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Preschool Policies

Admissions and Settling In Policy

It is our intention to make our preschool accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures. Parents / Carers need to feel confident in the ability of the adults in the setting to look after and encourage their children to participate fully. We understand that upset children cannot relax and enjoy the different activities so it is important that they feel confident and relaxed.

We are currently registered to accept both the 2 year old Free Entitlement and the 3 & 4 year old Free Entitlement for qualifying children. We ensure that the existence of our setting is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections, and in the wider community; and a Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Local Offer statement for our setting can be found on our website and that of West Sussex County Council. We also:

  • Ensure that information is accessible in written and spoken form, by e mail, website and word of mouth. We will try to provide translated material where appropriate or provide a translator.
  • Describe our preschool in terms that make it clear that it is welcoming both for fathers, mothers, other relatives and other carers including childminders.
  • Describe preschool in terms of how it enables children and / or parents with disabilities to take part in the life of the preschool.
  • Monitor the gender and ethnical background of children joining the preschool to ensure that it is representative of social diversity.
  • Make sure our Equality of Opportunity & Diversity policy is well known.
  • Regularly monitor opening and closing times of the preschool to ensure we accommodate a broad range of family needs.
  • Try to be flexible about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families wherever possible, whilst ensuring stability for all the children in our care.
  • Are registered to accept both the 2 year old Free Entitlement and the 3 & 4 year old Free Entitlement
  • Except the extended free entitlement of up to an additional 15 hours where this is feasible.

We arrange our waiting list in birth order. In addition our policy may take into account the following:

  • The vicinity of the home to the preschool
  • Siblings already attending or having attended the preschool
  • Children and families new to the area
  • Inclusion / Special education needs & disability requests (SEND)
  • Health Visitor or Community Nurse recommendations
  • Children Looked After (CLA)

We want children and families to enjoy being involved in all aspects of the preschool. Children need to know that adults care about them as individuals and will help them to play and work with activities offered at preschool. When children are of an age to start at preschool we will:

  • Invite parents / carers with their child, to visit the preschool on any number of occasions before their child is due to attend regularly as deemed necessary.
  • Discuss with parents / carers how best to introduce and settle their child into the setting, ensuring that individual needs are met.
  • Encourage their child to feel comfortable from the start but ensure parents / carers that they are welcome to stay until they feel their child has settled in and no longer needs them.
  • Increase the child’s sessions only when they and the parent / carer feel happy to do so.
  • Be reassuring to parents who are anxious about their child by telephoning, or suggesting they collect earlier if necessary so as not to unduly distress their child, telling parents / carers what activities their child has enjoyed, as something to be shared with them.
  • Introduce all new children into the preschool in small numbers over a planned period of time to allow each child the time and support needed to settle.
  • Ensure that we are aware of the toileting requirements of all the children so that we can support them and their families in this to limit distress.
  • Introduce parents / carers to their child’s key person at the earliest convenient time, including their second designated person - so that they may get to know this person.

Although we are situated within the grounds of Birchwood Grove CP School, because we are independent of the school, the children who attend Dicker House Preschool are NOT guaranteed a place at Birchwood Grove CP School.

Animals In The Setting Policy and Procedure

Children in our setting learn about the natural world, its animals and other living creatures, as part of the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum. This may include contact with animal or other living creatures either in or out of the setting. We aim to ensure that this is in accordance with sensible hygiene and safety controls.

Animals or creatures in the setting:

  • We check the childrens’ contact details file for any allergies and take precautions as neccessary.
  • We take account of the views of parents and children when selecting an animal or creature to allow into the setting.
  • We will advise parents in advance of any visits in to the setting of animals and creatures.
  • When animals or creatures are brought in by visitors or staff to show the children they are the responsibility of the owner.
  • The owner carries out a risk assessment detailing how the animal or creature is to be handled and how any safety or hygiene issues will be addressed.
  • Children are shown correct handling and care of the animals or creatures and are supervised at all times.
  • Children wash their hands after handling the animals or creatures and do not have contact with animal soil or soiled bedding.

Visits to farms / nature reserves:

  • Before a visit to a farm / nature reserve a risk assessment is carried out - this may take account of safety factors listed in the farms own risk assessment which should be reviewed.
  • The outings & visit policy is followed.
  • Children wash their hands after contact with animals.
  • Outdoor footwear worn to visit farms are cleaned of mud and debris and should not be worn indoors.

Children Looked After Policy and Procedure

In our setting we are committed to providing quality provision based on equality of opportunity for all children and their families. All staff are committed to doing all they can to enable ‘looked after’ children in their care to achieve and reach their full potential.

The Definition of  children ‘looked after’  (CLA) is:

Children and young people become ‘looked after’ if they have either been taken into care by the local authority, or have been accommodated by the local authority (a voluntary care arrangement). Most CLA will be living in foster homes but a smaller number may be in a children’s home, living with relatives or even placed back home with natural parents.

Admission arrangements:

We recognise that CLA may have experienced traumatic situations, abuse or neglect, but that there are also a range of other reasons for children to be taken into care. A child’s separation from their home and family will however, undoubtedly have impacts on their emotional development. We therefore:

  • Offer places at our preschool for any child between the ages of two and a half and five who are in care to ensure they receive their entitlement to early education. We expect that a child will have been with a foster carer for a minimum of one month and has formed a secure attachment to the foster carer, and expect the placement in our setting will last a minimum of six weeks. 
  • Will always offer ‘stay and play’ provision for a child who is two and a half to five who is still settling with their foster carer, or is only temporarily being looked after.
  • Will, where a child who normally attends our setting is taken into care and is cared for by a local carer, continue to offer the placement to the child.

Procedures:

  • The designated person for CLA is the designated child protection co-ordinator.
  • Every child is allocated a key person when they start and this is no different for a CLA. The designated person ensures the key person has the information, support and training necessary to meet the CLA needs.
  • The designated person and the key person liaise with other agencies, professionals and practitioners involved with the child and his or her family and ensure appropriate information is gained and shared.
  • The setting will recognise the role of the social care department and the key agency in determining what takes place with the child. No changes will be made with regard to provision without prior discussion and agreement with all those involved.
  • When the CLA starts, there will be professionals meeting that will determine the objectives of the placement and draw up a care plan which will be reviewed at three to six monthly intervals.

The care plan will consider such issues as:

  • The child’s emotional needs and how they are met, how they affect behaviour and how this is managed.
  • The child’s sense of self, culture, language and identity and how this is supported.
  • The child’s need for sociability, friendship and their interests and abilities and possible learning journey pathway
  • How any special needs will be met. 1…

In addition the care plan will also consider:

  • How information will be shared with foster carers and local authority as well as what information is shared with whom and how it will be recorded.
  • What contact the child has with birth parents and what arrangements will be in place for supervised contact, and what form it will take.
  • What written reporting is required.
  • How and in what context the child’s parents should be involved in planning, setting activities, outings, fun days etc alongside the foster carer.

The settling in process:

This will generally be the same as for any other child, with the foster carer taking the place of the parent, unless otherwise agreed. Emphasis will be given on the ‘proximity’ stage until it is evident that the child has formed a relationship with the key person and is able to separate confidently from the foster carer, however long this may take.  Further observations on sociability, communication, interests and abilities will be noted in order to form a picture of the whole child.  Any concerns will be noted in the child’s file and discussed with the foster carer. Regular contact should be kept with the social worker through planned meetings that will include the foster carer.  Transitions to school will be handled sensitively and the designated person and key person will liaise with the school in the usual way.

(See also Settling in and Child Protection and Safeguarding Children policies) 

Children’s Rights and Entitlements Policy

In our setting we promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment that encourages them to develop a positive self image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.

In order to do this we will:

  • Promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.
  • Promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
  • Help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with their peers, and with other adults.
  • Work with parents to build their understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.

(See also Child Protection & Safeguarding Children policy)

Complaints Policy And Procedures

At our group we aim to provide a high quality of education and care for all the children. We aim to offer a welcome to each child and family and to provide a warm and caring environment within which all the children can learn and develop through their play.

We recognise that occasionally parents may have concerns about the provision of education and care, behaviour or other aspects of the group. We hope that through the good relationship that we forge with parents, any concerns will be expressed, discussed and a solution agreed.  However, should you wish to make a formal complaint the following procedures will apply:

Making concerns known

  • A parent who has any concerns about any aspect of the group’s provision should first talk with the Supervisor/Manager of the group.
  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or the problem recurs, the parent should put the concerns or complaint in writing and request a meeting with the Supervisor/Manager, together with the Chairperson of the Management Committee.  Both parent(s) and Supervisor/Manager may have a friend or partner present if they wish and an agreed written record of the discussion should be made.
  • A Provider Complaints record is kept on the premises at all times and this must be completed. We will provide parents with the results of any findings or action taken within 28 days of the complaint being raised.

Most complaints should be resolved informally at this stage

  • If the matter or concern is not sorted out to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent should again contact the group Supervisor/Manager.
  • If the parent and group cannot reach an agreement, it might be helpful to invite an external person as mediator, someone who is acceptable to both parent and group, to listen to both sides and offer advice.  Such a mediator has no legal powers and must be impartial but may be able to clarify the situation. (A mediator could be someone from the West Sussex Early Years and Childcare Team, from the Pre-School Learning Alliance or the West Sussex Playgroup Network).
  • The mediator will help define the problem, review the action to date and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.

The mediator will keep all discussion confidential.  S/he will meet with the group if requested and keep an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and any advice given.

The role of the registering authority i.e. OFSTED

It may be necessary to involve OFSTED the regulator, with whom the group works closely.  OFSTED will be involved if a child appears to be at risk or where registration requirements are not being met.  In such instance a full investigation will be made followed by appropriate action.  Contact address as follows: OFSTED Early Years, 3rd Floor, Royal Exchange, Manchester M2 7LA. Tel: 08456 404040

The SEND Code Of Practice: 0 to 25 years (DfE & DOH 2014)- If you have a complaint about the application of our Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) procedures, you may contact Disability Alliance on  Tel: 020 7250 8181 or at the website address: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

Confidentiality And Access To Records Policy

Working with children and families will sometimes bring the preschool into contact with confidential information. This is information which is not already lawfully in the public domain or readily available from another public source and which has been shared in a relationship where the person given the information understood it would not be shared with others.

