Policy and Procedures
I am committed to ensuring children are cared for in a safe environment that reduces the chance of accidents and injury.
I hold a current Paediatric First Aid Certificate. Any assistants I employ will never have unsupervised access to children unless they hold a Paediatric First Aid Certificate. All Paediatric First Aid Certificates are available for parents/carers to see upon request. A first aid box with appropriate content for the number and ages of children being cared for is always accessible. It is regularly checked and re-stocked as necessary.
I will obtain written parental permission to seek emergency medical advice or treatment so that in an emergency, medical help can be accessed without delay.
If there is an accident or injury to a child I will reassure the injured child whilst making sure that the other children in my care are safe and reassured. I will assess the extent of the injury and will carry out any first aid procedures that are necessary and that I have been trained to do.
I will contact you straight away unless your child’s injury requires emergency medical treatment, then I will contact the emergency services. I will then contact you as soon as possible and accompany your child to the hospital. I will either take the other children with me, or call my emergency back-up cover to care for them.
If I am outside of my premises your child may be treated or assessed by another trained professional such as the first aider within that premises or a first aid professional organisation such as the British Red Cross at events.
Accident records need to be completed with details of the accident or injury and first aid treatment given and parents will be requested to sign these records on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.
I have a duty to inform Ofsted of any serious accident, injury to, or death of, any child whilst in my care and of the action taken. Notification must be made as soon as practicable, but within 14 days of the incident occurring otherwise I would be committing an offence. I also have a duty to inform the local child protection agencies and Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) of any serious accident or injury to a child in my care and act on advice given from the agency.
I will need to inform my insurance company of any details relating to a serious accident or injury. It is important that you keep me informed regarding your child’s condition following an accident or injury that has occurred whilst in my care and if you have sought medical advice. This will ensure I will continue to meet your child’s needs whilst in my care and enable me to make the correct notification should it be necessary later.
If I have an accident, I will get the nearest responsible adult to help, while my emergency back-up cover is being contacted. This is in line with my Safety on Outings Policy. After a significant event I will seek additional support to maintain children’s well-being if needed.
Bullying is always viewed and treated as unacceptable behaviour. Bullying can be physical, verbal or emotional. Very young children are unable to regulate their emotions, and this can result in undesirable behaviour that is developmentally appropriate to their levels of understanding. These behaviours will be addressed according to our behaviour management policy. Bullying is carried out by individuals or groups over a period of time to intentionally hurt others and is different and more severe than misbehaviour that happens with all children as they learn the rules expected from them. By providing a supportive environment where children learn to recognise their own feelings and the impact of their behaviour on others, they will learn to be kind to each other and respect differences that will help to prevent incidents of bullying.
I understand that there are many reasons a child will bully others and that some children become temporary bullies after a traumatic event in their lives and others become chronic bullies. I also understand that some children perceive events as teasing while others perceive the same event as bullying depending on their experiences or sensitivity. All actions that are perceived as bullying by the person receiving the behaviour will be treated as bullying.
I will ensure all children have the chance to talk to me about their worries about bullying. I will give children enough time to discuss their concerns with me and will endeavour to help them to feel safe while in my care. I will make it clear that the child was right to discuss their worries with me and reassure them that the bullying is not their fault and that I will take actions to prevent it from happening again.
I will work with parents/carers and the child who has been bullied to help develop strategies to help prevent further incidents. These may include saying ‘no’ loudly and walking away, ignoring the bully or helping to increase their confidence by giving them praise and responsibility to help them feel valued.
Children who bully will be treated with understanding while being given a clear message that the behaviour is not permissible and the reasons why. Bullies often need to feel some success to make them feel good about themselves, so I will work with parents/carers to find ways of the child being able to achieve this without resorting to bullying others. This may involve asking the child for suggestions of how they can make amends for their behaviour and supporting them to achieve this.
I will work with parents/carers of a child who bullies to set firm realistic boundaries for the child’s future behaviour. I would expect these to be implemented at home and in the childminding setting to ensure consistency and help the child learn the wanted behaviour more easily and quickly. If in extreme cases, it isn’t possible to change the behaviour of a child who bullies after working with parents/carers and the child, then in consideration of other children in the setting the childminding agreement may be terminated.
Emergency Evacuation Procedure
I am committed to ensuring that the children in my care are kept safe at all times and will take all necessary steps to aid this. However, there may be incidents outside my control, such as fire, flood or any other emergency, that mean that we need to evacuate the premises and/or area quickly and the following procedure will be followed to help keep the children safe.
