Welcome Equal Opportunities
Our Mission Statement Additional Needs
Management and Administration Parental Involvement
Age Range and Opening Hours Informing Parents
Staff Discipline and Behaviour Management
The Key Person and your child Child Protection
Record of Development Summary Complaints
Starting at Pre-school
Health and Safety
Illness and Infection
Welcome to the prospectus of Bidbury Community Preschool. We aim to give parents and prospective parents of the setting the opportunity to learn the ethos and workings of the preschool and find out how their children can achieve the most out of their time at Bidbury preschool.
Our aim is to enhance the development and education of preschool children in a community based group. The safe, secure and stimulating environment encourages equality of opportunity for all the children and families.
Management and administration
We are a registered charity preschool, which is overseen by a committee which includes representation from both present and past parents and school staff. The committee meets twice a term and in has an AGM in the autumn term. Any parents interested in being on our committee are always welcome and should contact a member of staff for further details.
Current committee members
Miss Gemma Brockett – Parent (chair)
Mrs Carol Rhodes – Parent (Treasurer)
Mar Kayleigh Crowhurst – Parent (Secretary)
Mrs Kerri Atkins – Parent
Mrs Sarah Thumwood Infant school rep
Mrs Liz Francis / Mrs Danielle Linton Grandparent/Parent (Fundraisers)
The committee is responsible for reviewing both policies and practice and for the employment of staff. The day to day management of the setting is in the hands of the qualified manager and deputy managers.
All Pre-schools are subject to regular inspections from OFSTED. The Pre-school is registered with Hampshire County Council and a copy of our Certificate of Registration is displayed on the wall by the entrance of the Pre-school together with our insurance certificate.
Bidbury Pre-school was inspected on 12th June 2019 and the quality of provision was deemed to be Requires Improvement. The report is available to view on the OFSTED website or on request within the Pre-school.
Age range, opening hours and fees
We accept children from the age of 2 years to 4 years. The Pre-school is open each day Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.00am – 3.00pm, with the added option of Breakfast Club from 8.00am at an additional fee of £2.00, payable at the door.
The government funds both three and four year old children born within certain dates, for up to 15 hours of pre-school provision per week. The Pre-school also accepts children who qualify for the 30 hour funding which is available for working parents (please check the GOV.UK website to check if you are eligible). Funding is also available for some two year old children: however there are certain criteria you will need to meet. Please speak to a member of staff if you have any questions about funding.
Fees are payable as follows:
Our hourly rate is currently £4.30 per hour for 2 year olds and £4.10 for 3 and 4 year olds.. Bills are issued termly in advance and payment should be made a week prior to the end of each term. Late payment cannot be tolerated as it has an impact on all the children and the parents and will result in your child’s pre-school hours being reduced or withdrawn. Parents with hardship may contact the manager or chairperson in confidence.
The regular staff in our Pre-school are :
Ally Priestley, Manager : BA Hons Education and Training Studies Level 5
Luci West, Deputy : BA Hons Education and Training Studies Level 5
Natasha Tyler, Deputy : Level 3 Diploma Children and Young Peoples Workforce
Leanne Fry, Pre-school Practitioner and SENCO : Level 3 Diploma Children and Young Peoples Workforce
Brooke Coleman, Pre-school Practitioner : Level 3 Diploma Children and Young Peoples Workforce
Claire Green, Pre-school Practitioner : Level 3 Diploma Children and Young Peoples Workforce
Lesley Thumwood, Pre-school Practitioner : Level 2 in Workforce and Young Children
Samantha English, Pre-school Practitioner / Admin Manager
The adult to child ratio varies according to the age group. It is never less than 1:8 and for the children under the age of three the ratio is 1:4. Individual care and attention is made possible by this ratio.
The Key Person and your child
Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she is responsible.
Your child’s key person will be the one who works with you to make sure that the care and education we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. When your child first starts at the setting he/she will help your child settle and will care for them throughout your child’s time at the setting.
Record of Development Summary
The setting keeps a record of development for each child. Staff and parents working together on their child’s individual learning journey is one of the ways in which the key person and parents work in partnership. Your child’s record helps us to celebrate together their achievements and to work to provide what your child needs for their well being and to make progress.
