We will provide a safe, caring and stimulating environment where all children can learn and develop freely as individuals without discrimination or prejudice.
Parents are the primary teachers of their children and carry most influence. A successful partnership between parents and staff enables both to benefit and share the detailed knowledge of the child’s experience, skills and abilities. With continual dialogue and sharing of information we endeavour to do the best for the children in our care.
Approaches to learning
Children are active learners, operating most effectively through first-hand experience, interaction with their environment and with the people around them. Purposeful and pleasurable play is essential and encourages children to be creative, to develop their ideas, understanding and language.
Through play and natural curiosity, children make sense of the world around them. By exploring, observing, listening, talking, applying and testing what they know and what they can do they increase their skills and confidence.
Each child at St Thomas Day Nursery will be encouraged to learn effectively through self-motivated and sensitively planned educational play and practical activities. This approach will provide a rich variety of experiences, challenging and relevant to their needs. This is built within a flexible framework that enables each child to learn at his or her own pace.
Skills and concepts required throughout life and in preparation for school will be developed in all areas of learning and experience, including:
- Communication and language;
- Mathematical development;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional understanding;
- Expressive Arts and Design development;
- Understanding of the world.
By using the wider environment, both inside and outside the nursery, children develop other life skills, including:
- Understanding the results of their actions;
- Learning how to do things for themselves;
- Getting on with others;
- Developing ideas about writing and reading;
- Making sense of the world.
The potential for learning in the whole range of children’s activities, both planned and spontaneous, encourages breadth and balance in all aspects of a child’s development. These are the basis for understanding rules, encouraging unselfishness, developing care of possessions and allowing the exercise of imagination, dexterity, mechanical ingenuity and curiosity.
Planning for learning
The staff at St Thomas Day Nursery:
- Act as enablers for the children, with careful planning and organisation of the play-setting, both formal and informal, within and beyond the nursery in order to provide for and extend learning;
- Observe each child’s progress and report to parents on their child’s achievements;
- Have high expectations of each child’s ability to achieve and will look for progression and continuity in their development;
- Provide emotional and social support so that children can gain confidence to master new experiences and challenges;
- Provide opportunities for children to work together in small groups to promote conversation and discussion;
- Introduce adults who will stimulate and encourage dialogue and questions and who will offer views and ideas;
- Regularly review the effectiveness, value and appropriateness of the provision made and, where possible, involve parents in this process.
Activities are planned around topic work that allows flexibility to reflect changes of interest or new learning opportunities.
Recording and reporting
The aims of recording and reporting children’s progress is to aid staff to continually plan appropriately to meet the needs of individual children. They also use these records to share information and insights with parents and the children themselves.
A record for each child might comprise of observations on the development of skills and competencies supported by dated examples of work or photographs of activities that are significant. A printed developmental record sheet which identifies specific areas of achievement is kept for each child and these are shared with parents at regular intervals. Staff also include information from parents and others in these records. This information may also prove useful to guide other staff or future teachers who do not yet know the child.
Special Educational Needs Policy
A child has special needs if she/he has learning difficulties, which call for special educational provision to be made for him/her.
A child has a learning difficulty if he/she has:
• A significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
• Has a disability, which hinders or prevents the child from making use of educational facilities, provided for children of the same age.
• Is under 5 and falls within the definition of a) and b) or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.
Special educational needs can be permanent or short term and can arise from social, emotional or medical reasons. A gifted child may also be considered to have special educational needs and these needs should be addressed and met in the appropriate way.
St Thomas Day Nursery aims to:
• Ensure early identification of needs;
• Ensure needs are met;
• Ensure other professionals are involved as appropriate;
• Ensure parents are supported and given as much guidance as possible;
• Prepare the child for the next stage of education;
• At all times have regard to the Code of Practice.
Special educational needs guidance:
• A member of staff will be identified to take responsibility for continuity of care;
• Ensure all resources are available.
• Consult parents and involve them in all discussions and decisions.
• Ensure multi-professional assessment is available if required.
• Advise on the next step.
• Plan and document strategies for special needs and to inform all staff of plans to ensure a consistent and reassuring approach is taken
Making a complaint
Our setting believes 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 to 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.
All settings are required to keep a ‘summary log’ of all complaints that reach stage two or beyond. This is to be made available to parents as well as to Ofsted inspectors.
