Policies & Procedures

Our policies and procedures form the basis of our practice and enable staff and parents to understand their rights and responsibilities.  We regularly review them to ensure they are up to date with good practice and current legislation.  Click on the links below to view each policy individually.

1.0 CHILD PROTECTION

1.1 Children’s rights and entitlements

Policy statement
Mount Carmel Kindergarten will promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children 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.
We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.
We 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.
We help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults.
We work with parents to build their understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.
What it means to promote children’s rights and entitlements to be ‘strong, resilient and listened to’:
To be strong means to be:
  • secure in their foremost attachment relationships, where they are loved and cared for by at least one person who is able to offer consistent, positive and unconditional regard and who can be relied on;
  • safe and valued as individuals in their families and in relationships beyond the family, such as nursery or school;
  • self-assured and form a positive sense of themselves – including all aspects of their identity and heritage;
  • included equally and belong in our setting and in community life;
  • confident in their own abilities and proud of their achievements; and
  • progressing optimally in all aspects of their development and learning.
To be resilient means to:
  • be sure of their self-worth and dignity;
  • be able to be assertive and state their needs effectively;
  • be able to overcome difficulties and problems;
  • be positive in their outlook on life;
  • be able to cope with challenge and change;
  • have a sense of justice towards themselves and others; and
  • develop a sense of responsibility towards themselves and others.
To be listened to means:
  • adults who are close to children recognise their need and right to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas;
  • adults who are close to children are able to tune in to their verbal, sign and body language in order to understand and interpret what is being expressed and communicated;
  • adults who are close to children are able to respond appropriately and, when required, act upon their understanding of what children express and communicate; and
  • adults respect children’s rights and facilitate children’s participation and representation in imaginative and child centred ways in all aspects of core services.

1.2 Safeguarding children and child protection

Policy statement
Mount Carmel Kindergarten will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments.
Key commitment 1
We are committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.
  • Our designated person who co-ordinates child protection issues is Mrs Lucia Federici
  • We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too.
  • All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.
  • Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for staff and volunteers prior to their post being confirmed, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • Information is recorded about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:
  • the criminal records disclosure reference number;
  • the date the disclosure was obtained; and
  • details of who obtained it.
  • All staff and volunteers are informed that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us).
  • We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.
  • Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting.
  • Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • Steps are taken to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child.
Key commitment 2
We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2006).
Responding to suspicions of abuse
  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:
  • significant changes in their behaviour;
  • deterioration in their general well-being;
  • their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure);
  • changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;
  • unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; and
  • any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.
  • Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the procedures below for reporting child protection concerns.
  • Where a member of staff has cause for concern they initial raise it with the designated person and record their observation. The designated person will then decide what further action is required which could include further observations, making records of suspicions of abuse and disclosures or immediate referral to external agencies.
  • Where evidence of abuse is apparent, the child’s key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the member of staff who is acting as the ‘designated person’. This information is then stored on the child’s safeguarding file.
  • We refer concerns to the local authority children’s social care department and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation. NB In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
  • Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; that member of staff:
  • listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
  • does not question the child;
  • makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes: the date and time of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time.
  • These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s safeguarding personal file, which is kept securely and confidentially.
  • The member of staff acting as the ‘designated person’ is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity.
  • Where the Local Safeguarding Children Board stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Informing parents
  • Where the designated person suspects there is evidence of abuse parents will normally be the first point of contact. Concerns are discussed with parents to gain their view of events, unless it is felt that this may put the child in greater danger.
  • Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in their child’s file and that we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.
  • If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.
  • This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the social workers will inform parents.
Liaison with other agencies
  • We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.
  • We have procedures for contacting the local authority regarding child protection issues as set out on the following website: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/healthsoc/childfam/childprotection/hertssafboard/
  • We notify Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on our premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.
Allegations against staff
  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
  • We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff, volunteer or any other person working on the premises, which includes:
  • inappropriate sexual comments;
  • excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.
  • We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to investigate – Mel Leicester-Evans and Tony Purvis (01992 555420)
  •  We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted, as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.
  • We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.
  • Where the management team and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the member of staff or volunteer will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff, as well as children and families throughout the process.
Disciplinary action
Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children can be identified and barred from working with this group.
Key commitment 3
We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering young children, through our early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.
Training
  • Training opportunities are sought for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
  • Designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the provision.
Planning
  • The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others. The setting also makes use of CCTV cameras in accordance with our CCTV policy at 1.7.
Curriculum
  • We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.
Confidentiality
  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Support to families
  • We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers.
  • We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, information sharing, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.
  • We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

1.3 Uncollected child

Policy statement
In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult by their expected collection time, we put into practice agreed procedures. The child will receive a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible.
We inform parents/carers of our procedures so that, if they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for.
Procedures
  • Parents are asked to provide contact information when their child starts attending our setting which is recorded on our Application Form.
  • On occasions when parents, or the persons normally authorised to collect the child, are not able to collect the child, they provide us with written details of the name, address and telephone number of the person who will be collecting their child. We agree with parents how to verify the identity of the person who is to collect their child.
  • Parents are informed that if they are not able to collect the child as planned, they must inform us as soon as possible so that we can begin to take back-up measures.
  • If a child is not collected at their expected collection time, we follow the procedures below:
  • The child’s file is checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routines.
  • If no information is available, parents/carers are contacted at home or at work.
  • If this is unsuccessful, the adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child – and whose telephone numbers are recorded on the Application Form – are contacted.
  • All reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents or nominated carers.
  • The child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those named on the Application Form or in their file.
  • If no-one collects the child within one hour of their expected collection time and there is no-one who can be contacted to collect the child, we apply the procedures for uncollected children.
  • We contact the local authority children’s social care team – Children, Schools & Families: 0300 123 4043.
  • The child stays at the setting in the care of two of our fully-vetted workers, one of whom will be our manager or deputy manager until the child is safely collected either by the parents or by a social care worker.
  • Social care will aim to find the parent or relative. If they are unable to do so, the child will become looked after by the local authority.
  • Under no circumstances will we go to look for the parent, nor leave the setting premises with the child.
  • We ensure that the child is not anxious and we do not discuss our concerns in front of 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.
  • Ofsted may be informed.

1.4 Missing child

Policy statement
Children’s safety is our highest priority, both on and off the premises. Every attempt is made, through the implementation of our outings procedure and our exit/entrance procedure, to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our missing child procedure is followed.
Procedures
Child going missing on the premises
  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the child’s key person/the relevant member of staff alerts our setting manager.
  • The register is checked to make sure no other child has also gone astray.
  • Our manager will carry out a thorough search of the building and garden.
  • Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.
  • If the child is not found, our manager calls the police immediately and reports the child as missing. If it is suspected that the child may have been abducted, the police are informed of this.
  • The parent(s) are then called and informed.
  • A recent photo and a note of what the child is wearing is given to the police.
  • Our manager talks to our staff to find out when and where the child was last seen and records this.
  • Our manager contacts the rest of the management team and reports the incident. They will come to the provision immediately to carry out an
 Child going missing on an outing
  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the staff members on the outing ask children to stand with their designated carer and carry out a headcount to ensure that no other child has gone astray.
  • One staff member searches the immediate vicinity, but does not search beyond that.
  • Our senior staff member on the outing contacts the police and reports that child as missing.
  • Our manager is contacted immediately (if not on the outing) and the incident is recorded.
  • Our manager contacts the parent(s).
  • Our staff take the remaining children back to the setting as soon as possible.
  • According to the advice of the police, a senior member of staff, or our manager where applicable, should remain at the site where the child went missing and wait for the police to arrive.
  • A recent photo and a description of what the child is wearing is given to the police.
  • Our manager contacts our management team and reports the incident. They come to our premises immediately to carry out an investigation.
  • Our staff keep calm and do not let the other children become anxious or worried.
 The investigation
  • Ofsted are informed as soon as possible and kept up-to-date with the investigation.
  • Our manager, carries out a full investigation, taking written statements from all our staff and volunteers who were present.
  • Our manager, together with our owner management team speaks with the parent(s) and explains the process of the investigation.
  • The parent(s) may also raise a complaint with us or Ofsted.
  • Each member of staff present writes an incident report detailing:
  • The date and time of the incident.
  • Where the child went missing from e.g. the setting or an outing venue.
  • Which staff/children were in the premises/on the outing and the name of the staff member who was designated as responsible for the missing child.
  • When the child was last seen in the premises/or on the outing, including the time it is estimated that the child went missing.
  • What has taken place in the premises or on the outing since the child went missing.
  • The report is counter-signed by the senior member of staff and the date and time added.
  • A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened.
  • If the incident warrants a police investigation, all our staff co-operate fully. In this case, the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing staff and parents. Children’s social care may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.
  • In the event of disciplinary action needing to be taken, Ofsted are advised.
  • The insurance provider is informed.

