Little Me

Policy & Procedures

We have included seven policies which we feel, as parents, you may find the most informative, the rest of the Nursery policies can be read at anytime and are available in the Reception.


1) Policy for Settling In

Settling In

At Little Me Nursery we aim to support parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by giving consideration to the individual needs and circumstances of every child and their families. Our aim is for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s continued well-being and their role as active partners, with the child being able to benefit from what the nursery has to offer.

All our staff know about the importance of building strong attachments with children. They are trained to recognise the different stages of attachment and use this knowledge to support children and families settling in to the nursery.

Our nursery will work in partnership with parents to settle their child into the nursery environment by:

  • Allocating a key person to each child and his/her family, before he/she starts to attend. The key person welcomes and looks after the child, ensuring that their care is tailored to meet their individual needs. He/she offers a settled relationship for the child and builds a relationship with his/her parents during the settling in period and throughout his/her time at the nursery, to ensure the family has a familiar contact person to assist with the settling in process
  • Reviewing the nominated key person if the child is bonding with another member of staff to ensure the child’s needs are supported
  • Providing parents with relevant information about the policies and procedures of the nursery
  • Encouraging parents and children to visit the nursery during the weeks before an admission is planned and arranging home visits should a parent request it.
  • Planning settling in visits and introductory sessions (lasting approximately 1-2 hours). These will be provided over a one or two week period, dependent on individual needs, age and stage of development
  • Welcoming parents to stay with their child during the first few weeks until the child feels settled and the parents feel comfortable about leaving their child. Settling in visits and introductory sessions are key to a smooth transition and to ensure good communication and information sharing between staff and parents
  • Reassuring parents whose children seem to be taking a long time settling in to the nursery and developing a plan with them
  • Encouraging parents, where appropriate, to separate themselves from their children for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences
  • Assigning a back-up key person to each child in case the key person is not available. Parents will be made aware of this to support the settling process and attachment
  • Respecting the circumstances of all families, including those who are unable to stay for long periods of time in the nursery and reassure them of their child’s progress towards settling in
  • Not taking a child on an outing from the nursery until he/she is completely settled.

2) Health & Safety General Policy

Health & Safety

At Little Me Nursery we provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees and a safe early learning environment in which children learn and are cared for. To develop and promote a strong health and safety culture within the nursery for the benefit of all staff, children and parents, we provide information, training and supervision. We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities.

The allocation of duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements which we will make to implement our health and safety procedures are set out within this policy and we make sufficient resources available to provide a safe environment.

Legal framework

We follow all relevant legislation and associated guidance relating to health and safety within the nursery including:

  • The requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017
  • The regulations of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and any other relevant legislation such as Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation (COSHH)
  • Any guidance provided by Public Health England, the local health protection unit, the local authority environmental health department, fire authority or the Health and Safety Executive.

Aims and objectives

The aim of this policy statement is to ensure that all reasonably practical steps are taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all persons using the premises.

To achieve this we will actively work towards the following objectives:

  • Establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment throughout the nursery including outdoor spaces
  • Establish and maintain safe working practices amongst staff and children
  • Make arrangements for ensuring safety and the minimising of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of hazardous articles and substances
  • Ensure the provision of sufficient information, instruction and supervision to enable all people working in or using the nursery to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety and to ensure that staff have access to regular health and safety training
  • Maintain a healthy and safe nursery with safe entry and exit routes
  • Formulate effective procedures for use in case of fire and other emergencies and for evacuating the nursery premises. Practice this procedure on a regular basis to enable the safe and speedy evacuation of the nursery
  • Maintain a safe working environment for pregnant workers or for workers who have recently given birth, including undertaking appropriate risk assessments
  • Maintain a safe environment for those with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure all areas of the nursery are accessible (wherever practicable)
  • Provide a safe environment for students or trainees to learn in
  • Encourage all staff, visitors and parents to report any unsafe working practices or areas to ensure immediate response by the management.

We believe the risks in the nursery environment are low and we will maintain the maximum protection for children, staff and parents. The nursery will:

  • Ensure all entrances and exits from the building, including fire exits are clearly identifiable and remain clear at all times
  • Regularly check the premises room by room for structural defects, worn fixtures and fittings or electrical equipment and take the necessary remedial action
  • Ensure that all staff, visitors, parents and children are aware of the fire procedures and regular fire drills are carried out
  • Have the appropriate fire detection and control equipment which is checked regularly to make sure it is in working order
  • Ensure that all members of staff are aware of the procedure to follow in case of accidents for staff, visitors and children
  • Ensure that all members of staff take all reasonable action to control the spread of infectious diseases and wear protective gloves and clothing where appropriate
  • Ensure there are suitable hygienic changing facilities (see infection control policy)
  • Prohibit smoking on the nursery premises
  • Prohibit any contractor from working on the premises without prior discussion with the Nursery Manager.
  • Encourage children to manage risks safely and prohibit running inside the premises unless in designated areas.
  • Risk assess all electrical sockets and take appropriate measures to reduce risks where necessary and ensure no trailing wires are left around the nursery
  • Ensure all cleaning materials are placed out of the reach of children and kept in their original containers
  • Wear protective clothing e.g. Blue gloves and apron, when cooking or serving food
  • Prohibit certain foods that may relate to children’s allergies, e.g. peanuts are not allowed in the nursery
  • We follow the EU Food Information for Food Consumers Regulations (EU FIC). These rules are enforced in the UK by the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR). We identify the 14 allergens listed by EU Law that we use as ingredients in any of the dishes we provide to children and ensure that all parents are informed
  • Follow the allergies and allergic reactions policy for children who have allergies
  • Ensure risk assessments are undertaken on the storage and preparation of food produce within the nursery
  • Familiarise all staff and visitors with the position of the first aid boxes and ensure all know who the appointed first aiders are
  • Provide appropriately stocked first aid boxes and check their contents regularly
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times
  • Ensure no student or volunteer is left unsupervised at any time
  • Ensure staff paediatric first aid certificates are on display (or made available to parents).

Responsibilities

The designated Health and Safety Officer in the nursery is Claire Paduano and Stacey Hayward.

The employer has overall and final responsibility for this policy being carried out at:

Little Me Nursery Bramley House, 25 Main Street, Foxton. LE16 7RB.

The nursery manager/deputy nursery manager will be responsible in his/her absence.

All employees have the responsibility to cooperate with senior staff and the manager to achieve a healthy and safe nursery and to take reasonable care of themselves and others. Neglect of health and safety regulations/duties will be regarded as a disciplinary matter (see separate policy on disciplinary procedures).

Whenever a member of staff notices a health or safety problem which they are not able to rectify, they must immediately report it to the appropriate person named above. Parents and visitors are requested to report any concerns they may have to the deputy manager or manager.

Daily contact, monthly staff meetings and health and safety meetings provide consultation between management and employees. This will include health and safety matters.

Health and safety training

Person responsible for monitoring staff training is Stacey Hayward.

Health and safety is covered in all induction training for new staff.

Training table

Area Training required Who
Paediatric First aid Course All staff
Dealing with blood In house training/course All staff and students
Safeguarding/Child protection In house training/course All staff and students
Care of babies In house training/course All staff working with under 2’s
Risk assessment In house training/course All staff
Fire safety procedures In house training All staff and students
Use of fire extinguisher In house training/course All staff where possible
Food hygiene In house training/course All staff and students
Allergy awareness In house training/course All staff and students
Manual handling In house training/course All staff and students
Stress awareness and management In house training/course All staff
Changing of nappies In house training All staff and students
Fire warden duties External course Fire Warden
Medication requiring technical or medical knowledge e.g. Epi Pen External course As required
SENCO External course SENCO
Supervision and appraisal External course Manager, deputy and room supervisor

At present at least one member of staff on duty MUST hold a full paediatric First Aid certificate in the nursery and when on outings. In addition to this, all newly qualified

entrants to the early years workforce who have completed a level 2 and/or level 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016, must also have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff: child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting.

Health and safety arrangements

  • All staff are responsible for general health and safety in the nursery
  • Risk assessments will be conducted on all areas of the nursery, including rooms, activities, outdoor areas, resources and cleaning equipment
  • These are reviewed at regular intervals and when arrangements change
  • All outings away from the nursery (however short) will include a prior risk assessment – more details are included in our outings policy
  • All equipment, rooms and outdoor areas will be checked thoroughly by staff before children access them or the area. These checks will be recorded and initialled by the staff responsible. Unsafe areas will be made safe/removed from the area by this member of staff to promote the safety of children. If this cannot be achieved the manager will be notified immediately
  • We provide appropriate facilities for all children, staff, parents and visitors to receive a warm welcome and provide for their basic care needs, e.g. easy to access toilet area and fresh drinking water
  • The nursery will adhere to the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation (COSHH) to ensure all children, staff, parents and visitors are safe in relation to any chemicals we may use on the premises
  • All staff and students will receive appropriate training in all areas of health and safety which will include risk assessments, manual handling and fire safety. We may also use benefit risk assessments for particular activities and resources for children
  • We have a clear accident and first aid policy to follow in the case of any person in the nursery suffering injury from an accident or incident
  • We have a clear fire safety policy and procedure which supports the prevention of fire and the safe evacuation of all persons in the nursery. This is to be shared with all staff, students, parents and visitors to the nursery
  • We review accident and incident records to identify any patterns/hazardous areas
  • All health and safety matters are reviewed informally on an ongoing basis and formally every six months or when something changes. Staff and parents will receive these updates, as with all policy changes, as and when they happen
  • Staff and parents are able to contribute to any policy through the suggestion scheme and during the regular meetings held at nursery.