Making a complaint
- Any parent who has a concern about an aspect of the setting’s provision talks over, first of all, his/her concerns with the setting leader.
- Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.
- 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 to the setting leader and chair of the management committee.
- For parents who are not comfortable with making written complaints, there is a template form for recording complaints; the form may be completed with the person in charge and signed by the parent.
- The setting stores written complaints from parents in the child’s personal file. However, if the complaint involves a detailed investigation, the setting leader may wish to store all information relating to the investigation in a separate file designated for this complaint.
- When the investigation into the complaint is completed, the setting leader or manager meets with the parent to discuss the outcome.
- Parents must be informed of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days of making the complaint.
- When the complaint is resolved at this stage, the summative points are logged in the Complaints Record.
- If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she requests a meeting with the setting leader and the chair of the management committee. The parent should have a friend or partner present if required and the leader should have the support of the chairperson of the management committee, present.
- 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, the summative points are logged in the Complaints Record.
- If at the stage three meeting the parent and setting cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help to settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
- The mediator keeps all discussions confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the setting personnel (setting leader and owner/chair of the management committee) and the parent, if this is decided to be helpful. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he gives.
- When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the setting leader and the chair of the management committee is held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator’s advice is used to reach this conclusion. The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.
- A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.
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 Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are adhered to.
- The number to call Ofsted with regard to a complaint is:
0300 123 1231
- These details are displayed on our setting’s notice board.
- If a child appears to be at risk, our setting follows the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board in our local authority.
- In these cases, both the parent and setting are informed and the setting leader works with Ofsted or the Local Safeguarding Children Board to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.
- A record of complaints against our setting and/or the children and/or the adults working in our setting is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.
- The outcome of all complaints is recorded in the Summary Complaints Record which is available for parents and Ofsted inspectors on request.
Child Protection Policy
1.2 Safeguarding children and child protection
(Including managing allegations of abuse against a member of staff)
Our setting 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.
We carry out the following procedures:
Staff and volunteers
- Our designated person (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child protection issues is:
- Our designated officer (a committee member) who oversees this work is:
- We ensure all staff and parents are made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.
- We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources 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.
- Candidates are informed of the need to carry out ‘enhanced disclosure’ checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service/DBS before posts can be confirmed.
- Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
- We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and DBS checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
- Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
- We abide by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
- We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.
- We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
- We take steps 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.
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 may be experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure) or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play.
- We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parent’s learning disability.
- We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability such as abuse of disabled children, fabricated or induced illness, child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession, sexual exploitation of children such as through internet abuse and Female Genital Mutilation that may affect or may have affected children and young people using our provision.
- We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or maybe victims of child trafficking and/or radicalisation. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.
- Where we believe a child in our care or known to us may be affected by any of these factors we follow the procedure for reporting child protection concerns.
- Where such evidence is apparent, the child’s key person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the setting leader or manager who is acting as the ‘designated person’. The information is stored on the child’s personal 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’s Board.
- We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.
- We take account of the need to protect young people aged 16-19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include students or school children on work placement, young employees or young parents. Where abuse is suspected we follow the procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns. The views of the young person will always be taken into account, but the setting may override the young persons refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only where not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures
- Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that gives cause for concern (disclosure), observes signs or signals that gives 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 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 personal file which is kept securely and confidentially.
- 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.
Making a referral to the local authority social care team
- Child Protection guidelines laid down by Oxfordshire County Council will be followed and adhered to
- We keep a copy of this document alongside procedures set down by our Local Safeguarding Children Board/MASH Team
- Parents are normally the first point of contact. We discuss concerns with parents to gain their view of events unless we feel this may put the child in greater danger.
- We inform parents where 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 a copy of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
- We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the setting and social services to work well together.
- We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the wellbeing of children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff.
- Contact details for the local National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) are also kept.
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 living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.
- 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 living or 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 living or 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’s social care department to investigate. We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted and 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 committee and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the chairperson will suspend the member of staff on full pay, or the volunteer, 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.
- Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) of relevant information so that individuals who pose a threat to children (and vulnerable groups), can be identified and barred from working with these groups.
- We seek out training opportunities 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, neglect and radicalisation and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
- We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the setting.
- 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.
- 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 that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.
- We create within the setting a culture of British Values and respect for the individual, 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.
- 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 in the group.
- We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, 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.
- We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.