In our setting the manager, staff and volunteers have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and parents / carers while ensuring that they have access to high quality early years care and education in our setting.

  • It is our policy that no person in our organisation or on our premises should ever use a social networking site to refer in any way whatsoever to our organisation, its staff, volunteers, parents, visitors or children that attend the group.
  • Staff will be reminded to limit wherever possible having parents of children attending our setting as friends on social networking sites.
  • Parents and carers can share information with us in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children.
  • We have record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements - means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.
  • We will always check whether parents regard the information they share with us to be kept as confidential or not.
  • Some parents may share information about themselves or their families with other parents whether by using social networking sites or any other means as well as staff. The setting cannot be held responsible if information is shared beyond those parents whom the person confided in.
  • Information shared between parents in a discussion or training group is usually bound by a shared agreement that the information is confidential to the setting and not discussed outside it.
  • Parents will be informed when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep, for example regarding injuries, concerns, changes in relationships, child protection issues.
  • We keep all records securely.

Parents may request access to any confidential records held on their child and family in which case the client access to records procedure will be followed:

  • Requests to see the child’s personal development file by a parent / carer must be made in writing or personally. Requests to see any other confidential or personal records must be made in writing.
  • The Manager / Supervisor informs the Chairperson of the management committee and sends a written acknowledgement.
  • The setting commits to providing access within 28 days but this may be reasonably extended.
  • The Manager / Chairperson prepares the records for viewing.
  • All third parties are written to stating that a request for disclosure has been received and asking their permission to disclose to the person requesting it.
  • Third parties include all family members who may be referred to in the records, workers or professionals from other agencies, including social services, health authorities etc.
  • When all consents / refusals have been received these are attached to the copy of the request letter. The complete file is then photocopied.
  • The Manager / Chairperson go through the file and remove information for which no consent has been given. The ‘clean copy’ is photocopied for parents / carers who are then invited in to discuss the contents.
  • Legal advice may be sought before sharing a file especially where a parent / carer has possible grounds for litigation against the setting.

All the above undertakings are subject to the paramount commitment of the setting which is to the safety & well being of the child (See also Complaints Policy & Child Protection Policy)

Curriculum Planning Policy

Our group aims to provide a safe, secure, happy and stimulating environment for preschool children, where they will be helped and encouraged to develop and learn through a varied and age appropriate range of play and learning activities; by caring, professionally trained adults. We do this by providing a balance of child initiated and adult led activities.

The group is registered by our governing body – OFSTED, with the DfEE (Department for Education and Employment), with the West Sussex County Council for Free Entitlement (Early Years Provision) funding for three and four year olds and with the West Sussex Surestart Early Years Development and Childcare partnership.

Curriculum

The Curriculum guidelines we work within are those set out by the DfEE, Surestart and QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) and are known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). It sets the standards for Learning, Development & Care for all children from birth to the end of the Foundation Year in the Reception year in a mainstream school at the age of five.

The overarching aims of the EYFS are to help young children achieve the five Every Child Matters outcomes:

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution &
  • Achieve economic well-being

The EYFS is made up of seven areas of Learning and Development. All areas are important and inter-connected to one another. They are underpinned by the Principles of the EYFS. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm in learning- especially for under three year old children. These are called PRIME AREAS and are:

Communication and Language (CL)

  • Listening and Attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Physical Development (PD)

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health & Self -Care

Personal, Social & Emotional Development (PSED)

  • Self Confidence and Self Awareness
  • Managing Feelings & Behaviour
  • Making Relationships

As providers we must also support children in 4 SPECIFIC AREAS of learning and development through which the 3 prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are:

Literacy (LIT)

  • Reading
  • Writing

Mathematics (MD)

  • Numbers
  • Shape, Space & Measures

Understanding the World (UW)

  • People and Communities
  • The World
  • Technology

Expressive Arts & Design (A&D)

  • Exploring and Using Media and Materials
  • Being Imaginative

These pointers represent the outcomes for Aspects of Learning. The children will be well on their way to achieving some of the outcomes when they leave preschool. Many children are expected to achieve these by the end of the reception year. We work closely with our local feeder schools to help in the transition stage to enable the school to build on what the children have already achieved.

Assessment

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents / carers and preschool to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs and to plan activities and support. Our assessment methods include direct observations, discussions, written and photographic evidence and examples of children’s work. Assessment should not entail staff in prolonged breaks from effective interactions with children. Parents and Carers will be kept up to date with their child’s progress in a number of ways (see also the Preschools Record Keeping Policy)

Equality Of Opportunities / Diversity Policy

Dicker House Preschool believes that no child, individual or family should be excluded from the group’s activities on the grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, class, family status, means, disability, colour, ethnic origin, culture, religion or belief or HIV/AIDS status. We ensure that the diversity of individuals and communities is valued and respected and recognize that no family or child should be discriminated against. We aim to ensure that all who wish to work in, or volunteer to help with our group have an equal chance to do so.

Working/helping within the setting

In our group, we will not discriminate against any individual or their families by reason of age, gender, race, marital status, disability, colour, national or ethnic origins, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, or HIV / AIDS status.  We will, therefore, encourage the employment of staff from every aspect of life.

Admission of children

The Preschool is open to every family in the community.  Spaces for children can be allocated from

a number of sources including:-

  • The registration & waiting list
  • Health visitor or community nurse recommendations
  • Children & families new to the area
  • Relatives / Siblings of existing families
  • Inclusion / Special Educational Needs & Disability requests (SEND)
  • Children Looked After ( TLC)

Families

The Preschool recognises that many different types of families successfully love and care for children.  The contribution, however big or small, of all parents / carers in the running of the group is encouraged.

Payments will be expected as agreed in the terms and conditions of entry although special arrangements may be agreed for families with differing means.

Curriculum

All children will be respected and their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured. Activities and use of play equipment offer children opportunities to develop an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.  Opportunities will be given to children to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others.

Resources will be chosen to give children a balanced view of the world and an appreciation of the rich diversity of our multi-cultural / multi-racial society and will be chosen to avoid derogatory images of any group of people, regardless of the ethnical / cultural composition of the group.

Children of both sexes will have equality of opportunities to play will all the equipment regardless of gender, so avoiding sexist stereotyping.

Children will Special Educational Needs & Disabilities will be integrated and supported in the setting at a stage appropriate to their individual learning (see also Special Educational Needs & Disability Policy & Procedures) and equipment and resources adapted / provided accordingly if necessary.  

In this way children will be encouraged to value and respect others in the community.

Discriminatory behaviour/remarks

These are unacceptable in the Preschool and will not be tolerated, whether directed to or at an individual child or adult. The preschool promote the ethos of British Values and are subjected to a duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into extremism or terrorism. This is known as the Prevent Duty.

The preschool’s response will aim to be sensitive to the feelings of the victim(s) and to help those responsible to understand and overcome their prejudices.

Languages

The spoken language of any child or family in the setting will be recognised and respected in the group.  We will endeavour to cater for any individual needs identified through the use of dual language literature, multi-lingual reading materials, posters, visitors to the setting, dressing up resources and multi cultural boxes. Extra resources may be borrowed or obtained where necessary.

Working with Parents / Carers / Other agencies

We welcome the involvement of parents / carers in all aspects of preschool life.  The time, place and conduct of meetings will ensure that all families have an equal opportunity to be involved in the running of the group, and be given the opportunity to meet with an individual child’s key person on an equal standing.

The preschool has a commitment to work / liaise with other agencies or professionals as deemed appropriate for any individual child or family.

This policy has close links to the groups Special Educational Needs & Disability Policy & Procedures (SEND) and safeguarding & child protection practices.

Alison Hebditch & Sue Evans are our special educational needs & disability / inclusion co-ordinators – (SEND/INCO) for the preschool. Jacqui Hall as the manager of the preschool is the main point of contact for any Safeguarding  or Child Protection issues.

Fire and Evacuation Or Other Emergency Policy and Procedure

The preschool will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children, staff and others on the premises in the case of fire or any other emergency. As part of this a fire and evacuation drill (practice) will take place at least once every half a term. We ensure our premises present no risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions. The Manager, staff and the leasers of the premises are familiar with current legal requirements. If necessary the advice of a competent person, such as Fire Officer or Fire Safety Consultant will be taken.

When an emergency requiring evacuation of the premises is required the person responsible will:

  • Blow the whistle clearly or in the case of the school alarm going off; put the following procedures into practice.
  • On hearing the whistle or school fire alarm, EVERYONE WILL STOP WHAT THEY ARE DOING stand still, stop talking and listen.

The Supervisor of the day will:

  • Tell the children to move towards the exit indicated and line up as for “Fireman Sam’s game”.
  • The named Deputy Fire Assistant of the day will lead the children outside, grouping everyone together using the length of rope, keeping the children calm. All other staff / adults present will follow with the children ensuring that one member of staff stays behind the children to ensure that they all leave the premises safely.
  • The Supervisor of the day will be the last one to leave the building ensuring that no one is left in the toilets, kitchen, or elsewhere in the building.
  • The Supervisor of the day will collect the EMERGENCY BOX containing the register, first aid grab bag, health care files, mobile phone & childrens’ contact files and leave by the designated exit.
  • After joining the rest of the group, the Supervisor of the day will call the register to ensure that all children and adults marked in at the beginning of the session are present.
  • In the event of a real fire or emergency, if not already sounded, a member of staff will push either of the fire alarms – located at the two access points of the room.
  • The Evacuation Drill is an appropriate time to talk about what the next stage would be if there really was a fire. After a few minutes, everyone will walk calmly and orderly back to the premises. It is important that the staff take time to answer children’s questions and to reassure those who may be disturbed by the procedure.
  • In the event of a real incident parents would be contacted to collect their children after it has been deemed to be safe to do so by emergency services.

