- Our Ethos
- Local Offer
- Age of Admittance
- Days & hours of opening
- Settling Period
- Arrival & departure of children
- Early Years Entitlement
- Notice of Absence
- Parental/Carer Involvement
- Sickness & Medical Procedures
- Outings Procedure
- The Early Years Foundation Stage
- Transitions to Schools
- Health & Safety Policy
- Equality & diversity Policy
- Staffing & Employment Policy
- Mobile Phone Policy
- E-Safety Policy
- Personal Property Policy
- Creativity Policy
- Clothing Policy
- Lost Child Policy
- Confidentiality Policy
- Behaviour Modification Policy
- Biting Policy
- Safeguarding Policy & Procedures
Most importantly we provide a home from home which is caring, nurturing and safe. Enabling children to play, learn and grow happily and securely. Our environment allows the children to make choices, explore things of interest, be imaginative, creative and learn actively.
We encourage every child's learning by providing a well-balanced and stimulating range of adult led and child led activities across the areas defined in the Early Years Foundation Stage practice guidance (for learning and development). These are all planned around the children’s interests. These experiences allow individuals to progress at their own pace and reach their full potential whilst having fun in a comfortable environment.
We believe particular attention should be paid to the child's personal, social and emotional skills. Self-confidence is encouraged enabling the children to form positive relationships with their peers, make choices and explore the environment.
We respect parents and carers as the child's first educator. We ensure they are involved in Nursery life as much as possible through a range of techniques. Practitioners build trusting and secure relationships with their key families.
We give all practitioners the opportunity to gain further appropriate qualifications that will benefit themselves and the whole group. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect on practice and work as a team to constantly improve the setting.
The core belief of the team is honesty, we are always honest with each other, the children, the parents and any other associates that we work with.
The Nursery is set over 1 floor including the car park. You will enter through the garden which provides a range of areas for the children to explore such as a climbing wall and a raised decked area where children can take part in an activity of their choosing. When coming inside you enter through the large double doors into an open plan room which is the heart of the nursery. This is where the children can explore the range of toys and activities available to them. We aim to make this space as home from home as possible. All members of the team hold or are working towards a minimal Level 3 qualification and over half hold a paediatric first aid certificate. We have a small team of 9 and we aim to ensure we have good partnerships with our parents helping to ensure good development for the children.
Age of Admittance
We accept children from the age of twelve months to five years.
Days and Hours of Opening
The nursery is open from 7.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday throughout the year, except for one week at Christmas, one week at Easter and public holidays which vary year to year. Please see our important dates for details.
The session times start at 7.30am / 8.00am / 9.00am / 1.00pm
And finish at 12.00pm / 1.00pm / 4.00pm / 5.00pm / 6.00pm
We want children to feel at home when at Hopscotch and in order to accomplish this we:
Encourage parents to start settling their children into nursery at least one month prior to their start date. Initially we arrange for a 20/30minute session for the child and ensure the parent/carer notifies us of any important information regarding their child, handing over any forms they’ve completed. We only ask for such a short period of time initially as it enables the child to know they have been left, but not long enough to become distressed. We would then build the length of sessions depending on the child’s individual needs, ensuring they’re confident enough to be left at nursery. At Hopscotch we appreciate that each child is an individual and therefore feel it is impractical to have a set way of settling children into nursery. We therefore treat each child’s settling period uniquely, working around their personal needs.
We work in partnership with our parents/carers to ensure they are comfortable with the process. Parents/carers are introduced to their child’s key person from the initial session and the key person is responsible for the rest of the sessions from then on. At Hopscotch we feel it is crucial to ensure continuity for all the children. We believe children settle most willingly if they stay in control of the settling in process during the early days. This means that during those first sessions parents may need to reassure them by staying with them while they become familiar with and confident in their new and perhaps very different surroundings. All children respond differently to a new environment that requires them to be more independent and the settling in period will vary enormously. Parents are encouraged to bring in familiar toys or comforters from home, making the child feel at home. However long this takes, our staff are there to support the family through this transition.
Children cannot play or learn successfully if they are nervous or unhappy. Our settling procedures aim to help parents to help their children to feel comfortable at nursery and to be confident that their parents will return at the end of the session.
Arrival and Departure of Children
It is essential that parents/carers always notify a member of staff of their arrival and hand over their child.
The nursery must be informed if anyone other than the parent/carer, or the persons mentioned as authorised on the registration form to collect your child changes. You would then need to give the nursery a password which you would have also given to the person collecting the child.
The nursery closes promptly at 6.00pm each day. All staff have set shifts which are dictated by child/staff ratios and should finishes promptly on time. Any parent/carer who is late collecting their child at the end of their specific session will have to pay a charge which helps to cover the additional staffing costs incurred for this reason.