- 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.
- Children Act (1989 s47)
- Protection of Children Act (1999)
- Data Protection Act (2018)
- The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
- Sexual Offences Act (2003)
- Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
- Equalities Act (2010)
- Data Protection Act (2018) Non Statutory Guidance
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (revised HMG 2010)
- What to do if you are Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2006)
- Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
- The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People: A Guide for Practitioners (CWDC 2010)
- Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2007)
- Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (HMG 2008)
Equality of opportunity
1.13 Achieving positive behaviour
Our setting believes that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.
Children need to learn to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. The principles that underpin how we achieve positive and considerate behaviour exist within the programme for promoting personal, social and emotional development
We have a named person who has overall responsibility for our programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development, including issues concerning behaviour, but all staff are responsible for behaviour management.
- We require the named person to:
- keep her/himself up-to-date with legislation, research and thinking on promoting positive behaviour and on handling children’s behaviour where it may require additional support;
- access relevant sources of expertise on promoting positive behaviour within the programme for supporting personal, social and emotional development ; and
- check that all staff have relevant in-service training on promoting positive behaviour. We keep a record of staff attendance at this training.
- We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require staff to be aware of – and respect – those used by members of the setting.
- We require all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.
- We familiarise new staff and volunteers with the setting’s behaviour policy and its guidelines for behaviour.
- We expect all members of our setting – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students – to keep to the guidelines, requiring these to be applied consistently.
- We work in partnership with children’s parents. Parents are regularly informed about their children’s behaviour by their key person. We work with parents to address recurring inconsiderate behaviour, using our observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately.
Strategies with children who engage in inconsiderate behaviour
- We require all staff, volunteers and students to use positive strategies for handling any inconsiderate behaviour, by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of development. Such solutions might include, for example, acknowledgement of feelings, explanation as to what was not acceptable and supporting children to gain control of their feelings so that they can learn a more appropriate response.
- We ensure that there are enough popular toys and resources and sufficient activities available so that children are meaningfully occupied without the need for unnecessary conflict over sharing and waiting for turns.
- We acknowledge considerate behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
- We support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
- We support each child in developing a sense of belonging in our group, so that they feel valued and welcome.
- We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for inconsiderate behaviour.
- When children behave in inconsiderate ways, we help them to understand the outcomes of their action and support them in learning how to cope more appropriately. This is called ‘Thinking Time’ and the child will be supported by an adult at all times.
- We never send children out of the room by themselves, nor do we use a ‘naughty chair’ or a ‘time out’ strategy that excludes children from the group.
- We never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking. Children are never threatened with these.
- We do not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children.
- We use physical restraint, such as holding, only to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property.
- Details of such an event (what happened, what action was taken and by whom, and the names of witnesses) are brought to the attention of our setting leader and are recorded in the child’s personal file. The child’s parent is informed on the same day.
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
- We do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to children’s inconsiderate behaviour.
Children under three years
- When children under three behave in inconsiderate ways we recognise that strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.
- We recognise that very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress, and require sensitive adults to help them do this.
- Common inconsiderate or hurtful behaviours of young children include tantrums, biting or fighting. Staff are calm and patient, offering comfort to intense emotions, helping children to manage their feelings and talk about them to help resolve issues and promote understanding.
- If tantrums, biting or fighting are frequent, we try to find out the underlying cause – such as a change or upheaval at home, or frequent change of carers. Sometimes a child has not settled in well and the behaviour may be the result of ‘separation anxiety’.
- We focus on ensuring a child’s attachment figure in the setting, their key person, is building a strong relationship to provide security to the child.
Rough and tumble play and fantasy aggression
Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes – such as superhero and weapon play; some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inconsiderate at times and may need addressing using strategies as above.
- We recognise that teasing and rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or aggressive.
- We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with the children, and understood by them, with acceptable behavioural boundaries to ensure children are not hurt.
- We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies, blowing up, shooting etc., and that themes often refer to ‘goodies and baddies’ and as such offer opportunities for us to explore concepts of right and wrong.
- We are able to tune in to the content of the play, perhaps to suggest alternative strategies for heroes and heroines, making the most of ‘teachable moments’ to encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.
We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. Most children under the age of five will at some stage hurt or say something hurtful to another child, especially if their emotions are high at the time, but it is not helpful to label this behaviour as ‘bullying’. For children under five, hurtful behaviour is momentary, spontaneous and often without cognisance of the feelings of the person whom they have hurt.