3) Child Protection & Safeguarding Children Policy

Safeguarding Children/Child Protection Policy Aims

At Little Me Nursery we work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect, be helped to thrive and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.

We support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development. In our setting we strive to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and we promote acceptance and tolerance of other beliefs and cultures (please refer to our inclusion and equality policy for further information). Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the nursery’s other policies and procedures.

This policy works alongside these other specific policies to cover all aspects of child protection:

  • Online safety
  • Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
  • Prevent Duty and Radicalisation
  • Domestic Violence, Honour Based Violence (HBV) and Forced Marriages
  • Looked After Children

Legal framework and definition of safeguarding

  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017
  • Working together to safeguard children 2018
  • Keeping children safe in education 2018
  • Data Protection Act 2Ke018
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, in relation to this policy is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018).

Policy intention

To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:

  • Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image
  • Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct
  • Support staff to notice the softer signs of abuse and know what action to take
  • Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all children
  • Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities
  • Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling
  • Always listen to children
  • Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need
  • Share information with other agencies as appropriate.

The nursery is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Due to the many hours of care we are providing, staff may often be the first people to identify that there may be a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse.

Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for children’s social care, health professionals or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team, where needed.

The nursery aims to:

  • Keep the child at the centre of all we do
  • Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse (including the signs known as softer signs of abuse), understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour
  • Be aware of the increased vulnerability of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and other vulnerable or isolated families and children
  • Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, share information and seek the help that the child may need
  • Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures, including thorough annual safeguarding newsletters and updates
  • Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by the Leicestershire Local Safeguarding Children Board. (LSCB)
  • Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest
  • Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times
  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff
  • Identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the Staff Behaviour Policy
  • Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or living or working on the nursery premises including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities
  • Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
  • Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by the Leicestershire local authority.

We will support children by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. We will devise activities according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence and self-esteem within their peer group and support them to learn how to keep themselves safe.

Contact telephone numbers

Local authority children’s social care team 0116 305 0005

Local authority Designated Officer (LADO)0116 305 7057

Local Authority referral team

Ofsted 0300 123 1231

Non-emergency police 101

Government helpline for extremism concerns 020 7340 7264

Types of abuse and particular procedures followed

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.

What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (advice for practitioners) 2015.

The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.

Indicators of child abuse

  • Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
  • Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
  • Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
  • Repeated injuries
  • Unaddressed illnesses or injuries
  • Significant changes to behaviour patterns.

Softer signs of abuse as defined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Wetting and soiling
  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Withdrawing communication
  • Habitual body rocking
  • Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking
  • Over-friendliness towards strangers
  • Excessive clinginess
  • Persistently seeking attention.

Peer on peer abuse

We are aware that peer on peer abuse does take place, so we include children in our policies when we talk about potential abusers. This may take the form of bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. We will report this in the same way as we do for adults abusing children, and will take advice from the appropriate bodies on this area.

Physical abuse

Action needs to be taken if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. These symptoms may include bruising or injuries in an area that is not usual for a child, e.g. fleshy parts of the arms and legs, back, wrists, ankles and face.

Many children will have cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries. These should also be logged and discussed with the nursery manager or room leader.

Children and babies may be abused physically through shaking or throwing. Other injuries may include burns or scalds. These are not usual childhood injuries and should always be logged and discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and/or nursery manager.

Female genital mutilation

This type of physical abuse is practised as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved. This procedure may be carried out shortly after birth and during childhood as well as adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy and varies widely according to the community[1]. Symptoms may include bleeding, painful areas, acute urinary retention, urinary infection, wound infection, septicaemia, incontinence, vaginal and pelvic infections with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physiological concerns. If you have concerns about a child relating to this area, you should contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. There is a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, we will ensure this is followed in our setting.

Breast Ironing

Breast ironing also known as “breast flattening” is the process where young girls’ breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage. Although this is unlikely to happen to children in the nursery due to their age, we will ensure any signs of this in young adults or older children are followed up using the usual safeguarding referral process.

Fabricated illness

This is also a type of physical abuse. This is where a child is presented with an illness that is fabricated by the adult carer. The carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation. The signs may include a carer exaggerating a real illness or symptoms, complete fabrication of symptoms or inducing physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation, inappropriate diet. This may also be presented through false allegations of abuse or encouraging the child to appear disabled or ill to obtain unnecessary treatment or specialist support.

Sexual abuse

Action needs be taken if the staff member has witnessed an occasion(s) where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing, had an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or language. This may include acting out sexual activity on dolls/toys or in the role play area with their peers, drawing pictures that are inappropriate for a child, talking about sexual activities or using sexual language or words. The child may become worried when their clothes are removed, e.g. for nappy changes.

The physical symptoms may include genital trauma, discharge and bruises between the legs or signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Emotional symptoms could include a distinct change in a child’s behaviour. They may be withdrawn or overly extroverted and outgoing. They may withdraw away from a particular adult and become distressed if they reach out for them, but they may also be particularly clingy to a potential abuser so all symptoms and signs should be looked at together and assessed as a whole.

If a child starts to talk openly to an adult about abuse they may be experiencing the procedure below will be followed:

Procedure:

  • The adult should reassure the child and listen without interrupting if the child wishes to talk
  • The observed instances will be detailed in a confidential report
  • The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager or DSL
  • The matter will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team (see reporting procedures).

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

Working Together to Safeguard Children defines CSE as “…a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”

We will be aware of the possibility of CSE and the signs and symptoms this may manifest as. If we have concerns we will follow the same procedures as for other concerns and we will record and refer as appropriate.

Emotional abuse

Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child, caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.

This may include extremes of discipline where a child is shouted at or put down on a consistent basis, lack of emotional attachment by a parent, or it may include parents or carers placing inappropriate age or developmental expectations upon them. Emotional abuse may also be imposed through the child witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them.

The child is likely to show extremes of emotion with this type of abuse. This may include shying away from an adult who is abusing them, becoming withdrawn, aggressive or clingy in order to receive their love and attention. This type of abuse is harder to identify as the child is not likely to show any physical signs.

Neglect

Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been any type of neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation or failure to seek medical treatment, when required, on behalf of the child), which results in serious impairment of the child’s health or development, including failure to thrive.

Signs may include a child persistently arriving at nursery unwashed or unkempt, wearing clothes that are too small (especially shoes that may restrict the child’s growth or hurt them), arriving at nursery in the same nappy they went home in or a child having an illness or identified special educational need or disability that is not being addressed by the parent. A child may also be persistently hungry if a parent is withholding food or not providing enough for a child’s needs.

Neglect may also be shown through emotional signs, e.g. a child may not be receiving the attention they need at home and may crave love and support at nursery. They may be clingy and emotional. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Domestic Abuse / Honour Based Violence / Forced Marriages

We look at these areas as a child protection concern. Please refer to the separate policy for further details on this.

Reporting Procedures

All staff have a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and suspicions of abuse. These concerns will be discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) as soon as possible.

  • Staff will report their concerns to the DSL (in the absence of the DSL they will be reported to the Deputy DSL)
  • Any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given will be recorded and stored securely
  • If appropriate, the incident will be discussed with the parent/carer, such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to these records on request
  • If there are queries/concerns regarding the injury/information given then the following procedures will take place:

The designated safeguarding lead will:

  • Contact the local authority children’s social care team to report concerns and seek advice (if it is believed a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police)
  • Inform Ofsted
  • Record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised
  • Speak to the parents (unless advised not do so by LA children’s social care team)
  • The designated safeguarding lead will follow up with the Local Authority children’s social care team if they have not contacted the setting within the timeframe set out in Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2018). We will never assume that action has been taken,

Keeping children safe is our highest priority and if, for whatever reason, staff do not feel able to report concerns to the DSL or deputy DSL they should call the Local Authority children’s social care team or the NSPCC and report their concerns anonymously.

These contact numbers are displayed on the notice board in reception.

Recording Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosures

Staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure, supported by the nursery manager or designated safeguarding lead (DSL). This record should include:

  • Child’s name
  • Child’s address
  • Age of the child and date of birth
  • Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
  • Exact words spoken by the child
  • Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen
  • Exact observation of any incident including any concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time
  • Any discussion held with the parent(s) (where deemed appropriate).

These records should be signed by the person reporting this and the manager, DSL, or supervisor, dated and kept in a separate confidential file.

If a child starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important not to promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. As soon as possible after the disclosure details must be logged accurately.

It may be thought necessary that through discussion with all concerned the matter needs to be raised with the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted. Staff involved may be asked to supply details of any information/concerns they have with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the local authority children’s social care, police, and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.

Staff must not make any comments either publicly or in private about the supposed or actual behaviour of a parent or member of staff.

