Stepping Stones Policies

Admissions

Comments from the legal term to consider:
When using this policy ensure that it is reflecting your admissions criteria, as this must be followed otherwise you could find yourselves in difficulties.

EYFS: 3.28 – 3.31, 3.55, 3.58

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we care for up to 133 children per day between the ages of 3 months and 5 years.

The numbers and ages of children admitted to the nursery comply with the legal space requirements set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). When considering admissions we are mindful of staff: child ratios and the facilities available at the nursery.

The nursery will use the following admission criteria which will be applied in the following order of priority:

  1. Children looked after
  2. A child known by the local authority to have special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) and whose needs can be best met at the preferred nursery
  3. A vulnerable child with either a Child Protection or a Child in Need Plan or Local Authority/Common Assessment Framework
  4. Children who have siblings who are already with us
  5. Children whose parents live within the area.

A child requiring a full-time place may have preference over one requiring a part-time place. This is dependent upon work commitments, occupancy and room availability. We operate a waiting list and places are offered on an availability basis.

We operate an inclusion and equality policy and ensure that all children have access to nursery places and services irrespective of their gender, race, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation of parents.

Prior to a child attending nursery, parents must complete and sign a contract and registration form. These forms provide the nursery with personal details relating to the child. For example, name, date of birth, address, emergency contact details, parental responsibilities, dietary requirements, collection arrangements, fees and sessions, contact details for parents, doctor’s contact details, health visitor contact details, allergies, parental consent and vaccinations etc.

Providers eligible to provide government funded places for early education
All settings registered to accept government funding (detailed in the code of practice) must offer free places for *two/*three to five year olds for early learning sessions specified by the local authority. At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we currently provide free funded places available for children subject to availability. These places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and can be booked a term in advance. Please note for admissions for the free nursery education we have a termly intake, beginning the term following your child’s *second/*third birthday.

All funded sessions are now in line with the flexible arrangement as specified by the Government. When you register your child for their funded place we will discuss your needs and, as far as possible with availability and staffing arrangements, we will accommodate your wishes. We reserve the right to limit and/or have specific funded sessions, according to our business requirements.

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/ Michelle Warner April 2023

 

COVID Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment – COVID-19(v3.1 Spring Term) 25/02/2021
Reviewed 24/05/2021
Stepping Stones Day Nursery

 

Responsible Person Lorraine Mellers: Nursery Manager
Other Persons Involved Chrissie Oliver: Senior Deputy Manager; Emma Keller; Deputy Manager
Guidance Material Considered

 

Details – DFE Coronavirus Helpline 0800 046 8687

Covering staff and pupil H&S for the reopening of schools from 8 March 2021 and for those staff who will continue or need to work from home. The term ‘school’ is used throughout to refer to schools and early years settings as applicable.

To minimise the risk of infection to all persons, the following system of controls has been applied by the school/setting:

At all times

  • Minimise contact with individuals who are required to self-isolate by ensuring they do not attend school
  • Ensure face coverings are used in recommended circumstances
  • Ensure everyone is advised to clean their hands thoroughly and more often than usual
  • Ensure good respiratory hygiene for everyone by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • Maintain enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents
  • Minimise contact between all across the setting/site and maintain social distancing wherever possible
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

In specific circumstances

  • Ensure individuals wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary
  • Promote and engage in asymptomatic testing, where available

In response to any infection

  • Promote and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
  • Manage and report confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
  • Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice

A close contact is defined as:

  • Anyone who lives with someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result (PCR or LFD)
  • Anyone in a support bubble or childcare bubble as if they were part of the same household
  • Anyone who has had the following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 via PCR or LFD test.
    • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within 1 metre skin-to-skin physical contact for any length of time
    • been within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact
    • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact or added up together over 1 day)
    • travelled in the same vehicle or a plane

The symptoms of COVID-19 are: a new and continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of or change in a person’s normal sense of taste or smell

COVID Risk Assessment Document

Assessment completed by: Lorraine Mellers/ Emma Keller/ Chrissie Oliver Date: 24/05/21 Date of next review: July 2021

 

Complaints and compliments

* delete as appropriate

EYFS: 3.75, 3.76

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we strive to provide the highest quality of care and education for our children and families and believe that all parents are treated with care, courtesy and respect. We hope that at all times parents are happy and satisfies with the quality and service provided and we encourage parents to voice their appreciation to the staff concerned and/or management.

We record all compliments and share these with staff.

We welcome any suggestions from parents on how we can improve our services, and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns that parents may have. Any concerns will be dealt with professionally and promptly to ensure that any issues arising from them are handled effectively and to ensure the welfare of all children, enable ongoing cooperative partnership with parents and to continually improve the quality of the nursery.

We have a formal procedure for dealing with complaints where we are not able to resolve a concern. Where any concern or complaint relates to child protection, we follow our *Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.

Internal complaints procedure

Stage 1

If any parent should have cause for concern or any queries regarding the care or early learning provided by the nursery, they should in the first instance take it up with the child’s key person or a senior member of staff/room leader. If this is not resolved we ask them to discuss this verbally with the manager.

Stage 2

If the issue still remains unresolved or parents feel they have received an unsatisfactory outcome, then they must present their concerns in writing as a formal complaint to the nursery manager. The manager will then investigate the complaint in relation to the fulfilment of the EYFS requirements and report back to the parent within 10 working days The manager will document the complaint fully, the actions taken and the outcome in relation to it in the complaints log book.  

(Most complaints are usually resolved informally at stage 1 or 2.)

Stage 3

If the matter is still not resolved, the nursery will hold a formal meeting between the manager, parent and the Director of Business/senior staff member to ensure that it is dealt with comprehensively. The nursery will make a record of the meeting and document any actions. All parties present at the meeting will review the accuracy of the record, and be asked to sign to agree it and receive a copy. This will signify the conclusion of the procedure.