- We recognise that young children behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not yet developed the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them.
- We will help them manage these feelings as they have neither the biological means nor the cognitive means to do this for themselves.
- We understand that self-management of intense emotions, especially of anger, happens when the brain has developed neurological systems to manage the physiological processes that take place when triggers activate responses of anger or fear.
- Therefore we help this process by offering support, calming the child who is angry as well as the one who has been hurt by the behaviour. By helping the child to return to a normal state, we are helping the brain to develop the physiological response system that will help the child be able to manage his or her own feelings.
- We do not engage in punitive responses to a young child’s rage as that will have the opposite effect.
- Our way of responding to pre-verbal children is to calm them through holding and cuddling. Verbal children will also respond to cuddling to calm them down, but we offer them an explanation and discuss the incident with them to their level of understanding.
- We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings they experience. We help children recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling. “Adam took your car, didn’t he, and you were enjoying playing with it. You didn’t like it when he took it, did you? Did it make you feel angry? Is that why you hit him?” Older children will be able to verbalise their feelings better, talking through themselves the feelings that motivated the behaviour.
- We help young children learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others’ feelings. “When you hit Adam, it hurt him and he didn’t like that and it made him cry.”
- We help young children develop pro-social behaviour, such as resolving conflict over who has the toy. “I can see you are feeling better now and Adam isn’t crying any more. Let’s see if we can be friends and find another car, so you can both play with one.”
- We are aware that the same problem may happen over and over before skills such as sharing and turn-taking develop. In order for both the biological maturation and cognitive development to take place, children will need repeated experiences with problem solving, supported by patient adults and clear boundaries.
- We support social skills through modelling behaviour, through activities, drama and stories. We build self-esteem and confidence in children, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them.
- We help a child to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another child; we do not force children to say sorry, but encourage this where it is clear that they are genuinely sorry and wish to show this to the person they have hurt.
- When hurtful behaviour becomes problematic, we work with parents to identify the cause and find a solution together. The main reasons for very young children to engage in excessive hurtful behaviour are that:
- they do not feel securely attached to someone who can interpret and meet their needs – this may be in the home and it may also be in the setting;
- their parent, or carer in the setting, does not have skills in responding appropriately, and consequently negative patterns are developing where hurtful behaviour is the only response the child has to express feelings of anger;
- the child may have insufficient language, or mastery of English, to express him or herself and may feel frustrated;
- the child is exposed to levels of aggressive behaviour at home and may be at risk emotionally, or may be experiencing child abuse;
- the child has a developmental condition that affects how they behave.
- Where this does not work, we use the Code of Practice to support the child and family, making the appropriate referrals to a Behaviour Support Team where necessary.
We take bullying very seriously. Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned, and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.
A child who is bullying has reached a stage of cognitive development where he or she is able to plan to carry out a premeditated intent to cause distress in another.
Bullying can occur in children five years old and over and may well be an issue in after school clubs and holiday schemes catering for slightly older children.
If a child bullies another child or children:
- we show the children who have been bullied that we are able to listen to their concerns and act upon them;
- we intervene to stop the child who is bullying from harming the other child or children;
- we explain to the child doing the bullying why her/his behaviour is not acceptable;
- we give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied;
- we help the child who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions;
- we make sure that children who bully receive positive feedback for considerate behaviour and are given opportunities to practise and reflect on considerate behaviour;
- we do not label children who bully as ‘bullies’;
- we recognise that children who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstance causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others;
- we recognise that children who bully are often unable to empathise with others and for this reason we do not insist that they say sorry unless it is clear that they feel genuine remorse for what they have done. Empty apologies are just as hurtful to the bullied child as the original behaviour;
- we discuss what has happened with the parents of the child who did the bullying and work out with them a plan for handling the child’s behaviour; and
- we share what has happened with the parents of the child who has been bullied, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.
1.15 Administering medicines
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.
In many cases, it is possible for children’s GP’s 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 no adverse effect as well as to give time for the medication to take effect.
The room leaders are responsible for administering medicine. This includes ensuring that parent consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures. Medicine must have the pharmacist label showing clear instructions, with the child’s name and in English so we can ensure the medicine is administered correctly.
- Children taking prescribed medication must be well enough to attend the setting.