In the event of a local incident or attack or when we are informed of an emergency which will require a “lock down” of the premises the following procedures will be followed:

  • Stay put- and wait for emergency services to arrive and comply with their instructions at all times.
  • Stay calm and reassure children and other adults in the premises, secure doors & windows and ensure that everyone stays where they are.
  • Await further instructions.
  • Close the blinds, where possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors and do not open the door or respond to the doorbell until the “all clear” has been given or the emergency services arrive.
  • Stay low and keep calm – Do not make any non- essential phone calls on mobiles or landlines.
  • Tune in to local information systems –if possible and liaise with the school
  • Do not call 999 again unless in immediate danger.
  • Cooperate with emergency services to assist in the evacuation.
  • Ensure that the EMERGENCY BOX containing the register, first aid grab bag, health care files, mobile phone & childrens’ contact files is carried out with you.
  • Ensure that any witnesses to the local incident or attack tell police what they saw.
  • In the event of a real incident parents would be contacted to collect their children after it has been deemed to be safe to do so by emergency services.

FIRE and EVACUATION DRILL OR “FIREMAN SAM’S GAME”

The Manager / Supervisor of the day will blow the whistle and will announce that we will be playing “Fireman Sam’s Game”. Sometimes the schools fire alarm may sound, in which case a whistle will not need to be used.  The room WILL NOT be locked so a key is not necessary in order to return after the drill.

At the sound of the whistle or fire alarm, all the children will stand still, stop talking and listen. No one will shout except in the case of immediate danger.

The children will then be instructed by the Supervisor of the day to line up at a designated exit. The Deputy Fire Assistant will lead the children out of the building, armed with the FIRST AID BOX whilst ALL other staff / adults present will follow with the children, ensuring that a member of staff is following behind the children to ensure that no one is left behind. All the children will be instructed to hold on to a length of rope and all staff / adults present at the time will lead or follow behind this as instructed.

The last staff member out of the building (which is usually the Supervisor of the day) will check that there is no one left in the toilets, kitchen or elsewhere in the room. Any other adults and visitors to the setting will be expected to follow the children to the designated evacuation area.

The Supervisor of the day will leave by the main exit taking with her the EMERGENCY BOX containing the register, fire bag, health care file, mobile phone & childrens’ contact files.

In the event of a real fire or emergency, if not already sounded, a member of staff would push either of the fire alarms - located at both exits from the room. This will immediately alert the emergency services. Parents would be contacted when it has been deemed to be safe to do so by emergency services.

THE CHILDREN WILL ASSEMBLE AT THE SCHOOL’S DESIGNATED FIRE ASSEMBLY POINT LOCATED IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL PLAYGROUND AREA AND AWAIT FURTHER  INSTRUCTIONS.

Health, Safety And Hygiene Policy And Practice

Our preschool aims to provide a healthy, hygienic and safe environment for both children and adults in the setting.

We will follow these safety procedures at all times:-

  • Ensure children are always supervised by a responsible member of staff and are kept out of the kitchen area unsupervised. Areas where hazardous materials are kept will be strictly out of bounds.
  • Monitor children as they arrive and leave each session through the Attendance Register. Children will only be released at the end of sessions to an adult known to us or one for whom we have been given prior permission to do so - preferably in writing.
  • All adults and visitors will be recorded on the Attendance Register or in the Visitors Book.
  • Safety checks and Risk Assessments will be carried out on the premises and on the equipment and resources used, inside and out, before, during and after every session and monthly, termly and annually.
  • All Risk Assessment Procedures as in the Risk Assessment File will be reviewed at least annually.
  • Details of any children needing a Health Care Plan will have up to date medical information in a separate file. This will be reviewed regularly.
  • Procedures for fire / evacuation drills will be known by the adults in the group, with a fire drill taking place at least once every half term, recording date, time and number of adults and children present.
  • Procedures for entrance and exits will be known & agreed by the adults involved.
  • Fire doors will be kept free of any obstructions at all times.
  • Windows, sockets, stairs, heaters, layout of equipment and resources and other potentially dangerous materials (inside and out) will be closely supervised to remove or minimise risks and hazards.
  • A minimum of two suitably authorised adults will be present at all times to supervise the children.
  • The premises and school grounds are designated a no smoking area at all times. Staff who are smokers, will ONLY do so away from the premises.
  • Equipment and resources available to children will be appropriate for age, safety and stage of development of the children in our care.
  • All full members of staff will have had relevant and up to date effective Paediatric First Aid (PFA) training and be familiar with the First Aid Box, Accident Book and their locations.
  • This PFA training will be updated at least every three years by a recognised early years First Aid provider.
  • Toilets will be checked regularly by an adult during the sessions and flushed if necessary.
  • Toilets will be cleaned / checked for cleanliness and suitability at the beginning and end of each session.
  • Staff / visitors / SVT’s will keep all mobile phones in a visible agreed place away from children at all times and not used except in an emergency.

We will follow these health & hygiene procedures at all times:-

Hand washing: Staff must lead by example and word and emphasise the importance of effective hand washing to the children and see that it becomes part of their routine.

Adults should wash their hands before and after:-

  • Starting work
  • Undertaking a care procedure
  • Preparing / serving and eating food
  • Taking a break
  • Dealing with first aid emergencies

Adults should wash their hands after:-

  • Giving medication to a child
  • Doing the “toilet run”
  • Cleaning a child’s mouth or nose
  • Handling pets
  • Messy play and using sand trays
  • All cleaning procedures
  • Caring for sick or ill children
  • Handling soiled clothing
  • Dealing with waste
  • Blowing their own noses

Children should wash their hands before and after:-

  • Eating and drinking
  • Playing in shared water trays

Children should wash their hands after:-

  • Using the toilet or potty
  • Engaging in messy play
  • Using the sand tray
  • Handling pets
  • Contact with bodily fluids

Food Hygiene: All staff responsible for food handling and preparation must undergo basic food hygiene as specified in Safer Food Better Business (SFBB). Staff should also be up to date with the requirements for FOOD SAFETY IN CATERING.  Children must be encouraged to learn by example good food hygiene rules:-

  • Always wash hands before and after handling, preparing and eating food – children are provided with disposable wet wipes.
  • Cover open sores and cuts with waterproof dressing.
  • Do not cough or sneeze near food. Tissues are readily available for easy disposal.
  • Store food appropriately – raw and cooked separately, kept covered and refrigerated.
  • Wash and prepare raw and cooked food separately – keep covered until use.
  • Ensure cloths used for drying and washing crockery are clean and sterilised regularly.
  • Keep utensils, crockery, chopping boards, and pots clean and undamaged, ready for use.
  • Use different cleaning cloths for kitchen and toilet areas.
  • Packed lunches brought in by the children, are stored in cool bags provided and served to children within 4 hours of preparation time from home.

Managing spillages of bodily fluids: These must be dealt with quickly. All other persons must be kept away from the spillage until is had been dealt with. The following procedures must be followed:-

  • Always were disposable gloves. These must be disposed of afterwards in a separate plastic bag away from other waste.
  • Cover all cuts fully with a waterproof plaster.
  • Wash any wound with water, apply a suitable dressing unless allergy recorded.
  • Any blood stained tissues to be disposed of in a hygienic plastic bag separate from other waste.
  • Wash blood stains from the skin with hot soapy water / or water on face.
  • Area affected by spillage must be covered by absorbent paper. The paper and spillage must then be cleared away and disposed of in a hygienic plastic bag.
  • The area must then be washed with a strong solution of detergent and wiped dry using disposable paper.
  • All other materials used must also be disposed of in the hygienic waste bag.
  • Hands must be washed after handling the bodily fluids
  • Clothes, soft furnishings or soft toys stained by bodily fluids must be washed by hand in hot water / detergent or in hot water cycle wash of washing machine.

Note re HIV/AIDS: No one has the right to know if another person is HIV positive or has AIDS.  If the Manager / Supervisor is told about a child’s or adult’s HIV status they should inform the Chairperson of the Committee ONLY. This information should NOT be shared with anyone else without permission of the person concerned. Other parents do not need to know.    

Alcohol and Drug abuse: Our Pre-school strongly prohibits the use or possession of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs on our premises at anytime. If staff, students, volunteers or children are found to have broken the rules in respect of this policy, it will be treated as a disciplinary matter:-

  • All staff will be made aware of the provisions of this policy during their induction, including the importance of their setting a positive example to children.
  •  Any contravention of the provisions of this policy will be dealt with under the Pre-school’s Staff Disciplinary Procedures and Behaviour Management policies.

Sick Child Policy: If a child is unwell the setting MUST be informed and the child MUST be completely recovered before they return to the setting.  This is because:

  • The relatively confined area can cause infection to spread rapidly.
  • Staffing levels are set to care for WELL children only and adequate care CANNOT be given to a child who arrives at the setting unwell.

The Health Protection Agency requires us to put certain procedures in place:-

  • Parents WILL be required to keep children at home if they have an infectious disease (ie Chicken pox, Measles etc). In the case of vomiting or diarrhoea, exclusion should be for 48 hours after the child has been infected. These procedures also apply to children of workers. Some diseases are notifiable to the HPA (see list of notifiable diseases kept in the premises.)
  • Cuts and sores should be covered with a waterproof plaster.
  • Parents WILL be informed if there is any infestation of head lice / scabies or worms or childhood infectious diseases which may affect other children or adults.
  • Parents who arrive at the setting with a child deemed to be unwell WILL be asked to take them home.
  • Prescribed medications should be administered by parents – children taking antibiotics should complete the course BEFORE returning to the group.
  • If staff DO administer medication the directions should be in writing and signed by the parent (see Medication & Accident Procedures & Policy).