Your child’s key person will work with you to keep this record. To do this, you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person identify your child’s stage of progress. You and the key person will then decide on how to help your child move on to the next stage. Each individual child’s progress is recorded and monitored by using an electronic journal called ‘Tapestry’. This system allows parents to view their child’s progress at any time from home. It also allows you, as parents and carers to add your own observations or comments, enabling us to work together effectively.
We want children to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents and to recognise other adults as a source of authority, help and friendship. The child who is tense or unhappy will not be able to play or learn properly, so it is important for parents and Pre-school staff to work together to help the child feel confident and secure within the group. This may take longer for some children and parents should not feel worried if their child takes a while to settle. In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best to send children in clothes that are easily washed or not too new. It is good for children to practise the skills that will make them independent.
Simple clothing which they can handle themselves will enable them to go to the toilet when they want, and take off outdoor clothes without being too dependent on other people’s help.
The Pre-school will accept children in nappies but, in order to promote independence, we would request that these are of the pull up variety and that the child is changed prior to the Pre-school session. Nappies and wipes are to be provided by the parents. We are happy to work with parents and child with potty training.
Pre-school staff are always ready and willing to talk to parents about their ideas, views and questions.
The Pre-school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which leads to nationally approved Early Learning Goals. Each child’s learning is carefully planned and tailored to their needs and interests.
Priority is given to fostering Personal and Social Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.
Each area of the curriculum and how we encourage development in that area is briefly described below:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are encouraged to have a positive attitude towards themselves and others. They learn to build relationships within the group, to be aware of their social surroundings, to share and help others. They are encouraged to become independent and confident learners by the adults and children around them: this means having set boundaries, positive role models and lots of encouragement and praise for their achievements.
Communication and Language
In both small and large groups children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary by talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Using the outside environment to talk about the sounds around them and learn to distinguish between them. Adults are there to encourage new vocabulary, model language and promote an environment that allows the children to be listened to while also encouraging them to listen to others.
We have an outside area and equipment that encourages children to develop or enhance their balancing, sliding, running, climbing, stretching and overall motor skills. We have ball games to help with hand/eye co-ordination and large construction toys to build and balance. We sometimes have use of the Year R playground and their apparatus to promote the physical skills that young children need. We also undertake activities and provide resources to promote fine motor skills such as colouring, cutting and playing with manipulative toys.
Children often start to learn to read by recognising signs and symbols. We have familiar signs and symbols around Pre school and a well stocked book area. The children have the opportunity to look at books independently or with an adult throughout the day and we have group story time before lunch and at the end of the day. All children also have their own book bag which enables them to pick a book of their choice to share with their family at home each day, and we encourage all parents and carers to read with their child on a regular basis.
We also have a wide variety of mark making equipment around the environment, both inside and outside, so that children can mark make, colour, draw and write as they wish.
Children are encouraged to become familiar with sorting, matching, counting, ordering and sequencing activities through a large range of resources. We regularly play matching games and sing songs with numbers in, and it is these resources and activities that form the basis for early mathematics. We store all our resources at a level that encourages and supports children to explore all areas of learning independently.
Understanding the World
The children are encouraged to explore and experiment with a variety of natural and manufactured materials and objects. They are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the setting and the local area.
Understanding the world is promoted by the use of the outside area where children participate in planting vegetables and flowers and are encouraged to care for them as they grow. We look at books and talk about the life cycles of plants and animals. We have lots of equipment to look for and catch bugs and minibeasts. Each year we have eggs which we keep until they hatch into chicks to enhance the children’s understanding and extend their learning in this subject.
We promote the use of technology in the setting by having torches, tablets, walkie talkies and digital cameras which they are encouraged and supported to access.
Expressive Art and Design
Children have the opportunities to express their own ideas and feelings by accessing our wide range of resources. We have a wide range of art and creative resources, including paint, glue, crayons, pencils, glitter and natural resources to enable the children to participate in open ended exploration of colour, shape and texture.
We also have a permanent role play area with a wide range of resources to encourage and support imaginative play. This area is often changed to meet the children’s interests, such as fire stations, doctors, cafes, pirate ships and princess castles. We also have lots of dressing up outfits and props to support children’s play.
We encourage the children to make music, dance and sing and often have music on, sing songs and rhymes and explore instruments.