Stage 4

If the matter cannot be resolved to their satisfaction, then parents have the right to raise the matter with Ofsted. Parents are made aware that they can contact Ofsted at any time they have a concern, including at all stages of the complaints procedure, and are given information on how to contact Ofsted. Ofsted is the registering authority for nurseries in England and investigates all complaints that suggest a provider may not be meeting the requirements of the nursery’s registration. It risk assesses all complaints made and may visit the nursery to carry out a full inspection where it believes requirements are not met.

A record of complaints will be kept in the nursery. The record will include the name of the complainant, the nature of the complaint, date and time complaint received, action(s) taken, outcomes of any investigations and any information given to the complainant including a dated response.

Parents will be able to access this record if they wish; however, all personal details relating to any complaint will be stored confidentially and will be only accessible by the parties involved. Ofsted inspectors will have access to this record at any time during visits to ensure actions have been met appropriately.

The record of complaints is made available to Ofsted on request.
We will follow this procedure for any other compliments and complaints received from visitors to the provider, where applicable.

Contact details for Ofsted:

Email: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 123 1231   

By post:

Ofsted
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester
M1 2WD

Parents will also be informed if the nursery becomes aware that they are going to be inspected and after inspection the nursery will provide a copy of the report to parents and/or carers of children attending on a regular basis.

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/ Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Inclusion

* delete as appropriate

EYFS: 1.1 – 1.17, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1-3.68, 3.80

Inclusion is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging. Inclusive early years practice is about anticipating, paying attention, responding to and reflecting on the needs and interests of all children. A commitment to inclusion should permeate all aspects of the design of educational programmes and the structuring of environments, as well as shaping every interaction with children, parents and other professionals (Birth to 5 Matters, 2021).

Statement of intent
At Stepping Stones Day 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 is 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 Lorraine Mellers, nursery manager at the earliest opportunity.

Appropriate steps will then be taken to investigate the matter and if such concerns are well-founded, the nursery’s disciplinary policy will be followed.

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, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation
  • Creating a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contributions of all staff are recognised and valued
  • Providing a childcare place, wherever possible, for children who may have special educational needs and/or disabilities or are deemed disadvantaged according to their individual circumstances
  • 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 families are listened to, 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 and training all staff about their rights and responsibilities under the inclusion and equality policy.
  • 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 avoids discrimination. Shortlisting will be done by more than one person, where possible.

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

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

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

At interview, no questions are posed which potentially discriminate on the grounds specified in the statement of intent. All candidates are 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 are given the opportunity to receive feedback on the reasons why they were not successful.

We may ask questions (Under the Equality Act 2010) prior to offering someone employment in the following circumstances:

  • To establish whether the applicant will be able to comply with a requirement to undergo an assessment (i.e. an interview or selection test)
  • Too establish whether the applicant will be able to carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned
  • To monitor diversity in the range of people applying for work
  • 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 our policy 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. They 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 strives towards the provision of inclusion, equality and diversity training for all staff.

Early learning framework
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and ensure that all  learning opportunities offered in the nursery encourage children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from them. Our curriculum encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

We do this by:

  • Identifying a key person to each child who will ensure that each child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs and continuously observe, assess and plan for their learning and development
  • Listening to children (verbally and non-verbally) and making children feel included,  valued and good about themselves
  • Ensuring that we know what each child knows and “can do” and have equal access to tailored 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
  • Supporting children to talk about their feelings and those of others, manage emotions and develop empathy
  • Helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable
  • Knowing children well, being able to meet their needs and know when they require further support
  • Ensuring that all early learning opportunities offered are inclusive of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Ensuring that children whose first language is not English have full access to our 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 all children are met and help
  • children to learn about a range of food and cultural approaches to meal times and to respect the differences among them.

Parent information and meetings
Information about the nursery, its activities, experiences, resources are  shared with parents as well as information about their child’s development. This is 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 are arranged to give all families opportunities  to attend and share information about their child.

We also consult with parents regularly about the running of the nursery and ask them to contribute their ideas.

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Medication
EYFS: 3.19, 3.46, 3.47

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we promote the good health of children attending nursery and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection (see sickness and illness and infection control policies). If a child requires medicine, we will obtain information about the child’s needs for this, and will ensure this information is kept up to date.

We follow strict guidelines when dealing with medication of any kind in the nursery and these are set out below.

Medication prescribed by a doctor or Nurse
(Medicines containing aspirin will only be given if prescribed by a doctor)

  • Prescription medicine will only be given when prescribed by the above and for the person named on the bottle for the dosage stated
  • Medicines must be in their original containers with their instructions printed in English
  • Those with parental responsibility for any child requiring prescription medication should hand over the medication to the most appropriate member of staff who will then note the details of the administration on the appropriate form and another member of staff will check these details
  • Those with parental responsibility must give prior written permission for the administration of each and every medication. However, we will accept written permission once for a whole course of medication or for the ongoing use of a particular medication under the following circumstances:
  1. The written permission is only acceptable for that brand name of medication and cannot be used for similar types of medication, e.g. if the course of antibiotics changes, a new form will need to be completed
  2. The dosage on the written permission is the only dosage that will be administered. We will not give a different dose unless a new form is completed
  3. Parents must notify us IMMEDIATELY if the child’s circumstances change, e.g. a dose has been given at home, or a change in strength/dose needs to be given.
  • The nursery will not administer a dosage that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless accompanied by written instructions from a relevant health professional such as a letter from a doctor
  • The parent must be asked when the child has last been given the medication before coming to nursery; and the staff member must record this information on the medication form. Similarly, when the child is picked up, the parent or guardian must be given precise details of the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s signature must be obtained at both times
  • At the time of administering the medicine, a member of staff will ask the child to take the medicine, or offer it in a manner acceptable to the child at the prescribed time and in the prescribed form. (It is important to note that staff working with children are not legally obliged to administer medication)
  • When a staff member administers the required medication another member of staff will witness this and sign the medication form to confirm all the details are correct eg. dosage/ name of medication/ children etc
  • If the child refuses to take the appropriate medication, then a note will be made on the form
  • Where medication is “essential” or may have side effects, discussion with the parent will take place to establish the appropriate response.

