Stepping Stones Policies

Admissions
EYFS: 3.28, 3.57

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we care for up to 133 children per day between the ages of 0 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 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.

This policy was adopted in Signed on behalf of the nursery Date for review
February 2021 E Keller/ L Mellers February 2022

 

Complaints and compliments

Complaints and Compliments

 

 

EYFS: 3.74, 3.75

 

At Stepping Stones Nursery we believe that parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their individual needs and wishes. We hope that at all times parents are happy with the service provided and we encourage parents to voice their appreciation to the staff concerned.

 

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. 

 

 

Stage 2

If the matter is not resolved, the nursery will hold a formal meeting between the manager, parent and a 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. Most complaints will usually be resolved withing stage 1 and 2.

 

Stage 3

If the issue 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 Line manager will then investigate the complaint and report back to the parent within 10 days. The Line manager will document the complaint fully and the actions taken in relation to it in the complaints log book.

 

 

 

 

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, result 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.

 

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

February 2021

L Mellers/ E Keller

February 2022

 

Inclusion

EYFS: 1.6, 1.7, 2.3, 3.20, 3.27, 3.28, 3.67, 3.73

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

The legal framework for this policy is based on:

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

The nursery and staff are committed to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We do this by:

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

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

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

This policy was adopted in

Signed on behalf of the nursery

Date for review

February 2021

L Mellers/ E Keller

February 2022

 

Medication

EYFS: 3.19, 3.44, 3.45, 3.46

At Stepping Stones Nursery we promote the good health of children attending nursery and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection. 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.

The nursery WILL NOT administer any medication unless prior written consent is given for each and every medicine.

Illness

  • If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, the Nursery Manager will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery.
  • For information on infection control and infectious diseases visit the Public Health England website and view their document titled ‘Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities’.
  • If the child is deemed well enough to stay at the setting, the parent/ carer must be asked if any kind of medication has already been given, at what time and in what dosage and this will be recorded.

 Medication in the Nursery Setting – General Guidance

  • Before administering medication to any child we will require written agreement from the parents
  • This agreement (usually a Medication Form) should include;
    • the child’s name
    • the name of the medication
    • the required dose and agreed time of administration
  • Medication is only accepted in its original labelled container
  • Where the medication is an adrenaline pen or inhaler (where there may be only occasional emergency use), it will have the expiry date of the medication recorded on the appropriate form
  • If at any time there is any doubt regarding the administration of medication to a child, practitioners will stop and check with the Nursery Manager before continuing.
  • Storage
    • All medication will;
      • Be stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on the container (e.g. cool dark place, refrigerated)
      • Be stored in a closed box
      • Be kept out of the reach of children
      • Be in their original containers
      • Have labels which are legible and in English
      • Be clearly marked with child’s name and date of birth
      • Emergency medication, such as inhalers and Adrenaline (EpiPens), will be within easy reach of staff in case of an immediate need, but will remain out of children’s reach
    • Any ‘stored’ medication such as Nursery stock of Paracetamol or a child’s inhaler, will be regularly checked to ensure the product is still within its expiry and therefore suitable for use.

 

Medication Prescribed by a Doctor, Dentist, Nurse or Pharmacist
(Medicines containing aspirin will only be given if prescribed by a doctor)

  • Prescription only medicine will be given when prescribed by the above and only for the person named on the dispensing label on the bottle/container for the dosage stated
  • Medicines must be in their original containers

For all medication the parent/carer must give prior written permission for the administration of each and every medication. Written permission will be accepted once for a whole course of medication or for the ongoing use of a particular medication required for long term use, the medication form will need to be signed by staff and parent/carer.

  • The parent/ carer will complete the relevant form to enable the nursery to administer the medication(s) required. The form will include;
    • Child’s name, date of birth
    • Name and strength of medication
    • Dose
    • Any additional requirements (such as to be taken with food)
    • Expiry date whenever possible
  • The written permission is only acceptable for the medication listed and cannot be used for similar types of medication, e.g. if the course of antibiotics changes
  • Parents must notify the nursery 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
  • Any change in the details listed above must be recorded on a new form with counter signature from parent / carer
  • The nursery will only administer as per the information listed on the form
  • At each visit the child’s parent/ carer will be asked if there have been any changes to the requirements stated on the form. If there have been changes, a new form must be completed and counter signed by parent/ carer
  • When the child is picked up from the setting, the parent/ carer must be given an update as to the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s signature must be obtained confirming this information has been given
  • 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

N.B. It is important to note that staff working with children are not legally obliged to administer medication

  • If the child refuses to take the appropriate medication 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. This will be documented on the form accordingly.