Our policies are all designed to offer the children and families within our setting the best possible experience. These policies are reviewed by staff annually to ensure they are up to date and correct. Policies are available to view in our policy folder, please ask a member of staff, or on our Pre-school website (see 1st page of prospectus for the website address). We can email these to parents or make copies for you to take home upon request.
In the event of our setting being over subscribed, we operate a waiting list system and priority is given to:
- Children in receipt of government funding
- Parents with siblings attending Bidbury Pre-school
- Parents with siblings attending Bidbury Infant or Junior school
We try to ensure, wherever possible, that all children are allocated 15 hours when in receipt of government funding.
Children learn and develop new skills and concepts through their play and exploration of our setting. The toys and equipment we provide enhance these opportunities. All toys are appropriate for the childrens ages and development stages and conform to all relevant safety regulations.
Health and Safety
General safety standards in the setting are regularly checked and monitored and our setting is fully insured. All staff hold a current first aid qualification, and a fully stocked first aid kit is available at all times. Any injury that occurs to a child in our care is noted in our accident book and the person collecting the child is informed and asked to sign the book to confirm they have been informed. Written permission is required from a parent for children to participate in outings, visits, etc. If an unknown person is to collect a child, staff will require that a password (given beforehand by child’s parent) be given before the child is allowed to leave our setting.
We can only administer medication that has been prescribed by the doctor. Parents or carers must complete a medication permission form before a member of staff can administer medication. The staff will also complete an entry in the medication book for parents to sign and confirm for each day that the medication is to be administered. All medication must be kept in its original packaging with the information labels (stating child’s name and dosage) intact. This will be kept out of childrens reach (unless it requires refrigeration).
Illness and Infection
Parents are asked to keep children at home if they have any illness or infection to help minimise the spread and aid recovery. We would ask that parents inform the setting of any illness to allow us to alert other parents if necessary. In the case of vomiting or diarrhoea your child is to be kept at home for 48 hours after the last incident.
In our setting we believe that no child should be discriminated against due to their religion, race, culture, disability or gender. All children are treated as equals and will be treated as individuals. We believe that all activities should be accessible to children and their families. Key workers will tailor activities to the needs and abilities of individual children.
Our Pre-school aims to have regard to the Department for Educational Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Additional Educational Needs, and to provide welcome and appropriate learning opportunities for all the children. We work in partnership with outside agencies such as speech therapists, health visitors, social workers and paediatricians to ensure we meet children’s specific and individual needs. A gradual introduction to the setting can be arranged, if required, to benefit the child, parents and staff.
Our named SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is Leanne Fry
We keep parents informed by sending out regular newsletters, individual letters and our termly consultation meetings between children’s keyworkers and parents. We also operate an ‘open door’ system where parents can discuss and worries or concerns they have with staff if needed.
Discipline and Behaviour Management
In our setting the care and safety of our children is paramount. We believe that they progress and develop when they feel safe and secure and are free to play and learn without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else.
We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.
If undesired behaviour occurs staff will endeavour to deal with the situation immediately, explaining to the child concerned, at a level they understand, what would have been more appropriate behaviour. When the incident is dealt with the child should understand that the matter is now finished and normal activities continue.
We aim to create an environment in which children are safe from abuse, and in which suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. Safeguarding the children in our care is a priority for all staff and we are trained in the correct procedures to follow should we have any concerns over a child’s safety or well-being.
We will record any concerns that we may have regarding the children in our care and these will be reported to the relevant agencies should we feel it necessary. We hope to work harmoniously with our families to avoid such situations and can provide advice, or, signpost parents and carers to outside agencies for support. We strive for good relationships with our families, ensuring strict confidentiality at all times.
We work in partnership with parents / carers.
Should any concerns arise we ask that parents bring them to the attention of a member of staff and we will deal with them promptly, a complaints book is accessible to all parents within the setting. Alternatively the Chairperson of the committee will also be please to help.
Complaints can also be made to:
Tel : 0300 123 1231
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. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.
Key commitment 1
The Alliance is 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 (a member of staff) who co-ordinates child protection issues is:
- Our designated officer (a member of the management team) who oversees this work is:
- 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.
- Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
- Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone living or working on the premises.
- 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
The Alliance is 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 member of staff 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 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 person’s 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 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 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.
Making a referral to the local authority children’s social care team
- The Pre-school Learning Alliance’s publication Safeguarding Children contains procedures for making a referral to the local children’s social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making a referral.
