How many children use JOSS each day?
On a typical day, between 80 and 130 children use the service. It is important to note that at any one time the numbers do not exceed 85 – there may be 60 children from P1 and P2 attending at 2.30pm and another 70 coming in at 3.30pm from the other primary classes. However, at 3.45pm, several of the younger children will go home and others will be escorted to tennis or Spanish thus reducing the overall number to our maximum of 85. We currently have approximately 250 children registered to use JOSS, but they do not all need to use the service at the same time.
If my child is booked until 3.45pm, do I have any leeway for collecting them?
We can be flexible until 3.45pm as that is the time the older children arrive and the maximum of 85 children rule comes into force. We would rather you collect your older child and then come for your P1 or P2 child as they will then have the opportunity to play for a little longer. Similarly, if you are held up and likely to arrive after 3.45pm, then please do not panic, ‘phone us and we will let your child know that you will be a little late. If you know in advance that you need more time, please book a later session, which will be charged accordingly.
I work shifts and am unable to predict my requirements for childcare so far in advance – can you help?
We are able to offer those working shifts the flexibility to book on a month-to-month basis. Please speak to Anne or Lynn for details.
How long will I have to wait for a place or an extra session?
Difficulties only arise if the number of children giving up spaces is less than the number wanting to start. We always have availability on Fridays, but the other days tend to be busier, so if you have some flexibility in the days required, we will be more likely to be able to accommodate you.
Do I have to book after school sessions in order to take advantage of the Morning Club
There is no requirement for children to attend both. You can book either morning or after school sessions, or both, as required.
Can my child bring along their breakfast to the Morning Club?
Yes please do send breakfast with your child if they have not had time to eat it before arriving at Morning Club.
What happens if my child has an accident at JOSS?
All our staff have paediatric first aid training and can treat minor injuries. If a child has had an accident at JOSS, the parent or carer will be informed when they collect the child, and will be asked to sign an accident form.
In the event of an accident which causes concern, parents will be asked to collect the child and take them to their GP.
Should a child have an accident whilst at JOSS which requires immediate further medical support, parents will be contacted immediately and the necessary action taken. In extreme cases, this could involve calling for the support of a paramedic.
What if my child requires medication?
JOSS staff members are able to administer medication subject to written authorisation from the parent or guardian of the child.
My child suffers from an allergy or food intolerance — can you deal with this?
There is a section on the registration form which asks for details of allergies or intolerances. On receipt of this information, your child’s key worker will discuss your child’s needs with you in greater detail and procedures will be put in place to ensure these needs are met.
Can my child bring his/her own toys to play with?
We do not encourage children to bring in their own toys or games as they can easily be broken or lost and JOSS cannot accept responsibility for this. Please note that we cannot watch films or play games which have a 12A or 12 rating and will vet PG rated films before showing them. We provide a range of games and activities and are receptive to ideas for additional equipment or games which can be safely used within the setting. We are also happy to accept donations of good quality second-hand games and toys, although, in line with our infection control policy, we can only accept toys and equipment that can be cleaned.
Why is there so much paperwork to complete?
As well as fulfilling our legal obligations, it is of the upmost importance that we obtain as many details about a child as possible to ensure his/her welfare at JOSS. Before the child’s start date, the Manager will issue a registration form to be completed and returned to us at the child’s first settling-in visit. This form will contain information regarding personal contacts, emergency contact details, family information and medical details, and will require your signature to confirm your authorisation regarding various aspects of the care we provide. Legally, these details must be updated every six months. We will be happy to assist with the completion of paperwork if required.
My child goes to an after school activity – can you accommodate this?
Where possible, and with prior arrangement, we will escort children to and/or from the various after school activities taking place either at the school or at Woodend Tennis Club. Please speak to one of the JOSS staff members about this.
What happens if I am late collecting my child or am unable to get to the church before the end of the session?
In the very unlikely event that a parent or carer does not collect their child from JOSS at the agreed time, and no contact has been made to inform us of alternative arrangements, every attempt will be made to contact the parent or carer. If this is unsuccessful, we will contact the nominated emergency contact person and request them to collect the child. JOSS will remain open to enable time for the contact person to travel. If we are unable to make contact with anyone, we will inform the local out-of-hours children’s services department to agree the next course of action, in order to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing.
Does JOSS ever close?
Under exceptional and unavoidable circumstances, JOSS may not be able to open, for example, if the weather is so severe that staff cannot travel to work, or as a result of industrial action. In most cases, this would coincide with the school also being closed, although one exception is on election days when we cannot open due to the church premises being used as a polling station. We will give parents/carers as much advance notice as possible of these events.
Do I have to pay for sessions that I cancel?
Bookings are made for the entire year and are usually paid over ten instalments. We do not offer refunds as there are ongoing running costs such as wages and rent which have to be met . If at the time of cancellation you specify another date, for example, ‘next week I would like to swop my Tuesday session for a Friday one’, then we are happy to accommodate your needs but keeping track of ongoing cancellations/days due would not be feasible either administratively or financially.
Can parents get involved with JOSS and influence the running of the service?
JOSS works in partnership with parents, and we encourage your involvement and welcome your views and ideas. We also aim to be part of the local community and hold two annual social events, a Spring Fair and a family ceilidh. We welcome the assistance of parents in organising and supporting these activities.
We regularly invite feedback from parents regarding all aspects of the service. You can raise issues by speaking to any member of staff, to a board member, or at the AGM. You can also email the manager. For parents who want to get involved in the running of JOSS, why not think about joining the board? Board members are appointed at the AGM which takes place each November.