I aim to carry out practice evacuations to help children to become familiar with the procedure that will be used in an emergency and to help prevent anxiety if an emergency should happen. Practice evacuations will be carried out at my premises to ensure that all of the children take part and a written record will be made.
In the event of an emergency, we will evacuate the building/area using the safest exit route available to us. I will take with me my attendance register, a mobile phone that is charged and has credit. As soon as we are all safely outside, I will contact the relevant emergency service if this has not already been done by another member of the public. I will fully comply with advice and instructions from the emergency services.
I will reassure any children who may be alarmed or upset by the event and arrange for a safe place to go to and wait until the emergency is over. I will aim to contact all the children’s parents/carers and ask that the children be collected as soon as possible.
Health and Safety Policy
I am committed to providing an environment where hazards and risks are identified and dealt with swiftly in order for children to play and learn in a safe environment. By ensuring the premises are kept clean and tidy and by including children in hygienic procedures, I believe children can develop healthy practices which they will abide by into adulthood.
The front door is kept locked to prevent children leaving without adult supervision or unauthorised adults entering the house.
Safety equipment suitable for the age and development of minded children is in place and checked regularly. Cleaning products and sharp objects such as knives are not left lying around and kept in a drawer. All toys are regularly checked and if broken or soiled are removed immediately. All toys and equipment are checked to ensure they meet British and European Standards of safety.
There is at least one smoke alarm on each level of the house and the batteries are regularly checked to ensure they are working. There is a fire blanket on the wall in the kitchen. An emergency evacuation plan is available for parents on request and exits that can be used in the event of an emergency are kept free from obstruction
The garden is totally enclosed with catches on the gate out of the reach of young children. Garden tools, pesticides and gas cylinders are kept locked away. There are no poisonous or very prickly plants within reach of children.
Foods are prepared, stored and cooked following the Safer Food Better Business for Childminders guidance produced by the Food Standards Agency. This includes storing foods according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and the use of fridge and freezer storage that has the temperature monitored regularly. Only food in date will be given to the children. Separate chopping boards are used for raw and cooked meat and all food preparation surfaces are cleaned with anti-bacterial cleaner after use.
Children are encouraged to wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet, playing with pets, messy play etc. and children’s hand towels are regularly laundered to help prevent the spread of infection. Toilets are cleaned and sanitised daily, and floors are kept clean by vacuuming, sweeping or mopping on a regular basis and as needed. Any spills or fluids including bodily fluids are cleaned up immediately and the area disinfected if appropriate.
Accidents are responded to and reported according to my accident and incident policy. After a significant event I will seek additional support to maintain children’s well-being if needed.
Illness and Infection Policy
I am committed to providing an environment for children that helps prevent the spread of infection. This will entail children who are known to be infectious being kept away from my setting in order to maintain the health of others.
If your child is unwell with a high temperature and an infectious illness such as chicken pox, please keep them at home until the infection passes. If your child has sickness or diarrhoea, they must not return until 48 hours after the last bout in order to prevent the spread of infection to others. Please feel free to consult me if you are not sure if your child’s symptoms mean that they need to stay at home.
If your child becomes unwell during the day, I will contact you and it may be necessary for you to collect them. I will keep your child as comfortable as possible until you arrive, but will not be able to isolate them from other children so a prompt collection is required.
Children with a notifiable disease must not attend until they have been cleared by their GP. If you are not sure if an illness is notifiable, please ask your GP or Health Visitor. I will inform you if any other child or adult has an infectious or notifiable disease. If a child who attends my setting has a notifiable disease, I am required to notify Ofsted as soon as reasonably practicable but always within 14 days. I will also contact Public Health England (PHE) and act on any advice given.
Lost Child Policy
I am committed to ensuring that children enjoy outings whilst in my care and can experience the freedom they need to enjoy co-operative play, decision making and risk taking in their play. I aim to keep all children within sight or hearing at all times to prevent them becoming lost in accordance with my Safety on Outings Policy. In the unlikely event that a child becomes lost, I will follow the procedure below.
Procedure if a child becomes lost
I will immediately raise the alarm to all around and enlist any help available to search for the lost child giving a full description of the child and his/her clothing. I will comfort any child in my care that is distressed because of the situation and make sure the safety of other children is secure during the time we search for the lost child. If there is a lost child station or security staff station, I will alert them to the situation and follow their procedures. I will alert parents/carers and the police to the situation and follow advice given.
