The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education


Standard 9: Health and Welfare

Promoting the health and welfare of the child requires protection from harm, provision of nutritious food, appropriate opportunities for rest, and secure relationships characterised by trust and respect.

Component 9.1 | Component 9.2 | Component 9.3 | Component 9.4 | Component 9.5 | Component 9.6 | Component 9.7

Component 9.1 - The setting has implemented a full range of policies and procedures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, reduce exposure to environmental hazards and stress, and deal effectively and efficiently with medical situations that may arise.

See 2.4

Signposts for Reflection


How do you deal with illness, infectious diseases and medical emergencies in your home?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Policies and procedures
  • Informing parents and families
  • Informing other relevant adults (e.g., volunteers, students, medical personnel, etc.)
  • Isolation/exclusion/supervision
  • Provision of a quiet, comfortable location


What procedures are in place to respond to medical emergencies?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Appropriate number of adults in your setting qualified to administer first aid
  • Adequate number of fully-equipped first aid boxes available and easily accessible
  • Briefing of adults on appropriate storage and administration of medication
  • Arrangement with a medical doctor or other appropriately qualified medical professional to provide advice and support to the setting
  • Communication with parents in the case of illness or medical emergency (e.g., accessible and up-to-date contact details, informing them of infectious illnesses in the setting, advising them on appropriate precautionary methods, etc.)

Component 9.2 - The setting endeavours, through the implementation of a range of policies, procedures and actions, to promote the health of all children and adults.

See 14.1

Signposts for Reflection


What strategies are in place to ensure that everyone in your setting is fully informed on all aspects of health promotion? See 11.1/11.4

Think about (e.g.)

  • Making information leaflets available on vaccinations, oral hygiene, prevention of infection, etc.
  • Inviting regular contact with the public health nurse and other relevant health professionals
  • Incorporating health promotion into the curriculum/programme of activities for children
  • Training regarding child protection, food-handling, etc.


How are children supported to develop good personal hygiene routines? See 7.3

Think about (e.g.)

  • Establishing routines regarding hand washing, brushing teeth, cleaning after toilet use, nose blowing, waste disposal, etc.
  • Developing self-management skills through the curriculum/programme (e.g., opening/closing fastenings, tidy up time, etc.)
  • Reinforcing good practice regarding keeping the environment clean and safe (e.g., mopping up spills, wiping feet, wearing indoor shoes, etc.)


How can adults in your setting contribute positively to the promotion of children's health?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Modelling good hygiene practice
  • Suitable outdoor clothing, application of sunscreen
  • No smoking
  • Being attentive and responsive regarding children's routine personal hygiene needs (e.g., nappy-changing, toileting, etc.)
  • Minimising stress and anxiety for children by acting in a calm manner at all times See 5.5
  • Support and supervision of adults
  • Being responsive and sensitive to children's needs for reassurance and comfort

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Component 9.3 - The setting has implemented the guidelines from Children First and Our Duty to Care in relation to child protection.

Signposts for Reflection


Are you fully familar with good practice guidelines in relation to child protection? See 11.4

Think about (e.g.)

  • Making relevant information available and accessible to other adults engaging with your service
  • Availing of training opportunities to support your engagement with policies and procedures in a positive manner
  • Ensuring that information updates on this issue are communicated clearly to all adults, as appropriate
  • How in-service training supports your engagement with child protection policies and procedures


What processes are in place in your setting to ensure that children are treated with respect and dignity, especially in relation to personal care?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Supporting children to have a say in decision-making
  • Ensuring that children's rights to privacy are respected
  • Ensuring that behaviour management processes maintain respect for the dignity and rights of children See 1.3 See 5.6
  • Ensuring that all complaints are dealt with sensitively and responsively
  • Ensuring that children are able to trust and confide in adults working in your setting
  • Ensuring that adults are never unsupervised/alone with an individual child
  • Supporting children's understanding of their own role in respecting the rights of others See 14.3