Non-prescription Medication (also known as over the counter medicine)

  • If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, the manager will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery
  • The nursery will not administer any non-prescription medication containing aspirin
  • The nursery reserve their right to refuse to administer medication if they feel that the child does not need the medication or deem further medical attention is required
  • For all medication the parent/carer must give prior written permission for the administration of each and every medication
  • Medicines must be in their original containers
  • This also applies to non-prescription creams or ointments for skin conditions.
  • The parent / carer will complete the relevant form to enable the nursery to administer the medication(s) required. The form will include:
    • Child’s name and date of birth
    • Name and strength of medication
    • Dose
    • Any additional requirements (such as to be taken with food)
    • Expiry date whenever possible
    • Length of treatment (will not be exceeded)
  • The written permission is only acceptable for the medication listed and cannot be used for similar types of medication
  • Parents must notify the nursery 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
  • Any significant changes in the details listed above must be recorded on a new form and countersigned by the parent/ carer
  • The nursery will only administer as per the information listed on the form
  • At each visit the child’s parent/carer will be asked if there have been any changes to the requirements stated on the form. If there have been changes, a new form must be completed and counter-signed by the parent/carer
  • When the child is picked up from the setting, the parent / carer must be given an update as to the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s signature must be obtained confirming this information has been given
  • At the time of administering the medicine, a senior 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.

 Emergency Medication

    • An ‘emergency’ nursery stock of medication may be kept on site
    • Stock medication will be kept in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions on the container (e.g. cool dark place, out of the reach of children)
    • Stock will be checked at regular intervals by the designated trained first aider to ensure there is ample supply and is still within its expiry date
    • If a child experiences symptoms of illness, attempts will be made to contact the child’s parents before administering ‘emergency’ medication
    • Where parents cannot be contacted the Nursery Manager will take the decision as to whether the child is suitable to receive the ‘emergency’ medication based on the symptoms and medical history of the child given at registration
    • Administering ‘emergency’ non-prescription medication will be a last resort and the nursery staff will use other methods first to try and alleviate the symptoms. The child will be closely monitored until the parents collect the child.

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. 

Administration

  • As a general guideline before administering medication to a child the staff member should:
  • Wash their hands
  • Ensure a drink is available if appropriate (some medication can irritate and damage the throat and oesophagus if administered without a drink)
  • Check the label on the medication: name of child, dose, route of administration (e.g. by mouth, into ear/eye, rubbed on the skin), any special instructions and expiry date and ensure this is the same information on the Medication Form
  • If there is any doubt about any procedure staff should not administer, but seek advice from parent/ carer or health professional
  • If a child refuses the medication, they must not be forced. Staff can try to encourage them or perhaps get someone else to try. Under no circumstances should staff attempt to hide the medicine in food or drink, unless there in express written permission from parents to do so
  • It is normally considered poor practice to give medicines covertly, although in rare cases where the health professionals judge that it is in the child’s interests to do so, this is acceptable. Some children do find tablets difficult to swallow so may be given them, with their full knowledge, in, for example, a spoonful of jam. Even in these circumstances parents must give written instructions as some medicines can react with certain foods it is advisable they have sought advice from their pharmacist before doing this.

Staff Fitness to Work & 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 if they are infectious or too unwell to meet children’s needs. This includes circumstances where medication taken by staff affects their ability to care for children, for example, where it makes a person drowsy
  • If staff members believe their condition, including any condition caused by taking medication, is affecting their ability to care for children they must inform their line manager immediately
  • The nursery manager / person’s line manager/registered provider 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 person’s bag in the staff room. If the medication is required to be accessed in an emergency, such as an asthma inhaler, this should be easily accessible but safe from children
  • In all cases medication must be stored out of reach of children. It must not be kept in the first aid box. It will be clearly labelled with the name of the member of staff.

Medication Errors

  • Occasionally mistakes may happen. In most cases, whether it is a missed dose or a medicine given in error there will be no harm done. It is important to be open and honest if errors occur
  • Parents should be contacted and the mistake explained to them:
    • In the case of a missed dose, the dose may be able to given at a later time. The parent may be able to advise
  • Where a dose has been given in error, it is important the child is monitored for any reactions and medical advice sought if there are concerns. It is important to inform the parent/ carer as this may happen after the child leaves the setting
  • The Nursery Manager will investigate all medication errors and put in preventative actions to ensure future errors do not occur.