Actions to be taken after the event
I will record the incident, gain parent/carer’s signature and review all arrangements for keeping children safe and amend as needed. I will talk with all the children in my care about the event and improvements we could make to how we look after each other when we are out and about. I will inform Ofsted of the incident and measures taken to try and prevent further incidents.
Managing Behaviour Policy
I believe that all children have the right to expect positive approaches to managing their behaviour, which foster self-esteem, respect, tolerance and self-control enabling them to develop to their full potential as individuals. By providing a happy, safe environment, where reasonable and appropriate limits to help manage the behaviour of the children are set, the children in my care will be encouraged to develop social skills to help them be accepted and welcomed in society as they grow up.
How I help children to learn what is expected
I do not expect young children to be ‘good’ at all times. They are in the process of learning what is expected of them and will make mistakes along the way that will be treated in a sensitive manner to increase the child’s understanding of the desired behaviour.
I agree methods to manage children’s behaviour with parents/carers before the placement starts. Wherever possible I try to meet the parent/carer’s request for the care of their child according to their beliefs. These are discussed with parents/carers during the initial visits to aid with consistency of behaviour management strategies, as children learn what is expected of them by copying the adults around them. I role model the positive behaviour I wish to see from the children including always saying please and thank you to the children. I always praise wanted behaviour as children love to please their important adults and praise the children to their parents/carers and other people when they have behaved as expected.
I set clear and realistic boundaries for children that are appropriate to their age and level of understanding, and apply them consistently. A consistent approach benefits the child’s welfare and helps to ensure that a child is not confused. I ensure that children have lots of attention so that they don’t need to seek attention by misbehaving and listen to what the child has to say so that they feel valued. I am aware of the different reasons why children misbehave and will endeavour to keep to routines so that the child feels safe, aware of what will happen next and are not over tired or hungry. I request that parents/carers inform me of any changes to the child’s home circumstances that may affect their behaviour such as a new baby, parents/carers’ separation or bereavement.
I hope to teach children a sense of right and wrong and to regulate their own emotions so that they act considerately to others not because they might be punished. I encourage responsibility by talking to children about their choices and the possible consequences. I always explain the reason for a rule. Reasons are usually about keeping themselves or others safe, to protect others’ property or because the behaviour requested is polite. I involve the older children in agreeing the ‘house rules’ to encourage positive behaviour.
How I deal with unwanted behaviour
In order to maintain a child’s self-esteem, I only show disapproval of a child’s behaviour and never of the child.
Distraction, explanation and removal of the child from the situation (time out) are strategies that may be used to calm a situation of unwanted behaviour according to the child’s level of understanding. I may ignore the unwanted behaviour providing it will not hurt themselves or others.
I never give corporal punishment to a child. I never threaten corporal punishment, use or threaten any punishment that would harm a child’s well-being. I will take all reasonable steps to ensure that corporal punishment is not given by any person who also has contact with the child whilst in my care. I will only physically restrain a child where absolutely necessary to manage their behaviour or when necessary to avert immediate danger of personal injury to the child, another person or damaging property. A written record will be kept and shared with parents/carers on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.
Withholding food will never be used as a form of punishment for unwanted behaviour.
If a child is injured by another child’s behaviour, the injured child will be comforted and any first aid given as appropriate. The child who has caused the injury will be removed from the situation and be given an explanation of why their behaviour is not acceptable according to their level of understanding. A written record will be made and shared with both parents/carers retaining confidentiality. Parents/carers will be requested to sign this record on the same day or as soon as reasonably practicable.
Significant or repeated instances of unwanted behaviour that are unable to be managed by the steps identified above are shared with parents/carers. I aim to discuss this with you without the child hearing. This may mean an arrangement is made to discuss this either by telephone or in person at a more convenient time. Discussions are held with the parent/carer on new strategies to support the child’s unwanted behaviour or obtaining advice from another professional service in order to gain additional help for the child.
I am committed to ensuring that children with short or long-term medical conditions receive the care and medication needed for them to participate in the setting if they are well enough to attend. In order to achieve this, I am willing to administer medication providing I have the medical or technical knowledge to do so and have written parental permission.
Medicines will not normally be administered unless a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist has prescribed them for the child. I will only administer prescribed medicine for the child it is prescribed for. I will not administer any medication containing aspirin unless a doctor has prescribed it.
Non-prescription medication may be given with prior written permission from parents/carers when there is a health reason to do so. For non-prescription medication named on the consent form, you will be contacted before I administer the medicine to your child.
All medication must be supplied in the original packaging and clearly labelled with your child’s name and will be stored according to product instructions.