If a child becomes ill during the session we will follow these procedures:-

  • Take the child to a quiet, confined area away from other children.
  • Contact the parent / carer and ask them to collect their child as soon as possible.
  • Provide as much comfort as is practically possible until the parent / carer arrives.
  • Note the time when parents were contacted and time when child was taken home in the preschools alternative carers and early leavers book (AC & EL) kept on the premises.
  • Record child’s departure in the Attendance Register and also in the AC &EL book as above.
  • The preschool reserves the right to exclude a child for 24 hours or more if we consider them to be infectious to other children or staff in the setting for health & safety reasons.

The First Aid Box should contain the following, as given in The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981:

A first aid guidance card / sheet

Disposable gloves (4 pairs)

Individually wrapped medi-wipes (sterile) (20 )

Sterile eye pads (4)

Eye washes (4)

Safety pins (1 pack)

Sterile un-medicated dressings (4 assorted sizes)

Steristrip

Triangular bandages – sterile (2)

Small plastic bags for disposal of soiled wipes etc

Individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings - non allergenic (plasters) (30 assorted)

Scissors (1 pair)

Burn Dressings (2)

Resuscitation one - way valve pocket mask (1)

Burn Dressings (individually wrapped) (4)

Heat retaining blanket (1)

Accident / Incident book with duplicate copies for parent & setting (1)

A named person will be responsible for checking the contents of the First Aid Box regularly.

The Travel first aid kit should contain:

Eye Washes (4)

Wound dressing

Triangular bandages (2)

Individually wrapped Antiseptic wipes (4 packs)

Individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings – non allergenic (plasters) (1 pack assorted)

Tweezers (1 pair)

Scissors (1 pair)

Safety pins (1 pack)

Resuscitation one – way valve pocket mask (1)

Heat retaining blanket (1)

Sterile hand wash

Burn Dressing (1)

Accident / incident book with duplicate copies for parents (1)

The outings / emergency / fire evacuation box should contain:

Travel first aid kit & accident record book

Up to date emergency contact file cards for all adults and children

Guide rope for children  for evacuations)

Sun lotion

Named & labelled Inhaler bags

Lockdown Procedure And Drill Or “The Caterpillar Game”

The Manager / Supervisor of the day will blow the whistle and will announce that we will be playing “The Caterpillar Game”.

At the sound of the whistle, all the children will stand still, stop talking and listen. No one will shout except in the case of immediate danger.

The children will then be instructed by the Supervisor of the day to LAY ON THE FLOOR and to use our quiet voices. They will then crawl around to a designated area (this can be varied) away from windows and doors.

A senior staff member will close all the blinds and lock any external doors. In the case of a drill a member of staff will be positioned to ring the doorbell. The idea is that everyone will ignore this for the duration of the drill.

When the drill is over the supervisor of the day will blow the whistle again to indicate the “all clear”

In the event of a real emergency, a member of staff would alert emergency services if appropriate or they would have contacted us.  

When emergency services arrive the children would be escorted out of the building by all members of staff and other adults in the premises, to a designated safe place.

The supervisor of the day will take with her the EMERGENCY BOX containing the register, fire bag, health care file, mobile phone & childrens’ contact files Parents would be contacted when it has been deemed to be safe to do so by emergency services.

UNLESS OTHER WISE INSTRUCTED THE CHILDREN WILL ASSEMBLE AT THE SCHOOL’S DESIGNATED FIRE ASSEMBLY POINT LOCATED IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL PLAYGROUND AREA  AND  AWAIT FURTHER  INSTRUCTIONS.

Policy And Procedure For A Lost Child

Children are in the care of the preschool throughout the session until they are handed over into the care of the parent / carer. The Supervisor / Manager and Staff will take every precaution necessary for the safety of the children whilst in their care.

The preschool supervisor / manager and staff will ensure that any access / exit doors are locked and cannot be unlocked by children, that safety gates are in place where appropriate; that children are not able to climb out of open windows; that any outside activity area is secure and supervised and that if walking out in the environment, the staffing levels are sufficient for the group of children involved. All children will be accompanied by responsible adults.

In the unlikely event of a child being lost the following procedure will be followed:

  • The Supervisor / manager will make a “headcount” of all children present against the attendance register for that day to confirm that a child is missing.
  • A member of staff will ensure that the child is nowhere else in the building or in the outside area, including the toilet area.
  • A member of staff will search beyond the building, outside, in the road etc
  • The children will be asked if they have seen the particular child.
  • The parent will be contacted in case the child has managed to get out of the
  • The police will be alerted following all procedures being followed and the certainty that the child is not on the premises and that the child has not been taken by the parent, with no record being made.

It is important not to alarm the other children. It is also important to ensure that the attendance register is completed daily, that any telephone messages regarding absent children are noted and that any parent collecting a child early informs a member of staff before a child leaves the premises so that the register can be adjusted accordingly.

Maintaining Children’s Safety and Security On The Setting

In our group we maintain the highest possible security of our premises to ensure that each child is safely cared for during their time with us.

Children’s personal safety:

  • We ensure all employed staff have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau.
  • Adults do not normally supervise children on their own.
  • All children are supervised by adults at all times
  • Whenever children are on the premises at least two adults are present
  • We carry out risk assessments to ensure children are not made vulnerable within any part of our premises nor by any activity.

Security:

  • Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of children.
  • The arrival and departure of children is accurately recorded. If someone other than the designated person / people are to collect a child at any time this will be recorded in a special book and signed by parent / carer and person collecting child.
  • The arrival and departure of adults, staff, volunteers and visitors are recorded.
  • Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises and also prevent children from leaving our premises unnoticed.
  • The personal possessions of staff and volunteers are securely stored during sessions.

Medication, Accident and Incident Policy and Procedure

Both parents/carers and staff within the preschool need to know what procedures will be followed regarding administration of prescribed and non- prescribed medication, together with the procedures followed in the very rare occurrence of an accident or incident with in the group.

MEDICATION:

Where a child is taking a limited course of medication - e.g. antibiotics or a non-prescribed medicine – e.g. cough medicine, it would be expected to be administered by the parent at home. However if a child is ill and is prescribed antibiotics, the full course should be completed before the child returns to the group:

  • Any child with ANY identified medical conditions or health care issues will need to have completed an INDIVIDUAL HEALTH CARE PLAN and a RISK ASESSMENT FORM should be completed and copies given to parents / carers as appropriate.
  • Where staff DO agree to administer medication of any kind to a child, the group needs to be clear WHO will be responsible, so that both the parent/carer and the child know. A Medication Form will need to be signed by the parent/carer & .sa supervisor or the manager of the setting, stating dosage, application and time
  • Any medication or emergency medicine that may be needed to be kept on the premises, – e.g. Epipen or Anapen will be stored in separate, clearly marked and named see through boxes and locked away after each session. Parental permission must be given in writing for administration of any such medication.
  • Occasionally a child may be on regular medication or one to be used as needed – e.g. asthmatic, when the child has learnt to administer his/her own medication, but under supervision. The parent/carer will also need to sign the Medication from stating the dosage, time or frequency required. If staff assist the child or administer such medication as described above they will note down time date and amount given on the medication form and sign it. The Parent will be expected to also sign this form on collection of their child..
  • Some medicines may require technical or medical knowledge in which case members of staff may be asked to attend the appropriate training for this BEFORE agreement can be made to administer such medication. Parents will be asked about any suitable training as they may have knowledge of these appropriate specialists.
  • Any medication – both prescription and non- prescription - must only be administered to a child where written permission for that particular medicine for that particular child has been obtained from parents /carers. It should be in date.

IN CASE OF ACCIDENT / INCIDENT:

  • Whilst not wishing to alarm parents, it is possible for a child to have an accident or be involved in an incident or other emergency situation, which needs urgent professional attention by a doctor, dentist or at a hospital.
  • If such an occasion arises, the staff will make every endeavour to contact the parent/carer or a named relation/friend for that person to take the responsibility for any subsequent treatment.
  • In the unlikely event that no one can be contacted, the parent will need to have completed a Permission for Emergency Treatment form to enable a member of staff to act appropriately for the good of the child. It is therefore ESSENTIAL   for the group to have such a form for every child, signed by the parent,  and kept on the premises.
  • Separate Accident & Incident Books are kept of all accidents and incidents no matter how minor. A detailed record will also be kept in the event of any accident/ incident requiring further staff intervention or that in which a child requires professional or emergency services assistance.
  • In the unlikely event of any serious accident / incident OFSTED and the Health & Safety Executive (including RIDDOR) will be contacted.

(See also Recording and Reporting of Accidents & Incidents Policy)

Outings / Visits Policy

As part of the curriculum planning and themes used, we will want to take the children off the premises. Walking to somewhere close by, (e.g. local library, fire station, shops) and sometimes further afield, travelling in a coach or being taken by parents. These opportunities are special for the children and are an important milestone in their development.

When undertaking such outings / visits, children must be kept safe whenever possible. For each specific outing, a full risk assessment will be carried out. This will include an assessment of the required adult : child ratio for the nature of the outing. Depending on the type of outing / visit,  it may be appropriate to exceed normal preschool ratios and OFSTED requirements.     

Aims -

  • To extend children’s learning experiences and to support the belief that wherever possible these should be “first hand” experiences.
  • For children, parents and other adults to see that learning takes place all the time and not just at set times within the preschool.
  • For children to have experiences alongside other children and to have shared experiences.
  • For children and the preschool to be seen as part of the local community, taking an interest in and learning about the local area, its history and how it functions.
  • To encourage parents and carers to join in these experiences with their children.