Informing parents

Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local authority children’s social care team/police does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

Confidentiality

All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared in line with guidance from the local authority.

Support to families

The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff, students and volunteers within the nursery.

The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interest of the child.

Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate in line with guidance of the local authority with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.

Allegations against adults working or volunteering with children

If an allegation is made against a member of staff, student or volunteer or any other person who lives or works on the nursery premises regardless of whether the allegation relates to the nursery premises or elsewhere, we will follow the procedure below.

The allegation should be reported to the senior manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation then this should be reported to the owner instead.

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and Ofsted will then be informed immediately in order for this to be investigated by the appropriate bodies promptly:

  • The LADO will be informed immediately for advice and guidance
  • If as an individual you feel this will not be taken seriously or are worried about the allegation getting back to the person in question then it is your duty to inform the LADO yourself directly
  • A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals (LADO, Ofsted) to determine how this will be handled
  • The nursery will follow all instructions from the LADO and Ofsted and ask all staff members to do the same and co-operate where required
  • Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation in line with LADO support and advice
  • The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation
  • All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities
  • Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being reinstated
  • Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisations including the local authority children’s social care team and where an offence is believed to have been committed, the police, and will result in the termination of employment. Ofsted will be notified immediately of this decision. The nursery will also notify the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to ensure their records are updated
  • All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 21 years and 3 months years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references and future DBS checks and avoids any unnecessary reinvestigation
  • The nursery retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry
  • Counselling will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by an allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.

Monitoring children’s attendance

As part of our requirements under the statutory framework and guidance documents we are required to monitor children’s attendance patterns to ensure they are consistent and no cause for concern.

Parents should please inform the nursery prior to their children taking holidays or days off, and all sickness should be called into the nursery on the day so the nursery management are able to account for a child’s absence.

If a child has not arrived at nursery within one hour of their normal start time the parents will be called to ensure the child is safe and healthy. If the parents are not contactable then the further emergency contacts will be used to ensure all parties are safe.

All absences are recorded in our daily register, and funded children’s absences are also recorded in the ‘non-attendance log’.

Where a child is part of a child protection plan, or during a referral process, any absences will immediately be reported to the local authority children’s social care team to ensure the child remains safeguarded.

This should not stop parents taking precious time with their children, but enables children’s attendance to be logged so we know the child is safe.

Looked after children

As part of our safeguarding practice we will ensure our staff are aware of how to keep looked after children safe. In order to do this we ask that we are informed of:

  • The legal status of the child (e.g. whether the child is being looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order)
  • Contact arrangements for the biological parents (or those with parental responsibility)
  • The child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her
  • The details of the child’s social worker and any other support agencies involved
  • Any child protection plan or care plan in place for the child in question.

Please refer to the Looked After Children policy for further details.

Staffing and volunteering

Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We only allow an adult who is employed by the nursery to care for children and who has an enhanced clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to be left alone with children. We will obtain enhanced criminal records checks (DBS) for all volunteers and do not allow any volunteers to be unsupervised with children.

All staff will receive initial basic child protection training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers/potential abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery. During induction staff will be given contact details for the LADO (local authority designated officer), the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

We have named persons within the nursery who take lead responsibility for safeguarding and co-ordinate child protection and welfare issues, known as the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL), there is always at least one designated person on duty during all opening hours of the setting.

These designated persons will receive comprehensive training at least every two years and update their knowledge on an ongoing basis, but at least once a year.

The nursery DSL’s liaise with the local authority children’s social care team, undertakes specific training, including a child protection training course, and receives regular updates to developments within this field. They in turn support the ongoing development and knowledge update of all staff on the team.

Although, under the EYFS, we are only required to have one designated lead for safeguarding, for best practice and to ensure cover at all times, we have two/three designated leads in place. This enables safeguarding to stay high on our priorities at all times. There will always be at least one designated lead on duty at all times our provision is open. This will ensure that prompt action can be taken if concerns are raised.

The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) at the nursery are: Stacey Hayward (Nursery Manager), Rachel Payne (Deputy), Holly Murphy (Senior Nursery Nurse) and Claire Paduano (Owner)

  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of all children
  • Applicants for posts within the nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks 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 give staff members, volunteers and students regular opportunities to declare changes that may affect their suitability to care for the children. This includes information about their health, medication or about changes in their home life such as child protection plans for their own children
  • This information is also stated within every member of staff’s contract
  • We request DBS checks on an regular basis/or we use the DBS update service (with staff consent) to re-check staff’s criminal history and suitability to work with children
  • We abide by the requirements of the EYFS and any Ofsted guidance in respect to obtaining references and suitability checks for staff, students and volunteers, to ensure that all staff, students and volunteers working in the setting are suitable to do so
  • We ensure we receive at least two written references BEFORE a new member of staff commences employment with us
  • All students will have enhanced DBS checks conducted on them before their placement starts
  • Volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised
  • We abide by the requirements of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Childcare Act 2006 in respect of any person who is disqualified from providing childcare, is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children
  • All visitors/contractors will be supervised whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use
  • As a staff team we will be fully aware of how to safeguard the whole nursery environment and be aware of potential dangers on the nursery boundaries such as drones or strangers lingering. We will ensure the children remain safe at all times
  • The Staff Behaviour Policy sits alongside this policy to enable us to monitor changes in behaviours that may cause concern. All staff sign up to this policy too to ensure any changes are reported to management so we are able to support the individual staff member and ensure the safety and care of the children is not compromised
  • All staff have access to and comply with the whistleblowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner
  • Signs of inappropriate staff behaviour may include inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images. This is not an exhaustive list, any changes in behaviour must be reported and acted upon immediately
  • All staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss any issues relating to individual children, child protection training and any needs for further support
  • We use peer on peer and manager observations in the setting to ensure that the care we provide for children is at the highest level and any areas for staff development are quickly highlighted. Peer observations allow us to share constructive feedback, develop practice and build trust so that staff are able to share any concerns they may have. Any concerns are raised with the designated lead and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner
  • The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door will be left ajar or other safeguards will be put into action to ensure the safety of the child and the adult.

We also operate a Phones and Other Electronic Devices and Social Media policy which states how we will keep children safe from these devices whilst at nursery.

Extremism – the Prevent Duty

Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we have a duty to refer any concerns of extremism to the police (In Prevent priority areas the local authority will have a Prevent lead who can also provide support).

This may be a cause for concern relating to a change in behaviour of a child or family member, comments causing concern made to a member of the team (or other persons in the setting) or actions that lead staff to be worried about the safety of a child in their care.  We have a Prevent Duty and Radicalisation policy in place. Please refer to this for specific details.

Our nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the nursery manager or DSL at the earliest opportunity.

4) Sickness & Incubation Policy

Sickness & Illness

At Little Me Nursery we promote the good health of all children attending. To help keep children healthy and minimise infection, we do not expect children to attend nursery if they are unwell. If a child is unwell it is in their best interest to be in a home environment with adults they know well rather than at nursery with their peers.

Our procedures

In order to take appropriate action of children who become ill and to minimise the spread of infection we implement the following procedures:

  • If a child becomes ill during the nursery day, we contact their parent(s) and ask them to pick up their child as soon as possible. During this time we care for the child in a quiet, calm area with their key person, wherever possible
  • We follow the guidance given to us by Public Health England (Health Protection In Schools and other childcare facilities) and advice from our local health protection unit on exclusion times for specific illnesses, e.g. sickness and diarrhoea, measles and chicken pox, to protect other children in the nursery. Please refer to our guidelines for incubation and exclusion due to illness.
  • Should a child have an infectious disease, such as sickness and diarrhoea, they must not return to nursery until they have been clear for at least 48 hours. We inform all parents if there is a contagious infection identified in the nursery, to enable them to spot the early signs of this illness. We thoroughly clean and sterilise all equipment and resources that may have come into contact with a contagious child to reduce the spread of infection
  • We notify Ofsted as soon as possible and in all cases within 14 days of the incident where we have any child or staff member with food poisoning.
  • We exclude all children on antibiotics for the first 48 hours of the course (unless this is part of an ongoing care plan to treat individual medical conditions e.g. asthma and the child is not unwell) This is because it is important that children are not subjected to the rigours of the nursery day, which requires socialising with other children and being part of a group setting, when they have first become ill and require a course of antibiotics
  • We have the right to refuse admission to a child who is unwell. This decision will be taken by the manager on duty and is non-negotiable
  • We make information/posters about head lice readily available and all parents are requested to regularly check their children’s hair. If a parent finds that their child has head lice we would be grateful if they could inform the nursery so that other parents can be alerted to check their child’s hair.

Meningitis procedure

If a parent informs the nursery that their child has meningitis, the nursery manager will contact the Local Area Infection Control (IC) Nurse. The IC Nurse will give guidance and support in each individual case. If parents do not inform the nursery, we will be contacted directly by the IC Nurse and the appropriate support will be given. We will follow all guidance given and notify any of the appropriate authorities including Ofsted if necessary.