Disposal of Medication

  • Tablets and capsules are occasionally dropped on the floor or spat out. In this case we will place the tablet in a labelled envelope and hand to the parents to be disposed of later
  • In no circumstances should it be flushed down the toilet or thrown in the bin
  • When a child leaves the setting, ceases to need medication or if a medicine has passed its expiry date, we will return any unused quantity to the parents. If this is not possible then we will take it to a local pharmacist for safe disposal.

 

This policy was adopted in

Signed on behalf of the nursery

Date for review

February 2021

Emma Keller/Lorraine Mellers

February 2022

 

Parents and carers as partners

EYFS: 1.10, 3.27, 3.72, 3.73

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

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

Our policy is to:

  • Recognise and support parents as their child’s first and most important educators and to welcome them into the life of the nursery
  • Generate confidence and encourage parents to trust their own instincts and judgement regarding their own child
  • Welcome all parents into the nursery 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 nursery documentation and communications are provided in different formats to suit each parent’s needs, e.g. Braille, multi-lingual, electronic communications
  • Ensure that all parents are aware of the nursery’s policies and procedures. A detailed parent prospectus will be provided and policy documents will be available to parents at all times on the nursery website
  • Maintain regular contact with parents to help us to build a secure and beneficial working relationship for their children
  • Support parents in their own continuing education and personal development including helping them to develop their parenting skills and inform them of relevant conferences, workshops and training
  • Create opportunities for parents to talk to other adults in a secure and supportive environment through such activities as open days, parents’ evenings and a parents’ forum
  • 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 regular newsletters
  • Operate a key person system to enable parents to establish a close working relationship with a named practitioner and to support two-way information sharing about each child’s individual needs both in nursery and at home. Parents are given the name of the key person of their child and their role when the child starts
  • Inform parents on a regular basis about their child’s progress and involve them in shared record keeping. Parents’ meetings will be held termly. The nursery will consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone
  • Actively encourage parents to contribute to children’s learning through sharing observations, interests and experiences from home. This may be verbally, sharing photographs or in written form
  • Agree the best communication method with parents e.g. email, face-to-face, telephone and share information about the child’s day, e.g. food eaten, activities, sleep times etc.
  • Consider and discuss all suggestions from parents concerning the care and early learning of their child and nursery operation
  • Provide opportunities and support for all parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the nursery including signposting to relevant services, agencies and training opportunities
  • Inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, compliments, complaints or suggestions, and to check that these systems are understood by parents
  • Make sure all parents have access to our written complaints procedure
  • Share information about the Early Years Foundation Stage, young children’s learning in the nursery, how parents can further support learning at home and where they can access further information
  • Provide 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

February 2021

E Keller/ L Mellers

February 2022

 

Promoting positive behaviour

EYFS: 3.2, 3.52, 3.53

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

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

We aim to:

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

The named person/s for managing behaviour are, The Nursery SENCOs (Chrissie Oliver/Emma Keller). They will:

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

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

When children behave in unacceptable ways:

  • We never use or threaten to use physical punishment/corporal punishment such as smacking or shaking
  • We only use physical intervention for the purpose of averting immediate danger or personal injury to any person (including the child) or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary. We keep a record of any occasions where physical intervention is used and inform parents on the same day, or as reasonably practicable
  • We recognise that there may be times where children may have regular occasions where they lose control and may need individual techniques to restrain them. This will only be carried out by staff who have been appropriately trained to do so. Any restraints will only be done following recommended guidance and training and only with a signed agreement from parents on when to use it. We will complete an incident form following any restraints used and notify the parents
  • We do not single out children or humiliate them in any way. Where children use unacceptable behaviour they will, wherever possible, be re-directed to alternative activities. Discussions with children will take place as to why their behaviour was not acceptable, respecting their level of understanding and maturity
  • Staff will not raise their voices (other than to keep children safe)
  • In any case of misbehaviour, we always make it clear to the child or children in question, that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome
  • We decide how to handle a particular type of behaviour depending on the child’s age, level of development and the circumstances surrounding the behaviour. This may involve asking the child to talk and think about what he/she has done. All staff support children in developing empathy and children will only be asked to apologise if they have developed strong empathy skills and have a good understanding of why saying sorry is appropriate
  • We help staff to reflect on their own responses towards behaviours that challenge them 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
  • 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
  • We support all children to develop positive behaviour, and we make every effort to provide for their individual needs
  • Through partnership with parents and formal observations, we make every effort to identify any behavioural concerns and the causes of that behaviour. From these observations and discussions, we will implement an individual behaviour modification plan where a child’s behaviour involves aggressive actions towards other children and staff, for example hitting, kicking etc. 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.