Non-prescription medication (these will not usually be administrated)

  • The nursery will not administer any non-prescription medication
  • The nursery will only administer non-prescription medication such as nappy creams and teething remedies which are provided by parents.
  • As with any kind of medication, staff will ensure that the parent is informed of any non-prescription medicines given to the child whilst at the nursery, together with the times and dosage given
  • If the nursery feels the child would benefit from medical attention we reserve the right to refuse nursery care until the child is seen by a medical practitioner.
  • If a child needs liquid paracetamol due to a very high temperature and the parent was unable to collect their child for a significant amount of time then nursery could obtain verbal permission over the phone, for staff to administer the correct dose for the age of the child according to the medication instructions. Parents would still need to make arrangements for the child to be collected as soon as possible. A medication form would be completed and parents/carers to sign. (Giving non-prescription medication will be a last resort and the nursery staff will use other methods first to try and alleviate the symptoms (where appropriate). The child will be closely monitored until the parents collect the child)
  • An emergency nursery supply of fever relief (e.g. Calpol) will be stored on site. This will be checked at regular intervals by the designated trained first aider to make sure that it complies with any instructions for storage and is still in date 
  • If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, a member of the senior management team will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery. If the child is staying, the parent must be asked if any kind of medication has already been given, at what time and in what dosage and this must be stated on the medication form
  • The nursery DOES NOT administer any medication unless prior written consent is given for each and every medicine.

Injections, pessaries, suppositories
As the administration of injections, pessaries and suppositories represents intrusive nursing, we will not administer these without appropriate medical training for every member of staff caring for this child. This training is specific for every child and not generic. The nursery will do all it can to make any reasonable adjustments including working with parents and other professionals to arrange for appropriate health officials to train staff in administering the medication. 

Staff medication
All nursery staff have a responsibility to work with children only where they are fit to do so. Staff must not work with children where they are infectious or feel unwell and cannot meet children’s needs. This includes circumstances where any medication taken affects their ability to care for children, for example, where it makes a person drowsy.

If any staff member believes that their condition, including any condition caused by taking medication, is affecting their ability to care for children they must inform their line manager and seek medical advice. The nursery manager will decide if a staff member is fit to work, including circumstances where other staff members notice changes in behaviour suggesting a person may be under the influence of medication. This decision will include any medical advice obtained by the individual or from an occupational health assessment.  

Where staff may occasionally or regularly need medication, any such medication must be kept in the staff room or in the medication basket situated in the nursery room where staff may need easy access to the medication such as an asthma inhaler. In all cases it must be stored securely out of reach of the children, at all times. It must not be kept in the first aid box and should be labelled with the name of the member of staff.

Storage
All medication for children must have the child’s name clearly written on the original container and kept in a closed box, which is out of reach of all children.

Emergency medication, such as inhalers and EpiPens, will be within easy reach of staff in case of an immediate need, but will remain out of children’s reach. Any antibiotics requiring refrigeration must be kept in a fridge inaccessible to children.

All medications must be in their original containers, labels must be legible and not tampered with or they will not be given. All prescription medications should have the pharmacist’s details and notes attached to show the dosage needed and the date the prescription was issued. This will all be checked, along with expiry dates, before staff agree to administer medication. 

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Nappy Changing
EYFS: 3.27, 3.61, 3.47

NB This policy may be used as a stand-alone policy adopted within your Intimate Care Policy.

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we support children’s care and welfare on a daily basis in line with their individual needs. All children need contact with familiar, consistent carers to ensure they can grow confidently and feel self-assured. Wherever possible, the child’s key person or familiar room staff will change nappies according to the child’s individual needs and requirements. 

Our procedure meets best practice identified by the Health Protection Agency (2011) in ‘Best practice advice for nurseries and childcare settings’.

We enable a two-way exchange between parents and key persons so that information is shared about nappy changing and toilet training in a way that suits the parents and meets the child’s needs.

When developmentally appropriate, we work closely with parents/carers to sensitively support toilet training in a way that suits the individual needs of the child and ensures consistency between home and nursery.  

We have appropriate designated facilities for nappy changing which meet the following criteria:

  • Facilities are separate to food preparation, serving areas and children’s play areas
  • Changing mats have a sealed plastic covering and are frequently checked for cracks or tears. If cracks or tears are found, the mat is discarded.
  • Clean nappies are stored in a clean dry place; soiled nappies are placed in a nappy sack before being placed in the bin. Bins are emptied through the day if needed but always at the end of the day and placed in an appropriate waste collection area.
  • We ask that where any non-prescribed creams are needed e.g. Sudocrem that these a  are supplied by the parent/guardian and clearly labelled with the child’s name. When applying creams for rashes, a gloved hand is used.

Staff changing nappies will

  • Use a new pair of gloves for each nappy change and always wash hands before and after using gloves. Disposable aprons are available should staff wish to wear one but this is not enforced.
  • Clean disinfect and dry mats thoroughly after each nappy change; disposable towels/roll are discarded after each nappy change
  • Ensure they have all the equipment they need before each nappy change
  • Keep nappy bags, gloves and aprons out of reach of babies and children.