Transporting children to hospital procedure

The nursery manager/staff member must:

  • Call for an ambulance immediately if the sickness is severe. DO NOT attempt to transport the sick child in your own vehicle
  • Whilst waiting for the ambulance, contact the parent(s) and arrange to meet them at the hospital
  • Redeploy staff if necessary to ensure there is adequate staff deployment to care for the remaining children. This may mean temporarily grouping the children together
  • Arrange for the most appropriate member of staff to accompany the child taking with them any relevant information such as registration forms, relevant medication sheets, medication and the child’s comforter
  • Inform a member of the management team immediately
  • Remain calm at all times. Children who witness an incident may well be affected by it and may need lots of cuddles and reassurance. Staff may also require additional support following the accident.

In the event of a child needing medical treatment but not an ambulance, the nursery will try to contact all emergency contacts repeatedly and failing contact will request a paramedic to attend the setting.

Incubation & Exclusion for Illness

Disease/Illness Minimal Exclusion Period
Antibiotics prescribed First 2 days at home
Temperature Child must be off for 24 hrs
Vomiting If sent home ill, child must be off for 48 hrs
after sickness has stopped
Conjunctivitis Kept home for 2 days; – there after until eyes are no longer weeping
Diarrhoea 48 Hours after normal bowel movement
Chickenpox 5-7 days from appearance of the rash
Gastroenteritis, Food poisoning, Salmonellosis & Dysentery Until authorised by family physician
Hand Foot & Mouth Kept at home till spots and blisters have disappeared
Infective Hepatitis 7 days from onset of jaundice
Meningitis infection Until recovered from illness
Measles 7 days from appearance of rash
Mumps Until the swelling has subsided and in no case, less than 7 days from onset of illness
Whooping cough 5 days from starting antibiotics or 21 days from onset of paroxysmal cough, if no treatment given
Poliomyelitis Until declared free from infection by family physician
Rubella (German measles) 4 days from appearance of the rash
Scarlet Fever and Streptococcal
Infection of the throat
Until appropriate medical treatment has been given and in no case for less than 5 day’s from start of treatment
Tuberculosis Until declared free from infection by family physician
Typhoid Fever Until declared free from infection by family physician.
Impetigo Until the skin has healed
Pediculosis (Lice) Until appropriate treatment has been given
Plantar warts No exclusion, should be treated and covered
Ringworm of the scalp Until treatment given
Ringworm of the body Seldom necessary to exclude provided treatment is being given
Scabies Need no be excluded once the appropriate treatment has been given
E-coli 0157 Exclusion for some, discuss with Manager

THIS IS NOT A DEFINITIVE LIST. ANYTHING NOT LISTED MUST BE DISCUSSED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS WITH THE NURSERY MANAGER.

5) Behaviour Policy

Promoting Positive Behaviour

At Little Me Nursery we believe that children flourish best when they know how they and others are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who act as good role models, show them respect and value their individual personalities. The nursery actively promotes British values and encourages and praises positive, caring and polite behaviour at all times and provides an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.

Children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own safety and the safety of their peers. Within the nursery we aim to set these boundaries in a way which helps the child to develop a sense of the significance of their own behaviour, both in their own environment and that of others around them. Restrictions on the child’s natural desire to explore and develop their own ideas and concepts are kept to a minimum.

We aim to:

  • Recognise the individuality of all our children and that some behaviours are normal in young children e.g. biting
  • Encourage self-discipline, consideration for each other, our surroundings and property
  • Encourage children to participate in a wide range of group activities to enable them to develop their social skills
  • Ensure that all staff act as positive role models for children
  • Encourage parents and other visitors to be positive role models and challenge any poor behaviour shown
  • Work in partnership with parents by communicating openly
  • Praise children and acknowledge their positive actions and attitudes, therefore ensuring that children see that we value and respect them
  • Encourage all staff working with children to accept their responsibility for implementing the goals in this policy and to be consistent
  • Promote non-violence and encourage children to deal with conflict peacefully
  • Provide a key person system enabling staff to build a strong and positive relationship with children and their families
  • Provide activities and stories to help children learn about accepted behaviours, including opportunities for children to contribute to decisions about accepted behaviour where age/stage appropriate
  • Supporting and developing self-regulation and empathy as appropriate to stage of development
  • Have a named person who has overall responsibility for behaviour management.

The named person; Stacey Hayward  for managing behaviour will:

  • Advise and support other staff on behaviour issues
  • Will keep up to date with legislation and research relating to behaviour
  • Support changes to policies and procedures in the nursery
  • Access relevant sources of expertise where required and act as a central information source for all involved
  • Attend regular external training events, and ensure all staff attend relevant in-house or external training for behaviour management. Keep a record of staff attendance at this training.

Children who behave inappropriately, for example, by physically abusing another child or adult e.g. biting, or through verbal bullying, are helped to talk through their actions and apologise where appropriate. We make sure that the child who has been upset is comforted and the adult will confirm that the other child’s behaviour is not acceptable. We always acknowledge when a child is feeling angry or upset and that it is the behaviour that is not acceptable, not the child.

When children behave in unacceptable ways:

  • We never use or threaten to use physical punishment/corporal punishment such as smacking or shaking
  • We only use physical intervention for the purpose of averting immediate danger or personal injury to any person (including the child) or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary. We keep a record of any occasions where physical intervention is used and inform parents on the same day, or as reasonably practicable
  • We recognise that there may be times where children may have regular occasions where they lose control and may need individual techniques to restrain them. This will only be carried out by staff who have been appropriately trained to do so. Any restraints will only be done following recommended guidance and training and only with a signed agreement from parents on when to use it. We will complete an incident form following any restraints used and notify the parents
  • We do not single out children or humiliate them in any way. Where children use unacceptable behaviour they will, wherever possible, be re-directed to alternative activities. Discussions with children will take place as to why their behaviour was not acceptable, respecting their level of understanding and maturity
  • Staff will not raise their voices (other than to keep children safe)
  • In any case of misbehaviour, we always make it clear to the child or children in question, that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome
  • We decide how to handle a particular type of behaviour depending on the child’s age, level of development and the circumstances surrounding the behaviour. This may involve asking the child to talk and think about what he/she has done. All staff support children in developing empathy and children will only be asked to apologise if they have developed strong empathy skills and have a good understanding of why saying sorry is appropriate
  • We help staff to reflect on their own responses towards challenging behaviours to ensure that their reactions are appropriate
  • We inform parents if their child’s behaviour is unkind to others or if their child has been upset. In all cases we deal with inappropriate behaviour in nursery at the time. We may ask parents to meet with staff to discuss their child’s behaviour, so that if there are any difficulties we can work together to ensure consistency between their home and the nursery. In some cases we may request additional advice and support from other professionals, such as an educational psychologist
  • We support children in developing non-aggressive strategies to enable them to express their feelings
  • We keep confidential records on any inappropriate behaviour that has taken place. We inform parents and ask them to read and sign any incidents concerning their child
  • We support all children to develop positive behaviour, and we make every effort to provide for their individual needs
  • Through partnership with parents and formal observations, we make every effort to identify any behavioural concerns and the causes of that behaviour. From these observations and discussions, we will implement an individual behaviour modification plan where a child’s behaviour involves aggressive actions towards other children and staff, for example hitting, kicking etc. The manager will complete risk assessments identifying any potential triggers or warning signs ensuring other children’s and staff’s safety at all times. In these instances we may remove a child from an area until they have calmed down.

Anti-bullying

Bullying takes many forms. It can be physical, verbal or emotional, but it is always a repeated behaviour that makes other people feel uncomfortable or threatened.  We acknowledge that any form of bullying is unacceptable and will be dealt with immediately while recognising that physical aggression is part of children’s development in their early years.

We recognise that children need their own time and space and that it is not always appropriate to expect a child to share. We believe it is important to acknowledge each child’s feelings and to help them understand how others might be feeling.

We encourage children to recognise that bullying, fighting, hurting and discriminatory comments are not acceptable behaviour. We want children to recognise that certain actions are right and that others are wrong.

At our nursery, staff follow the procedure below to enable them to deal with challenging behaviour:

  • Staff are encouraged to ensure that all children feel safe, happy and secure
  • Staff are encouraged to recognise that active physical aggression in the early years is part of the child’s development and that it should be channelled in a positive way
  • Children are helped to understand that using aggression to get things, is inappropriate and they will be encouraged to resolve problems in other ways
  • Our staff will intervene when they think a child is being bullied, however mild or harmless it may seem
  • Staff will initiate games and activities with children when they feel play has become aggressive, both indoors or out
  • Staff will sensitively discuss any instance of bullying with the parents of all involved to look for a consistent resolution to the behaviour
  • We will ensure that this policy is available for staff and parents and it will be actively publicised at least once a year to parents and staff.
  • If any parent has a concern about their child, a member of staff will be available to discuss those concerns. It is only through co-operation that we can ensure our children feel confident and secure in their environment, both at home and in the nursery
  • All concerns will be treated in the strictest confidence.

By positively promoting good behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude, we hope to ensure that children will develop as responsible members of society.

6) Inclusion & Equality Policy

Inclusion & Equality

At Little Me Nursery we take great care to treat each individual as a person in their own right, with equal rights and responsibilities to any other individual, whether they are an adult or a child. We are committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and families according to their individual needs. Discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, ethnic or national origin, or political belief has no place within our nursery.