Organisation -

  • Parents sign a general consent on registration for their children to be taken out as a part of they activities of the setting. They may also be asked to complete extra permission forms for specific outings / visits. 
  • When walking, children will walk in twos, “crocodile fashion”- Children will always be accompanied by adults to or above ratio as appropriate.
  • On outings / visits to local parks or the surrounding areas of the preschool, children will hold hands with each other in twos. For these outings an adult will always lead the children and another will always be positioned at the back of the children. Any other accompanying adults will be positioned between the children for their added safety.  
  • On outings / visits further afield, the children will walk holding hands either side of an adult. This is to ensure that all children are holding a grown ups hand at all times. Great care will be taken crossing any roads. This may involve an additional adult “holding up” the traffic until all the children have crossed safely. Where possible pedestrian crossings will be used.
  • Any accompanying adults will be briefed as to their role and what is expected of them before the outing / visit.
  • For outings / visits further a field requiring transportation, if children are being transported in own vehicles it is the responsibility of the parent / carer to ensure the safety of the child. Drivers using own transport should have adequate insurance cover for the purpose. For this reason staff are NOT permitted to transport children in their own cars.
  • Parents / carers will be informed fully of all details for the outing / visit including date, venue, special activities and lunch arrangements, and will be asked to sign any relevant forms relating to the outing / visit.
  • If being transported by coach children will be carefully supervised throughout the journey by all attending adults, and will remain seated at all times.
  • Outings / visits will be recorded in an outings record book and in the Risk Assessment File kept in the setting stating the date & time of outing, the venue and mode of transport, names of staff assigned to named children where appropriate and time of return.
  • Named children are assigned to individual staff to ensure each child is individually supervised, to ensure that no child goes astray and that there is no unauthorised access to children.
  • All Outings / visits risk assessments are made available for parents / carers to see.
  • For any unaccompanied children needing transportation for any outing / trip, it is the responsibility of the parent / carer to make their own private arrangements even if it is with another parent / carer.
  • Any unaccompanied children will become the responsibility of the preschool staff in attendance and will be supervised throughout the outing. Parents / carers of all unaccompanied children WILL be made aware of the policies and procedures of this policy and the preschools commitment to it.
  • The Supervisor of the day / Manager will ensure that the mobile phone, tissues, wipes, first aid kit snacks & water as well as any relevant names, telephone numbers, permission details and Health Care file of the children are carried throughout the outing / visit.
  • First Aid equipment will be in the care of one designated adult and all adults and children should know who that person is.
  • A minimum of two staff should accompany children on outings and a minimum of two should remain behind with the rest of the children.
  • Some outings / visits may require children to be accompanied by parents / carers if our Risk Assessment deems it necessary.

Whilst the preschool will take all reasonable care of the children, unless we are deemed to be negligent, we CANNOT be held responsible for any loss or damage to property owned by or injury suffered to any child arising from the events of any outings.

Policy and Procedure For For Late / Missing Payments

We understand that personal circumstances can change from time to time so in order to avoid your child’s place being withdrawn it is always best to contact us immediately. By contacting us we are able to come up with payment solutions if necessary.

We will deal with late / missing payment of fees using the following guidelines:

  • One week from the date shown on your payment or after receipt of our latest relevant bank statement in the case of direct transfer payments, you will receive an e mail or letter reminding you of this late payment and give you an opportunity to pay, or to contact the manager or the committee to discuss payment options.
  • One week from your first letter or e mail another will be sent if no payment has been received or we have not had communication with you
  • After a further 2 weeks of non – payment or communication you will receive a further communication by letter requesting a meeting with a committee member representative.
  • If you miss a payment four weeks from the date stated on the invoice or after receipt of our latest bank statement, and have not contacted the committee or manager, we reserve the right to withdraw your child from any NON GOVERNMENT FUNDED sessions so that your child is only then attending the FREE ENTITLEMENT places you have previously requested.
  • Should your payment not be received due to a clerical error, we will contact you immediately. If the payment is not received due to insufficient funds, you will be contacted immediately.

Please note that further action MAY be taken if we have still not received the missing payment.

Policy And Procedure For Uncollected Children

In the event that a child is not collected by an authorized adult at the end of a session, the preschool will put into practice agreed procedures. These ensure that the child is cared for safely by “experienced practitioners” known to the child and ensures that that child receives a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible.

Procedures are made known to all parents / carers so that if they are unavoidably delayed the will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for. Parents are asked to provide the following specific information which is recorded on our Registration forms:

  • Home address and preferred telephone number and / or mobile number.
  • Place of work, address and telephone (if applicable).
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers & signatures of adults who are authorized by the parents / carers to collect their child from the preschool (ie.childminder, grandparents etc) where appropriate.
  • Who has parental responsibility for the child.
  • Information about any person who DOES NOT have legal access to the child.

Changes to normal collection routines:

  • On occasions when parents / carers are aware that they will not be at home or in their usual place of work they should inform us in writing of how they can be contacted.
  • On occasions when they or the authorized persons are not able to collect the child, they provide us with written details of the person who will be collecting the child. This will be noted in our registration information book and signed by the person collecting the child.
  • On occasions when parents / carers are to be delayed they must inform us so that we can begin to make back up plans where necessary.

If a child is not collected within 15 minutes of the session finishing, and we have not been informed of a delay, the following procedures will be put into place:

  • The child’s file and our registration information book are checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routines.
  • If none is available, parents / carers are contacted at home or at work.
  • If this is unsuccessful, the adults authorized to collect the child are contacted.
  • All reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents / carers.
  • The child does not leave the preschool setting with anyone other than those authorized to do so.

If a Child is not collected between 15 and 30 minutes of the session finishing, they will be deemed to be present for an additional hour and parents may be charged an additional £20.00 to cover the cost of hall hire and for two members of staff having remained in the setting with their child, UNLESS in the case of extreme circumstances. For children who are not collected within 30 minutes of the expected time the person in charge will :

  • Call the parents / carers again on given contact numbers.
  • Call any other authorized adults on given contact numbers.
  • Contact the local authority Children’s Social Services Care Duty team.
  • OFSTED may also be informed.

At all times, two members of staff will be present and they and the child will remain on the settings premises until collected by parents / carers or Social Care worker. Social Care will aim to find the parent / carer.  If they are unable to do so the child will become looked after by the local authority. Under NO circumstances will staff go to look for the parent / carer, nor do they take the child home with them. A full written report of the incident is recorded in the child’s file. Depending on circumstances, we reserve the right to charge parents for the additional hours worked by our staff.

This highlights the need for details to be given by parents, of another family member, friend or neighbour who can be contacted in an emergency.

Policy For Parent / Adult Help

It is to the benefit of the children that we have additional adult help within the preschool. To make the best possible use of this help, there are guidelines needed for the parent and other adult helpers.

We invite parent / carers  and other adult helpers in to the preschool :

  • To help enrich the playing and learning opportunities for the children
  • To use the skills and knowledge of people within the community.
  • To help foster good relationships with parents / carers and the community.
  • To help parents / carers to have a greater understanding of the preschools work, its aims and range of resources that aid the children’s learning and development.
  • To encourage parents and carers to join in these experiences with their children.

Staff in the preschool:

  • Need to establish where they want help during session time.
  • Need to feel confident enough in their work to be able to adequately support parent / adult help.
  • Need to recognise that 2 or 3 children is the most that any untrained person can comfortably handle.
  • Need to give time talking to parents / helpers and establishing any area of expertise they may have.
  • Should not leave parents / helpers alone with the children.
  • Should not allow parents / helpers to escort any child to the toilet including their own.

Parents / helpers:

  • Need to clarify when they are able to help, aim to be punctual and to let the preschool know if they are unable to keep an arranged time.
  • Need to know what is expected of them and to what extent they are to “help” the children with particular activities.
  • Need to feel they can ask questions.
  • Need to feel appreciated.
  • Need to know the procedures for fire drill, safe use of equipment and snack time routines.
  • Need to understand that they must keep mobile phones in a visible agreed place away from children and that they are not used except in an emergency.
  • Need to understand that they must not smoke or consume or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst helping in the setting, or looking after children.

Record Keeping Policy

Records for individual children should be a positive way of identifying what children have achieved and what they understand and can do. Over a period of time they can also indicate how the children have progressed, the rate at which they have progressed and where children may need extending in their learning, or need further help.

Individual Records

  • On entry into preschool every child will have an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) “Learning Journal” file which will be completed by the child’s Key Person.
  • These records will be shared with parents / carers but remain the property of the group until the child moves on to a Reception class at mainstream school OR another preschool / nursery group.
  • The Key Person will be responsible for a record for each of the children she oversees.
  • Contents of the record should include measuring particular areas of learning, mainly in the form of direct observations, photographs, work examples and general comments.
  • The discussions with parents section will be shared with parents at parent consultation meetings held between the child’s Key Person and the parents / Carers. At this stage “next steps” may be decided upon for each child.
  • Each week an “Identified Focus Group” of children will provide the basis of the preschool’s planning and observations. The results of this will be recorded in the child’s individual learning journal and any future next steps identified. Parents / Carers will receive written communication about this routine and invited to make comments.
  • In the case of our under three year old children, in addition to the above a 24-36 month progress check MUST be completed on the “three prime areas of learning”. This will be done through observations and discussions, and a report will be made and shared with parents / carers. If a child attends more than one setting, the progress report should normally be carried out by the child’s key person at the setting where the child spends the greatest amount of time each week. Ideally the information for this should be shared with all settings involved with the child at the consent of parents / carers. A copy will be kept in the child’s learning journal.
  • If a child moves on to another playgroup, preschool or nursery, these records will be passed on to the new setting. If a child also attends another playgroup, preschool, nursery or childminder setting, in addition to ours, these Learning Journals may also be shared with them.
  • When a child leaves preschool to go to a Reception class at school these records will follow the child and will then become the property of the feeder school.

(See also the Preschools Curriculum Planning Policy)

Recording And Reporting Of Accidents and Incidents

In our preschool, we follow the guidelines of the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) for the reporting of accidents and incidents. Child Protection matters or behavioural incidents between children are NOT regarded as incidents and are therefore dealt with separately.

Our accident and incident book is:

  • Kept safely and accessibly,
  • Is accessible to all staff and volunteers who know how to complete it and,
  • Is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.