1.5 Use of mobile phones and cameras

Policy statement
We take steps to ensure that there are effective procedures in place to protect children from the unacceptable use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.
Procedures
Personal mobile phones
  • Personal mobile phones belonging to our staff and volunteers are not used on the premises during working hours other than in the staff room or office during their lunch break or at other times with the express permission of the manager.
  • At the beginning of each individual’s shift, personal mobile phones are stored in lockers.
  • In the event of an emergency, personal mobile phones may be used in privacy, where there are no children present, with permission from the manager.
  • Our staff and volunteers ensure that the work telephone number is known to immediate family and other people who need to contact them in an emergency.
  • If our members of staff or volunteers take their own mobile phones on outings, for use in the case of an emergency, they must not make or receive personal calls as this will distract them.
  • Our staff and volunteers will not use their personal mobile phones for taking photographs of children on outings.
  • Parents and visitors are requested not to use their mobile phones whilst on the premises. We make an exception if a visitor’s company or organisation operates a lone working policy that requires contact with their office periodically throughout the day. Visitors will be advised of a quiet space where they can use their mobile phone, where there are no children present.
Cameras and videos
  • Our staff and volunteers must not bring their own cameras or video recorders into the setting.
  • Photographs and recordings of children are only taken for valid reasons, i.e. to record their learning and development, or for displays within the setting whilst children are present.
  • Photographs or recordings of children are only taken on equipment belonging to the setting.
  • Camera and video use is monitored by our manager.
  • Where parents request permission to photograph or record their own children at special events, permission will first be gained from all parents for their children to be included.
  • Photographs and recordings of children are only taken of children if parents provide written permission to do so (found on the individual child’s Information and Agreements Form).

1.6 CCTV

Policy statement
Mount Carmel Kindergarten has in place a CCTV surveillance system with the primary purpose of helping to ensure the safety of children, staff and parents and reducing the threat of crime.  They assist by:
  • Deterring those having criminal intent
  • Assist in the prevention and detection of crime
  • Facilitate the identification of any activities/events which might warrant disciplinary proceedings being taken and assist in providing evidence to the management in the event of an accusation and/or litigation.
  • Assist in compliance with Health and Safety obligations.
Procedures
  • The system comprises of fixed position cameras, a monitor and hard computer drive and software.
  • The locations of the cameras are as follows:
    1. Entrance gate
    2. Side passage
    3. Garden overlooking the swings
    4. Garden overlooking the bark area
    5. Classroom
    6. Art room
    7. Playroom
    8. Gym
    9. Kitchen
    10. Entrance Hall
    11. Veranda
    12. Front Car Park left
    13. Front car park right
  • Signs are prominently placed to inform staff, parents, visitors and members of the public that a CCTV installation is in use.
  • Digital images are stored on the hard drive and are automatically overwritten after a month.
  • Copies of digital recordings will only be made once an incident has been identified.
  • All recordings shall remain the property of Mount Carmel Kindergarten.
  • Access to recordings will be restricted to the management team in accordance with the purposes of the system.
  • Disclosure of recorded material will only be made to third parties in strict accordance with the purposes of the system and limited to the following authorities:
    • Law enforcement agencies
    • Emergency services in connection with the investigation of an accident
    • Ofsted

2.0 SUITABLE PEOPLE

2.1 Employment

Policy statement
We meet the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that our staff and volunteers are appropriately qualified, and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with statutory requirements.
Procedures
Vetting and staff selection
  • We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection.
  • All our staff have job descriptions, which set out their roles and responsibilities.
  • We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, age, marriage or civil partnership. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by our imposing conditions or requirements that are not justifiable.
  • We follow the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted guidance on checking the suitability of all staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. This includes obtaining references and ensuring they have a satisfactory enhanced criminal records check with barred list(s) check through the DBS. This is in accordance with requirements under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) and the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) for the vetting and barring scheme.
  • Where an individual is subscribed to the DBS Update Service we carry out a status check of their DBS certificate, after checking their identity and viewing their original enhanced DBS certificate to ensure that it does not reveal any information that would affect their suitability for the post.
  • We keep all records relating to the employment of our staff and volunteers; in particular those demonstrating that suitability checks have been done, including the date of issue, name, type of DBS check and unique reference number from the DBS certificate, along with details of our suitability decision.
  • Our staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children – whether received before, or at any time during, their employment with us.
  • Where we become aware of any relevant information which may lead to the disqualification of an employee, we will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children. In the event of disqualification, that person’s employment with us will be terminated.
Notifying Ofsted of changes
  • We inform Ofsted of any changes to our Registered Person and/or our manager.
Training and staff development
  • Our manager and deputies hold the EYPS qualification and at least half of our other staff members hold the CACHE Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent or higher qualification
  • We provide regular in-service training to all our staff – whether paid staff or volunteers.
  • Our budget allocates resources to training.
  • We provide our staff with induction training in the first week of their employment. This induction includes our Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy. Other policies and procedures are introduced within an induction plan.
  • We support the work of our staff by holding regular supervision meetings and appraisals.
  • We are committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation and best practice.
Staff taking medication/other substances
  • If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, we ensure that they seek further medical advice. Our staff will only work directly with the children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children properly.
  • Staff medication on the premises will be stored securely and kept out of reach of the children at all times.
  • If we have reason to believe that a member of our staff is under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that may affect their ability to care for children, they will not be allowed to work directly with the children and further action will be taken.
Managing staff absences and contingency plans for emergencies
  • Our staff take their holiday breaks when the setting is closed. Where a staff member may need to take time off for any reason other than sick leave or training, this is agreed with our manager with sufficient notice.
  • Our manager organises our staff annual leave so that ratios are not compromised.
  • Where our staff are unwell and take sick leave in accordance with their contract of employment, we organise cover to ensure ratios are maintained.
  • Sick leave is monitored and action is taken where necessary, in accordance with the individual’s contract of employment.

2.2 Student placements

Policy statement 
We recognise that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education we provide. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years qualifications and training. We also offer placements for school pupils on work experience.
We aim to provide for students on placement with us, experiences that contribute to the successful completion of their studies and that provide examples of quality practice in early years care and education.
Procedures
  • We require students on qualification courses to meet the Suitable Person requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and have a satisfactory enhanced DBS check with barred list check(s).
  • We require students in our setting to have a sufficient understanding and use of English to contribute to the well-being of children in our care.
  • We require schools, colleges or universities placing students under the age of 17 years with us to vouch for their good character.
  • We supervise students under the age of 17 years at all times and do not allow them to have unsupervised access to children.
  • Students undertaking qualification courses who are placed in our setting on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios.
  • Trainee staff and students over the age of 17 may be included in the ratios if they are deemed competent and responsible.
  • We take out employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance, which covers both students and voluntary helpers.
  • We require students to keep to our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy.
  • We co-operate with students’ tutors in order to help students to fulfil the requirements of their course of study.
  • We provide students, at the first session of their placement, with a short induction on how our setting is managed, how our sessions are organised and our policies and procedures.
  • We communicate a positive message to students about the value of qualifications and training.
  • We make the needs of the children paramount by not admitting students in numbers that hinder the essential work of the setting.
  • We ensure that trainees and students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years training, which provides the necessary background understanding of children’s development and activities.

3.0 STAFF QUALIFICATIONS, TRAINING, SUPPORT AND SKILLS

3.1 Induction of employees and volunteers

Policy statement
We provide an induction for all employees and volunteers in order to fully brief them about the setting, the families we serve, our policies and procedures, curriculum and daily practice.
Procedures
  • We have a written induction plan for all new staff, which includes the following:
  • Introductions to all employees and volunteers.
  • Familiarisation with the building, health and safety, and fire and evacuation procedures.
  • Ensuring our policies and procedures are read and adhered to.
  • Introduction to the parents, especially parents of allocated key children where appropriate.
  • Familiarisation with confidential information in relation to any key children where applicable.
  • Details of the tasks and daily routines to be completed.
  • The induction period lasts at least two weeks. The manager inducts new employees and volunteers.
  • During the induction period, the individual must demonstrate understanding of and compliance with policies, procedures, tasks and routines.
  • Successful completion of the induction forms part of the probationary period.
  • Following induction, we continue to support our staff to deliver high quality performance through regular supervision and appraisal of their work.

