the safest and healthiest possible work, play and living environment where children are protected against risks with serious consequences and learn to deal with small dangers.
The dangers within our day care are the responsibility not just of management, but of all of us. Parents are cordially invited to take a look at the policy and put forward any risks. We are happy to include them in this policy. Our teachers and interns are actively involved in identifying and evaluating unsafe or unhealthy situations and are also involved in the measures that are taken. In this way, we ensure that we continuously learn from experience.