- Only medication prescribed by a doctor (or other medically qualified person) is administered. It must be in-date and prescribed for the current condition.
- Children with long term medical needs, who would benefit from fever reducing medication on the advice of their doctor, will be accommodated following the same guidelines for prescribed medication.
- Teething gel will be administered, for the duration of a bout of teething, following the same guidelines as prescribed medication.
- Children’s prescribed medicines are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children.
- Parents give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The staff receiving the medication must ask the parent to sign a consent form stating the following information. No medication may be given without these details being provided:
- full name of child and date of birth;
- name of medication and strength;
- who prescribed it;
- dosage to be given in the setting;
- how the medication should be stored and expiry date;
- any possible side effects that may be expected should be noted; and
- signature, printed name of parent and date.
- The administration is recorded accurately each time it is given and is signed by staff. Parents sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of a medicine. The medication record book records:
- name of child;
- name and strength of medication;
- the date and time of dose;
- dose given and method; and is
- signed by key person/manager; and is
- verified by parent signature at the end of the day.
Storage of medicines
- All medication is stored safely in a locked cupboard or refrigerated. 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. Key persons check that any medication held to administer on an as and when required basis, or on a regular basis, is in date and returns any out-of-date medication back to the parent.
- If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training is provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.
- If rectal diazepam is given another member of staff must be present and co-signs the record book.
- 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.
Children who have long term medical conditions and who may require on ongoing medication
- A risk assessment is carried out for each child with long term medical conditions that require ongoing medication. This is the responsibility of the manager alongside the key person. Other medical or social care personnel may need to be involved in the risk assessment.
- Parents will also contribute to a risk assessment. They should be shown around the setting, understand the routines and activities and point out anything which they think may be a risk factor for their child.
- 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. The training needs for staff is part of the risk assessment.
- The risk assessment includes vigorous activities and any other nursery activity that may give cause for concern regarding an individual child’s health needs.
- The risk assessment includes arrangements for taking medicines on outings and the child’s GP’s advice is sought if necessary where there are concerns.
- A health care plan for the child is drawn up with the parent; outlining the key person’s role and what information must be shared with other staff who care for the child.
- The health care plan should include the measures to be taken in an emergency.
- The health care plan is reviewed every six months or more if necessary. This includes reviewing the medication, e.g. changes to the medication or the dosage, any side effects noted etc.
- Parents receive a copy of the health care plan and each contributor, including the parent, signs it.
Managing medicines on trips and outings
- If children are going on outings, staff accompanying the children must include the key person for the child with a risk assessment, or another member of staff who is fully informed about the child’s needs and/or medication.
- Medication for a child is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name, name of the medication, Inside the box is a copy of the consent form and a card to record when it has been given, with the details as given above.
- On returning to the setting the card is stapled to the medicine record book and the parent signs it.
- If a child on medication has to be taken to hospital, the child’s medication is taken in a sealed plastic box clearly labelled with the child’s name, name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form signed by the parent.
- As a precaution, children should not eat when travelling in vehicles.
- This procedure is read alongside the outings procedure.
Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings (DfES 2005)
Managing Sick Children Policy
1.16 Managing children with allergies, or who are sick or infectious
(Including reporting notifiable diseases)
We provide care for healthy children and promote health through identifying allergies and preventing contact with the allergenic substance and through preventing cross infection of viruses and bacterial infections.
Procedures for children with allergies
- When parents start their children at the setting they are asked if their child suffers from any known allergies. This is recorded on the registration form.
- If a child has an allergy, a risk assessment form is completed 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 form is kept in the child’s personal file and a copy is displayed where staff can see it.
- Parents train staff in how to administer special medication in the event of an allergic reaction.
- 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.
Insurance requirements for children with allergies and disabilities
- The insurance will automatically include children with any disability or allergy but certain procedures must be strictly adhered to as set out below. For children suffering life threatening conditions, or requiring invasive treatments; written confirmation from your insurance provider must be obtained to extend the insurance.
At all times the administration of medication must be compliant with the Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and follow procedures based on advice given in Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings (DfES 2005)
Asthma inhalers are now regarded as “oral medication” by insurers and so documents do not need to be forwarded to your insurance provider.
- Oral medications must be prescribed by a GP or have manufacturer’s instructions clearly written on them.
- The group must be provided with clear written instructions on how to administer such medication.