3.2 First aid

Policy statement
We are able to take action to apply first aid treatment in the event of an accident involving a child or adult. At least one adult with a current first aid certificate is on the premises, or on an outing, at any one time. The first aid qualification includes first aid training for infants and young children. We aim to ensure that first aid training is local authority approved and is relevant to adults caring for young children.
Procedures
  • Information about who has completed first aid training and the location of the first aid box is provided to all our staff and volunteers.
  • The first aid box is easily accessible to adults and is kept out of the reach of children.
  • There is a named person in the setting who is responsible for checking and replenishing the first aid box contents.
  • Medication is only administered in line with our Administering Medicines policy.
  • In the case of minor injury or accidents, first aid treatment is given by a qualified first aider.
  • In the event of minor injuries or accidents, we normally inform parents when they collect their child, unless the child is unduly upset or we have concerns about the injury. In which case we will contact the child’s parents for clarification of what they would like to do, i.e. whether they wish to collect the child and/or take them to their own GP.
  • An ambulance is called for children requiring emergency treatment. We contact parents immediately and inform them of what has happened and where their child has been taken.
  • Accidents and injuries are recorded in our accident record book and, where applicable, notified to the Health and Safety Executive, Ofsted and/or local child protection agencies in line with our Recording and Reporting of Accident and Incidents Policy.

4.0 KEY PERSON

4.1 The role of the key person and settling-in

Policy statement
At Mount Carmel Kindergarten we believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, our staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in.
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with our staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with our setting. We aim to make our setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.
The key person role is set out in the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each child must have a key person. These procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children.
Procedures
  • For group provision: We allocate a key person before the child starts.
  • The key person is responsible for:
  • Providing an induction for the family and for settling the child into our setting.
  • Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgemental.
  • Acting as the key contact for the parents.
  • Developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at
  • Having links with other carers involved with the child and co-ordinating the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
  • Encouraging positive relationships between children in her/his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.
  • We promote the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in our setting, and as the basis for establishing relationships with other adults and children.
 Settling-in
  • Before a child starts to attend our setting, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information (including our prospectus and policies), displays about activities available within the setting, open days and individual meetings with
  • During the term before a child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the setting.
  • The key person welcomes and looks after the child and his/her parents at the child’s first session and during the settling-in process.
  • When a child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with his/her parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the setting.
  • Younger children may take longer to settle in, as may children who have not previously spent time away from home.
  • When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.
 The progress check at age two
  • If a child has not already had a Two Year Old Check carried out by their health visitor their key person will carry out the progress check after the child has attended the nursery for one term.
  • The progress check aims to review the child’s development and ensures that parents have a clear picture of their child’s development.
  • Within the progress check, the key person will note areas where the child is progressing well and identify areas where progress is less than expected.
  • The progress check will describe the actions that will be taken by us to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with the parent(s).
  • The key person will plan activities to meet the child’s needs within the setting and will support parents to understand the child’s needs in order to enhance their development at home.

5.0 STAFF:CHILD RATIOS

5.1 Staffing

Policy statement
We provide a staffing ratio in line with the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and we carry out checks for enhanced criminal records and barred list checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements.
Procedures
To meet this aim we use the following ratios of adult to children:
  • Children aged two years: 1 adult : 4 children:
    • at least one member of staff holds a full and relevant level 3 qualification; and
    • at least half of all other staff hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.
  • Children aged three years and over: 1 adult : 8 children:
  • at least one member of staff holds a full and relevant level 3 qualification; and
  • at least half of all other staff hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.
  • We only include those aged 17 years or older within our ratios. Where they are competent and responsible, we may include students on long-term placements and regular volunteers.
  • A minimum of two staff/adults are on duty at any one time; one of whom is either our manager or deputy.
  • Our manager deploys our staff, students and volunteers to give adequate supervision of indoor and outdoor areas, ensuring that children are usually within sight and hearing of staff, and always within sight or hearing of staff at all times.
  • Our staff, students and volunteers inform their colleagues if they have to leave their area and tell colleagues where they are going.
  • Our staff, students and volunteers focus their attention on children at all times and do not spend time in social conversation with colleagues while they are working with children.
  • We assign each child a key person to help the child become familiar with the setting from the outset and to ensure that each child has a named member of staff with whom to form a relationship. The key person plans with parents for the child’s well-being and development in the setting. The key person meets regularly with the family for discussion and consultation on their child’s progress and offers support in guiding their development at home.
  • We hold regular staff meetings to undertake curriculum planning and to discuss children’s progress, their achievements and any difficulties that may arise from time to time.

6.0 HEALTH

6.1 Administering medicines

Policy statement
While it is not our policy to care for sick children, who should be at home until they are well enough to return to the setting, we will agree to administer medication as part of maintaining their health and well-being or when they are recovering from an illness. We ensure that where medicines are necessary to maintain health of the child, they are given correctly and in accordance with legal requirements.
In many cases, it is possible for children’s GPs to prescribe medicine that can be taken at home in the morning and evening. As far as possible, administering medicines will only be done where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if not given in the setting. If a child has not had a medication before it is advised that the parent keeps the child at home for the first 48 hours to ensure there are no adverse effects, as well as to give time for the medication to take effect.
Our staff are responsible for the correct administration of medication to children for whom they are the key person. This includes ensuring that parent consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures. In the absence of the key person, the manager is responsible for the overseeing of administering medication.
Procedures
  • Children taking prescribed medication must be well enough to attend the setting.
  • We only usually administer medication when it has been prescribed for a child by a doctor (or other medically qualified person). It must be in-date and prescribed for the current condition.
  • Children’s prescribed medicines are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children. On receiving the medication, the member of staff checks that it is in date and prescribed specifically for the current condition.
  • Parents must give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The staff member receiving the medication will ask the parent to sign a consent form stating the following information. No medication may be given without these details being provided:
  • the full name of child and date of birth;
  • the name of medication and strength;
  • who prescribed it;
  • the dosage and times to be given in the setting;
  • the method of administration;
  • how the medication should be stored and its expiry date;
  • any possible side effects that may be expected; and
  • the signature of the parent, their printed name and the date.
  • The administration of medicine is recorded accurately in our medication record book each time it is given and is signed by the person administering the medication. The medication record book records the:
  • name of the child;
  • name and strength of the medication;
  • name of the doctor that prescribed it;
  • date and time of the dose;
  • dose given and method; and
  • signature of the person administering the medication.
  • If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, we obtain individual training for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.
  • No child may self-administer. Where children are capable of understanding when they need medication, for example with asthma, they should be encouraged to tell their key person what they need. However, this does not replace staff vigilance in knowing and responding when a child requires medication.
 Storage of medicines
  • All medication is stored safely in a cupboard out of children’s reach or refrigerated as required. Where the cupboard or refrigerator is not used solely for storing medicines, they are kept in a marked plastic box.
  • The child’s key person is responsible for ensuring medicine is handed back at the end of the day to the parent.
  • For some conditions, medication may be kept in the setting to be administered on a regular or as-and-when- required basis. Key persons check that any medication held in the setting, is in date and return any out-of-date medication back to the parent.
 Children who have long term medical conditions and who may require ongoing medication
  • For some medical conditions, key staff will need to have training in a basic understanding of the condition, as well as how the medication is to be administered correctly.
  • An individual health plan for the child is drawn up with the parent; outlining the key person’s role and what information must be shared with other adults who care for the child.
  • The individual health plan should include the measures to be taken in an emergency.
  • Parents receive a copy of the individual health plan and each contributor, including the parent, signs it.