A commitment to implementing our inclusion and equality policy will form part of each employee’s job description. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the Nursery Manager at the earliest opportunity. Appropriate steps will then be taken to investigate the matter and if such concerns are well-founded, disciplinary action will be invoked under the nursery’s disciplinary policy.

The legal framework for this policy is based on:

  • Special Education Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2015
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Children Act 2004
  • Care Standards Act 2002
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001.

The nursery and staff are committed to:

  • Recruiting, selecting, training and promoting individuals on the basis of occupational skills requirements. In this respect, the nursery will ensure that no job applicant or employee will receive less favourable treatment because of age, sex, gender reassignment, disability, marriage or civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity/paternity
  • Providing a childcare place, wherever possible, for children who may have learning difficulties and/or disabilities or are deemed disadvantaged according to their individual circumstances, and the nursery’s ability to provide the necessary standard of care
  • Making reasonable adjustments for children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Striving to promote equal access to services and projects by taking practical steps (wherever possible and reasonable), such as ensuring access to people with additional needs and by producing materials in relevant languages and media for all children and their families
  • Providing a secure environment in which all our children can flourish and all contributions are valued
  • Including and valuing the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Providing positive non-stereotypical information
  • Continually improving our knowledge and understanding of issues of equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Regularly reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of inclusive practices to ensure they promote and value diversity and difference and that the policy is effective and practices are non-discriminatory
  • Making inclusion a thread which runs through the entirety of the nursery, for example, by encouraging positive role models through the use of toys, imaginary play and activities, promoting non-stereotypical images and language and challenging all discriminatory behaviour (see dealing with discriminatory behaviour policy).

Admissions/service provision

The nursery is accessible to all children and families in the local community and further afield through a comprehensive and inclusive admissions policy.

The nursery will strive to ensure that all services and projects are accessible and relevant to all groups and individuals in the community within targeted age groups.

Recruitment

Recruitment, promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person if possible.

All members of the selection group will be committed to the inclusive practice set out in this policy and will have received appropriate training in this regard.

Application forms will be sent out along with a copy of the equal opportunities monitoring form. Application forms will not include questions that potentially discriminate on the grounds specified in the statement of intent.

Vacancies should generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.

At interview, no questions will be posed which potentially discriminate on the grounds specified in the statement of intent. All candidates will be asked the same questions and members of the selection group will not introduce nor use any personal knowledge of candidates acquired outside the selection process. Candidates will be given the opportunity to receive feedback on the reasons why they were not successful.

Under the Equality Act 2010 you can only ask questions prior to offering someone employment in the following circumstances:

  • You need to establish whether the applicant will be able to comply with a requirement to undergo an assessment (i.e. an interview or selection test)
  • You need to establish whether the applicant will be able to carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned
  • You want to monitor diversity in the range of people applying for work
  • You want to take positive action towards a particular group – for example offering a guaranteed interview scheme
  • You require someone with a particular disability because of an occupational requirement for the job.

The national College for Teaching and Leadership provides further guidance specific to working with children:

Providers have a responsibility to ensure that practitioners have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm. The activities that a practitioner must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards England) Regulations 2003. Providers are responsible for ensuring that only practitioners who have the capacity to teach remain on the staff team.

People with disabilities or chronic illnesses may have the capacity to teach, just as those without disabilities or medical conditions may be unsuitable to teach. Further information on training to teach with a disability is available from the DfE website.

Successful applicants offered a position may be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme. Providers should not ask all-encompassing health questions, but should ensure that they only ask targeted and relevant health-related questions, which are necessary to ensure that a person is able to teach.

Staff

It is the policy of Little Me Nursery not to discriminate in the treatment of individuals. All staff are expected to co-operate with the implementation, monitoring and improvement of this and other policies. All staff are expected to challenge language, actions, behaviours and attitudes which are oppressive or discriminatory on the grounds specified in this policy and recognise and celebrate other cultures and traditions. All staff are expected to participate in equality and inclusion training.

Staff will follow the ‘Dealing with Discriminatory Behaviour’ policy where applicable to report any discriminatory behaviours observed.

Training

The nursery recognises the importance of training as a key factor in the implementation of an effective inclusion and equality policy. All new staff receive induction training including specific reference to the inclusion and equality policy. The nursery will strive towards the provision of inclusion, equality and diversity training for all staff on a regular basis.

Early learning framework

Early learning opportunities offered in the nursery encourage children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from them. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

We do this by:

  • Making children feel valued and good about themselves
  • Ensuring that all children have equal access to early learning and play opportunities
  • Reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources
  • Avoiding stereotypical or derogatory images in the selection of materials
  • Acknowledging and celebrating a wide range of religions, beliefs and festivals
  • Creating an environment of mutual respect and empathy
  • Helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable
  • Ensuring that all early learning opportunities offered are inclusive of children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Ensuring that children whose first language is not English have full access to early learning opportunities and are supported in their learning
  • Working in partnership with all families to ensure they understand the policy and challenge any discriminatory comments made
  • Ensuring the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met
  • Identifying a key person to each child who will continuously observe, assess and plan for children’s learning and development
  • Helping children to learn about a range of food and cultural approaches to meal times and to respect the differences among them.

Information and meetings

Information about the nursery, its activities and their children’s development will be given in a variety of ways according to individual needs (written, verbal and translated), to ensure that all parents can access the information they need.

Wherever possible, meetings will be arranged to give all families options to attend and contribute their ideas about the running of the nursery.

7) Parents & Carers as Partners

Parents & Carers as Partners

At Little Me Nursery we believe that parents and staff need to work together in a close partnership in order for children to receive the quality of care and early learning to meet their individual needs. We welcome parents as partners and support a two-way sharing of information that helps establish trust and understanding. We are committed to supporting parents in an open and sensitive manner to include them as an integral part of the care and early learning team within the nursery.

The key person system supports engagement with all parents and will use strategies to ensure that all parents can contribute to their child’s learning and development. Parents contribute to initial assessments of children’s starting points on entry and they are kept well informed about their children’s progress. Parents are encouraged to support and share information about their children’s learning and development at home. The key person system ensures all practitioners use effective, targeted strategies and interventions to support learning that match most children’s individual needs.

Our policy is to:

  • Recognise and support parents as their child’s first and most important educators and to welcome them into the life of the nursery
  • Generate confidence and encourage parents to trust their own instincts and judgement regarding their own child
  • Welcome all parents into the nursery and provide an area where parents can speak confidentially with us as required
  • Welcome nursing mothers. The nursery will make available a private area whenever needed to offer space and privacy to nursing mothers
  • Ensure nursery documentation and communications are provided in different formats to suit each parent’s needs, e.g. Braille, multi-lingual, electronic communications
  • Ensure that all parents are aware of the nursery’s policies and procedures. A detailed parent prospectus will be provided and our full policy documents will be available to parents at all times in the nursery reception and a selection are also available on the nursery website.
  • Maintain regular contact with parents to help us to build a secure and beneficial working relationship for their children
  • Support parents in their own continuing education and personal development including helping them to develop their parenting skills and inform them of relevant conferences, workshops and training
  • Create opportunities for parents to talk to other adults in a secure and supportive environment through such activities as social events and parents’ evenings
  • Inform parents about the range and type of activities and experiences provided for children, the daily routines of the setting, the types of food and drinks provided for children and events through information boards around the settling, and frequent one to one discussions.
  • Operate a key person system to enable parents to establish a close working relationship with a named practitioner and to support two-way information sharing about each child’s individual needs both in nursery and at home. Parents are given the name of the key person of their child and their role when the child starts.
  • Inform parents on a regular basis about their child’s progress and involve them in shared record keeping. Parents’ evenings will be held at least annually and when otherwise deemed necessary. The nursery will consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.
  • Actively encourage parents to contribute to children’s learning through sharing observations, interests and experiences from home. This may be verbally, sharing photographs or in written form.
  • Agree the best communication method with parents e.g. email, face-to-face, telephone and share information about the child’s day, e.g. food eaten, activities, sleep times etc.
  • Consider and discuss all suggestions from parents concerning the care and early learning of their child and nursery operation.
  • Provide opportunities and support for all parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the nursery including signposting to relevant services, agencies and training opportunities.
  • Inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, compliments, complaints or suggestions, and to check that these systems are understood by parents.
  • Make sure all parents have access to our written complaints procedure
  • Share information about the Early Years Foundation Stage, young children’s learning in the nursery, how parents can further support learning at home and where they can access further information.
  • Provide written Terms and Conditions (contract) between the parent(s) and the nursery regarding conditions of acceptance and arrangements for payment.
  • Respect the family’s religious and cultural backgrounds and beliefs and accommodate any special requirements wherever possible and practical to do so.
  • Inform parents how the nursery supports children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Find out the needs and expectations of parents. We will do this through regular feedback via questionnaires, suggestion system and encouraging parents to review working practices. We will evaluate any responses and publish these for parents with an action plan to inform future, policy and staff development.

8) Early Learning Opportuntities Statement

Early Learning Opportunties Statement

At Little Me Nursery we recognise that children learn in different ways and at different rates and plan for this accordingly. Our aim is to support all children attending the nursery to attain their maximum potential within their individual capabilities.