Reusable Nappies

The procedures above are followed where children wear useable nappies, in addition we:

  • Ask the parents for a demonstration for fitting the nappy correctly
  • Dispose of any soiling by flushing straight down the toilet
  • Dispose the nappy liner, and place in a nappy bag (and disposed of as per disposable nappies in a nappy bin)
  • Store the used nappies in a sealable wet bag (including a waterproof interior and sealed prevents any smells escaping) away from children
  • Provide the parents with the wet bag at the end of the day to clean the used nappies.

We wish to ensure the safety and welfare of the children whilst being changed and safeguard against any potential harm, as well as ensuring the staff member involved is fully supported and able to perform their duties safely and confidently. We aim to support all parties through the following actions:

  • Promoting consistent and caring relationships through the key person system in the nursery and ensuring all parents understand how this works and who is caring for their child
  • Using this one-to-one time as a key opportunity to talk to children and help them learn, e.g. through singing and saying rhymes during the change
  • Ensuring that the nappy changing area is inviting and stimulating and change this area regularly to continue to meet children’s interests
  • Ensuring all staff undertaking nappy changing have suitable enhanced DBS checks
  • Training all staff in the appropriate methods for nappy changing
  • Ensuring that no child is ever left unattended during the nappy changing time
  • Making sure staff do not change nappies whilst pregnant until a risk assessment has been discussed and conducted; and that students only change nappies with the support and close supervision of a qualified member of staff
  • Conducting thorough inductions for all new staff to ensure they are fully aware of all nursery procedures relating to nappy changing
  • Ensuring hygiene procedures are followed appropriately, e.g. hands washed before and after nappies are changed and changing mats cleaned before and after each use
  • Following up procedures through supervision meetings and appraisals to identify any areas for development or further training
  • Working closely with parents on all aspects of the child’s care and education as laid out in the parent and carers as partner’s policy. This is essential for any intimate care routines which may require specialist training or support. If a child requires specific support, the nursery will arrange a meeting with the parent to discover all the relevant information relating to this to enable the staff to care for the child fully and meet their individual needs
  • Ensuring all staff have an up-to-date understanding of child protection and how to protect children from harm. This includes identifying signs and symptoms of abuse and how to raise these concerns as set out in the child protection policy
  • Balancing the right for privacy for the children with the need for safeguarding children and adults by making sure intimate care routines do not take place behind closed doors
  • Cameras, tablets and mobile phones are not permitted within toilet and intimate care areas
  • Operating a whistleblowing policy to help staff raise any concerns relating to their peers or managers and helping staff develop confidence in raising concerns as they arise in order to safeguard the children in the nursery
  • Conducting working practice observations of all aspects of nursery operations to ensure that procedures are working in practice and all children are supported fully by the staff. This includes all intimate care routines
  • Conducting regular risk assessments of all aspects of nursery operations including intimate care and reviewing the safeguards in place. The nursery has assessed all the risks relating to intimate care routines and has placed appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the safety of all involved.

If any parent or member of staff has concerns or questions about nappy changing procedures or individual routines, please see the manager at the earliest opportunity.

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Parents and carers as partners
EYFS: 1.16, 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 3.27, 3.48, 3.69, 3.74

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we welcome all 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 and include them as an integral part of the care and early learning team within the nursery. Working together ensures we can meet the individual needs of the family and child and provide the highest quality of care and education.

The key person system supports engagement with all parents and we use strategies to ensure that all parents can contribute to their child’s learning and development. Parents and carers are kept well informed about their children’s progress. We encourage parents to support and share information about their children’s learning and development at home and the key person seeks to engage them in guiding their child’s development at home too. 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 at any time 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 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 when requested from the main office
  • 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, where required
  • Create opportunities for parents to talk to other adults in a secure and supportive environment through such activities as open days 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 nursery newsletters, handbook and website.
  • 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 and updates as they transition through the setting
  • Inform parents on a regular basis about their child’s progress and involve them in shared record keeping. Parents’ evenings are held at least twice a year. The nursery consults 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 a written 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.
This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Promoting positive behaviour
EYFS: 3.1, 3.2, 3.53, 3.54

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we believe that children flourish best when they feel safe and secure and have their needs met by supportive practitioners who act as good role models, show them respect and value their individual personalities. Children are supported through co-regulation, where adults and children work together towards a common purpose, including finding ways to resolve upsets from stress in any domain and return to balance leading on to a path to self-regulation. 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.

We implement the early year’s curriculum supporting children to develop their personal, social and emotional development. This involves helping children to understand their own feelings and others and beginning to regulate their behaviour. We support children to do this through working together with parents, having consistent approaches, structure, routine and age/stage appropriate boundaries. We help build confidence and self-esteem by valuing all children and giving lots of praise and encouragement.

To support positive behaviour in our setting, we aim to:

  • Recognise the individuality of all our children
  • Provide a warm, responsive relationship where children feel respected, comforted and supported in times of stress, and confident that they are cared for at all times. 
  • Understand that behaviours are a normal part of some young children’s development e.g. biting
  • Encourage self-regulation, 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
  • 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 children’s understanding of different feelings and emotions, self-regulation and empathy as appropriate to stage of development. This includes using strategies and naming and talking about feelings and ways to manage them
  • Have a named person who has overall responsibility for promoting positive behaviour and behaviour support.

The named person for promoting and supporting behaviour is Chrissie Abbott, Michelle Warner, Emma Keller It is their role to:

  • Advise and support other staff on any behaviour concerns
  • Along with each room leader will keep up to date with legislation and research relating to promoting positive 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 are displaying distressed/challenging behaviour, for example, by physically abusing another child or adult e.g. biting, or through verbal bullying, are helped to talk through their feelings and actions through co-regulation before thinking about the situation and apologise where appropriate. We make sure that the child who has been upset is comforted . We always acknowledge when a child is feeling angry or upset and that it is the behaviour that is not acceptable, not the child or their feelings.