6.2 Managing children who are sick, infectious, or with allergies

Policy statement
We aim to provide care for healthy children through preventing cross infection of viruses and bacterial infections and promote health through identifying allergies and preventing contact with the allergenic trigger.
Procedures for children who are sick or infectious
  • If children appear unwell during the day – for example, if they have a temperature, sickness, diarrhoea or pains, particularly in the head or stomach – our manager or the child’s key worker will call the parents and ask them to collect the child, or to send a known carer to collect the child on their behalf.
  • If a child has a temperature, they are kept cool, by removing top clothing and sponging their heads with cool water, but kept away from draughts.
  • The child’s temperature is taken using a forehead thermometer strip, kept in the first aid box.
  • In extreme cases of emergency, an ambulance is called and the parent informed.
  • Parents may be asked to take their child to the doctor before returning them to the setting; we can refuse admittance to children who have a temperature, sickness and diarrhoea or a contagious infection or disease.
  • Where children have been prescribed antibiotics for an infectious illness or complaint, we ask parents to keep them at home for 48 hours before returning to the setting.
  • After diarrhoea or vomiting, we ask parents keep children home for 48 hours following the last episode.
 Reporting of ‘notifiable diseases’
  • If a child or adult is diagnosed as suffering from a notifiable disease under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010, the GP will report this to Public Health England.
  • When we become aware, or are formally informed of the notifiable disease, our manager informs Ofsted and contacts Public Health England, and act[s] on any advice given.
 Nits and head lice
  • Nits and head lice are not an excludable condition; although in exceptional cases we may ask a parent to keep the child away until the infestation has cleared.
  • On identifying cases of head lice, we inform all parents ask them to treat their child and all the family if they are found to have head lice.
 Procedures for children with allergies
  • When children start at the setting we ask their parents if their child suffers from any known allergies. This is recorded on the Application Form.
  • If a child has an allergy, we complete a risk assessment form to detail the following:
    • The allergen (i.e. the substance, material or living creature the child is allergic to such as nuts, eggs, bee stings, cats etc).
    • The nature of the allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylactic shock reaction, including rash, reddening of skin, swelling, breathing problems etc).
    • What to do in case of allergic reactions, any medication used and how it is to be used (e.g. Epipen).
    • Control measures – such as how the child can be prevented from contact with the allergen.
  • This risk assessment form is kept in the health file.
  • Generally, no nuts or nut products are used within the setting.
  • Parents are made aware so that no nut or nut products are accidentally brought in, for example to a party.

6.3 Recording and reporting of accidents and incidents

Policy statement
We follow the guidelines of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) for the reporting of accidents and incidents. Child protection matters or behavioural incidents between children are not regarded as incidents and there are separate procedures for this.
Procedures
Our accident book:
  • is kept in a safe and secure place;
  • is accessible to our staff and volunteers, who all know how to complete it; and
  • is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.
Reporting accidents and incidents
  • Ofsted is notified as soon as possible, but at least within 14 days, of any instances which involve:
  • food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on our premises;
  • a serious accident or injury to, or serious illness of, a child in our care and the action we take in response; and
  • the death of a child in our care.
  • Local child protection agencies are informed of any serious accident or injury to a child, or the death of any child, while in our care and we act on any advice given by those agencies.
  • Any food poisoning affecting two or more children or adults on our premises is reported to the local Environmental Health Department.
  • We meet our legal requirements in respect of the safety of our employees and the public by complying with RIDDOR. We report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):
  • Any work-related accident leading to an injury to a member of the public (child or adult), for which they are taken directly to hospital for treatment.
  • Any work-related accident leading to a specified injury to one of our employees. Specified injuries include injuries such as fractured bones, the loss of consciousness due to a head injury, serious burns or amputations.
  • Any work-related accident leading to an injury to one of our employees which results in them being unable to work for seven consecutive days. All work-related injuries that lead to one of our employees being incapacitated for three or more days are recorded in our accident book.
  • When one of our employees suffers from a reportable occupational disease or illness as specified by the HSE.
  • Any death, of a child or adult, that occurs in connection with a work-related accident.
  • 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; such as a gas leak.
Incident book
  • We ensure that our staff and volunteers carry out all health and safety procedures to minimise risk and that they know what to do in an emergency.
  • Where an incident occurs whilst the children are in our care and it is necessary to evacuate the premises/area, we follow the procedures in our Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation Policy or, when on an outing, the procedures identified in the risk assessment for the outing.
  • We keep an incident log book for recording major incidents, including some of those that that are reportable to the Health and Safety Executive as above.
  • The incident book is not for recording issues of concern involving a child. This is recorded in the child’s own safeguarding file.

6.4 Nappy changing

Policy statement
No child is excluded from participating in our setting who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent. We work with parents towards toilet training, unless there are medical or other developmental reasons why this may not be appropriate at the time.
We provide nappy changing facilities and exercise good hygiene practices in order to accommodate children who are not yet toilet trained.
We see toilet training as a self-care skill that children have the opportunity to learn with the full support and non-judgemental concern of adults.
Procedures
  • Our key persons undertake changing children in their key groups; back up key persons change them if the key person is absent.
  • Our staff put on gloves before changing starts and the areas are prepared.
  • All our staff are familiar with our hygiene procedures and carry these out when changing nappies.
  • We encourage children to wash their hands, and have soap and towels to hand. They should be allowed time for some play as they explore the water and the soap.
  • Older children access the toilet when they have the need to and are encouraged to be independent.

6.5 Food and drink

Policy statement
We regard snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults, and helps children to learn about healthy eating. At snack times, we provide milk or water to drink and fruit during the morning session , fruit and a biscuit in the afternoons. Children bring their own packed lunch/tea provided by their parents.
Procedures
We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting.
  • Before a child starts to atend the setting, we ask their parents about their dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies.
  • We record information about each child’s dietary needs in the Application Form and parents sign the form to signify that it is correct.
  • We display current information about individual children’s dietary needs so that all our staff and volunteers are fully informed about them.
  • We implement systems to ensure that children receive only food and drink that is consistent with their dietary needs, as well as their parents’ wishes.
  • We take care not to provide food containing nuts or nut products and we are especially vigilant where we have a child who has a known allergy to nuts.
  • We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and adults participate.
  • We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children about how to obtain the water and that they can ask for water at any time during the day.
  • We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in our setting.
  • In order to protect children with food allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping their food with one another.
Packed lunches
Mount Carmel does not provide cooked meals and children are required to bring packed lunches, we:
  • inform parents that we have facilities to microwave cooked food brought from home;
  • encourage parents to provide sandwiches with a healthy filling, fruit, and milk based deserts, such as yoghurt or crème fraîche.
  • do not permit sweet drinks and provide children with water;
  • discourage packed lunch contents that consist largely of crisps, processed foods, and sweet products such as cakes or biscuits; and
  • ensure that adults sit with children to eat their lunch so that the mealtime is a social occasion.

6.6 Food hygiene

Policy statement
We provide snacks for children and maintain the highest possible food hygiene standards with regard to the purchase, storage, preparation and serving of food.
Procedures
  • All our staff who are involved in the preparation and handling of food have received training in food hygiene.
  • The person responsible for food preparation and serving carries out daily opening and closing checks on the kitchen to ensure standards are met consistently.
  • We use reliable suppliers for the food we purchase.
  • Food is stored at correct temperatures and is checked to ensure it is in-date and not subject to contamination by pests, rodents or mould.
  • Packed lunches are stored in a cool place; un-refrigerated food is served to children within 4 hours of preparation at home.
  • Food preparation areas are cleaned before and after use.
  • All surfaces are clean and non-porous.
  • All utensils, crockery etc. are clean and stored appropriately.
  • Waste food is disposed of daily.
  • Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children’s reach.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.
  • When children take part in cooking activities, they:
  • are supervised at all times;
  • understand the importance of hand-washing and simple hygiene rules;
  • are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and
  • do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment, such as blenders etc.
 Reporting of food poisoning
Food poisoning can occur for a number of reasons; not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are as a result of food poisoning and not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are reportable.
  • Where children and/or adults have been diagnosed by a GP or hospital doctor to be suffering from food poisoning and where it seems possible that the source of the outbreak is within our setting, the manager will contact the Environmental Health Department to report the outbreak and will comply with any investigation.
  • We notify Ofsted as soon as reasonably practicable of any confirmed cases of food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on the premises, and always within 14 days of the incident.

