The Philosophy of Active Play
The playground, and outdoor play, is an important part of a child's physical development and provides learning opportunities different from an indoor environment.
At Together We Grow we believe that if children understand the importance of exercise and gross motor development at an early age they will carry the habit into adulthood. An active body will produce an active mind. Adequate supervision in a safe environment allows children to explore more freely. Play in a safe outdoor environment promotes good health and reduces the risk of injury to staff and children. This provision requires that outdoor play spaces, fixed structures and surfacing meet the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards.
Weekly program plans will be developed and implement by the staff. Allowing for the children to continue their exploring and learning in an outdoor environment while enhancing gross motor play.
Issue Identification & Prevention
- Each morning a designated staff member will be responsible to check the playground using the Daily Playground Inspection Checklist before children are allowed to enter the playground and play. This includes checking for hazardous debris or litter, damage caused by vandalism, operation of gates and removing any strings or ropes of any kind.
- The person inspecting will be responsible to ensure that all walkways are clear from any obstructing objects, standing water, ice, or snow.
- If a child gets hurt while in the playground the staff is responsible to log the injury in the Injury Log binder in the office.
- Management will be notified of any hazards and will act upon a resolution as quickly as possible. Management will ensure that all hazards items are removed, made inaccessible, or repaired immediately to prevent any injury.
- All staff will enforce some basic playground rules for the children to follow. This will help prevent injuries and manage behaviour. All staff will be sure to spread out in order to be able to supervise all areas of the playground.
- All playground equipment and outdoor toys will be developmentally appropriate, in good condition, and installed appropriately according to the manufacturer's instruction and meet CSA standards.
- Safe use of equipment will be enforced by the staff such as riding toys must stay off the climber area, sliding down the slide sitting up and only one child at a time, digging must only take place at the sand boxes and not in the woodchip safety surface.
- All sandboxes will be covered when not in use.
- The outdoor play area will be enclosed by fences to aid in supervision of all children. All staff will be positioned in areas that allow them to best view and supervise all children.
- Children will have access to drinking water at all times while playing outside.
- First-aid kits will be accessible to all staff in case of any emergency. Any special medication will be accessible for children with asthma, bee allergies, or any other medication that may be required for immediate attention.
Inspection Timelines & Forms
- Each morning a designated staff member will be responsible to check the playground using the Daily Playground Inspection Checklist before children are allowed to enter the playground and play.
- Staff will inspect the playground area monthly using the Monthly Playground Inspection Checklist. This includes checking for any damage and wear (i.e. damaged or missing equipment, anything tied or added to the equipment)
- Seasonal Maintenance Inspection: The playground is to be inspected in the spring and fall by the Supervisor and staff member. The Supervisor and staff inspect the playground using the Monthly Inspections and Seasonal Inspections forms. Any issues that are identified (i.e. Playground surface and equipment) are to be reported and a plan of action implemented and recorded.
- Annual Inspection: Annual inspection will be done by a certified playground safety inspector. Any issues identified from the inspection will be reported to the Supervisor.
- All injuries occurring during outdoor play will be documented on a Playground Injury Log and filed into the child file folder located in the office. (*ratios are never reduced during outdoor play)
- Any items that need to be repaired or removed from the playgroup must be logged in the Playground Repair Log and brought to management’s attention. If a defect cannot be immediately addressed, all reasonable steps should be taken to restrict children’s access to damaged equipment.
- Annual Comprehensive Inspection and Written Report:
The CSA standard requires that every year a comprehensive inspection and written report shall be completed. This involves a comprehensive analysis of play space maintenance, potential defects and faults; and includes details regarding maintenance and repair considerations.
The inspection is completed by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.
The assessment must include an assessment of technical requirements set out in the standard for playground structures and the results of protective surface testing and any actions taken. Once the report is complete, we will document a plan of action, including time frames, based on the information contained in the report.
Certified Playground Safety Inspector
- Hold a current certification by the Canadian Playground Safety Institute, as a Certified Playground Safety Inspector
- Be a third party inspector and declare non-conflict of interest
- Have proof of Professional Errors and Omissions insurance coverage
Approval of Playground Repairs or Renovations
Any alterations or renovations made to the playground premises shall not occur until plans are approved by a director, except where plans are approved by the Minister under section 22 of Ontario Regulation 138/15. A copy of the annual inspection report must be submitted to the Ministry together with the request for approval of repairs/renovations.
Weather & Parks.
In the case of any environmental conditions such as: heat and smog alert, cold weather alert the staff is to have inclement weather program plans prepared and is to follow an inclement weather schedule for the use of the indoor gym.
Also, if the ground in the playground is frozen playground equipment, like riding toys, are not to be used.
There are no neighbourhood parks that are accessible to our centre, therefore our children would not be accessing any neighbourhood parks. If in any case the children did have access to any neighbourhood parks, the staff would ensure that the rules posted in the park would be adhered to.
- A review of the Playground Safety Policy and Procedure will be reviewed prior to commencing employment and annually thereafter. Staff will sign that they have read and understood the policy and agree to abide by it. The signed record is to be kept on file for 3 years from the time of entry.
- Review of the playground safety policy that reflects the requirements set out in the Canadian Standards Association standard CAN/CSA-Z614-14.
- Completion of daily and month inspections
- Completion of annual written report
- All logs will be completed and up to date