Our promoting positive behaviour procedure is:

  • We support all children to develop positive behaviour, and we make every effort to provide for their individual needs
  • We never use or threaten to use physical punishment/corporal punishment such as smacking or shaking or use or threaten any punishment that could adversely affect a child’s well being
  • We only use physical intervention (where practitioners may use reasonable force to prevent children from injuring themselves or others or damaging property) 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 occasions where a child is displaying challenging/ distressed behaviour  and may need individual techniques to restrain them to prevent a child from injuring themselves or others. 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 are displaying challenging behaviour they will, wherever possible, be distracted/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 do not raise their voices (other than to keep children safe)
  • In any case of challenging behaviour, 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 on particular strategies to support  particular types 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 behaviours that challenge 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 behaviour that challenges 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 and emotions
  • We keep confidential records on any behaviour that challenges that has taken place We inform parents and ask them to read and sign any incidents concerning their child
  • 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. A member of the Senior Management Team 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.

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.

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

  • 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
  • Staff will initiate games and activities with children when they feel play has become overly boisterous/aggressive, both indoors or out
  • We will ensure that this policy is available for staff and parents
  • Staff and parents are also welcomed to review and comment on the policy and procedure
  • If any parent has a concern about their child, a member of staff will be available to discuss those concerns. Working together 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.

Anti-bullying
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.

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. Staff will intervene when they think a child is being bullied, however mild or harmless it may seem and sensitively discuss any instance of bullying with the parents of all involved to look for a consistent resolution to the behaviour.

By positively promoting positive behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude, we hope to ensure that children will  develop a positive sense of self, have confidence in their own abilities, make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These will provide them with a secure platform for school and later life.

 

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023

 

Safeguarding policy

Disclaimer from Ofsted: The EYFS requires that a setting’s safeguarding policy ‘should be in line with the guidance and procedures of the relevant local authority’.

Ensure you review this policy to be consistent with the requirements of your local authority.

EYFS: Section 3 – Safeguarding and welfare requirements

At Stepping Stones Day 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 children is everybody’s responsibility. All staff, students, any supply staff and visitors are made aware of and asked to adhere to, the policy.

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.

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 including:

  • Online safety
  • Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
  • Prevent Duty and Radicalisation
  • Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Abuse (HBA) and Forced Marriage
  • Looked After Children
  • Monitoring staff behaviour
  • Social networking
  • Mobile phone and electronic device use
  • Safe recruitment of staff
  • Disciplinary
  • Grievance
  • Promoting positive behaviour

Legal framework and definition of safeguarding

  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Childcare Act 2006 (amended 2018)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
  • Inspecting Safeguarding in Early years, Education and Skills settings 2021
  • Prevent Duty 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 staff are 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 providing sensitive interactions that develops and builds children’s well-being, confidence and resilience. We will support children to develop an awareness of how to keep themselves safe, healthy and develop positive relationships
  • Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the safeguarding and child protection 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 including the impact of toxic trio on children and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s).
  • Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, maintaining professional curiosity around welfare of children and share information and seek the help that the child may need at the earliest opportunity.
  • 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 West Sussex local authority
  • Keep the setting safe online, we refer to ‘Safeguarding children and protecting professionals in early years settings: online safety considerations and use appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times and maintaining safeguards around the use of technology by staff, parents and visitors in the setting.
  • 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
  • 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 our safeguarding and 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 West Sussex 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

Integrated Front Door (IFD) 01403229900

Local authority Designated Officer (LADO) 03302226450

Ofsted 0300 123 1231

Non-emergency police 101

Government helpline for extremism concerns 020 7340 7264

Child exploitation and Online protection command (CEOP) https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

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 more rarely,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) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)

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:

Emotional states:

  • Fearful
  • Withdrawn
  • Low self-esteem.

Behaviour:

  • Aggressive
  • Oppositional habitual body rocking.

Interpersonal behaviours:

  • Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking
  • Over-friendliness to strangers including healthcare professionals
  • Excessive clinginess, persistently resorting to gaining attention
  • Demonstrating excessively ‘good’ behaviour to prevent parental or carer disapproval
  • Failing to seek or accept appropriate comfort or affection from an appropriate person when significantly distressed
  • Coercive controlling behaviour towards parents or carers
  • Lack of ability to understand and recognise emotions
  • Very young children showing excessive comforting behaviours when witnessing parental or carer distress.

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; to support for both the victim and the perpetrator, as they could also be a victim of abuse. We know that children who develop harmful sexual behaviour have often experienced abuse and neglect themselves. 

Physical abuse
A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

All children can suffer injuries during their early years as they explore and develop. If an explanation of how a child received their injury doesn’t match the injury itself or if a child’s injuries are a regular occurrence or there is a pattern to their injuries, then we will report our concerns.

Fabricated illness
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. The parent or carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation; they may exaggerate a real illness and symptoms or deliberately induce an illness through poisoning with medication or other substances or they may interfere with medical treatments. Fabricated illness is a form of physical abuse and any concerns will be reported, in line with our safeguarding procedures.

Female genital mutilation
FGM can also be known as Female Genital Cutting.  FGM is a procedure where the female genital organs are injured or changed and there is no medical reason for this. It is frequently a very traumatic and violent act for the victim and can cause harm in many ways. The practice can cause severe pain and there may be immediate and/or long-term health consequences, including mental health problems, difficulties in childbirth, causing danger to the child and mother; and/or death (definition taken from the Multi-Agency Statutory Guidance on Female Genital Mutilation).

The 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.

FGM is child abuse and is illegal in the UK. It can be extremely dangerous and can cause:

  • Severe pain
  • Shock
  • Bleeding
  • Infection such at tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C
  • Organ damage
  • Blood loss and infections
  • Death in some cases

Any concerns about a child or family, will be reported to the children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. We have 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.

Breast Ironing/flattening
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.