OFSTED will be notified of any injury requiring treatment by a general practitioner or hospital doctor, or the death of a child, staff, parent, volunteer or any other adult.  We will also make a report to the local Health and Safety Executive using the format for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences. The address for this is Mid Sussex County Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and their telephone no. is (01444) 477433

Dealing with accidents & incidents:

We meet the legal requirements of our employees by complying with RIDDOR and report to the H & S Executive:

  • An accident to a member of staff requiring treatment by a general practitioner or hospital
  • Any dangerous occurrences. This may be an event that causes injury or fatalities or an event that does not cause an accident but could have done.
  • Any dangerous occurrences are recorded in our incident book.

Our Incident Book:

We have access to telephone numbers for emergency services including local police. Where we rent premises we ensure we have access to the person responsible and that there is a shared procedure for dealing with emergencies. We keep an incident book for recording incidents including those that are reportable to the H & S Executive as above. These incidents include:

  • Break ins, burglary, theft of personal or he settings property
  • An intruder gaining unauthorised access to the premises
  • Fire, flood, gas leak or electrical failure
  • Attack on member of staff or parent on premises or nearby
  • Any racist incident involving staff or family on the premises
  • Death of a child and
  • A terrorist attack or threat of one.

In the Incident Book we record the date & time of the incident, nature of the event, who was effected and what was done about it. A record of any police report showing a crime number, follow ups or insurance claims made if appropriate should also be made.

In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack we follow the advice of the emergency services with regard to evacuation, medical aid and contacting children’s families. Our standard fire practise procedure will be followed and staff will take charge of a named group of children.  The incident is recorded when the threat is averted.

In the unlikely event of a child dying on the premises, the emergency services  are called and the advice of these services are followed.

The Incident Book IS NOT for recording issues of concern involving a child. This is recorded in the child’s own records.    

Risk Assessment Policy

Our group believes that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment

The basis of this policy is risk assessment.  The Pre-school Learning Alliance risk assessment processes follow five steps. These are:

  • Identification of risk: Where is it and what is it?
  • Who is at risk: Childcare staff, children, parents, helpers, volunteers?
  • Assessment as to the level of risk as high medium or low: This is both the risk of the likelihood of it happening as well as the possible impact if it did.
  • Control measures to reduce / eliminate risk: What will we need to do or ensure others will do in order to reduce that risk?
  • Monitoring and review: How do we know if what we have said is working, or is thorough enough? If it is not working, it will be amended, or a better solution found.

Procedures

Our risk assessment process covers both adults and children and includes:

  • Checking for and noting hazards and risk indoors and outside, in our premises and for all activities.
  • Assessing the level of risk and who might be affected.
  • Deciding which areas need attention.
  • Developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the time-scale for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.

In our setting, this risk assessment is written and reviewed on a regular basis. We maintain lists of health and safety issues, which are checked daily before the session begins as well as those that are checked on a weekly, termly or annual basis, when a full risk assessment is carried out.

Safeguarding and Child Protection Practices

We as a preschool have a responsibility to consider the wellbeing of all children who attend the setting. This means we are aware of the things we see and hear from children that might indicate the child is at risk of harm. In most situations any matter of concern that is identified will be discussed with you as the parent / carer of the child.

In order to do this we will:

  • Ensure that all adults (paid and voluntary) working in the preschool group are aware of the fact that such work is exempt from the provision laid down in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
  • Ask that mobile phones of all staff / helpers / volunteers and visitors to the setting are kept in a visible agreed place away from children at all times and are not used except in an emergency
  • Ask that all staff / helpers / volunteers and visitors to the setting do not smoke or consume alcohol whilst in the presence of children and whilst in the premises or surroundings
  • Require all potential workers to provide references, attend an interview, sign an agreement to be checked for Criminal police record and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) DBS checks or cautioning, agree to abide by our Child Protection & Safeguarding policies & procedures, and to work for a probationary period of time.
  • Offer on-going training to all adults involved with the care and education of children, which will help them to recognise and respond to suspected abuse of children, whether physical, emotional, sexual or as a result of neglect (An unregistered adult must never be left alone with a child or children e.g. going to the toilet or supervising children in a separate room)
  • Have clearly set out procedures, which all adults will be aware of, to respond to concerns of suspected abuse
  • Keep an on-going record of observations of significant changes in children’s behaviour or appearance which will be written, dated and signed and kept confidential
  • Recognise that parents should always be involved in the monitoring of children’s behaviour or development and should be the first point of contact (except in cases of suspected sexual abuse)
  • Have a named Child Protection Designated Person in the group to whom all concerns will be referred in the first instance, and then discussed with the Manager of the setting. This will normally be the INCO/SENDCO for the preschool.
  • Ensure that all adults know who to contact within the group and what to do if that person does not carry out their responsibility for the child’s well-being
  • Work with the local safeguarding children’s board (LSCB) to ensure that the child’s best interests are met
  • Wherever possible, continue to support and work with the child’s family to maintain continuity of care for the child

All details of concerns, progress, case conferences etc. are confidential and will not be discussed with anyone not authorized to have this information.

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

ADULTS - If an allegation is made against an adult in the setting the Manager will contact the relevant Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) and then:

  • The Manager and /or the Chairperson will talk to the adult concerned and where deemed necessary, the Chairperson will suspend the adult from the setting on full pay.
  • The Child Protection Officer will take charge of the investigation into the allegation made. He/She will collect evidence and assess sources of evidence – hearsay, opinion or factual – before deciding on the next step.
  • The Manager and / or Chairperson will inform the Early Years Directorate of the allegation and the steps taken so far and keep them informed of progress.
  • The Manager and /or the Chairperson MUST inform the Police if a crime has been or may have been committed.
  • The decision to reinstate the adult to the setting will be made by the Child Protection Officer and the Manager / Chairperson after the assessment of evidence.

We advise our staff of our Whistleblowing Policy and of how it can be implemented. Staff are aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude and actions of colleagues where these are inappropriate or unsuitable. If necessary the member of staff, should speak to the Manager of the preschool of if this is not appropriate, the Chairperson of the Management Committee.

Supporting Staff

We understand that staff should have access to advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour. The document: ‘Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults Working with Children and Young People’ provides advice on these and the circumstances which should be avoided in order to limit complaints against staff of abuse of trust, and/or allegations of physical or sexual abuse.

CHILDREN - If we suspect that a child’s wellbeing may be in danger or that a child may have been abused the concerned adult will:

  • Inform the INCO/SENDCO, the Manager of the setting and the Chairperson of the Management committee.
  • Record ALL observations and /or describe the incident on a Child Protection Form then
  • The INCO/SENDCO & Manager will assess the evidence to decide what further action to take. This may include:
  1. Sharing concerns in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board procedures
  1. Monitoring the situation through ongoing observations and staff discussions if there is general concern without concrete evidence. Where possible discussing concerns with parents / carers.
  1. Contacting the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) in West Sussex if we have more specific evidence to report. Where possible discussing actions with parent unless sexual abuse.

The preschool promote the ethos of British Values and are subjected to a duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into extremism or terrorism. This is known as the Prevent Duty.

Settling In Policy

In our group we want children and families to enjoy being involved in the preschool. Children need to know that other adults care about them and will help them to play and work with the activities offered at the group. Parents / carers need to feel confident in the ability of the adults in the setting to look after and encourage their children to participate. Upset children cannot relax and enjoy the different activities available.

When children are of an age to start at preschool we will:

  • Invite parents / carers with their child, to visit the preschool on a number of occasions before their child is due to attend regularly.
  • Discuss with parents / carers how best to introduce and settle their child into the setting, ensuring that individual needs are met.
  • Encourage their child to feel comfortable from the start but ensure parents /carers that they are welcome to stay until they feel their child has settled in and no longer needs them.
  • Increase the child’s sessions only when they and the parent / carer feel happy to do so.
  • Be reassuring to parents who are anxious about their child by telephoning, suggesting they collect earlier if necessary so as not to unduly distress their child, telling parents / carers what activities their child has enjoyed, as something to be shared with them.
  • Introduce all new children into the preschool in small numbers over a planned period of time to allow each child the time and support needed to settle.

Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs Policy

Our pre-school strongly prohibits the use or possession of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs on our premises at anytime. If staff, students, volunteers or children are found to have broken the rules in respect of this policy, it will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

All staff will be made aware of the provisions of this policy during their induction, including the importance of their setting a positive example to children.  Any contravention of the provisions of this policy will be dealt with under the Pre-school’s Staff Disciplinary Procedures and Behaviour Management policies.

Drugs

Staff, students, or volunteers who arrive at the Pre-school clearly under the influence of illegal drugs, will be asked to leave immediately and disciplinary procedures implemented.

If staff are found in possession of illegal drugs, serious disciplinary action will follow.

In cases where staff are taking prescribed drugs that may affect their ability to function effectively at work, the Manager / Chair Person must be informed as early as possible.

If a member of staff has good reason to suspect that a parent/carer is under the influence of illegal drugs when they drop off or collect their child, they have a duty to inform both the Manager / Chair Person and the Pre-school’s Designated Child Protection Person, according to the provisions of the Safeguarding Children policy.

In such circumstances, the Manager and the Pre-school’s Child Protection Designated Person will then be responsible for deciding upon the appropriate course of action, ensuring that the safety and protection of the child remains paramount at all times.

Staff will make all possible efforts to ensure that children are not allowed to travel in a vehicle driven by someone who is clearly under the influence of illegal drugs. Where an illegal act is suspected to have taken place, the police will be called.

Alcohol

Staff, students, volunteers or children who arrive at the Pre-school clearly under the influence of alcohol, will be asked to leave immediately and disciplinary procedures implemented. Staff are strongly advised not to bring alcohol onto the Pre-school’s premises.

If a member of staff has good reason to suspect that a parent/carer is under the influence of alcohol when they drop off or collect their child, to the extent that the safety of the child is threatened, they have a duty to inform both the Manager / Supervisor and the Pre-school’s designated Child Protection Person, according to the provisions of the Child Protection & Safeguarding Children policy.