- We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by our Local Safeguarding Children Board, which we follow where local procedures differ from those of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
- Parents are normally 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.
- The current version of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ available for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.
- We have procedures for contacting the local authority regarding 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 children’s social care to work well together.
- 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.
- 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 respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff, volunteer or any other person living or 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 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 Designated Officer (LADO) to investigate:
|Barabara Piddington – Mark Blackwell 01962 876364||(name and phone number)|
- 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.
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 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.
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 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 (1998)
- 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 (1998) Non Statutory Guidance
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013)
- What to do if you’re 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) (HMG 2006)
- Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Safeguarding Children (2013)
Use of Mobile Phones & Cameras
We take steps to ensure that there are effective procedures in place to protect children, young people, and vulnerable adults from the unacceptable use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.
Personal mobile phones
- Personal mobile phones belonging to our staff and volunteers are not used on the premises during working hours.
- At the beginning of each individual’s shift, personal mobile phones are stored in a locked cupboard.
- 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 monitor whilst use in the setting.
- 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 Registration Form).
‘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).
- 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.
- Information shared between parents in a discussion or training group is usually bound by a shared agreement that the information is confidential to the group and not discussed outside of it. We are not responsible should that confidentiality be breached by participants.
- 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).
- Most information is kept in a manual file. However, our staff may use a computer to type reports, or letters. Where this is the case, the typed document is deleted from the PC and only the hard copy kept. We do not keep electronic records on children, other than the register and financial data.
- Where it is helpful to keep an electronic copy, we download it onto a disc, labelled with the child’s name and kept securely in the child’s file.
- Our staff discuss children’s general progress and wellbeing 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 , 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 following the procedure below:
- The parent is the ‘subject’ of the file in the case where a child is too young to give ‘informed consent’ and has a right to see information that our setting has compiled on them.
- Any request to see the child’s personal file by a parent or person with parental responsibility must be made in writing to the setting leader or manager.
- We acknowledge the request in writing, informing the parent that an arrangement will be made for him/her to see the file contents, subject to third party consent.
- Our written acknowledgement allows 40 working days for the file to be made ready.
- Our manager informs their line manager and legal advice may be sought before sharing a file.
- Our manager goes through the file with their line manager and ensures that all documents have been filed correctly, that entries are in date order and that there are no missing pages. They note any information, entry or correspondence or other document which mentions a third party.
- We write to each of those individuals explaining that the subject has requested sight of the file, which contains a reference to them, stating what this is.
- They are asked to reply in writing to our manager giving or refusing consent for disclosure of that material.
- We keep copies of these letters and their replies on the child’s file.
- ‘Third parties’ include each family member noted on the file; so, where there are separate entries pertaining to each parent, step parent, grandparent etc, we write to each of them to request third party consent.
- Third parties also include workers from any other agency, including children’s social care and the health authority for example. Agencies will normally refuse consent to share information, preferring instead for the parent to be redirected to those agencies for a request to see their file held by that agency.
- Members of our staff should also be written to, but we reserve the right under the legislation to override a refusal for consent or to just delete the name of the staff member and not the information. We may grant refusal if the member of staff has provided information that could be considered ‘sensitive’ and the staff member may be in danger if that information is disclosed; or if that information is the basis of a police investigation. However, if the information is not sensitive, then it is not in our interest to withhold that information from a parent. In each case this should be discussed with members of staff and decisions recorded.
- When we have received all the consents/refusals our manager takes a photocopy of the complete file. On the copy of the file, our manager removes any information that a third party has refused consent for us to disclose and blank out any references to the third party, and any information they have added to the file, using a thick marker pen.
- The copy file is then checked by the manager and legal advisors to verify that the file has been prepared appropriately.
- What remains is the information recorded by the setting, detailing the work initiated and followed by them in relation to confidential matters. This is called the ‘clean copy’.
- We photocopy the ‘clean copy’ again and collate it for the parent to see.
- Our manager informs the parent that the file is now ready and invite[s] him/ her to make an appointment to view it.
- Our manager meets with the parent to go through the file, explaining the process as well as what the content of the file records about the child and the work that has been done. Only the person(s) with parental responsibility can attend that meeting, or the parent’s legal representative or interpreter.
- The parent may take a copy of the prepared file; but, to ensure it is properly explained to and understood by the parent, we never hand it over without discussion.