Breast Ironing/Flattening is a form of physical abuse and can cause serious health issues such as:

  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Itching
  • Tissue damage
  • Infection
  • Discharge of milk
  • Dissymmetry of the breasts
  • Severe fever.

Any concerns about a child or family, will be reported to the children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse involves forcing, or enticing, a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Adult males do not solely perpetrate sexual abuse; women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

Action must be taken if a staff member witnesses an occasion(s) where a child indicates sexual activity through words, play, drawing, has an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters; or has an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, or language, for their developmental age. 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.

If a child is being sexually abused staff may observe both emotional and physical symptoms.

Emotional signs:

  • Being overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way inappropriate to the child’s age
  • Personality changes such as becoming insecure or clingy
  • Regressing to younger behaviour patterns such as thumb sucking or bringing out discarded cuddly toys
  • Sudden loss of appetite or compulsive eating
  • Being isolated or withdrawn
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well, such as not wanting to be alone with a carer
  • Becoming worried about clothing being removed
  • Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures or acting out actions inappropriate for their age
  • Using sexually explicit language.

Physical Signs:

  • Bruises
  • Bleeding, discharge, pains or soreness in their genital or anal area
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Pregnancy

Any concerns about a child or family will be reported to the children’s social care team.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) describes CSE as: where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child 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. CSE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. CSE can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex. It can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity and may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media).

Signs and indicators may include:

  • Physical injuries such as bruising or bleeding
  • Having money or gifts they are unable to explain
  • Sudden changes in their appearance
  • Becoming involved in drugs or alcohol, particularly if you suspect they are being supplied by older men or women
  • Becoming emotionally volatile (mood swings are common in all young people, but more severe changes could indicate that something is wrong)
  • Using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect them to know
  • Engaging less with their usual friends
  • Appearing controlled by their phone
  • Switching to a new screen when you come near the computer
  • Nightmares or sleeping problems
  • Running away, staying out overnight, missing school
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Talk of a new, older friend, boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Losing contact with family and friends or becoming secretive
  • Contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)
CCE is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

CCE can include children being forced to work in cannabis factories, being coerced into moving drugs or money across the country forced to shoplift or pickpocket, or to threaten other young people. Some of the following can be indicators of CCE:

  • Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;
  • Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;
  • Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;
  • Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;
  • Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and
  • Children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.

If staff have any concerns regarding CSE or CCE, they will be reported in the usual way.

Emotional abuse
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) defines emotional abuse as ‘the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development’. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.

It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Signs and indicators may include:

  • Physical, mental and emotional development lags
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Overreaction to mistakes
  • Extreme fear of any new situation
  • Neurotic behaviour (rocking, hair twisting, self-mutilation)
  • Extremes of passivity or aggression
  • Appear unconfident or lack self-assurance.

Action will 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. Children may also experience emotional abuse through witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them. 

Neglect
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) defines Neglect as ‘the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development’. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:

  1. Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
  2. Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger
  3. Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate caregivers)
  4. Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

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. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

Action will be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been any type of neglect of a child.

County Lines
The National Crime Agency (NCA) describe county lines as a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs from big cities into smaller towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ Customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.

Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims. Children can be targeted and recruited into county lines in a number of locations including schools, further and higher educational institutions, pupil referral units, special educational needs schools, children’s homes and care homes.

Signs and indicators to be aware of include:

  • Changes in the way young people you might know dress
  • Unexplained, sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g. clothes, jewellery, cars etc.)
  • Missing from home or schools and/or significant decline in performance
  • New friends or relationships with those who don’t share any mutual friendships with the victim or anyone else
  • May be carrying a weapon
  • Receiving more texts or calls than usual
  • Sudden influx of cash, clothes or mobile phones
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Significant changes in emotional well-being
  • Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults
  • Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are
  • Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school
  • An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks.

Cuckooing
Cuckooing is a form of county lines crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to criminally exploit them as a base for drug dealing, often in multi-occupancy or social housing properties. Signs that this is happening in a family property may be an increase in people entering or leaving the property, an increase in cars or bikes outside the home; windows covered or curtains closed for long periods, family not being seen for extended periods; signs of drug use or an increase in anti-social behaviour at the home. If we recognise any of these signs, we will report our concerns as per our reporting process.

If staff have any concerns regarding county lines/cuckooing they will be reported in the usual way.

Contextual safeguarding
As young people grow and develop they may be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside their family. These extra-familial threats might arise at school and other educational establishments, from within peer groups, or more widely from within the wider community and/or online.

As part of our safeguarding procedures we will work in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies to work together to safeguard children and provide the support around contextual safeguarding concerns.

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.

Extremism – the Prevent Duty
Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we have a duty to safeguard at risk or vulnerable children under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and 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).

Children can be exposed to different views and receive information from various sources. Some of these views may be considered radical or extreme. Radicalisation is the way a person comes to support or be involved in extremism and terrorism. It’s a gradual process so young people who are affected may not realise what’s happening.

Radicalisation is a form of harm. The process may involve:

  • Being groomed online or in person
  • Exploitation, including sexual exploitation
  • Psychological manipulation
  • Exposure to violent material and other inappropriate information
  • The risk of physical harm or death through extremist acts

We have a Prevent Duty and Radicalisation policy in place. Please refer to this for specific details.

Online Safety
We take the safety of our children very seriously and this includes their online safety. Please refer to the Online Safety policy for further details.

Human Trafficking and Slavery
Please refer to our Human Trafficking and Slavery policy for detail on how we keep children safe in this area.

Adult sexual exploitation
As part of our safeguarding procedures we will also ensure that staff and students are safeguarded from sexual exploitation.

Up skirting
Up skirting involves taking a picture of someone’s genitals or buttocks under their clothing without them knowing, either for sexual gratification or in order to humiliate, or distress, the individual. This is a criminal offence and any such action would be reported following our reporting procedures.