Staff will make all possible efforts to ensure that children are not allowed to travel in a vehicle driven by someone who is clearly over the legal alcohol limit.

Where an illegal act is suspected to have taken place, the police will be called. Our regulating body – OFSTED may also be informed (See also Child Protection & Safeguarding Children Policy)

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises or school grounds as these are designated as no smoking areas.  This rule applies equally to staff, students, volunteers, children, parents/carers or any other visitors. If a child is found in possession of cigarettes on the premises, they will be confiscated and their parent/carer informed at the end of the session.

The Manager / Supervisor and the Pre-school’s Child Protection Designated Person action, ensuring that the safety and protection of the child remains paramount at all times.

Social Development and Managing Children’s Behaviour Policy and Practice

Our group aims to provide a stimulating range of experiences and activities for children to make sense of their world through play and by providing a happy, well-managed environment. The children will be encouraged to develop social skills to help them become accepted and welcome in society as they grow up. We recognise that busy children are less likely to behave in an unacceptable or anti-social way. We recognise the need to set reasonable and appropriate limits which all adults will maintain in the management of children’s behaviour.

We do not administer physical or emotional punishment, or that which causes pain or humiliation to a child.  We recognise the importance of the adults’ behaviour as a role model for the children and will not allow bullying, physical or verbal abuse towards anyone.  We aim to provide and maintain a positive ethos by providing a safe, happy and mutually supportive environment. We use this positive discipline as an effective way to set limits and manage behaviour in the group.  To do this we will:

  • Reward positive behaviour because rewards are constructive, they encourage further effort. Punishment is destructive, it humiliates children and makes them feel powerless;
  • Encourage self-discipline and respect for others because children need to grow into people who behave well even when there is no one to tell them what to do;
  • Set realistic limits according to children’s age and stage of development, because as children grow our expectations of them change;
  • Set a good example because young children take more notice of how we are and what we do, than what we say;
  • Encourage children to resolve their own conflicts so that they can recognise right from wrong because positive discipline means explaining why;
  • Be consistent because children need to know where they stand and what we mean by what we say;
  • Build children’s self-esteem & self confidence.
  • In cases of disruptive or dangerous behaviour the following actions may be taken:
  • A quiet individual word with the child, firm but fair.
  • Explanation of wrong doing at a level appropriate to the child concerned.
  • Removal of the child from the area of disruption.

All incidents that are deemed serious may be entered in the Incident Book and parents advised by senior staff. If disruptive or dangerous behaviour persists, parents will be contacted at earliest intervention by an appropriate member of the staff team, to try to establish reasons for the behaviour and then ways of resolving the problem will be discussed. We aim to work with parents to devise a positive strategy to resolve all conflicts that can be implemented both in the home and at the group unless the behaviour is deemed to be detrimental to the other children in our care.

In extreme cases exclusion may be considered to be the only option.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy and Procedures (Send)

Our preschool aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (Ref: DfE and DOH 2014) gives us our starting point for identifying and meeting the special educational needs and disabilities of any children attending our preschool. It states that we should regularly review and evaluate the quality and breadth of the support we offer or can access for children with SEN or Disabilities.

Children may have special educational needs & disabilities (SEND) either throughout or at any time during their time at preschool. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with special educational needs & disabilities takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.

Our objectives are:

  • To create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child
  • To ensure that special educational needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for
  • To make clear the expectations of all partners and agencies in the process
  • To identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s special educational needs
  • To enable all children to have full access to all elements of the preschool curriculum.

Admission arrangements

We will consult with parents and with the manager and Key Persons in the setting, where appropriate, and plan the admission and settling in programme for each individual child.  If a child starts the setting with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or “Early Support” this will be used alongside other assessment approaches to help the child.

Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations.  They may require different strategies for learning.  Children acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates and there may be a need for a range of different teaching approaches and experiences. 

Assessment

Early identification is vital. Preschool staff informs the parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlists their active help and participation.  The preschool staff and the designated Special Educational Needs & Disabilities / Inclusion Coordinator (SEND/INCO) will work closely with parents and other professionals to plan an appropriate programme of intervention and support. Suitably trained staff will undertake assessments, and staff will liaise closely with and learn from parents and appropriate professionals about the particular specific needs and procedures for individual children.

Assessments will be undertaken through the following process:-

Observations and records will be completed that explains the purpose, shows what has been observed and provides a preliminary evaluation.  An Initial Expression of Concern form will be prepared detailing the difficulties and suggesting responding strategies. It may also show the outside agencies that have been consulted.

Access to the full Foundation Stage curriculum

We will make sure children have a Key Person who will take a close interest in their progress and individual needs, together with the SEND/INCO and will work one-to-one with the child if and when extra support is required through a graduated approach or SEN support.

This might include extra adult time in planning intervention and monitoring effectiveness. Following the assessment we may draw up a Play Plan or an Individual Education Plan (IEP). These will show the learning needs and targets, explain learning strategies and how these will be resourced by providing different learning materials or specific equipment and how progress will be monitored. The Play Plan or IEP will be agreed and signed by parents.  We will carry out regular reviews of the child’s progress with staff and parents – if necessary seeking additional support where progress is not as expected.

The SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (Ref: DfE & DOH 2014) –

We will take a planned approach to increasing access to our preschool for children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) and this involves identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging. We believe good early years planning for young children with SEND:

  • Builds continuity with other provisions and other phases
  • Builds partnerships with parents and carers
  • Takes account of the views of stakeholders
  • Builds staff skills and confidence in working with disabled children
  • Builds an understanding of the role and responsibilities of different adults in relation to disabled children
  • Is underpinned by a clear vision of how all settings meet their responsibilities to children with SEND
  • Builds relationships with other services, and is integrated with strategic planning for childrens’ services.

We believe that effective early years planning seeks to build access to education for children with SEND through:

  • Increased access to the curriculum
  • Improvements to the physical environment to increase access to the whole life of the setting
  • Improvements in the range of ways in which communication with disabled children is promoted

This increases the development of a planned approach for increasing access to children with SEND to early years providers in meeting their statutory duties.

Partnership with parents

Children’s progress and needs will be monitored by carefully planned methods of observations by all staff and will be shared with parents, taking account of information provided by and with the agreement of parents.

Links with other relevant bodies

Children’s specific needs will be monitored, supported and reviewed by the preschool staff in consultation with other professionals, including speech & language therapy support service, psychologists, paediatricians, social workers and health workers and the Target Setting Support (TSS)

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

Dicker House Preschool has identified Special Educational Needs & Disabilities / Inclusion Coordinator’s (SEND/INCO) who will:-

  • Manage the day to day operation of the policy
  • Co-ordinate the provision for and manage the response to children’s special needs, and support staff to resolve and put in place support mechanisms to ensure that the child receives the best help possible.
  • Support and advise the key person and colleagues- assisting individual staff to identify areas of concern.
  • Maintain the preschools SEND records
  • Contribute to and manage the records of all children with special educational needs & disabilities.
  • Liaise and support families to decide upon the best course of action with the child’s key person.
  • Liaise with the child’s key person in all matters relating to the individual child.
  • Manage the preschool-based assessment and complete the documentation required by outside agencies and act as the link with parents.
  • Maintain resources and a range of teaching materials to enable appropriate provision to be made
  • Act as link with external agencies and other support agencies

The SEND/INCO will also liaise and support the families to decide upon the best course of action for your child. The SEND/INCO will also liaise and work with outside agencies so that the preschool can offer the best possible support to your child. Staff and the SEND/INCO will attend relevant training to ensure that they keep up to date with the requirements of all children with special educational needs & disabilities.

Meeting Identified Special Needs & Disabilities

Dicker House Preschool practice an inclusive policy at all times to meet all identified special needs & disabilities:-

  • We will consult with parents, Key Persons and other professionals where appropriate to plan the admission and settling in programme for each individual child
  • Children’s progress and needs will be monitored by carefully planned methods of observation by all staff and will be shared with parents, taking account of information from parents.
  • Each child will have a key Person who will take a close interest in their progress and individual needs and will work one-to-one with the child if and when extra support is required.
  • Children’s specific needs will be monitored, supported and reviewed by the preschool staff in consultation with other professionals including speech and language therapy support service, psychologists, paediatricians, social workers, health visitors and the Target Setting Support.

All staff will attend relevant training to ensure that they keep up to date with the requirements of all children with special needs and regarding specific conditions and disabilities. Staff will liaise closely with and learn from parents and appropriate professionals about the particular specific needs and procedures for individual children.

Complaint Procedure

If you have a complaint concerning our SEND provision or its application please refer to the Dicker House complaint procedure.

Staff Development and Employment Policy and Procedures

Our Preschool has a Management Committee of parents who are responsible for employing staff, voluntary helpers and student placements, and for managing the group’s finances. The Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will be guided by the experience of the Manager and Supervisor of the Preschool, who report to the committee and are present at meetings. The group works to the statutory guidelines set out in the Children’s Act and those set out by the Department for Education and Employment for Free Entitlement grant. Staff development and training is an important part of extending personal skills and for continuing improvement and development of the provision of quality learning opportunities for the children.

Our preschool will:

  • Always have at least two members of staff present where there are children, including outside play areas.
  • Always have a minimum of one adult to eight children (or one to four for under threes)
  • Have regular meetings to review our programme, plan for future activities and monitor children’s progress
  • Ensure that at least half the staff present are appropriately qualified or working towards this
  • Ensure that all staff undertake regular updating, attending training and workshops on all aspects of preschool provision
  • Ensure that staff have the opportunity to access nationally recognised training leading to a qualification for individual professional development
  • Ask that all staff mobile phones are kept in a visible agreed place away from children at all times and are not used except in an emergency.
  • Ask that all staff do not smoke or consume alcohol whilst in the presence of children and whilst in the premises or surrounding areas (see smoking alcohol and drugs procedure)

When working as a team, there will be occasions when it will be necessary to give one another feedback. Please note that new staff will NOT be allowed unsupervised access to children unless they have current evidence of required DBS checks. New staff members will:

  • Partake in a staff induction programme informing them of our preschool expectations, quality assurance procedures and other routines
  • Be given access to all policies and procedures including Social Development & Managing Children’s Behaviour, Health, Safety & Hygiene, Safeguarding Children and Confidentiality
  • Embark on a 3 month probationary period with a review after 2 ½ months
  • Agree to abide by all the given rules and regulations at the time of employment and any others that may come into force at a later date.