7.0 MANAGING BEHAVIOUR

7.1 Promoting positive behaviour

Policy statement
We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are understood, supported and met and where there are clear, fair and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.
As children develop, they learn about boundaries, the difference between right and wrong, and to consider the views and feelings, and needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. The development of these skills requires adult guidance to help encourage and model appropriate behaviours and to offer intervention and support when children struggle with conflict and emotional situations. In these types of situations key staff can help identify and address triggers for the behaviour and help children reflect, regulate and manage their actions.
Procedures
In order to manage children’s behaviour in an appropriate way I/we will:
  • attend relevant training to help understand and guide appropriate models of behaviour;
  • implement the setting’s behaviour procedures including the stepped approach;
 Stepped approach
 Step 1
  • We will ensure that EYFS guidance relating to ‘behaviour management’ is incorporated into relevant policy and procedures;
  • We will be knowledgeable with, and apply the setting’s procedures on Promoting Positive Behaviour;
  • We ensure that all staff are supported to address issues relating to behaviour including applying initial and focused intervention approaches (see below).
 Step 2
  • We address unwanted behaviours using the agreed and consistently applied initial intervention approach. If the unwanted behaviour does not reoccur or cause concern then normal monitoring will resume.
  • Behaviours that result in concern for the child and/or others will be discussed between the key person, and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or/and manager. During the meeting, the key person will use their knowledge and assessments of the child to share any known influencing factors (new baby, additional needs, illness etc.) in order to place the behaviour into context. Appropriate adjustments to practice will be agreed and if successful normal monitoring resumed.
  • If the behaviour continues to reoccur and remain a concern then the key person should liaise with parents to discuss possible reasons for the behaviour and to agree next steps. If a cause for the behaviour is not known or only occurs whilst in the setting then the SENCO will suggest using a focused intervention approach to identify a trigger for the behaviour.
  • If a trigger is identified then the SENCO and key person will meet with the parents to plan support for the child through developing an action plan. If relevant, recommended actions for dealing with the behaviour at home should be agreed with the parent/s and incorporated into the plan. Other members of the staff team should be informed of the agreed actions in the action plan and help implement the actions. The plan should be monitored and reviewed regularly by the key person and SENCO until improvement is noticed.
 Step 3
  • If, despite applying the initial intervention and focused intervention approaches, the behaviour continues to give occur and/or is of significant concern, then the behaviour coordinator and SENCO will invite the parents to a meeting to discuss external referral and next steps for supporting the child in the setting.
  • It may also be agreed that the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) or Early Help process should begin and that specialist help be sought for the child if deemed necessary – this support may address either developmental or welfare needs. (See Supporting Children with SEN policy 9.2) If the child’s behaviour is part of a range of welfare concerns that also include a concern that the child may be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, follow the Safeguarding and Children and Child Protection Policy (1.2).
  • Advice provided by external agencies should be incorporated into the child’s action plan and regular multi-disciplinary meetings held to review the child’s progress.
 Initial intervention approach
  • We use an initial problem solving intervention for all situations in which a child is distressed or in conflict. All staff use this intervention consistently.
  • This type of approach involves an adult approaching the situation calmly, stopping any hurtful actions, acknowledging the feelings of those involved, gathering information, restating the issue to help children reflect, regain control of the situation and resolve the situation themselves.
 Focused intervention approach
  • The reasons for some types of behaviour are not always apparent, despite the knowledge and input from key staff and parents.
  • Where we have considered all possible reasons, then a focused intervention approach should then be applied.
  • This approach allows the key person and SENCO to observe, reflect, and identify causes and functions of unwanted behaviour in the wider context of other known influences on the child.
  • We follow the ABC method which uses key observations to identify a) an event or activity (antecedent) that occurred immediately before a particular behaviour, b) what behaviour was observed and recorded at the time of the incident, and c) what the consequences were following the behaviour. Once analysed, the focused intervention should help determine the cause (e.g. ownership of a toy or fear of a situation) and function of the behaviour (to obtain the toy or avoid a situation) and suitable support will be applied.
 Use of rewards and sanctions
  • All children need consistent messages, clear boundaries and guidance to intrinsically manage their behaviour through self-reflection and control.
  • We do not label, humiliate, criticise or shout at children
  • If necessary children may be sat out from the activities or play in order to calm down and if appropriate helped to reflect on what has happened.
 Use of physical intervention  
  • The term physical intervention is used to describe any forceful physical contact by an adult to a child such as grabbing, pulling, dragging, or any form of restraint of a child. Where a child is upset or angry, staff will speak to them calmly, encouraging them to vent their frustration in other ways by diverting the child’s attention.
  • Staff will not use physical intervention – or the threat of physical intervention, to manage a child’s behaviour unless it is necessary to use “reasonable force in order to prevent children from injuring themselves or others or damage property” (EYFS).
  • If “reasonable force” has been used for any of the reasons shown above, parents are to be informed on the same day that it occurs. The intervention will be recorded as soon as possible within the child’s file, which states clearly when and how parents were informed.
  • Corporal (physical) punishment of any kind will never be used or threatened.

7.2 Rough Play

Policy statement
We believe that ‘appropriate’ rough play is important for young children’s health and development and current research supports this view.  Through the physical interactions involved in this type of play, children learn the give-and-take of appropriate social interaction.
Successful participation in rough play helps children become adept at both signalling and detecting signals; a social skill they will need and use throughout life. In detecting these signals they learn to read and understand each other’s body language. This play also requires children to change roles, sometimes one child chasing and later being chased. This give-and-take, mimics successful social conversation and interaction.  The social roles practised and learned in rough play help children acquire the skills for successful future relationships. The intense physical exertion of rough play also supports children’s physical development and cardio vascular health.
Procedures
  • The staff are experienced in recognising the differences between rough play and fighting or aggressive behaviour. In particular:
    • in rough play the children smile and laugh whereas fighting causes frowns and tears;
    • in rough play children are willing participants. They join in readily and remain there as long as the play sustains. In fighting one child is usually dominating another; and
    • in rough play children keep returning for more. In fighting the unwilling participant tries to move away.
  • We consider rough play to be running, jumping, grabbing each other, wrestling and chasing.
  • We consider fighting or aggressive behaviour to be hitting, kicking, snatching, or pushing each other over.
  • The children are supervised in all areas of the nursery including the Garden.
  • Rough play is only permitted in the Garden area and the children are regularly reminded about the difference between rough play and fighting.
  • Children are encouraged to apologise if they hurt each accidentally during rough play. They also know that they must stop playing rough when requested to by a teacher or another child who wants the play to stop.
  • Children will not be prohibited or prevented from engaging in rough play, unless for medical reasons, as we consider it a vital part of early childhood development.
  • We recognise that children playing rough may incur minor injuries such as bumps, bruises or scratches and we view this as a natural consequence of a healthy learning environment.

8.0 SAFETY AND SUITABILITY OF PREMISES, ENVIRONMENT AND EQUIPMENT

8.1 Health and safety general standard

Policy statement
We believe 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.
  • We aim to make children, parents, staff and volunteers aware of health and safety issues and to minimise the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.
  • Our member of staff responsible for health and safety is Lucia Federici
  • She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.
  • She has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.
  • We display the necessary health and safety poster on the staff notice board in the Kitchen.
Insurance cover
We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed in the hall.
Procedures
Awareness raising
  • Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of health and safety issues, so that all adults are able to adhere to our policy and procedures as they understand their shared responsibility for health and safety. The induction training covers matters of employee well-being, including safe lifting and the storage of potentially dangerous substances.
  • We operate a no-smoking policy.
  • We make children aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
 Windows
  • We ensure that windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.
  • We ensure that any blind cords are secured safely and do not pose a strangulation risk for young children.
 Doors
  • We take precautions to prevent children’s fingers from being trapped in doors.
 Floors and walkways
  • All our floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged. Any wet spills are mopped up immediately.
  • Walkways are left clear and uncluttered.
 Electrical/gas equipment
  • We ensure that all electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.
  • Our boiler/electrical switch gear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.
  • There are sufficient sockets in our setting to prevent overloading.
  • We switch electrical devices off from the plug after use.
  • We ensure that the temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
  • Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas of our setting, including storage areas.
 Storage
  • All our resources and materials, which are used by the children, are stored safely.
  • All our equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.
 Outdoor area
  • Our outdoor area is securely fenced. All gates and fences are childproof and safe.
  • Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish, animal droppings and any other unsafe items before it is used.
  • Our outdoor sand pit is covered when not in use and is cleaned regularly.
  • We check that children are suitably attired for the weather conditions and type of outdoor activities; ensuring that suncream is applied and hats are worn during the summer months.
  • We supervise outdoor activities at all times; and particular children on climbing equipment.
 Hygiene
  • Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.
  • We have a daily cleaning routine for the setting.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.
  • We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing-up clothes and furnishings.
  • The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene, including hand washing and drying facilities.
  • We implement good hygiene practices by:
  • cleaning tables between activities;
  • cleaning and checking toilets regularly;
  • wearing protective clothing – such as aprons and disposable gloves – as appropriate;
  • providing sets of clean clothes;
  • providing tissues and wipes;
 Activities, resources and repairs
  • Before purchase or loan, we check equipment and resources to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the setting.
  • The layout of our play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities.
  • All our equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety, and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded.
  • We make safe and separate from general use any areas that are unsafe because of repair is needed.
  • All our materials, including paint and glue, are non-toxic.
  • We ensure that sand is clean and suitable for children’s play.
  • Physical play is constantly supervised.
  • We teach children to handle and store tools safely.
  • We check children who are sleeping regularly.
  • Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.
  • Any faulty equipment is removed from use and is repaired. If it cannot be repaired it is discarded.
 Jewellery and accessories
  • Our staff do not wear jewellery or fashion accessories, such as belts or high heels, that may pose a danger to themselves or children.
  • Parents must ensure that any jewellery worn by children poses no danger; particularly earrings which may get pulled, bracelets which can get caught when climbing or necklaces that may pose a risk of strangulation.
  • We recommend where possible that children do not wear hair clips to nursery as they pose a potential choking hazard.
  • We ensure that adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment.
  • We provide safe equipment for adults to use when they need to reach up to store equipment or to change light bulbs.
  • We ensure that all warning signs are clear.
 Control of substances hazardous to health
  • Our staff implement the current guidelines of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
  • Hazardous substances are stored safely away from the children.
  • We keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers.
  • We keep the chemicals used in the setting to the minimum in order to ensure health and hygiene is maintained.
  • All members of staff are vigilant and use chemicals safely.