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

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

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

At our nursery, staff follow the procedure below to enable them to deal with 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
  • Our staff will intervene when they think a child is being bullied, however mild or harmless it may seem
  • Staff will initiate games and activities with children when they feel play has become aggressive, both indoors or out
  • Staff will sensitively discuss any instance of bullying with the parents of all involved to look for a consistent resolution to the behaviour
  • We will ensure that this policy is available for staff and parents and it will be actively publicised at least once a year to parents and staff
  • If any parent has a concern about their child, a member of staff will be available to discuss those concerns. It is only through co-operation that we can ensure our children feel confident and secure in their environment, both at home and in the nursery
  • All concerns will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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

 

This policy was adopted in

Signed on behalf of the nursery

Date for review

February 2021

C. Oliver/ E Keller

February 2022

 

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: 3.4-3.18, 3.19, 3.21, 3.22

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 is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the nursery’s other policies and procedures.

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

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

Legal framework and definition of safeguarding

  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017
  • Working together to safeguard children 2018
  • Keeping children safe in education 2020
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

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

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

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

Policy intention
To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:

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

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

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

The nursery aims to:

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

For more information, procedures and guidance from the West Sussex Safeguarding Children partnership we can visit:
https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/

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

 We can also email concerns to WSChildrenservices@WestSussex.gov.uk
or visit https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/

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

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

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

Indicators of child abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Procedure:

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

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Domestic Abuse / Honour Based Violence / Forced Marriages
We look at these areas as a child protection concern. Please refer to the separate policy for further details on this.

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

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

The designated safeguarding lead will:

  • Contact the Intergrated front door team (IFD) to report concerns and seek advice (if it is believed a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police)
  • Inform Ofsted
  • Record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised
  • Speak to the parents (unless advised not do so by IFD)
  • The designated safeguarding lead will follow up with the West Sussex social care team (contactable through IFD) 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 West Sussex Intergrated Front Door team or the NSPCC and report their concerns anonymously.

These contact numbers are displayed in all main office areas

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 IFD 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  West Sussex 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 west sussex IFD/police does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

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

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

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

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

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

The allegation should be reported to the senior manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation then this should be reported to the DSL/ Member of senior management team instead. The registered person will be informed (Ken Pritchard).

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

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

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

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

If a child has missed the last two sessions they were due to attend, parents will be called to ensure the child is safe and healthy. If there are additional concerns about the child/family contact would be made the same day. If the parents are not contactable then the further emergency contacts will be used to ensure all parties are safe. Staff are to inform senior management of concerns about absences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

All staff will 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 the information about where is find contact details for the LADO (local authority designated officer), West sussex IFD and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

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

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

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

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

The Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) at the nursery are: Lorraine Mellers, Chrissie Oliver and Emma Keller

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

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

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

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

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 details on this.

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

 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.

 

This policy was adopted in

Signed on behalf of the nursery

Date for review

March 2021

L Mellers/ E Keller

March  2022

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/512906/Multi_Agency_Statutory_Guidance_on_FGM__-_FINAL.pdf

Special educational needs and disabilities

EYFS: 31.6, 1.7, 2.3, 2.5, 3.20, 3.27, 3.28, 3.67, 3.73

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will:

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

Our nursery Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator’s (SENCO) are Chrissie Oliver and Emma Keller.

The role of the SENCO in our setting includes:

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

We will:

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

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

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

For an early help assessment to be effective:

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

If at any time it is considered that the child may be a child in need as defined in the Children Act 1989, or that the child has suffered significant harm, or is likely to do so, a referral should be made immediately to local authority children’s social care. This referral can be made by any professional. Working together to safeguard children 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

This policy was adopted in

Signed on behalf of the nursery

Date for review

February 2021

 E Keller  / L Mellers

February 2022