The first dose of each medicine should always be given at home with sufficient time to observe the child’s responses to the medicine before the child is brought to my setting.
Where possible, please try to arrange that medication will only be administered at home before and after attending my setting. Where this isn’t possible, I will obtain written permission for each and every medicine including dosage from parents/carers before any medication is given. Parents/carers will be informed when medication has been administered and asked to sign medication records on the day the medication is given or as soon as reasonably practicable.
Non-Collection of Children Policy
I aim to liaise closely with parents/carers to ensure that collection times for children are clearly understood so that I can help prepare children for home time. Even young children can use routines to start to learn about time such as ‘after snack or after George goes home it’s my turn’. I request that parents/carers keep me informed as to any changes to agreed collection times as soon as possible.
If a child is not collected within 15 minutes of the agreed collection time and I haven’t heard from parents/carers, I will call the parents/carers’ contact numbers. If there is no response, I will try to contact any alternative contact numbers given to me for the child and during this time, I will continue to care for the child.
I will continue to try to contact parents/carers and other authorised adults until 60 minutes from the agreed collection time. I will then contact the local children’s social care services and follow any advice given by them.
If I am unable to continue caring for your child until you can be contacted and make arrangements for the collection of your child, there is a possibility that your child may be placed with an alternative carer.
I understand that it is important to help children develop patterns of healthy eating and drinking from an early age. Children need to eat a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables and fluids to make sure they get all the dietary components they need to grow and develop.
Parents/carers will be asked to provide written information about which meals and snacks are to be provided (this may incur an additional charge); any dietary requirements due to allergy, culture or lifestyle choice and these will be acted upon. If a child is on a special diet, the parents/carers may be asked to provide their child’s food if it is not possible for the food to be provided or prepared in my setting. All food and drink are prepared to provide a healthy balanced diet in accordance with the recommendations by the Food Standards Agency. Sometimes I involve the children in the preparation of some foods in order to create an interest in trying new foods while helping them to learn which foods help to keep our bodies strong and healthy and which foods need to be eaten less frequently.
Food is prepared, stored and cooked in line with my Health and Safety Policy. I have clean and age-appropriate crockery and eating utensils however, I will respect the parent/carer’s diverse needs culturally or lifestyle choices about eating practices e.g. eating with fingers. I will carry out good hand-washing procedures when handling food and ensure the children are aware of how and when to wash their hands.
A menu for the week’s meals will be available and recipes are available to parents on request. Parents will be informed about the foods their child has been offered and eaten. Children will never be made to eat foods they dislike or do not want but children do not always welcome a new food the first time it is offered. New additions to the menu will be offered a few times to give children a chance to try them and increase the variety of foods they will eat. If children refuse to eat their main course, dessert will still be offered as the dessert will be a nutritious part of the meal.
Children are offered a choice of water, milk or cordial diluted with water with meals and snacks and fresh drinking water is available at all times. Sweets and treats are offered occasionally if parents/carers agree and always after meals in order to not affect a child’s appetite.
If there is an outbreak of food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on my premises, I will report this to Ofsted as soon as is reasonably practicable, but in any event within 14 days of the incident. I will also inform the local Environment Heath Department. I will follow any advice given and I will keep all food receipts in case they are needed to trace the outlet where the food was purchased.
Safety on Outings Policy
Outings offer children valuable fresh air and exercise as well as enabling them to experience what the community has to offer. I provide a variety of outings for minded children and aim to keep them safe at all times whilst on outings.
I will obtain written parental permission to include children in outings. On outings, we may be walking, travelling by public transport, taxi service or by car. Children are always transported safely. I aim to keep all children within sight or hearing at all times to prevent them becoming lost. In the unlikely event of a child becoming lost, I will follow my lost child policy.
I hold appropriate car insurance and the car is kept in roadworthy condition, with full MOT if appropriate, breakdown cover and with tyre pressure regularly checked. If your child is transported by any other driver in their own vehicle or my own, I will check all the above.
When using a bus, we wait on the pavement back from the kerb and children are not permitted to get on or off the bus until it has stopped moving.
I always carry a mobile phone that is charged and has credit on it and parent/carer’s contact numbers in the phone book. I also carry with me the contact details of my emergency back-up who will be able to collect your child or assist anyone trying to contact you should anything have happened to me.
Visual risk assessments are carried out for and during each outing. When visiting parks, young children are closely supervised when playing near or on play equipment and older children are reminded of the dangers. Children are discouraged from approaching unfamiliar dogs. In farm parks, children are shown how to safely touch and feed animals and hand-sanitising gel is used if soap and warm running water is not available after touching animals. Visual checks are carried out in parks and open spaces for dangers such as animal faeces and sharp objects and these are removed by me if safe to do so, or children are moved to a safe area to continue playing.