We provide a positive play environment for every child, so they may develop good social skills and an appreciation of all aspects of this country’s multi-cultural society. We plan learning experiences to ensure, as far as practical, there is equality of opportunity for all children and a celebration of diversity.

We maintain a personalised record of every child’s development, showing their abilities, progress, interests and areas needing further staff or parental assistance.

For children whose home language is not English, we will take reasonable steps to:

  • Provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language in play and learning and support their language development at home; and
  • Ensure that children have sufficient opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS, ensuring that children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin year.

We ensure that the educational programmes are well planned and resourced to have depth and breadth across the seven areas of learning. They provide interesting and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all children. Planning is based on a secure knowledge and understanding of how to promote the learning and development of young children and what they can achieve.

We implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) set by the Department for Education that sets standards to ensure all children learn and develop well. We support and enhance children’s learning and development holistically through play-based activities. We review all aspects of learning and development and ensure a flexible approach is maintained, which responds quickly to children’s learning and developmental needs. We develop tailor-made activities based on observations which inform future planning and draw on children’s needs and interests. This is promoted through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated opportunities both indoors and outdoors.

Direct observation is supplemented by a range of other evidence to evaluate the impact that practitioners have on the progress children make in their learning including:

  • evidence of assessment that includes the progress of different groups of children:
  • assessment on entry (starting point), including parental contributions
  • two-year-old progress checks (where applicable)
  • on-going (formative) assessments, including any parental contributions
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (where applicable) or any other summative assessment when children leave.

We acknowledge parents as primary educators and encourage parental involvement as outlined in our Parents and Carers as Partners policy. We build strong home links in order to enhance and extend children’s learning both within the nursery environment and in the child’s home.

We share information about the EYFS curriculum with parents and signpost them to further support via the following website:

www.foundationyears.org.uk/

9) Caring for Babies & Toddlers

Caring For Babies & Toddlers

At Little Me Nursery we care for children under the age of two and ensure their health, safety and well-being through the following:

  • Children under the age of two have a separate base room and are cared for in small intimate groups. We ensure that younger children have opportunities to have contact with older children whilst at nursery
  • At least half of the staff team caring for children under the age of two will have undertaken specific training for working with babies
  • Care is taken to ensure that babies and toddlers do not have access to activities containing small pieces, which may be swallowed or otherwise injure the child
  • The environment and equipment are checked daily before the children access the area. This includes checking the stability of cots and areas around, low/highchairs and ensuring restraints on these, pushchairs and prams are intact and working
  • Outdoor shoes are removed or covered when entering the baby and toddler area(s). Staff remind parents and visitors to adhere to this procedure
  • Babies and toddlers have their nappies changed according to their individual needs and requirements by their key person wherever possible
  • Information will be shared between parents and the key person about nappy changing and toilet training in a way that suits the child
  • Potties are washed and disinfected after every use. Changing mats are wiped with anti-bacterial cleanser before and after every nappy change
  • Each baby must have his/her own bedding which is washed at least weekly and when necessary
  • Cot mattresses meet safety standards
  • Children under two years are not be given pillows, cot bumpers or any soft furnishings in order to prevent risk of suffocation
  • We follow all cot death prevention/safety guidelines and advise parents of this information. Babies are always laid to sleep on their back, with their feet touching the foot of the cot
  • Sheets or thin blankets will come no higher than the baby’s shoulders, to prevent them wriggling under the covers. We make sure the covers are securely tucked in so they cannot slip over the baby’s head
  • Children’s individual sleeping bags may be used in consultation with parents. These are washed at least weekly and when necessary
  • Cots are checked before use to ensure no items are within reach i.e. hanging over or beside the cot (e.g. fly nets, cables, cord blinds)
  • All low/highchairs used for feeding are fitted with restraints and these are used at all times. Children are never left unattended in high chairs. Restraints are removed and washed weekly or as needed
  • No child is ever left unattended during nappy changing time
  • Babies are never left propped up with bottles as it is both dangerous and inappropriate
  • Babies sleeping outside have fly nets over their prams and prams must lie flat so children are supported
  • Sleeping children in the garden are supervised at all times
  • Checks on sleeping babies in the baby sleep room are completed every 10 minutes. This may increase to five minutes for younger babies and or new babies. Checks are documented with the time and staff initials on the sleep check form
  • Staff do not change nappies whilst pregnant until a risk assessment has been discussed and conducted. Students only change nappies with the support and close supervision of a qualified member of staff
  • Food/milk is prepared for babies in the kitchen.
  • Bottles of formula milk are only made up as and when the child needs them. These should be cooled to body temperature, which means they should feel warm or cool, but not hot, and should be tested with a sterilised thermometer to ensure they are an appropriate temperature for the child to drink safely
  • Following the Department of Health guidelines, we only use recently boiled water to make formula bottles (left for no longer than 30 minutes to cool). We do not use cooled boiled water that is reheated
  • Bottles and teats are thoroughly cleaned with hot soapy water and sterilised after use (they will not be washed in the dishwasher)
  • Contents of bottles are disposed of after two hours
  • A designated area is available for mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies or express milk
  • Labelled mothers’ breast milk is stored in the fridge
  • If dummies are used they will be cleaned and sterilised. This also applies to dummies which have been dropped (see separate dummy policy)
  • All dummies are stored in separate labelled containers to ensure no cross-contamination occurs
  • Sterilisers are washed out and cleaned daily

Children transfer to the older age group when assessed as appropriate for their age/stage following our agreed transition and settling procedures.

10) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

SEND

This policy has been created with regard to:

  • The SEND Code Of Practice 2015
  • Children and Families Act 2014 (Part 3)
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
  • EYFS

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice.

The nursery has regard to the statutory guidance set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability code of practice (DfE 2015) to identify, assess and make provision for children’s special educational needs.

At Little Me Nursery we use the SEND Code of Practice (2015) definition of Special Educational Needs and Disability:

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Statement of intent

At Little Me Nursery we are committed to the inclusion of all children. All children have the right to be cared for and educated to develop to their full potential alongside their peers through positive experiences, to enable them to share opportunities and experiences and develop and learn from each other. We provide a positive and welcoming environment where children are supported according to their individual needs and we work hard to ensure no children are discriminated against or put at a disadvantage as a consequence of their needs. Each child’s needs are unique, therefore any attempt to categorise children is inappropriate.

We are committed to working in partnership with parents in order to meet their child’s individual needs and develop to their full potential. We are committed to working with any child who has a specific need and/or disability and making reasonable adjustments to enable every child to make full use of the nursery’s facilities. All children have a right to a broad and well-balanced early learning environment.

The nursery will undertake a Progress Check of all children at age two in accordance with the Code of Practice. The early years provider will also undertake an assessment every six months and at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (in the final term of the year in which a child turns five) to prepare an EYFS Profile of the child.

Where we believe a child may have additional needs that have previously been unacknowledged, we will work closely with the child’s parents and any relevant professionals to establish if any additional action is required.

Where a child has additional needs, we feel it is paramount to find out as much as possible about those needs; any way that this may affect his/her early learning or care needs and any additional help he/she may need by:

  • Liaising with the child’s parents and, where appropriate, the child
  • Liaising with any professional agencies
  • Reading any reports that have been prepared
  • Attending any review meetings with the local authority/professionals
  • Observing each child’s development and monitoring such observations regularly.

All children will be given a full settling in period when joining the nursery according to their individual needs.

We will:

  • Recognise each child’s individual needs and ensure all staff are aware of, and have regard for, the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice
  • Ensure that all children are treated as individuals/equals and are supported to take part in every aspect of the nursery day according to their individual needs and abilities
  • Include all children and their families in our provision
  • Identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and meet those needs through a range of strategies
  • Ensure that children who learn at an accelerated pace e.g. gifted and talented children are also supported
  • Encourage children to value and respect others
  • Provide well informed and suitably trained practitioners to help support parents and children with special educational difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Develop and maintain a core team of staff who are experienced in the care of children with additional needs and identify a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENCO) who is experienced in the care and assessment of children with additional needs.  Staff will be provided with specific training relating to SEND and the SEND Code of Practice
  • Monitor and review our practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments, and seek specialist equipment and services if needed
  • Challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices
  • Promote positive images and role models during play experiences of those with additional needs wherever possible
  • Celebrate diversity in all aspects of play and learning.
  • Work in partnership with parents and other agencies in order to meet individual children’s needs, including the education, health and care authorities, and seek advice, support and training where required
  • Share any statutory and other assessments made by the nursery with parents and support parents in seeking any help they or the child may need

Our nursery Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinators (SENCO) are Stacey Hayward and Holly Murphy

The role of the SENCO In our setting includes:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting
  • taking the lead in implementing the graduated approach and supporting colleagues through each stage of the process.