- It is an offence to remove material that is controversial or to rewrite records to make them more acceptable. Our recording procedures and guidelines ensure that the material reflects an accurate and non-judgemental account of the work we have done with the family.
- If a parent feels aggrieved about any entry in the file, or the resulting outcome, then we refer the parent to our complaint’s procedure.
- The law requires that the information we hold must be accurate. If a parent says that the information, we hold is inaccurate, then the parent has a right to request for it to be changed. However, this only pertains to factual inaccuracies. Where the disputed entry is a matter of opinion, professional judgement, or represents a different view of the matter than that held by the parent, we retain the right not to change that entry, but we can record the parent’s view of the matter. In most cases, we would have given a parent the opportunity at the time to state their side of the matter, and it would have been recorded there and then.
- If there are any controversial aspects of the content of a child’s file, we must seek legal advice. This might be where there is a court case between parents, where social care or the police may be considering legal action, or where a case has already completed, and an appeal process is underway.
- We never ‘under-record’ for fear of the parent seeing, nor do we make ‘personal notes’ elsewhere.
Telephone advice regarding general queries may be made to The Information Commissioner’s Office Helpline 0303 123 1113.
All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of our setting, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please see also our policy on Safeguarding Children and Child Protection.
- Data Protection Act (1998)
- Human Rights Act (1998)
- Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)
Diversity & Equality
We are committed to ensuring that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children.
We recognise that children and their families come from a wide range of backgrounds with individual needs, beliefs and values. They may grow up in family structures that include one or two parents of the same or different sex. Children may have close links or live with extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; while other children may be more removed from close kin or may live with other relatives or foster carers. Some children come from families who experience social exclusion, severe hardship; discrimination and prejudice because of their ethnicity, disability and/or ability, the languages they speak, their religious or personal beliefs, their sexual orientation and marital status. Some individuals face discrimination linked to their gender and some women are discriminated against because of their pregnancy and maternity status. We understand that all these factors can affect the well-being of children within these families and may adversely impact on children’s learning, attainment and life outcomes.
We are are committed to anti-discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and valuing diversity for all children and families using our setting. We aim to:
- promote equality and value diversity within our service and foster good relations with the local community;
- actively include all families and value the positive contribution they make to our service;
- promote a positive non-stereotyping environment that promotes dignity, respect and understanding of difference in all forms;
- provide a secure and accessible environment in which every child feels safe and equally included;
- improve our knowledge and understanding of issues relating to anti-discriminatory practice,
- challenge and eliminate discriminatory actions on the basis of a protected characteristic as defined by the Equality Act (2010) namely:
- gender reassignment;
- marital status;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- sexual orientation; and
- religion or belief.
- where possible, take positive action to benefit groups or individuals with protected characteristics who are disadvantaged, have a disproportional representation within the service or need different things from the service.
Our setting is open and accessible to all members of the community.
- We base our Admissions Policy on a fair system.
- We do not discriminate against a child or their family in our service provision, including preventing their entry to our setting based on a protected characteristic as defined by the Equality Act (2010).
- We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form and provide information in other languages (where ever possible).
- We reflect the diversity of our community and wider society in our publicity and promotional materials.
- We provide information on our offer of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
- We ensure that all parents are made aware of our Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality Policy.
- We make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled children can participate successfully in the services and in the curriculum offered by the setting.
- We ensure, wherever possible, that we have a balanced intake of boys and girls in the setting.
- We take action against any discriminatory, harassing or victimising behaviour by our staff, volunteers or parents whether by:
- direct discrimination – someone is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic e.g. preventing families of a specific ethnic group from using the service;
- indirect discrimination – someone is affected unfavourably by a general policy e.g. children must only speak English in the setting;
- discrimination arising from a disability – someone is treated less favourably because of something connected with their disability e.g. a child with a visual impairment is excluded from an activity;
- association – discriminating against someone who is associated with a person with a protected characteristic e.g. behaving unfavourably to someone who is married to a person from a different cultural background; or
- perception – discrimination on the basis that it is thought someone has a protected characteristic e.g. making assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation.
- Displaying of openly discriminatory and possibly offensive or threatening materials, name calling, or threatening behaviour are unacceptable on, or around, [our/my] premises and will be dealt with immediately and discreetly by asking the adult to stop using the unacceptable behaviour and inviting them to read and to act in accordance with the relevant policy statement and procedure. Failure to comply may lead to the adult being excluded from the premises.