Child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB)
Child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB) can happen in families when there is a concept of belief in:

  • Witchcraft and spirit possession, demons or the devil acting through children or leading them astray (traditionally seen in some Christian beliefs)
  • The evil eye or djinns (traditionally known in some Islamic faith contexts) and dakini (in the Hindu context)
  • Ritual or multi murders where the killing of children is believed to bring supernatural benefits, or the use of their body parts is believed to produce potent magical remedies
  • Use of belief in magic or witchcraft to create fear in children to make them more compliant when they are being trafficked for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation.

This is not an exhaustive list and there will be other examples where children have been harmed when adults think that their actions have brought bad fortune.

Reporting Procedures
All staff have a responsibility to report safeguarding/child protection 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 Chrissie Abbott, Michelle Warner, Lorraine Mellers,
  • Any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given will be recorded and stored securely
  • For children who arrive at nursery with an existing injury, a form will be completed along with the parent’s/carers explanation as to how the injury happened. Staff will have professional curiosity around any explanations given, any concerns around existing injury’s will be reported
  • If appropriate, any concerns/or incidents will be discussed with the parent/carer and discussions will be recorded. Parents will have access to these records on request in line with GDPR and data protection guidelines.
  • 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 immediately, or as soon as it is practical to do so. If it is believed a child is in immediate danger, we will contact the police. If the safeguarding concern relates to an allegation against an adult working or volunteering with children then the DSL will follow the reporting allegations procedure (see below)
  • 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, the Police or the NSPCC and report their concerns anonymously.

 These contact numbers are displayed in all main office areas

Responding to a spontaneous disclosure from a child
If a child starts to talk openly to a member of staff about abuse they may be experiencing, then staff will: 

  • Give full attention to the child or young person
  • Keep body language open and encouraging
  • Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important using phrases such as ‘you’ve shown such courage today’
  • Take time and slow down: show respect, pause and will not interrupt the child – let them go at their own pace
  • Recognise and respond to their body language
  • Show understanding and reflect back
  • Make it clear you are interested in what the child is telling you
  • Reflect back what they have said to check your understanding – and use their language to show it’s their experience
  • Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you. Make sure they know that abuse is never their fault
  • Never talk to the alleged perpetrator about the child’s disclosure. This could make things a lot worse for the child.

(Information taken from NSPCC)

Any disclosure will be reported to the nursery manager or DSL and will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team immediately, following our reporting procedures.

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/*supervisor, dated and kept in the children’s own 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. All staff, students and volunteers are bound by confidentiality and any information will not be discussed out of work, or this will become a disciplinary matter.

The Nursery has due regard to the data protection principles as in the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)[1]. These do not prohibit the collection and sharing of personal information, even without consent if this would put the child at further risk. We will follow the principles around data collection and information sharing, and ensure any information is recorded and shared in an appropriate way.

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.

Record Keeping
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 and 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.

The nursery keeps appropriate records to support the early identification of children and families that would benefit from support. Factual records are maintained in a chronological order with parental discussions. Records are reviewed regularly by the DSL to look holistically at identifying children’s needs. 

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.

An allegation against a member of staff/student/volunteer/supply staff or any other person may relate to a person who has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

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 DSL/ Member of senior management team instead. The registered person will be informed who is Matthew Wynne our registered nominated person for Ofsted.

We will follow our own local safeguarding partner’s website information about how to report an allegation and we would also inform Ofsted immediately in order for this to be investigated by the appropriate bodies promptly. This includes:

  • 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 local authority children’s social care team yourself directly
  • The local authority children’s social care team will be informed immediately for advice and guidance
  • A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals (local authority children’s social care team, Ofsted) to determine how this will be handled
  • The nursery will follow all instructions from the local authority children’s social care team 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 local authority children’s social care team support and advice
  • The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation, Legal advice will be sought to ensure compliance with the law.
  • All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities
  • 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 will also be informed.
  • Founded allegations will be dealt with as gross misconduct in accordance with our disciplinary procedures and may result in the termination of employment, Ofsted will be notified immediately of this decision along with notifying the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to ensure their records are updated.
  • All safeguarding records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for 21 years and 3 months 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
  • Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being reinstated
  • A return to work plan will be put in place for any member of staff returning to work after an allegation has been deemed unfounded. Individual support will be offered to meet the needs of the individual staff member and the nature of the incident; this may include more frequent supervisions, coaching and mentoring and external support.

 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.

We ask parents to inform the nursery prior to their children taking holidays or days off, and all incidents of sickness absence should be reported to the nursery the same day so the nursery management are able to account for a child’s absence.

This should not stop parents taking precious time with their children, by keeping us informed parents can help us to meet our statutory requirements and let us know that children are safe.

Children’s attendance is monitored and if absent for two consecutive sessions without notification from parent or carers, staff will phone to ensure the child is safe and well. If the parent is not contactable then the emergency contact numbers listed will be used to ensure contact is established and we are made aware that all is well with the child and family. It is the parent’s responsibility to keep their emergency contact details updated. If contact is not established, we would assess if it would be appropriate to contact relevant authorities in order for them to investigate further.

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 safe and well.

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 Children Looked After policy for further details.

 Staffing and volunteering
Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We follow safer recruitment practices including obtaining references and all staff employed to work with children will have enhanced criminal record checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before being able to carry out intimate care routines or have unsupervised contact with children.

We will obtain enhanced criminal records checks (DBS) for volunteers in the setting. Volunteers and visitors will never have unsupervised access to children. 

All staff will attend child protection training and 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 local authority children’s social care team’s, the local safeguarding children partnership and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

Ongoing suitability of staff is monitored through:

  • supervisions
  • annual declaration of staff suitability
  • regular review of DBS

Designated Safeguarding Lead
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 the opening hours of the setting. The 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 of the staff team with regular safeguarding updates.