We will:

  • Designate a named member of staff to be the SENCO and share  their name with parents
  • Have high aspirations for all children and support them to achieve to their full potential
  • Develop respectful partnerships with parents and families
  • Ensure parents are  involved at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their child’s care and education and where possible include the thoughts and feelings voiced by the child
  • Signpost parents and families to our Local Offer (SEND report) in order to access local support and services
  • Undertake formal Progress Checks and Assessments of all children in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice January 2015
  • Provide a statement showing how we provide for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and share this with staff, parents and other professionals
  • Ensure that the provision for children with SEN and/or disabilities is the responsibility of all members of staff in the nursery through training and professional discussions
  • Set out in our inclusive admissions practice on how we meet  equality of access and opportunity
  • Make reasonable adjustments to our physical environment to ensure it is, as far as possible suitable for children and adults with disabilities using the facilities
  • Provide a broad, balanced, aspirational early learning environment for all children with SEN and/or disabilities and differentiated activities to meet all individual needs and abilities
  • Liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families, including transition arrangements to other settings and schools. (See our transitions policy).
  • Use the graduated response system  to assess, plan, do and review to ensure early identification of any SEND
  • Ensure that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their parents are consulted at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability
  • Review children’s progress and support plans every 3 months and work with parents to agree on further support plans
  • Provide privacy of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities when intimate care is being provided
  • Raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff
  • Ensure the effectiveness of our SEN/disability provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. additional support reviews, Education and Healthcare (EHC) plans, staff and management meetings, parental and external agencies’ views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually
  • Provide a complaints procedure and make available to all parents in a format that meets their needs e.g. Braille, audio, large print, additional languages
  • Monitor and review our policy and procedures annually.

Effective assessment of the need for early help

Local agencies should work together to put processes in place for the effective assessment of the needs of individual children who may benefit from early help services. Children and families may need support from a wide range of local agencies. Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These early help assessments, such as the Common Assessment Framework, should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.

The early help assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who should provide support to the child and family, act as an advocate on their behalf and coordinate the delivery of support services. The lead professional role could be undertaken by a General Practitioner (GP), family support worker, teacher, health visitor and/or special educational needs coordinator. Decisions about who should be the lead professional should be taken on a case by case basis and should be informed by the child and their family.

For an early help assessment to be effective:

  • The assessment should be undertaken with the agreement of the child and their parents or carers. It should involve the child and family as well as all the professionals who are working with them;
  • A teacher, GP, health visitor, early years’ worker or other professional should be able to discuss concerns they may have about a child and family with a social worker in the local authority. Local authority children’s social care should set out the process for how this will happen; and
  • If parents and/or the child do not consent to an early help assessment, then the lead professional should make a judgement as to whether, without help, the needs of the child will escalate. If so, a referral into local authority children’s social care may be necessary.

If at any time it is considered that the child may be a child in need as defined in the Children Act 1989, or that the child has suffered significant harm, or is likely to do so, a referral should be made immediately to local authority children’s social care. This referral can be made by any professional. Working together to safeguard children 2018

Graduated Approach

We follow the SEND Code of Practice (2015) recommendation that, in addition to the formal checks above, nurseries should adopt a graduated approach to assessment and planning, led and coordinated by a SENCO. Good practice of working together with parents, and the observation and monitoring of children’s individual progress, will help identify any child with special educational needs or disability. This graduated approach will be led and coordinated by the SENCO and appropriate records will be kept according to the Code of Practice. 

Assess

In identifying a child as needing SEN support, the key person, working with the SENCO and the child’s parents, will carry out an analysis of the child’s needs. This initial assessment will be reviewed regularly to ensure that support is matched to need. Where there is little or no improvement in the child’s progress, more specialist assessment may be called for from specialist teachers or from health, social services or other agencies beyond the setting. Where professionals are not already working with the setting, the SENCO will contact them, with the parents’ agreement.

Plan

Where it is decided to provide SEN support, and having formally notified the parents, the key person and the SENCO, in consultation with the parent, will agree the outcomes they are seeking, the interventions and support to be put in place, the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, and a clear date for review. Plans will take into account the views of the child.

The support and intervention provided will be selected to meet the outcomes identified for the child, based on reliable evidence of effectiveness, and provided by practitioners with relevant skills and knowledge. Any related staff development needs should be identified and addressed. Parents will be involved in planning support and, where appropriate, in reinforcing the provision or contributing to progress at home.

Do

The child’s key person will be responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. With support from the SENCO, they will oversee the implementation of the intervention agreed as part of SEN support. The SENCO will support the key person in assessing the child’s response to the action taken, in problem solving and advising on the effective implementation of support.

Review

The effectiveness of the support and its impact on the child’s progress will be reviewed in line with the agreed date. The impact and quality of the support will be evaluated by the key person and the SENCO in full consultation with the child’s parents and taking into account the child’s views. Information will be shared with parents about the impact of the support provided.

Assess – The key person works with the setting SENCO and the child’s parents and brings together all the information, then analyses the child’s needs.

Plan – The key person and the SENCO will agree, in consultation with the parent, the outcomes they are seeking for the child, the interventions and support to be put in place, the expected impact on progress, development and behaviour and finally a date for review.

Do – The child’s key person implements the agreed interventions or programmes

Review – On the agreed date, the key person and SENCO working with the child’s parents, and taking into account the child’s views, will review the effectiveness of the support and the impact of the support on the child’s progress. They will then evaluate the impact and quality of support on the child.

SEND PLAN and Education and Health Plan (EHC)

Some children and young people may require an SEND/EHC needs assessment in order to decide whether it is necessary to develop an SEND/EHC plan. The purpose of an SEND/ EHC plan is to make adjustments and offer support to meet the special educational needs of the child, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care.

The local authority will conduct the SEND/EHC needs assessment and take into account a wide range of evidence, including

  • evidence of the child’s developmental milestones and rate of progress
  • information about the nature, extent and context of the child’s SEN
  • evidence of the action already being taken by us as the early years provider to meet the child’s SEN
  • evidence that, where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
  • evidence of the child’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies.

We will then work with the local authority and other bodies to ensure that the child receives the support they need to gain the best outcomes.

11) Nutrition & Mealtimes

Nutrition & Mealtimes

At Little Me Nursery we believe that mealtimes should be happy, social occasions for children and staff alike. We promote shared, enjoyable positive interactions at these times.

We are committed to offering children healthy, nutritious and balanced meals and snacks which meet individual needs and requirements.

We will ensure that:

  • A balanced and healthy breakfast, midday meal, tea and a daily snack are provided for children attending a full day at the nursery
  • Menus are planned in advance, rotated regularly and reflect cultural diversity and variation. These are displayed for children and parents to view.
  • All allergens are displayed alongside the menus to show the contents of each meal
  • We provide nutritious food at all snack and meal times, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar, salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings
  • Menus include at least 8 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Children are involved in menu planning
  • Fresh drinking water is always available and accessible. It is frequently offered to children and babies and intake is monitored. In hot weather staff will encourage children to drink more water to keep them hydrated
  • Individual dietary requirements are respected. We gather information from parents regarding their children’s dietary needs, including any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that a child has and any special health requirements, before a child starts or joins the nursery. Where appropriate, we will carry out a risk assessment in the case of allergies and work alongside parents to put into place an individual dietary plan for their child
  • We give careful consideration to seating to avoid cross contamination of food from child to child. Where appropriate, an adult will sit with children during meals to ensure safety and minimise risks. Where appropriate, age/stage discussions will also take place with all children about allergies and potential risks to make them aware of the dangers of sharing certain foods
  • Staff show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies. They 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
  • Meal and snack times are organised so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate in small groups. During meals and snack times children are encouraged to use their manners and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and conversation is encouraged
  • Staff use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink, and feeding themselves
  • Staff support children to make healthy choices and understand the need for healthy eating
  • We provide foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones.
  • Cultural differences in eating habits are respected.
  • Any child who shows signs of distress at being faced with a meal he/she does not like will have his/her food removed without any fuss. If a child does not finish his/her first course, he/she will still be given a helping of dessert.
  • Children not on special diets are encouraged to eat a small piece of everything
  • Children who refuse to eat at the mealtime are offered food later in the day.
  • Children are given time to eat at their own pace and not rushed.
  • Quantities offered take account of the ages of the children being catered for in line with recommended portion sizes for babies and young children.
  • We promote positive attitudes to healthy eating through play opportunities and discussions.
  • The nursery provides parents with daily written records of feeding routines for all children under two.
  • No child is ever left alone when eating/drinking to minimise the risk of choking
  • We will sometimes celebrate special occasions such as birthdays with the occasional treat of foods such as cake or biscuits. These will be given at mealtimes to prevent tooth decay and not spoil the child’s appetite.
  • We do allow parents to bring in cakes on special occasions. We ensure that all food brought in from parents meets the above and health and safety requirements and ingredients that are listed within the Food Information for Consumers (FIR) 2014 and detailed in the allergens policy and procedure.
  • All staff who prepare and handle food are competent to do so and receive training in food hygiene which is updated every three years
  • In the very unlikely event of any food poisoning affecting two or more children on the premises, whether or not this may arise from food offered at the nursery, we will inform Ofsted as soon as reasonably practical and in all cases within 14 days. We will also inform the relevant health agencies and follow any advice given.

12) Outdoor Play

Outdoor Play

At Little Me Nursery we are committed to the importance of daily outdoor play and the physical development of all children regardless of their age and stage of development. We provide outdoor play in all weathers. Where possible and appropriate, we make outdoor activities accessible to children with learning difficulties and disabilities to ensure inclusive use of the outdoor area.