Staff development and training is an important part of extending personal skills and for continuing improvement and development of the provision of quality learning opportunities for the children. The aims for staff development are:

  • To improve the quality of learning experiences for the children and to aid the group in developing overall aims and principles of the preschool.
  • To enable workers to develop professionally, increase self confidence and to share their experiences & knowledge gained with other colleagues.
  • To enable workers to embark on continued professional development.
  • To enable staff to identify and follow their own interests and requirements.

IDENTIFYING NEEDS & TYPES OF TRAINING

  • Through individual staff development plans & staff performance reviews
  • From the OFSTED Inspectors Reports and Key Issues identified
  • From regular monitoring of the group by management / committee
  • From national changes and requirement to receive funding for two, three and four year olds
  • From revised EYFS requirements and changes

Training may include:

  • “In house” for all staff with an external input
  • Individual members of staff attending extended courses leading to a recognised qualification
  • Individual members of staff attending day courses, evening courses, workshops or conferences
  • A member of staff visiting another group, setting or network meeting
  • All staff attending a course / workshop
  • Opportunities to observe each other and particular activities

Whilst every effort will be made for staff to undertake appropriate training, this will sometimes need to be within the financial or other constraints of the group.

Staff Development and Employment Policy And Procedures

Our Preschool has a Management Committee of parents who are responsible for employing staff, voluntary helpers and student placements, and for managing the group’s finances. The Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will be guided by the experience of the Manager and Supervisor of the Preschool, who report to the committee and are present at meetings. The group works to the statutory guidelines set out in the Children’s Act and those set out by the Department for Education and Employment for Free Entitlement grant.

Our preschool will:

  • Always have at least two members of staff present where there are children, including outside play areas.
  • Always have a minimum of one adult to eight children (or one to four for under threes)
  • Have regular meetings to review our programme, plan for future activities and monitor children’s progress
  • Ensure that at least half the staff present are appropriately qualified or working towards this
  • Ensure that all staff undertake regular updating, attending training and workshops on all aspects of preschool provision
  • Ensure that staff have the opportunity to access nationally recognised training leading to a qualification for individual professional development
  • Ask that all staff mobile phones are kept in a visible agreed place away from children at all times and are not used except in an emergency.
  • Ask that all staff do not smoke or consume alcohol whilst in the presence of children and whilst in the premises or surrounding areas (see smoking alcohol and drugs procedure)

New staff members will:

  • Partake in a staff induction programme informing them of our preschool expectations, quality assurance procedures and other routines
  • Be given access to all policies and procedures including Social Development & Managing Children’s Behaviour, Health, Safety & Hygiene, Safeguarding Children and Confidentiality
  • Embark on a 3 month probationary period with a review after 2 ½ months
  • Agree to abide by all the given rules and regulations at the time of employment and any others that may come into force at a later date.

Please note that new staff will NOT be allowed unsupervised access to children unless they have current evidence of required CRB checks. When working as a team, there will be occasions when it will be necessary to give one another feedback.

Staff development and training is an important part of extending personal skills and for continuing improvement and development of the provision of quality learning opportunities for the children.

Students, Volunteers and Temporary Staff Policy

The preschool will welcome students and volunteers undertaking childcare training courses at local colleges, students on secondary school work experience and temporary / bank staff to work within the preschool, whenever possible.

When Students, Volunteers and Temporary staff (SVT’s) are welcomed into the Preschool:

  • After initial contact with the SVT we will establish how many days/ weeks the work experience/ practise is to be and how many hours they will be present on any one day
  • The SVT will be given a full induction, and shown around the setting by the Manager / Supervisor BEFORE they start working with the group
  • A letter informing parents of the presence of the SVT will be prominently displayed
  • The SVT will be required to sign a confidentiality statement and agree to abide by all policies and procedures laid down by the preschool
  • The SVT must be made aware of the Fire Drill, Emergency Procedure and Health, Safety & Hygiene policies and procedures
  • Those required to conduct child studies will obtain written permission from the parents of the child to be studied
  • Any information gained by the SVT about the children, families or other adults in the Preschool MUST remain confidential
  • Unless registered as fit persons, the SVT will NOT have unrestricted access to children or be left alone with a child
  • The age, experience, self-confidence and level of maturity of the SVT is considered when planning work to be undertaken
  • SVTs are expected to be polite and well mannered both with adults and children, setting a good example for the children to see
  • The Manager / Supervisor will oversee the SVT and arrange to sign any evidence or be responsible for any written reports
  • If applicable a member of staff will be assigned as “mentor” for the SVT for a previously arranged period of time
  • SVT’s are expected to abide by all given rules and regulations at the time and any others that may come into force at a later date.
  • The SVT will be asked to ensure that mobile phones are kept in a visible agreed place away from children at all times and are not used except in an emergency
  • The SVT will not smoke or consume alcohol or drugs whilst in the presence of children and whilst in the premises or surrounding areas.
  • The SVT must not be seen to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at any time.

Visitors Into The Setting Policy and Procedure

Our group believes in an "open house" approach. This is subject to maintaining the safety and safeguarding the protection of children in our care and that of all adults working in the setting. We reserve the right to deny access to any adult who is deemed unsuitable under the terms in our Child Protection and Safeguarding Children policy.

Points of access

  • Visitors to the setting who arrive via the school reception area desk are covered by the school's own risk assessment policy.
  • Visitors will be directed to our entrance gate where they will be greeted by a member of preschool staff and accompanied to the entrance door. The staff member will indicate any potential hazards "en route".
  • Visitors will be requested to turn off any mobile phones and keep them off for the duration of their visit.

Entry to the setting

On entering the setting all visitors will be asked to:

  • Sign in the visitors book
  • Read the fire drill procedures
  • Read the "visitors into the setting" card
  • Follow any directives that may be given by preschool staff

Exiting the setting

On exiting the setting all visitors will:

  • Sign out of the visitors book
  • Be accompanied to the entrance gate by a member of staff. The staff member will indicate any potential hazards "en route"

There may be some children who may be at risk from named adults. In respect of child protection issues we reserve the right to deny access to the named person.

Whistle Blowing Policy

It is our intention that staff working at the preschool, feel confident about coming forward and reporting any issues/concerns that they may have regarding the areas documented below, whilst remaining protected from any subsequent discrimination.

In order to do this we will:

  • Ensure staff understand their responsibilities and feel confident in raising and reporting a serious concern at the earliest opportunity.
  • Provide avenues for staff to raise concerns and receive feedback on any action taken.
  • Ensure that staff receive a response to their concerns and that they are aware of how to pursue them if they are not satisfied.
  • Reassure staff that they will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if they have made any disclosures in good faith. Any concerns can be reported without this leading to any harassment or victimisation, and every effort will be made to keep both the concern and the member of staff’s identity confidential

What should be reported?

  • The inappropriate treatment or care of a child.
  • Any breach in the behaviour of committee member, staff or volunteer.
  • Discrimination of any kind.
  • Concerns that could impact on the health and safety of the children or adults.

Methods

  • A concern can be initially raised by any staff member to the Manager and/or the Chairperson of the Management Committee.
  • Discuss the nature of the concern together with the background, history of the concern and provide the relevant dates of incidents.
  • There is no expectation that staff prove beyond doubt the truth of their suspicion; however they will need to demonstrate that they are acting in good faith and there are reasonable grounds for their concern.
  • All employees will be treated fairly.

Concerns will be dealt with in the following way:

  • Initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and if so what form it should take.
  • The incident will be investigated by the Manager and/or Chairperson of the Management Committee.
  • If appropriate it will be referred to OFSTED and put through established Safeguarding children procedures and may form the subject of an independent inquiry.
  • Within ten working days of a concern being raised, the member of staff will receive in writing acknowledgment that the concern has been received and an indication as to how the Pre-school will proceed to deal with the matter.
  • The member of staff will be supplied with information on staff support mechanisms.
  • The member of staff concerned will be informed as to whether any further investigation will take place and if not, why not.

It may be necessary for the Pre-school to interview staff to ensure that their disclosure is fully understood. Any meeting can be arranged away from the workplace, if so wished, and a representative or a friend may accompany the involved member of staff for support. If there are any difficulties experienced as a result of raising a concern, support will be offered.

Staff will be kept informed, of the progress and outcome of any investigation to assure that any disclosure has been properly addressed unless legal reasons determine otherwise. Confidentiality will be maintained and every effort will be made not to reveal a member of staff’s identity if they so wish. If however a member of staff makes an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, appropriate action, that could include disciplinary action, may be taken.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 seeks to protect employees from discrimination as a result of ‘blowing the whistle’ on their organisation, or individuals within it, through amendments to employment law

Working With Parents – Policy and Procedure

Parents are the most important people in a young child’s life. We want to work in partnership with parents and carers to enhance and support their work at this very significant stage of development for their children.

To do this we will:

  • Ensure that all new parents are aware of the group’s aims, policies and procedures.
  • Encourage parents to be come actively involved in the group in a practical way through parent rota duties, through the Management Committee or through fund raising.
  • Ensure that parents are regularly informed about their child’s progress through meetings with Key Person staff.
  • Involve parents in discussions about Individual Learning Journals kept about their own child, verbally or from examples of work and play.
  • Ensure that all parents are fully informed about meetings, conferences, workshops and training with times venues and dates as appropriate.
  • Provide opportunities for parents to learn about the preschool curriculum and about children’s learning and development.
  • Ensure that all parents feel welcome in the group and that their contribution is valued.
  • Provide regular two-way flow of information with parents.