8.2 Maintaining children’s safety and security on premises

Policy statement
We maintain the highest possible security of our premises to ensure that each child is safely cared for during their time with us.
Procedures
Children’s personal safety
  • We ensure all employed staff have been checked for criminal records via an enhanced disclosure with children’s barred list check through the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • 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.
Security
  • Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of children.
  • The arrival and departure times of adults –staff, volunteers and visitors – are recorded.
  • Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises.
  • Our systems prevent children from leaving our premises unnoticed.
  • We only allow access to visitors with prior appointments.
  • We keep front doors and gates locked shut at all times.
  • The personal possessions of staff and volunteers are securely stored during sessions.
  • Minimal petty cash is kept on the premises.

8.3 Supervision of children on outings and visits

Policy statement
Children benefit from being taken outside of the premises on visits or trips to local parks, or other suitable venues, for activities which enhance their learning experiences. We ensure that there are procedures to keep children safe on outings; all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the procedures as laid out below.
Procedures
  • We ask parents to sign a general consent on registration for their children to be taken out on local short outings as a part of the daily activities of the setting. This general consent details the venues used for daily activities.
  • We assess the risks for each local venue used for daily activities, which is reviewed regularly.
  • We always ask parents to sign specific consent forms before major outings; and the risks are assessed before the outing takes place.
  • Any written outing risk assessments are made available for parents to see.
  • A minimum of two staff accompany children on outings. Unless the whole setting is on an outing, a minimum of two staff also remain behind with the rest of the children.
  • Named children are assigned to individual staff member to ensure that each child is well supervised, that no child goes astray and that there is no unauthorised access to children.
  • Parents who accompany us on outings are responsible for their own child only. Where parents have undergone vetting with us as volunteers, they may be included in the adults to child ratio and have children allocated to them.

8.4 Risk assessment

Policy statement
We believe 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 law does not require that all risk is eliminated, but that ‘reasonable precaution’ is taken. This is particularly important when balancing the need for children to be able to take appropriate risks through physically challenging play. Children need the opportunity to work out what is not safe and what they should do when faced with a risk.
Health and safety risk assessments inform procedures. Staff should be involved in reviewing risk assessments and procedures – they are the ones with first-hand knowledge as to whether the control measures are effective – and they can give an informed view to help update procedures accordingly.
This policy is based on the five steps below:
  • Identification of a risk: Where is it and what is it?
  • Who is at risk: Childcare staff, children, parents, cleaners etc?
  • Assessment as to whether the level of a risk is high, medium, low. This takes into account both the likelihood of it happening, as well as the possible impact if it did.
  • Control measures to reduce/eliminate risk: What will you need to do, or ensure others will do, in order to reduce that risk?
  • Monitoring and review: How do you know if what you have said is working, or is thorough enough? If it is not working, it will need to be amended, or maybe there is a better solution.
Procedures
  • Our manager undertakes training and ensures our staff and volunteers have adequate training in health and safety matters.
  • Our risk assessment process covers adults and children and includes:
  • determining where it is helpful to make some written risk assessments in relation to specific issues, to inform staff practice, and to demonstrate how we are managing risks if asked by parents and/or carers and inspectors;
    • checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, in relation to our premises and activities;
    • assessing the level of risk and who might be affected;
    • deciding which areas need attention; and
    • developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the time-scales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.
  • Our manager ensures that checks, such as electricity and gas safety checks, and any necessary work to the setting premises are carried out regularly.
  • Our manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments for work practice including:
    • changing children;
    • preparation and serving of food/drink for children;
    • children with allergies;
    • cooking activities with children;
    • supervising outdoor play and indoor/outdoor climbing equipment;
    • the use and storage of substances which may be hazardous to health, such as cleaning chemicals;
    • visitors to the setting who are bring equipment or animals as part of children’s learning experiences; and
    • children’s outings;

8.5 Fire safety and emergency evacuation

Policy statement
We ensure our premises present no risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions. The person in charge and our staff are familiar with the current legal requirements. Where necessary we seek the advice of a competent person, such as our Fire Officer or Fire Safety Consultant. A Fire Safety Log Book is used to record the findings of risk assessment, any actions taken or incidents that have occurred and our fire drills.
Procedures
Fire safety risk assessment
  • The basis of fire safety is risk assessment, carried out by a ‘competent person’.
  • The manager has received training in fire safety sufficient to be competent to carry out the risk assessment; this will be written where there are more than five staff and will follow the Government guidance Fire Safety Risk Assessment – Educational Premises (HMG 2006).
  • Our fire safety risk assessment focuses on the following for each area of the setting:
  • Electrical plugs, wires and sockets.
  • Electrical items.
  • Gas boilers.
  • Flammable materials – including furniture, furnishings, paper etc.
  • Flammable chemicals .
  • Means of escape.
  • Anything else identified.
 Fire safety precautions taken
  • We ensure that fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from the inside.
  • We ensure that smoke detectors/alarms and fire fighting appliances conform to BS EN standards, are fitted in appropriate high risk areas of the building and are checked as specified by the manufacturer.
  • We have all electrical equipment checked regularly by a qualified electrician. Any faulty electrical equipment is taken out of use and either repaired or replaced.
  • Our emergency evacuation procedures are approved by the Fire Safety Officer and are:
    • clearly displayed in the premises;
    • explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents;
    • and practised every term.
  • Records are kept of fire drills and of the servicing of fire safety equipment.
 Fire drills
We hold fire drills termly and record the following information about each fire drill in the Fire Safety Log Book:
  • The date and time of the drill.
  • Number of adults and children involved.
  • How long it took to evacuate.
  • Whether there were any problems that delayed evacuation.
  • Any further action taken to improve the drill procedure.

8.6 No-smoking

Policy statement 
We comply with health and safety regulations and the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage in making our setting a no-smoking environment – both indoors and outdoors.
Procedures
  • All staff, parents and volunteers are made aware of our No-smoking Policy.
  • No-smoking signs are displayed.
  • Staff who smoke do not do so during working hours, unless on a break and off the premises.
  • Staff who smoke during their break make every effort to reduce the effect of the odour and lingering effects of passive smoking for children and colleagues.