We recognise that children need regular access to outdoor play in order to keep fit and healthy, develop their large and fine motor skills, experience learning in a natural environment and access sunlight in order to absorb vitamin D more effectively. We also refer to The Chief Medical Office guidance on physical activity. [1]

The outdoor areas, both within the nursery grounds and in the local community have a wealth of experiences and resources which help children to develop in a variety of ways, including independence, exploration and investigative skills, risk taking and self-esteem, all of which support children to develop skills now and for the future.

We ensure all areas are safe and secure through close supervision and the use of robust risk assessments and safety checks. Where possible and appropriate, we plan and encourage play that helps children understand and manage risks. This type of play allows children to explore and find their own boundaries in a safe environment with supportive practitioners. Staff are informed of the importance of safety procedures and are trained appropriately to ensure these procedures are followed effectively.

We obtain parental permission before any child leaves the nursery during the day. This includes short outings into the local community. There is more information in the outings policy.

We plan all outdoor play opportunities and outings to complement the indoor activities and provide children with purposeful activities that support and follow individual children’s interests. There is a balance of both adult-led and child-initiated opportunities to enable children to learn and practice new skills, knowledge and behaviours.

Where activities take place away from the setting (e.g. in the local wood) then a mobile phone and first aid kit will be taken to ensure the safety of children at all times. A trained paediatric first aider will be present when away from the main setting.

We use this policy alongside the following policies to ensure the safety and welfare of children throughout their time outside:

  • Health and Safety
  • Sun Care
  • Caring for Babies and Toddlers
  • Lost Child Policy
  • Parents and Carers as Partners
  • Supervision of Children
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Outings.

13) Sun Care

Sun Care

At Little Me Nursery we are committed to ensuring that all children are fully protected from the dangers of too much sun/UV rays. Severe sunburn in childhood can lead to the development of malignant melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer) in later life.

We follow guidance from the weather and UV level reports and use the following procedures to keep children safe and healthy in the sun:

  • Key persons will work with the parents of their key children to decide and agree on suitable precautions to protect children from burning, including those with more sensitive skin types and those that may be more tolerant to the sunshine, e.g. black and/or Asian colouring
  • Children must have a clearly labelled sun hat which will be worn at all times whilst outside in sunny weather. This hat will preferably be of legionnaires design (i.e. with an extended back and side to shield children’s neck and ears from the sun) to provide additional protection
  • Children must have their own labelled high factor sun cream with prior written consent for staff to apply. This enables children to have sun cream suitable for their own individual needs. Staff must be aware of the expiry date and discard sunscreen after this date
  • Parents are requested to supply light-weight cotton clothing for their children suitable for the sun, with long sleeves and long legs
  • Children’s safety and welfare in hot weather is the nursery’s prime objective so staff will work closely with parents to ensure all appropriate cream and clothing is provided
  • Staff will make day-to-day decisions about the length of time spent outside depending on the strength of the sun; children will not be allowed in the direct sunlight between 11.00am – 3.00pm on hot days
  • Children will always have sun cream applied before going outside in the hot weather and at frequent intervals during the day
  • Children are encouraged to drink cooled water more frequently throughout sunny or warm days and this will be accessible both indoors and out
  • Children are made aware of the need for sun hats, sun cream and the need to drink more fluids during their time in the sun
  • Shade will be provided to ensure children are able to still go out in hot weather, cool down or escape the sun should they wish or need to.

Vitamin D

Sunlight is important for the body to receive vitamin D. We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. These minerals are important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

Our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we are outdoors. Most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods with their hands or other body parts uncovered. Sun cream will stop the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from reaching your skin, so part of your body should be uncovered and not have sun cream on. At nursery we find the right balance to protecting children from sunburn as well as allowing the skin to access the sun for the vitamin D benefits, e.g. hands will be left without sun cream but children will be fully monitored to ensure no hands are burnt.

The benefits will be discussed with parents and their wishes will be followed with regard to the amount of sun cream applied.

14) Adverse Weather

Adverse Weather

At Little Me Nursery we have an adverse weather policy in place to ensure our nursery is prepared for all weather conditions that might affect the running of the nursery such as floods, snow and heat waves.

If any of these incidents impact on the ability of the nursery to open or operate, we will contact parents via phone.

We will not take children outdoors where we judge that weather conditions make it unsafe to do so.

Flood

In the case of a flood we will follow our critical incident procedure to enable all children and staff to be safe and continuity of care to be planned for.

Snow or other severe weather

If high snowfall, or another severe weather condition such as dense fog, is threatened during a nursery day then the manager will take the decision as to whether to close the nursery. This decision will take into account the safety of the children, their parents and the staff team. In the event of a planned closure during the nursery day, we will contact all parents to arrange for collection of their child.

In the event of staff shortages due to snow or other severe weather, we will contact all available off duty staff and group the children differently until they are able to arrive. If we are unable to maintain statutory ratio requirements after all avenues are explored, and we feel the safety, health or welfare of the children is compromised then we will take the decision to close the nursery.

Heat wave

Please refer to our sun care policy.

15) Quality Provision Policy

Quality Provision Policy

At Little Me Nursery we aim to provide high quality care and education for all children. High quality care leads directly to better outcomes for children and this is what we are all aiming for.

As part of our quality practice we will do the following to ensure children receive the best care and education:

  • Ensure high expectations for children to realise the best outcomes
  • Ensure all staff know what is meant by quality practice and how to deliver it
  • Create a quality vision that all staff can follow
  • Deliver high quality practice and teaching that makes a difference on a daily basis to children’s outcomes.
  • Ensure a solid understanding of the importance of pedagogy (The method and practice of teaching) and chid development amongst all practitioners
  • Value continuous professional development in all staff and access a variety of training and development to support the needs of the children in the nursery
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of training and link to the outcomes for children
  • Ensure all staff are confident in their roles and have the training they need to be able to perform these roles
  • Conduct regular supervision meetings with all team members to ensure all staff are supported to be the best they can be
  • Use peer on peer observations to share, discuss and improve practice across the setting
  • Monitor all practice and feedback ideas for improvement
  • Ensure all planning, observation, assessment and next steps are linked to each individual child’s needs and interests and are evaluated for effectiveness
  • Undertake a quality programme to ensure all quality is embedded throughout the nursery
  • Engage with families and carers and link across the home learning environment and other carers to provide consistency of care and education
  • Operate a robust and embedded evaluation process across the whole setting that includes all parties such as practitioners, children, parents and external partners. We tackle poor performance using our staff procedures to ensure high quality remains forefront at all times.

16) Data Protection & Confidentiality

Data Protection & Confidentiality

At Little Me Nursery we recognise that we hold sensitive/confidential information about children and their families and the staff we employ. This information is used to meet children’s needs, for registers, invoices and emergency contacts. We store all records in a locked cabinet or on the office computer with files that are password protected in line with data protection principles. Any information shared with the staff team is done on a ‘need to know’ basis and treated in confidence. This policy will work alongside the Privacy Notice to ensure compliance under General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

Legal requirements

  • We follow the legal requirements set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017 and accompanying regulations about the information we must hold about registered children and their families and the staff working at the nursery
  • We follow the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 with regard to the storage of data and access to it.

Procedures

It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their families and we do so by:

  • Storing confidential records in a locked filing cabinet or on the office computers with files that are password protected.
  • Ensuring staff, student and volunteer inductions include an awareness of the importance of confidentiality and that information about the child and family is not shared outside of the nursery other than with relevant professionals who need to know that information. It is not shared with friends and family, discussions on the bus or at the local bar. If staff breach any confidentiality provisions, this may result in disciplinary action and, in serious cases, dismissal. Students on placement in the nursery are advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it
  • Ensuring that all staff, volunteers and students are aware that this information is confidential and only for use within the nursery and to support the child’s best interests with parental permission
  • Ensuring that parents have access to files and records of their own children but not to those of any other child, other than where relevant professionals such as the police or local authority children’s social care team decide this is not in the child’s best interest
  • Ensuring all staff are aware that this information is confidential and only for use within the nursery setting. If any of this information is requested for whatever reason, the parent’s permission will always be sought other than in the circumstances above
  • Ensuring staff do not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child’s needs
  • Ensuring staff, students and volunteers are aware of and follow our social networking policy in relation to confidentiality
  • Ensuring issues concerning the employment of staff remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions
  • Ensuring any concerns/evidence relating to a child’s personal safety are kept in a secure, confidential file and are shared with as few people as possible on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. If, however, a child is considered at risk, our safeguarding/child protection policy will override confidentiality.

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the nursery, which is to the safety and well-being of the child.

General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) compliance

In order to meet our requirements under GDPR we will also undertake the following:

  1. We will ensure our terms & conditions, privacy and consent notices are easily accessed/made available in accurate and easy to understand language
  2. We will use your data only for [insert reasons] and only contact you [insert reasons]. We will not share or use your data for other purposes.
  3. Everyone in our nursery understands that people have the right to access their records or have their records amended or deleted (subject to other laws and regulations).

Staff and volunteer information

  • All information and records relating to staff will be kept confidentially in a locked cabinet
  • Individual staff may request to see their own personal file at any time.