If the parent or other responsible adult listed on the registration form are unable to collect the child, the parent should give details to the staff of the person who will be collecting. This must include their name, physical descriptions and any other information staff or parent may deem appropriate OR a password which is then to be shared with the staff on duty when the child is to be collected. If the Nursery is not satisfied as to the credibility of such a person, the Child shall not be released. If your child is not collected on time, our legal liability relating to the staff/child ratio will be infringed as two members of staff must remain at the nursery until the last child has been collected.
The charge is £5 for the first 5 minutes, with an additional £5 for every 10 minutes thereafter. We take lateness very seriously as the Nursery is only insured until 6.15pm when all staff and parents/children should have vacated the premises.
If you have made no contact to the Nursery within 30 minutes (6.30pm) after closing time, the manager/senior member of staff will have no choice but to contact the Children and Families Intervention Team (social care) for the Bath and North East Somerset area, after having tried all contact details on the child’s registration form.
A non-refundable administration fee of £50.00 will be payable by the Customer on submission of the Registration Form in order to secure your place. The childcare provided is £6 / £5.25 per hour. In addition to this we provide breakfast for £1, a hot lunch for £3 and tea for £1.50, should your child be in our care during which these meals are provided.
Fees are reviewed twice yearly in January and September and we reserve the right to increase fees in line with the UK’s cost of living. We will, to the best of our ability, give all current parents at least one month’s notice prior to the new fees becoming effective.
Fees are payable monthly in advance and must be cleared by the 5th of every month. If fees are not paid on the due date, parents will incur a late payment charge of £10 and a further £10 for each day they remain unpaid. Fees that remain unpaid for more than one month may result in immediate suspension or termination of care unless other arrangements have been agreed by both parties. Payment of fees can be by bank transfer / standing orders / Cheques / Cash. Please use your child's name as a reference. Fees are payable in cases of absence and there is no reduction for sickness or holidays taken during any week the nursery is open. If you wish to remove your child from our care or reduce their sessions, one calendar month's written notice must be given to the manager.
Early Years Entitlement
We offer entitlement for all those eligible from 2 - 4 years for 50 weeks of the year. The entitlement funding we receive does not cover the complete cost of the services Hopscotch provides, for example: snacks; drinks; resources; Trips out; Spanish lessons; Hop, Skip and Jump; and many other additional services. As a result, there will be an additional charge for all of these extra services. In order to maintain our flexibility and avoid set sessions, we have averaged out the cost of our additional services into an hourly rate of £1. Everyone receiving any entitlement hours will be charged this on the hours they use and the normal rate on hours beyond the entitlement. You will be able to use your entitlement hours between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.
All those eligible to the 2-year-old and universal entitlement may take 11 hours per week for 50 weeks of the year. If you are eligible for the extended entitlement, you may take 22 hours per week for 50 weeks of the year.
We do offer completely free childcare for those eligible for the 2-year-old and universal entitlement. We offer this as afternoon sessions, between 1pm and 6pm, please note, meal charges may apply. If you require this, please talk to us individually.
Notice of Absence
The Nursery must be informed by 10.15am if a child is not brought into nursery on a day when s/he is normally present. The parents/carers must also give reason for the absence and the expected date of return. If the Nursery has not heard from the parent/carer after five working days, Hopscotch reserves the right to de-register the child and offer the place to someone else. If for any reason (e.g. illness) a child cannot be brought to the nursery when s/he would normally be present, the parents/carers are required to pay the normal fees.
Hopscotch cannot over-stressed the importance of continuity between home and the Nursery. Our aim is to develop an honest, open and supportive relationship with each family which complements life in your home rather than opposes it. We are very aware of our influence as a role model for your child and without your extensive knowledge of your child, we would be unable to enhance their development. Nursery staff are always available to discuss your child and their development. With this in mind we ask for your continuous comments in your child’s learning journals and to complete our ‘Home Interests’ forms in order to implement their interests to further their development.
Hopscotch will only administer prescribed medicine which is clearly labelled, indicating it has been prescribed by a doctor and is within its use by date. Children on medication can only return to nursery 24hrs after their first dose. This is to ensure that any reactions a child may have to the medication will occur when they are cared for by their parents/carers. We will only give the dosage stated and to the person whose name appears on the prescription label. Parents are to complete our short or long term medication form, depending on the type and duration of the medicine. It will be administered by a first aider, keeping in line with the instructions on the prescription label. Parents should notify us IMMEDIATELY if the child’s circumstances change, e.g. a dose has been given at home, or a change in strength/dose needs to be given.