- 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 may use the exemption clauses in relevant legislation to enable the service to best meet the needs of the community.
- 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.
- We seek out training opportunities for our staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices.
- We ensure that our staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines.
- We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality.
The curriculum offered in our setting encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as about people who are different from themselves. It encourages development of confidence and self esteem, empathy, critical thinking and reflection.
We ensure that our practice is fully inclusive by:
- creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance;
- modelling desirable behaviour to children and helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable;
- positively reflecting the widest possible range of communities within resources;
- avoiding use of stereotypes or derogatory images within our books or any other visual materials;
- celebrating locally observed festivals and holy days;
- ensuring that children learning English as an additional language have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning;
- ensuring that disabled children with and without special educational needs are fully supported;
- ensuring that children speaking languages other than English are supported in the maintenance and development of their home languages
We will ensure that Our environment is as accessible as possible for all visitors and service users. We do this by:
- undertaking an access audit to establish if the setting is accessible to all disabled children and adults. If access to the setting is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably, then [we/I] make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled children and adults.
- fully differentiating the environment, resources and curriculum to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory needs.
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.
- We offer a flexible payment system for families experiencing financial difficulties and offer information regarding sources of financial support.
- We take positive action to encourage disadvantaged and under-represented groups to use the setting.
- 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.
- Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to may be involved in the running of the setting.
- We positively encourage fathers to be involved in the setting, especially those fathers who do not live with the child.
- Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways – written, verbal and where resources allow in translation – to ensure that all mothers and fathers have information about, and access to, the meetings.
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.
Public Sector Equality Duty
- We have regard to the Duty to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity, foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The Equality Act (2010)
Children Act (1989) & (2004)
Children and Families Act (2014)
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice (2014)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Guide to the Equality Act and Good Practice (2011)
- SEND Code of Practice 2014 for the Early Years (2014)
- All Together Now (2011)
- Where’s Dad? (2009)
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. 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 that 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.
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’. (For a full explanation of who has parental responsibility, refer to the Pre-school Learning Alliance publication Safeguarding Children.)
- Parents are made to feel welcome in our setting; they are greeted appropriately.
- We have a means to ensure all parents are included – that may mean that we have different strategies for involving fathers, or parents who work or live apart from their children.
- We make every effort to accommodate parents who have a disability or impairment.
- We consult with all parents to find out what works best for them.
- 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 make clear our expectation that parents will participate in settling their child at the commencement of a place according to an agreed plan.
- We seek parents’ views regarding changes in the delivery of our service.
- Parents are actively encouraged to participate in decision making processes according to the structure in place within our setting.
- 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.
- Where applicable, our key persons work with parents to carry out any agreed tasks where a Protection Plan is in place for a child.
- 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 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; making every effort to provide an interpreter for parents who speak a language other than English and to provide translated written materials.
- 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 we check to ensure these are understood. All parents have access to our written complaint’s 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/my setting:
- Admissions Policy.
- Complaints procedure.
- Record of complaints.
- Developmental records of children.
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Complaint Investigation Record (2012)
- Engaging Mothers & Fathers (2010)
- Safeguarding Children (Ed 2013)
- Looking at Learning Together (2005)
- The First and Foremost Series (2008)
Health & Safety
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:
- She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.
- She has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.
- For employers: We display the necessary health and safety poster in:
On wall in setting
We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed:
On the wall inside the setting
- 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 keep records of these induction training sessions and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part.
- We explain health and safety issues to the parents of new children, so that they understand the part played by these issues in the daily life of the setting.
- As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and health and safety is discussed regularly at our staff meetings.
- We operate a no-smoking policy.
- We make children aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
- Low level windows are made from materials that prevent accidental breakage or we ensure that they are made safe.
- We ensure that windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.
- Our windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them.
- We ensure that any blind cords are secured safely and do not pose a strangulation risk for young children.
- 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 and stairs are left clear and uncluttered.
- We ensure that all electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.
- Radiators, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded, and we teach the children not to touch them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides.
- We leave receptacles upturned to prevent collection of rainwater. Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied and cleaned before children start playing outside.
- 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.