When near water, all children are closely supervised and where possible are encouraged to stay behind barriers. Children are reminded of how to remain safe if standing near the water’s edge if feeding ducks. When walking near open water, care is taken to walk away from the water’s edge.
When visiting other people’s houses visual checks are carried out to ensure that no hot drinks are left at child’s height and that doors are secured or well supervised to prevent children leaving the house unsupervised. Toys and equipment that is in reach of children are checked to ensure they are clean and sound and are removed immediately if soiled or damaged.
I understand the importance of children not being exposed to passive smoking. Evidence shows that passive smoking increases the risk to young children developing lower respiratory tract infections that can result in hospitalisation. I am committed to ensuring that children are not exposed to passive smoking while in my care.
No-one living or working in my childminding setting smokes. Visitors are not permitted to smoke in the house at any time. Visitors are not permitted to smoke in the garden while minded children are present. For health and safety reasons all smoking residue will be removed before minded children attend.
When on outings care will be taken to avoid areas where members of the public are smoking. If someone starts smoking in the vicinity of the minded children when we are out and about we will either move or I will ask the person to stop smoking around the children.
I will not visit premises that I know are used by smokers while caring for minded children unless I can ensure that adequate ventilation of the rooms is possible before children enter.
Television and Games Policy
I believe that watching television in certain conditions can aid children’s attention, comprehension and vocabulary. I believe that the use of games consoles can help to develop skills such as hand-eye co-ordination and turn taking. However, I feel that these should be limited in order to encourage children to participate in a wide variety of experiences, which help build their all-round development.
I ensure that programmes available to children are suitable for their age and stage of development and will discuss with parents/carers their wishes for the programmes and DVD’s they are happy for their child to view. Children are welcome to bring in DVD’s from home, but I request that this is discussed with me beforehand to ensure that the content will be suitable for other children attending and that the DVD is brought on a day when our routines will allow time to watch it.
Viewing time is limited and the television is switched off as soon as the programme is finished or when children lose interest.
Children will be permitted to use games consoles providing the game is intended for their age. I will work with parents/carers to set realistic time scales for the use of games consoles. If children wish to bring in consoles or games from home, I request this be discussed with me beforehand. This will ensure the content will be suitable for other children attending and brought on a day when our routines will allow time to play it.
Trampolines can provide a fun way for children to access exercise that aids their physical development. While the incidents of injuries to children on trampolines have risen dramatically along with their popularity, I believe that with safety measures in place children can enjoy the trampoline and help to prevent injuries.
The trampoline is sited and secure according to the manufacturer’s instructions and will only be used with the safety net and safety pads in place. Regular checks will be carried out to make sure the trampoline is in good condition. If any damage is discovered, the trampoline will not be used. Guidelines from the manufacturer on the age of children using the trampoline will be strictly adhered to and the trampoline will not be used on wet or very windy days.
No items will to be stored or placed under the trampoline and the children are prevented from going underneath the trampoline when another child is jumping.
Only children whose parents/carers have given written consent will be permitted to use the trampoline. Children must remove shoes before going on the trampoline. Children will be supervised at all times.
I am committed to work in close partnership with parents/carers in order to meet the needs of children and families and offer the highest quality care for all children. I believe children and parents/carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. By maintaining good communication with parents/carers I hope that parents/carers will bring to my attention any aspect of my service they are unhappy with in order for the matter to be resolved quickly.
Parents/carers can complain about any aspect of the childminding service verbally or in writing. If ever you are unhappy about any aspect of my childminding setting, please talk to me about your concerns. If you would rather discuss a concern without your child hearing you, an arrangement can be made to discuss this either by telephone or in person at a more convenient time. If the nature of your complaint is in breach of one or more of the statutory requirements of registration and we have been unable to resolve your concerns by discussion, you will need to put your complaint in writing or in electronic form to me. I will keep a written record of the nature of the complaint, the action taken and whether the complaint was resolved. I will provide you with a copy of this within 28 days.
Other parents/carers at my setting will be able to see the record of complaints on request and they will also be shared with all new prospectus parents/carers. Records of complaints will be kept for 3 years or between inspections whichever is the longest. I must also make these records available to Ofsted upon request.
If you feel that the complaint cannot or has not been resolved by myself you can contact Ofsted on the Helpline number 0300 123 1231.