The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) at the nursery are: Lorraine Mellers, Chrissie Abbott, Michelle Warner, Emma Keller 

 The role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead:

  • Ensure that the settings safeguarding policy and procedures are reviewed and developed in line with current guidance; and develop staff understanding of the settings safeguarding policies
  • Take the lead on responding to information from the staff team relating to child protection concerns
  • Provide advice, support and guidance on an on-going basis to staff, students and volunteers.
  • To identify children who may need early help or who are at risk of abuse
  • To help staff to ensure the right support is provided to families 
  • To liaise with the local authority and other agencies with regard to child protection concerns
  • Ensure the setting is meeting the requirements of the EYFS Safeguarding and welfare requirements
  • To ensure policies are in line with the local safeguarding procedures and details
  • Disseminate updates to legislation to ensure all staff are kept up to date with safeguarding practices
  • To manage and monitor accidents, incidents and existing injuries; ensuring accurate and appropriate records are kept
  • Attend meetings with the child’s key person
  • Attend case conferences and external safeguarding meetings, as requested, by external agencies.

 The Nursery safeguards children and staff by;

  • Providing adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of all children.
  • Informing applicants for posts within the nursery 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.
  • Giving staff members, volunteers and students regular opportunities during supervisions and having an open door policy 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.
  • Requesting DBS checks on appointment of role and staff sign annual declaration of staff suitability forms.
  • Abiding 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.
  • Ensuring we receive at least two written references BEFORE a new member of staff commences employment with us.
  • Ensuring all students will have enhanced DBS checks completed before their placement starts.
  • Volunteers, including students, do not carry out any intimate care routines and are never left to work unsupervised with children.
  • Abiding by the requirements of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Childcare Act 2006 (amended 2018) in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern will be reported to the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS).
  • Having procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • Ensuring all visitors/contractors are supervised whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use.
  • Staying vigilant 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.
  • Having a Staff Behaviour Policy that 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.
  • Ensuring that staff are aware not to contact parents/carers and children through social media on their own personal social media accounts and they will report any such incidents to the management team to deal with.
  • Ensuring that all staff have access to, and comply with, the whistleblowing policy, which provides information on how they can share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner.  We encourage a culture of openness and transparency, and all concerns are taken seriously.
  • Ensuring all staff are aware of the signs to look for of inappropriate staff behaviour, this 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.
  • Ensuring all staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss any issues relating to individual children, child protection training, safeguarding concerns and any needs for further support or training.
  • Having 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 identified. 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.  Concerns are raised with the designated lead and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Ensuring 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. This also links to our Online Safety policy.

 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 at the earliest opportunity.

Early help services
When a child and/or family would benefit from support but do not meet the threshold for Local Authority Social Care Team, a discussion will take place with the family around early help services.

Early help provides support as soon as a concern/area of need emerges, helping to improve outcomes and prevent escalation onto local authority services. Sometimes concerns about a child may not be of a safeguarding nature and relate more to their individual family circumstances. The nursery will work in partnership with parents/carers to identify any early help services that would benefit your child or your individual circumstances, with your consent, this may include family support, foodbank support, counselling or parenting services.

 

This policy was adopted on Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
February 2021 L Mellers/ E Keller February  2022
Reviewed on Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for next review
March 2022 Chrissie Abbott/Lorraine Mellers March 2023

 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
EYFS: 1.1 – 1.17, 2.1 – 2.6, 2.9-2.14, 3.1 – 3.8, 3.45-3.47, 3.53 – 3.54, 3.65, 3.68, 3.69, 3.80

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 Stepping Stones Day 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
We are committed to the inclusion of all children at our nursery. We ensure all children are cared for and educated to develop to their full potential alongside their peers through positive experiences We 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 child is discriminated against or put at a disadvantage as a consequence of their needs. Each child’s needs are unique and we do not attempt to categorise children.

We are committed to working in partnership with parents in order to meet each child’s individual needs and develop to their full potential. We are committed to working with any child who has a special educational 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.

We undertake a Progress Check of all children at age two in accordance with the Code of Practice (2015) and statutory framework for EYFS.

We will also undertake an assessment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage for any children that remain with us in the final term of the year in which they turn five, as per the statutory framework for EYFS

We will work closely with the child’s parents and any relevant professionals if we identify any areas where a child’s progress is less than expected to establish if any additional action is required. This may include:

  • 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 assessing such observations regularly to monitor progress.

All new 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 (2015)
  • 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. ’most able’ 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 where required
  • 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-ordinator (SENCO) are Chrissie Abbott, Michelle Warner and Emma Keller.

The role of the SENCO in our setting includes:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEND and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEND
  • 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/role with all staff and parents
  • Have high aspirations for all children and support them to achieve 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 include the thoughts and feelings voiced by the child, where possible/appropriate
  • Signpost parents and families to our Local Offer 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) / statutory framework for the EYFS (2021)
  • 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 Termly or sooner if required 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, Health and Care (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
We are aware of the process for early help and follow the following procedure:

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 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, we 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 our SENCO and appropriate records will be kept according to the Code of Practice.

 Assess
In identifying a child as needing SEND 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 SEND support, and having formally notified the parents, the key person and the SENCO, in consultation with the parents, 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 are 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.

 Education and Health Care Plan (EHC)
Some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order to decide whether it is necessary to develop an EHC plan. The purpose of an 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 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 SEND
  • evidence of the action already being taken by us as the early years provider to meet the child’s SEND
  • 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 agencies to ensure that the child receives the support they need to gain the best outcomes.

We will review this policy annually to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the children/parents and our nursery.

 

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
April 2022  Chrissie Abbott/Michelle Warner April 2023