What procedures do you have to deal with suspected or actual abuse of children in your setting or elsewhere?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Designated person who takes responsibility for issues related to child protection
  • Opportunity for the designated person to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for this important role
  • Recognition of, and response to, abuse
  • Reporting of suspected abuse
  • Supporting the child to report abuse
  • Provision of support for the child where abuse has been identified
  • Liaison with other agencies/individuals who can intervene and/or support you in dealing appropriately with this issue

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Component 9.4 - The setting is proactive in supporting the development of healthy eating habits in children whilst supporting their enjoyment and appreciation of eating as a positive social experience.

Signposts for Reflection - General


How does you promotoe the development of healthy eating habits in children?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Informing children about healthy eating/healthy choices
  • Raising awareness with parents and families regarding healthy eating
  • Sources of information about healthy eating available in the setting (e.g., leaflets/posters from Health Services Executive, An Bord Bia, food companies, magazine articles, etc.)
  • Offering children experience of different foods See 7.3
  • Involving children in discussion and debate about healthy eating
  • Encouraging parents and families to support your healthy eating policies
  • Responding to individual children's dietary needs
  • Ensuring that all children have free access to safe drinking water at all times


How do you make sure that:

Think about (e.g.)

  • Meals and snacks are available with consideration to the individual dietary needs of the child?
  • Food portions are adjusted according to the age of the children and also in a manner that affords ageappropriate decision-making to the child?
  • In the daily menu, food from all food groups is provided?
  • Food texture is adjusted according to the age of the child?
  • Food served is attractive and appetising to the child?
  • Children with special dietary requirements, allergies or food forbidden for any reason (e.g., religious custom) are catered for?
  • Type of food provided is agreed with parents?


How is children's enjoyment/appreciation of eating developed as a positive social experience?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Relaxed and unhurried break and snack times
  • Sitting with children at snack times to provide positive role models
  • Offering children opportunities to take responsibility for organising break/snack times

Signposts for Reflection - Birth - 18 months


How are the specific needs of babies provided for within the setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • How do you make provision for breastfeeding?
  • Is feeding based on individual nutritional needs and feeding schedules, and not by rota?
  • Are there adequate storage and preparation areas for bottles?
  • Are babies always held and given one-to-one attention whilst being bottle fed?
  • What processes do you have in place to support the weaning of babies?
  • How do you encourage independence in feeding?
  • How is seating arranged to support social interaction with others?

Signposts for Reflection - 12 months - 36 months


Same as 9.4.4

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Component 9.5 - The setting has made significant efforts to ensure that children's need for rest, quiet time and privacy is appropriately catered for and respected.

Signposts for Reflection - General


How do you make appropriate space available for sleep, quiet time and relaxation, away from the other activities in your home?


How do you incorporate flexibility around opportunities for rest into the daily routine of children in your home?


How do you encourage children to take appropriate rest breaks?


How do you support children's need for privacy or time to be alone?

Signposts for Reflection - Birth - 18 months


Have all babies under 12 months a cot with a safety mattress and individual linen in a quiet, darkened, warm area?


What precautions have you in place for the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

Component 9.6 - The setting has made provision to ensure that children can form and sustain secure relationships with adults, siblings, peers and other children.

See 5.1/5.2/5.3 See 13.1 See 14.2

Signposts for Reflection


How are children supported to form relationships in your setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Supporting children's friendship formations
  • Supporting children's relationships with parents and extended families

Component 9.7 - The setting ensures that all adults and children are prepared for emergency situations.

Signposts for Reflection


How does your setting make provision to deal with emergency situations that require evacuation?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Policies and procedures See 10.2
  • Communicating these clearly to all relevant adults and children
  • Preparing the children and adults in your setting to respond to emergency situations in a calm, stress free manner (e.g., regular fire drill, familiarisation with exits, alarm bells, etc.)
  • Accessing external assistance in the case of emergencies

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