9.0 EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

9.1 Valuing diversity and promoting equality

Policy statement
Mount Carmel Kindergarten will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children. We recognise that children and their families come from diverse backgrounds. All families have needs and values that arise from their individual, social, economic, ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds and situations.
Children grow up in diverse family structures that include two parent and one parent families; some children have two parents of the same sex. Some children have close links with extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; while others may be more removed from close kin, or may live with other relatives or foster carers. Some children have needs that arise from a disability, or may have parents that are affected by disability. Some children come from families who experience social exclusion or severe hardship; some have to face discrimination and prejudice because of their ethnicity, the languages they speak, their religious or belief background, their gender or their impairment.
We understand that these factors affect the well-being of children and can impact on their learning and attainment. We are committed to anti-discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and valuing diversity for all children and families.
Procedures
Admissions
Our setting is open and accessible to all members of the community.
  • We advertise our service widely.
  • We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form.
  • We base our Admissions Policy on a fair system.
  • We ensure that all parents are made aware of our Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality Policy.
  • We do not discriminate against a child or their family, or prevent entry to our setting, on the basis of a protected characteristic as defined by the Equalities Act (2010).
  • We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to our setting for reasons relating to their disability.
  • We ensure, wherever possible, that we have a balanced intake of boys and girls in the setting.
  • We make adjustments to ensure that disabled children can participate successfully in the services offered by the setting and in the curriculum offered.
  • We advertise posts and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria.
  • Applicants are welcome from all backgrounds and posts are open to all.
  • We seek out training opportunities for our staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
  • We ensure that our staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines and performing invasive care procedures when these are required.
  • We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality.
 Employment
  • The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and suitability checks. This ensures fairness in the selection process.
  • All our job descriptions include a commitment to promoting equality, and recognising and respecting diversity as part of their specifications.
  • We monitor our application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible.
Training
  • We seek out training opportunities for our staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
  • We ensure that our staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines and performing invasive care procedures when these are required.
  • We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality.
Curriculum
The curriculum offered in our setting encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.
Our environment is as accessible as possible for all visitors and service users. If access to the setting is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably, then we make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled children and adults. We do this by:
  • making children feel valued and good about themselves and others;
  • ensuring that children have equality of access to learning;
  • making adjustments to the environment and resources to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory impairments;
  • making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities, e.g. recognising the different learning styles of girls and boys;
  • positively reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources;
  • avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of books or other visual materials;
  • celebrating locally observed festivals;
  • creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance;
  • differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s special educational needs;
  • helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable;
  • ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and disabled children;
  • ensuring that children learning English as an additional language have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning; and
  • ensuring that children speaking languages other than English are supported in the maintenance and development of their home languages.
Valuing diversity in families
  • We welcome the diversity of family lifestyles and work with all families.
  • We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life to the setting.
  • We encourage mothers, fathers and other carers to take part in the life of the setting and to contribute fully.
  • For families who speak languages in addition to English, we will develop means to encourage their full inclusion.
Food
  • We work in partnership with parents to ensure that dietary requirements of children that arise from their medical, religious or cultural needs are met where ever possible.
  • We help children to learn about a range of food, and of cultural approaches to mealtimes and eating, and to respect the differences among them.
Monitoring and reviewing
  • So that our policies and procedures remain effective, we monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meet our overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and to value diversity.
  • We provide a complaints procedure and a complaints summary record for parents to see.

9.2 Supporting children with special educational needs

Policy statement
We provide an environment in which all children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported to reach their full potential.
  • We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
  • We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs.
  • We support parents and children with special educational needs.
  • We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs at the earliest opportunity and meet those needs through a range of SEN strategies.
  • We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children’s needs.
  • We monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.
 Procedures
  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give his/her name to parents. Our SENCO is Lucia Federici.
  • The SENCO works closely with the staff and other professionals and has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and for co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.
  • We ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We use the graduated approach system for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s special educational needs.
  • We work closely with the parents of children with special educational needs to create and maintain a positive partnership.
  • We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children’s education.
  • We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
  • We liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and their families, including in connection with transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with special educational needs.
  • We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing action plans for children with special educational needs.
  • We ensure that children with special educational needs are appropriately involved in the graduated approach, taking into account their levels of ability.
  • We have systems in place for supporting children based on a continuous cycle of ‘assess, plan, do and review’, which is applied in increasing detail and frequency to ensure that children progress.
  • We have systems in place for working with other agencies through each stage of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) or local alternatives, for example, Early Help Assessment.
  • We use a system for keeping records of the ‘assess, plan, do and review’ for children with special educational needs.
  • Where budget permits we provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • We ensure that all our staff are aware of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN. We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. action plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency’s views, inspections and complaints.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.

10.0 INFORMATION AND RECORDS

10.1 Admissions

Policy statement
It is our intention to make our setting 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.
Procedures
  • We ensure that the existence of our setting is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community.
  • We ensure that information about our setting is accessible, using simple plain English, in written and spoken form.
  • Our policy may take into account:
    • the age of the child;
    • the length of time on the waiting list;
    • whether any siblings already attend the setting; and
    • the capacity of the setting to meet the individual needs of the child.
  • We offer funded places in accordance with the Code of Practice for Early Years Entitlement.
  • Our setting and its practices are welcoming and make it clear that fathers, mothers, other relations and carers are all welcome.
  • We support children and/or parents with disabilities to take full part in all activities within our setting.
  • We are flexible about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families, providing these do not disrupt the pattern of continuity in the setting that provides stability for all the children.

10.2 Parental involvement

Policy statement
We believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents and settings work together in partnership.
Our aim is to support parents as their children’s first and most important educators by involving them in their children’s education and in the full life of our setting.
When we refer to ‘parents’, we mean both mothers and fathers; these include both natural or birth parents, as well as step-parents and parents who do not live with their children, but have contact with them and play a part in their lives. ‘Parents’ also includes same sex parents, as well as foster parents.
The Children Act (1989) defines parental responsibility as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’.
Procedures
  • Parents are made to feel welcome in our setting; they are greeted appropriately.
  • We make every effort to accommodate parents who have a disability or impairment.
  • We ensure on-going dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families.
  • We inform all parents about how the setting is run and its policies, through access to written information and through regular informal communication. We check to ensure parents understand the information that is given to them.
  • Information about a child and his or her family is kept confidential within our setting. The exception to this is where there is cause to believe that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, or where there are concerns regarding child’s development that need to be shared with another agency. We will seek parental permission unless there are reasons not to in order to protect the safety of the child. Reference is made to our Information Sharing Policy on seeking consent for disclosure.
  • We seek parental consent to administer medication, take a child for emergency treatment, take a child on an outing and take photographs for the purposes of record keeping.
  • The expectations that we make on parents are made clear at the point of registration.
  • We encourage parents to become involved in the social and cultural life of the setting and actively contribute to it.
  • As far as possible our service is provided in a flexible way to meet the needs of parents without compromising the needs of children.
  • We provide sufficient opportunity for parents to share necessary information with staff and this is recorded and stored to protect confidentiality.
  • Our key persons meet regularly with parents to discuss their child’s progress and to share concerns if they arise.
  • Where applicable, our key persons work with parents to carry out an agreed plan to support special educational needs.
  • We involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children – either formally or informally – and ensure parents have access to their children’s written developmental records.
  • We provide opportunities for parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the setting.
  • We support families to be involved in activities that promote their own learning and well-being; informing parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training.
  • We inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions. All parents have access to our written complaints procedure.
  • We provide opportunities for parents to learn about the curriculum offered in the setting and about young children’s learning, in the setting and at home. There are opportunities for parents to take active roles in supporting their child’s learning in the setting: informally through helping out or taking part in activities with their child, or through structured projects engaging parents and staff in learning about children’s learning.
 In compliance with the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, the following documentation is also in place at our setting:
  • Admissions Policy.
  • Complaints procedure.
  • Record of complaints.
  • Developmental records of children.