- We seek information from the Public Health England to ensure that we keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations.
- Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.
- 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.
- We keep a full inventory of all items in the setting for audit and insurance purposes.
- 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.
- 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. Large pieces of equipment are discarded only with the consent of the manager and the management team.
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.
Safety of adults
- 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 and in appropriate languages.
- We ensure that adults do not remain in the building on their own.
- We record the sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents. The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
Control of substances hazardous to health
- Our staff implement the current guidelines of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
- We keep a record of all substances that may be hazardous to health – such as cleaning chemicals, or gardening chemicals if used and where they are stored.
- Hazardous substances are stored safely away from the children.
- We carry out a risk assessment for all chemicals used in the setting. This states what the risks are and what to do if they have contact with eyes or skin or are ingested.
- We keep the chemicals used in the setting to the minimum in order to ensure health and hygiene is maintained. We do not use:
- anti-bacterial soap/hand wash, unless specifically advised during an infection outbreak such as Pandemic flu; or
- anti-bacterial cleaning agents, except in the toilets, nappy changing area and food preparation areas. Anti-bacterial spays are not used when children are nearby.
- Environmental factors are taken into account when purchasing, using and disposing of chemicals.
- All members of staff are vigilant and use chemicals safely.
- Members of staff wear protective gloves when using cleaning chemicals.
- Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
- Electricity at Work Regulations (1989)
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) (2002)
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992 (As Amended 2004))
- Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (1992)
- Health and Safety Law: What You Need to Know (HSE Revised 2009)
- Health and Safety Regulation…A Short Guide (HSE 2003)
- Electrical Safety and You: A Brief Guide (HSE 2012)
- Working with Substances Hazardous to Health: What You Need to Know About COSHH (HSE Revised 2009)
- Getting to Grips with Manual Handling – Frequently Asked Questions: A Short Guide (HSE 2011)
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. This includes ensuring that parent consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures. Any member of staff administering medicine is witness by another member of staff.
- 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.
- Non-prescription medication, such as pain or fever relief (e.g. Calpol) and teething gel, may be administered, but only with prior written consent of the parent and only when there is a health reason to do so, such as a high temperature. Children under the age of 16 years are never given medicines containing aspirin unless prescribed specifically for that child by a doctor. The administering of un-prescribed medication is recorded in the same way as any other medication. NB We may administer children’s paracetamol (un-prescribed) with the verbal consent of the parents in the case of a high temperature. This is to prevent febrile convulsion and where a parent or named person is on their way to collect the child.
- 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/I check] 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 and a witness. Parents are shown the record at the end of the day and asked to sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of the medicine. 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;
- signature of the person administering the medication [and a witness]; and
- parent’s signature.
- We use a copy of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Medication Administration Record book for recording the administration of medicine and comply with the detailed procedures set out in that publication.
- If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, we obtain individual training 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 a member of what they need. However, this does not replace staff vigilance in knowing and responding when a child requires medication.
- We monitor the medication record book is monitored to look at the frequency of medication given in the setting. For example, a high incidence of antibiotics being prescribed for a number of children at similar times may indicate a need for better infection control.
Storage of medicines
- All medication is stored safely in a locked cupboard 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 the 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. Staff check that any medication held in the setting, is in date and return any out-of-date medication back to the parent.
All medicines are kept in a labelled box in a high cupboard, out of reach of children.
Children who have long term medical conditions and who may require ongoing medication
- We carry out a risk assessment for each child with a long term medical condition that requires on-going medication. This is the responsibility of our manager along side a member of staff . 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 form part of the risk assessment.
- The risk assessment includes vigorous activities and any other 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 advice is sought from the child’s GP if necessary where there are concerns.
- An individual health plan for the child is drawn up with the parent; outlining [the key person’s/my] 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.
- We review the individual health plan every six months, or more frequently 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 individual health plan and each contributor, including the parent, signs it.
Managing medicines on trips and outings
- If children are going on outings, a member of staff will accompany the children with a risk assessment, and will be 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 and the name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form and a card to record when it has been given, including all the details that need to be recorded in the medication record as stated 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 and the name of the medication. Inside the box is a copy of the consent form signed by the parent.
- This procedure should be read alongside the outings procedure.
- The Human Medicines Regulations (2012)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Medication Record (2013)
- Daily Register and Outings Record (2012)