Sickness and Medical Procedures
If a child becomes ill during the nursery day, their parent(s) will be contacted and asked to pick their child up as soon as possible. If a child suffers from sickness and diarrhoea, they should not return to nursery until they have been clear for at least 48 hours. The nursery has the right to refuse admission to a child who is unwell. This decision will be taken by the manager/senior staff member on duty and is non-negotiable. If a child is on antibiotics the nursery will follow the instructions given by the doctor as to when the child is able to return to nursery. Due to Hopscotch only administering prescribed medication, we will send home a child with a rising or falling temperature. If the child’s temperature reaches 38C or above, the parent will be rung and asked to collect their child, however the practitioners within the setting reserve the right to judge the welfare of the child and may feel the need to ring the parent, regardless of the child reaching 38C. Similarly, we will react if your child’s temperature falls to 35C.
If you have marked ‘Yes’ on the nursery registration form, the nursery has permission to seek necessary medical advice or treatment should the need arise.
All parents/carers are asked to provide consent for their child to accompany the nursery on local community trips when completing a registration form during their child’s induction. Hopscotch will try to notify parents/carers on the day of the outing, however Parent’s/carers must appreciate they are not always preplanned so we ask to be informed if your child is not to attend a trip that day. If the parent/carer wishes to retract their consent at any time they may do so. Parent’s/carers are invited to support the outing with their presence, and a ratio of 1 adult to 3 children, or 1 adult to 4 preschool children is always maintained. No more than 10 children between 3 members of staff will be taken at any one time. If this ratio cannot be found the trip is postponed.
Children are regularly checked throughout the outing to ensure all are present. Where the destination or journey with regard to the trip is unfamiliar, then a prior visit would be necessary by one of the practitioners to carry out a risk assessment. The children are supervised to ensure that no child gets lost and that there is no unauthorised access to children. In the extremely unlikely event of a child becoming unattached to the party then the police will be immediately informed by the manager and parents/carers notified. In the event of a serious medical emergency, the emergency services, then the parents/carers and then the child's doctor are immediately contacted. The registered first-aider administers aid while awaiting an ambulance. In less serious accidents, the registered first-aider administers aid and the parents/carers (and doctor where deemed necessary) are contacted immediately. A work mobile phone is turned on and taken at all times. Likewise, the first aid kit, spare clothing and plastic bags and any medication that is being used at the time are taken on every outing.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The government requires that all Ofsted registered pre-schools and nurseries in Britain adhere to the standards set out in ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS) framework produced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. These are standards both for care and education of children and their aim is to improve children's experiences. It works alongside the ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.
A part of this is the Learning and Development requirements, which is divided into seven areas, they provide a framework for practitioners to ensure that children are gaining the skills and knowledge that will support and prepare them for their further learning at Key Stage 1 and beyond.
We are required to ensure that each child has a thorough grounding initially in the 3 prime areas which are in bold. The other 4 areas are not forgotten and all children are constantly supported in these when they are of interest.
These areas of development are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Each area of learning progresses through age related stages or stepping-stones to the final ` Early Learning Goals' at 40-60 months. It is appreciated that children do not all conform to these and may vary in the speed at which they achieve them. We differentiate according to age and ability through the process of detailed planning by the whole team. None of these areas are delivered in isolation, they are all equally important however we place a high emphasis on the 3 prime areas as we feel these are the scaffolding in which a child needs to further their learning. It must be emphasized that all learning at Hopscotch is through the 3 characteristics. Children are given the freedom to select from a range of activities during a session, which we believe increases their desire to learn. The subject areas are given a meaningful focus by employing the children's own ideas and interests and allowing them to feel a valued part of the whole planning and learning process.
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Transitions to Schools
Hopscotch children at present feed into a large number of Bath schools, including Widcombe Infant School, Moorlands Infants, St. John's R.C. School, St. Phillips, Combe Down and Oldfield Park Infant School. Close links with these schools have been forged over many years. The schools have welcomed this liaison and all parties feel that this had led to an exceptionally smooth transition for those children moving on from Hopscotch. Reception teachers, Head teachers and SENCO's have visited Hopscotch during the year, as a way of an introduction to the children. Other schools have been contacted to forge similar close connections and Hopscotch continues to build on this.
Reports and relevant transfer information are passed on prior to the children starting school.
The child’s learning journal will show an overview of the child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. It also shows their progress against the expected levels and in turn will give the school a good idea of their readiness for reception. With parents’ permission this can be shared with the school. We also provide a transition report which highlights the above in a short summary, this is shared with the school.
Health & Safety Policy
The safety of our children is of paramount importance and we ensure the safety of both children and adults whilst at Nursery. We comply fully with the requirements of European Community Law, the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, and all other relevant statutory provisions. Hopscotch holds current Public Liability and Employers' Liability Insurance certificates which are displayed in the entrance hall. Hopscotch has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for your child and the Manager is responsible for health and safety matters concerning the nursery premises.