- All risk assessment procedures need to be adhered to for the correct storage and administration of the medication.
- The group must have the parents or guardians prior written consent. This consent must be kept on file. It is not necessary to forward copy documents to your insurance provider.
Life saving medication & invasive treatments
Adrenaline injections (Epipens) for anaphylactic shock reactions (caused by allergies to nuts, eggs etc) or invasive treatments such as rectal administration of Diazepam (for epilepsy).
- The setting must have:
- a letter from the child’s GP/consultant stating the child’s condition and what medication if any is to be administered;
- written consent from the parent or guardian allowing staff to administer medication; and
- proof of training in the administration of such medication by the child’s GP, a district nurse, children’s’ nurse specialist or a community paediatric nurse.
Procedures for children who are sick or infectious
- If children appear unwell during the day – have a temperature, sickness, diarrhoea or pains, particularly in the head or stomach – the manager calls the parents and asks them to collect the child, or send a known carer to collect on their behalf.
- If a child has a temperature, they are kept cool, by removing top clothing, sponging their heads with cool water, but kept away from draughts.
- Temperature is taken using a ‘fever scan’ and/or ear thermometer kept near to the first aid box. If temperature is raised parents must keep children away from the nursery for 12 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication e.g. calpol, nurofen.
- In extreme cases of emergency the child should be taken to the nearest hospital and the parent informed.
- Parents are asked to take their child to the doctor before returning them to nursery; the nursery can refuse admittance to children who have a temperature, sickness and diarrhoea or a contagious infection or disease. If a child has had hospital treatment parents are asked to fill out a form to ensure the best possible care is given when they return.
- Where children have been prescribed antibiotics, parents are asked to keep them at home for 24 hours before returning to the setting. However, if the antibiotics are prescribed ‘in case’ of an infection, and 2 doses have been given to ensure no allergic reaction, it is at the managers discretion to allow the child back to nursery earlier.
- After the last episode of sickness or diarrhoea, parents are asked to keep children home for 48 hours or until a formed stool is passed.
- The setting has a list of excludable diseases and current exclusion times. The full list is obtainable from hpa.org.uk/servlet/ContentServer?c=HPAweb_C&cid=1194947358374&pagename=HPA webFile and includes common childhood illnesses such as measles.
Reporting of ‘notifiable diseases’
- If a child or adult is diagnosed suffering from a notifiable disease under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988, the GP will report this to the Health Protection Agency.
- When the setting becomes aware, or is formally informed of the notifiable disease, the manager informs Ofsted and acts on any advice given by the Health Protection Agency.
- HIV virus, like other viruses such as Hepatitis, (A, B and C) are spread through body fluids. Hygiene precautions for dealing with body fluids are the same for all children and adults.
- Single use vinyl gloves and aprons are worn when changing children’s nappies, pants and clothing that are soiled with blood, urine, faeces or vomit.
- Protective rubber gloves are used for cleaning/sluicing clothing after changing.
- Soiled clothing is rinsed and either bagged for parents to collect or laundered in the nursery.
- Spills of blood, urine, faeces or vomit are cleared using mild disinfectant solution and mops; cloths used are disposed of with the clinical waste.
- Tables and other furniture, furnishings or toys affected by blood, urine, faeces or vomit are cleaned using a disinfectant.
Nits and head lice
- Nits and head lice are not an excludable condition, although in exceptional cases a parent may be asked to keep the child away until the infestation has cleared.
- On identifying cases of head lice, all parents are informed and asked to treat their child and all the family if they are found to have head lice. An email will be sent to all parents to inform them to check their children also.
Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings (DfES 2005)
Food and drink Policy
1.19 Food and drink
This setting regards snack and meal times as an important part of the setting’s day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating. At snack times, we aim to provide nutritious food, which meets the children’s individual dietary needs and promote healthy eating to parents.
We follow these procedures to promote healthy eating in our setting.
- Before a child starts to attend the setting, we find out from parents their children’s dietary needs and preferences, including any allergies. (See the Managing Children with Allergies policy.)
- We record information about each child’s dietary needs in her/his registration record and parents sign the record to signify that it is correct.
- We regularly consult with parents to ensure that our records of their children’s dietary needs – including any allergies – are up-to-date. Parents sign the up-dated record to signify that it is correct.
- We display current information about individual children’s dietary needs so that all 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 and preferences as well as their parents’ wishes.