10.3 Children’s records

Policy statement
We have record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; the means we use to store and share that information takes place within the framework of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998).
This policy and procedure should be read alongside our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy and our Information Sharing Policy.
Procedures
We keep two kinds of records on children attending our setting:
1. Developmental records
  • These include observations of children in the setting, photographs, video clips and samples of their work and summary developmental reports.
  • These are usually kept in the classroom and can be accessed, and contributed to, by our staff, the child and the child’s parents.
  • They will also be kept on the child’s Tapestry Online Learning journal and can be accessed, and contributed to, by our staff, the child and the child’s parents.
2. Personal records
These may include the following (as applicable):
  • Personal details – including the child’s registration form and any consent forms.
  • Contractual matters – including a copy of the signed parent contract, the child’s days and times of attendance, a record of the child’s fees, any fee reminders or records of disputes about fees.
  • Child’s development, health and well-being – including a summary only of the child’s EYFS profile report, a record of discussions about every day matters about the child’s development health and well-bring with the parent.
  • Early Support – including any additional focussed intervention provided by our setting (e.g. support for behaviour, language or development that needs an Individual Education Plan) and records of any meetings held.
  • Welfare and child protection concerns – including records of all welfare and protection concerns, and our resulting action, meetings and telephone conversations about the child, a Statement of Special Educational Need and any information regarding a Looked After Child.
  • Correspondence and Reports – including a copy of the child’s 2 Year Old Progress Check (as applicable), all letters and emails to and from other agencies and any confidential reports from other agencies.
  • We read any correspondence in relation to a child, note any actions and file it immediately
  • We ensure that access to children’s files is restricted to those authorised to see them and make entries in them, this being our manager, deputy or designated person for child protection, the child’s key person, or other staff as authorised by our manager.
  • We may be required to hand children’s personal files to Ofsted as part of an inspection or investigation process; or to local authority staff conducting a S11 audit, as long as authorisation is seen. We ensure that children’s personal files are not handed over to anyone else to look at.
  • Parents have access, in accordance with our Client Access to Records Policy, to the files and records of their own children, but do not have access to information about any other child.
  • Our staff will not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child’s needs. Our staff induction programme includes an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in the role of the key person.
  • We return children’s progress records to Parents once they leave the setting; except records that relate to an accident or child protection matter, which are kept until a child reaches the age of 21 years or 24 years respectively. These are kept in a secure place.
Archiving children’s files
  • When a child leaves our setting we return children’s progress records to Parents and destroy other records (such as Application Forms or Consent Forms).
  • Where there were s.47 child protection investigations, we remove all paper documents from the child’s personal file and place them in a robust envelope, with the child’s name and date of birth on the front and the date they left.
  • We seal this and place it in an archive box, stored in a safe place (i.e. a locked cabinet) and archive it for 25 years.
  • We store financial information according to our finance procedures.
  • We keep a daily record of the names of the children we are caring for, their hours of attendance and the names of their key person.
Other records
  • We keep a daily record of the names of the children we are caring for, their hours of attendance and the names of their key person.

10.4 Confidentiality and client access to records

Policy statement
‘Confidential information is information that is not normally in the public domain or readily available from another source, it should have a degree of sensitivity and value and be subject to a duty of confidence. A duty of confidence arises when one person provides information to another in circumstances where it is reasonable to expect that the information will be held in confidence.’
Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)
In our setting, staff and managers can be said to have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality early years care and education in our setting. We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information 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; the means that we use to store and share that information takes place within the framework of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998).
Confidentiality Procedures:
  • Most things that happen between the family, the child and the setting are confidential to our setting. In exceptional circumstances information is shared, for example with other professionals or possibly social care or the police.
  • Information shared with other agencies is done in line with our Information Sharing Policy.
  • We always check whether parents regard the information they share with us to be confidential or not.
  • Some parents may share information about themselves with other parents as well as with our staff; we cannot be held responsible if information is shared by those parents whom the person has ‘confided’ in.
  • We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep (see our Children’s Records Policy) – for example with regard to any injuries, concerns or changes in relation to the child or the family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding action taken in respect of child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies in relation to their child.
  • We keep all records securely (see our Children’s Records Policy).
  • Our staff discuss children’s general progress and well being together in meetings, but more sensitive information is restricted to our manager and the child’s key person, and is shared with other staff on a need to know basis.
  • We do not discuss children with staff who are not involved in the child’s care, nor with other parents or anyone else outside of the setting.
  • Our discussions with other professionals take place within a professional framework and not on an informal or ad-hoc basis.
  • Where third parties share information about an individual with us; our practitioners and managers check if it is confidential, both in terms of the party sharing the information and of the person whom the information concerns.
Client access to records procedures
Parents may request access to any confidential records we hold on their child and family.  All requests will be dealt with expeditiously and in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

10.5 Information sharing

Policy statement 
We recognise that parents have a right to know that the information they share with us will be regarded as confidential, as well as to be informed about the circumstances when, and the reasons why, we are obliged to share information.
We are obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it, or to whom it relates, if it is in the public interest. That is when:
  • it is to prevent a crime from being committed or to intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult; or
  • not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
The decision should never be made as an individual, but with the back-up of the management team.
Where there is evidence that the child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm.
  • Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm.
  • To prevent significant harm arising to children and young people or adults, including the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.
Procedures
Our procedure is based on the seven golden rules for information sharing as set out in Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008).
  1. Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately.
  2. Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so.
  3. Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible.
  1. Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case.
  1. Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions.
  1. Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely.
  1. Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose.
Consent
When parents choose our setting for their child, they will share information about themselves and their families. This information is regarded as confidential. Parents have a right to be informed that we will seek their consent to share information in most cases, as well as the kinds of circumstances when we may not seek their consent, or may override their refusal to give consent. We inform them as follows:
  • Our policies and procedures set out our responsibility regarding gaining consent to share information and when it may not be sought or overridden.
  • We may cover this verbally when the child starts.
  • Parents sign our Application Form at registration to confirm that they understand this.
  • We ask parents to give written consent to share information about any additional needs their child may have, or to pass on child development summaries to the next provider/school.
  • We consider the following questions when we need to share:
    • Is there legitimate purpose to us sharing the information?
    • Does the information enable the person to be identified?
    • Is the information confidential?
    • If the information is confidential, do we have consent to share?
    • Is there a statutory duty or court order requiring us to share the information?
    • If consent is refused, or there are good reasons for us not to seek consent, is there sufficient public interest for us to share information?
    • If the decision is to share, are we sharing the right information in the right way?
    • Have we properly recorded our decision?
  • Consent must be informed – that is the person giving consent needs to understand why information will be shared, what will be shared, who will see information, the purpose of sharing it and the implications for them of sharing that information.
  • Consent may be explicit, verbally but preferably in writing, or implicit, implied if the context is such that sharing information is an intrinsic part of our service or it has been explained and agreed at the outset.
Separated parents
  • Consent to share need only be sought from one parent. Where parents are separated, this would normally be the parent with whom the child resides. Where there is a dispute, we will consider this carefully.
All the undertakings above are subject to our paramount commitment, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please also see our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy.

10.6 Working in partnership with other agencies

Policy statement
We work in partnership with local and national agencies to promote the well-being of all children.
Procedures
  • We have procedures are in place for the sharing of information about children and families with other agencies. These are set out in our Information Sharing Policy, Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy and the Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • Information shared by other agencies with us is regarded as third party information. This is also kept in confidence and not shared without consent from that agency.
  • When working in partnership with staff from other agencies, we make those individuals welcome in our setting and respect their professional roles.
  • We follow the protocols for working with agencies, for example on child protection.
  • We ensure that staff from other agencies do not have unsupervised access to the child they are visiting in the setting and do not have access to any other child(ren) during their visit.
  • Our staff do not casually share information or seek informal advice about any named child/family.
  • When necessary, we consult with and signpost to local and national agencies who offer a wealth of advice and information that help us to develop our understanding of the issues facing us and who can provide support and information for parents.

10.7 Making a complaint

Policy statement
We believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly, by an informal approach with the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.
Procedures
All settings are required to keep a written record of any complaints that reach stage two and above, and their outcome. This is to be made available to parents, as well as to Ofsted inspectors on request.
Making a complaint
Stage 1
  • Any parent who has a concern about an aspect of our setting’s provision talks over his/her concerns with our manager first of all.
  • Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.
  • We record the issue in the Log Book, and how it was resolved.
Stage 2
  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to this stage of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing.
  • Our setting stores all information relating to written complaints from parents in the complaints folder.
  • When the investigation into the complaint is completed, our manager meets with the parent to discuss the outcome.
  • We inform parents of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days of him/her making the complaint.
  • When the complaint is resolved at this stage, we log the summative points in our Complaint Investigation Record, which is made available to Ofsted on request.
Stage 3
  • If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she requests a meeting with our management team. The parent may have a friend or partner present if they prefer.
  • An agreed written record of the discussion is made, as well as any decision or action to take as a result. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.
  • This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded. When the complaint is resolved at this stage, we log the summative points in our Complaint Investigation Record.
The role of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) and the Local Safeguarding Children Board
  • Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of the setting’s registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are adhered to.
  • Parents can complain to Ofsted by telephone on in writing at:
Ofsted National Business Unit, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
Tel: 0300 123 1231
  • These details are displayed on our setting’s notice board.
  • If a child appears to be at risk, we follow the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • In these cases, both the parent and our setting are informed and our manager work with Ofsted or the Local Safeguarding Children Board to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.
 Records
  • A record of complaints in relation to our setting, or the children or the adults working in our setting, is kept for at least three years; including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.
  • The outcome of all complaints is recorded in our Complaint Investigation Record, which is available for parents and Ofsted inspectors to view on request.