- We record consumption of food for parents to check each day what their child has eaten in the under 2’s room. Children in the over 2’s consumption is recorded if requested.
- We provide nutritious food for snacks, avoiding large quantities of saturated fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
- We include a variety of foods from the four main food groups:
- meat, fish and protein alternatives;
- dairy foods;
- grains, cereals and starch vegetables; and
- fruit and vegetables.
- We include foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones.
- We take care not to provide food containing nuts or nut products and are especially vigilant where we have a child who has a known allergy to nuts.
- Through discussion with parents and research reading by staff, we obtain information about the dietary rules of the religious groups to which children and their parents belong, and of vegetarians and vegans, and about food allergies. We take account of this information in the provision of food and drinks.
- We require staff to show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies. Staff do not use a child’s diet or allergy as a label for the child or make a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.
- We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate.
- We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.
- 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 the setting.
- We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food.
- In order to protect children with food allergies, we discourage children from sharing and swapping their food with one another.
- For children who drink milk, we provide organic pasteurised milk.
- If your child requires bottle feeds please ensure you bring bottles and formulae for staff to make up feeds as needed.
- Babies eat the same menu as the older children but may be pureed.
- A menu is displayed for parents to be able to see what their child has eaten that day.
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.
- 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, in written and spoken form and, where appropriate, in more than one language. Where necessary, we will try to provide information in Braille, or through British Sign Language. We will provide translated written materials where language needs of families suggest this is required as well as access to an interpreter.
- We arrange our waiting list in order of registration. In addition our policy may take into account the following:
- siblings already attending the setting.
- We describe our setting and its practices in terms that make it clear that it welcomes both fathers and mothers, other relations and other carers, including childminders.
- We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it treats each child and their family, having regard to their needs arising from their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, social background, religion, ethnicity or from English being a newly acquired additional language.
- We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it enables children and/or parents with disabilities to take part in the life of the setting.
- We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that our intake is representative of social diversity.
- We make our Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality Policy widely known.
- 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.
Parental Involvement Policy
4.6 Parental involvement
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 the setting. We also aim to support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.
Some parents are less well represented in early years settings; these include fathers, parents who live apart from their children but who still play a part in their lives as well as working parents. In carrying out the following procedures, we will ensure all parents are included.
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.
‘Parental responsibility’ is all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.
- We have a means to ensure all parents are included – that may mean we have different strategies for involving fathers or parents who work or live apart from their children.
- We consult with all parents to find out what works best for them.
- We ensure ongoing 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.
- We encourage and support parents to play an active part in the governance and management of the setting.
- We inform all parents on a regular basis about their children’s progress.
- 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 inform parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training.
- We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.
- We provide information about opportunities to be involved in the setting in ways that are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language.
- We hold meetings in venues that are accessible and appropriate for all.
- We welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take.
- We inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and check to ensure these are understood. 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.
In compliance with the Welfare Requirements, the following documentation is in place:
- Admissions policy.
- Complaints procedure.
- Record of complaints.
Developmental records of children.
Mobile Phone/Camera Policy
1.9b Maintaining children’s safety and security on premises
Use of Mobile Telephones and Cameras Policy
This policy is written to ensure the safety and well-being of the children and adults within St Thomas Nursery, with reference to the use of mobile telephones and cameras.
- Staff and visitors are not permitted to use mobile telephones on the premises, when children are present during working hours.
- A mobile telephone will be available for staff to take on walks and trips for emergency health and safety reasons only, not for photographs.
- Staff and visitors are not permitted to use mobile telephones to take photographs of children on the premises.
- Photographs can only be taken of the children by using the designated St Thomas Nursery camera by staff members.
- St Thomas Nursery camera is to be stored securely in a locked cabinet during closure times.
- Photographs can only be downloaded onto the St Thomas Nursery designated static computer that is securely password protected and locked during closure.
- Only the Manager and Deputy Manager are permitted to download photographs onto a designated St Thomas Nursery memory stick, solely for the purpose of printing them for children’s learning journeys.
- Once photographs have been printed the memory stick must be wiped clean for reasons of confidentiality.
- Photographs can only be taken of the children where written permission has been sought and granted from parents/carers (see admissions forms).
Staff members and parents are permitted to use mobile phones in areas where no children are present i.e. kitchen and staff room