All staff are aware of potential risks within the nursery and the surrounding environment and actively protect children from such risks. A risk assessment by the Health and Safety Officer is performed once a term, and more frequently if deemed necessary. Copies of these can be found in the Risk Assessment File kept in the office. If necessary, an action plan is then drawn up in conjunction with the manager and the practitioners to ensure any issues are resolved. Children are made aware of safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
Mathilda Isherwood is the Health and Safety Officer, and together with all practitioners is responsible for identifying and addressing safety issues, or bringing them to the attention of the nursery owner.
We aim to provide all staff with first aid training. All accidents and any incidents are recorded, signed by the parents and kept in the Accident & Incident file, found in the office. All accidents are accurately notified to the parent/carer as soon as possible. Hygiene rules relating to bodily fluids are followed with particular care and all staff are aware of how infections can be transmitted.
Hopscotch Induction Training for staff and volunteers includes clear explanations of safety issues so that all adults are able to adhere to the policy and understand their shared responsibility for safety. As necessary, safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff and is discussed regularly at staff meetings. i.e. Manual handling / food hygiene courses. Fire drills are held regularly so staff understand their roles and responsibilities in the event of a fire, and fire extinguishers are checked annually and all staff know how to use them.
Hopscotch has a duty to ensure the surrounding environment is safe at all times. Staff check the environment daily prior to the nursery opening. Any dangerous items are repaired or discarded. This also includes checking the fire exits are clear, the temperature of the water and room and any risks of injury are resolved. Before the session commences a check is made to ensure that the entrance is securely locked and all internal safety gates/barriers are used as necessary. All dangerous materials are stored out of the reach of the children and children do not have unsupervised access to kitchens, cookers or any cupboards storing hazardous materials. Adults do not walk about with hot drinks or place them within reach of the children.
Radiators and electric points and wires are adequately guarded. Electrical and gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly. Hopscotch or the landlords hold all safety certificates, which can be accessed through the Nursery owner Lucy Yeandle.
The outdoor space is securely fenced and locked when the children are at play. A member of staff checks the grounds and security before children are allowed out. Children are encouraged to go outside whenever possible, however in the case of extreme weather, children are encourage to do physical activity inside. During the summer, parents are asked to supply sun cream, or give written consent for practitioners to apply a communal cream to protect children from the sun. Parents are also requested to supply sun hats for their children. The play area has major areas of shade from the sun, and on particularly hot days, playtime is limited. We meet the same ratio’s outside as we do inside. A register of all people on nursery premises is completed at the start of each session in case of emergency and can be found on the side of the children’s trays at all times. The layout and space ratios allow children and adults to move safely and freely between activities.
No smoking is allowed anywhere in the nursery or the grounds. A correctly stocked first aid box is available at all times and found in the kitchen. Large equipment is erected with care and checked regularly. At least one member of staff has attended a manual-handling course.
Activities such as cooking or energetic play are closely planned and supervised. Equipment offered to children is developmentally appropriate; recognising that material suitable for an older child may pose a risk to a younger/less mature child. The premises is checked before locking up at the end of each day and cleaned before the next session.
Equality and diversity Policy
Hopscotch is committed to provide equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and families. The current equal opportunities co-ordinator is Mathilda Isherwood. The nursery works in accordance with all relevant legislation, including: Race Relations Act 1976; Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; Sex Discrimination Act 1986; Children Act 2004, Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001. Hopscotch nursery is open to all children and their families regardless of their race, colour, creed or ability. We recognise that all families can successfully love and care for children and we aim to show respectful awareness of all major events in the lives of the children and families in the nursery, and in our society as a whole. All children will be respected. Their individuality and potential will be recognised, valued and encouraged. We aim to help children develop in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination. Resources will be chosen to give children a balanced view of the world and an appreciation of the rich diversity of our multi-racial society. The nursery recognises that children have a wide range of needs which differ from time to time, and will consider what part it can play in meeting these needs as they arise. Bilingual/multilingual children and adults are regarded as an asset and they and their languages will be recognised and respected at nursery. The equal opportunities co-ordinator will contact the EYDCP for support in order to make provision for children with English as an additional language. The nursery will make every effort to ensure that the time, place and conduct of any meetings will enable the majority of parents to attend so that all families have an equal opportunity to be involved in and informed about the pre-school.
Staffing and Employment Policy
We believe a high adult to child ratio is essential in providing good quality care. We have at least one practitioner to eight (maximum, we aim for six) children aged three years plus, we have one practitioner to four children aged two-three years and one practitioner to three children aged one-two years. We deliver an equality and diversity employment policy, seeking to offer job opportunities equally to both women and men, with and without disabilities, from all religious, social, ethnic and cultural groups. Our budget includes an allocation towards training costs and all staff are supported in areas of their interest. We are committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation. Before offering the job we insist on: two written references from previous employers; a self-declaration medical form; and DBS check. Hopscotch is not responsible for any employees carrying out any childcare outside of the nursery hours. Employees are acting independently and any arrangements must be made outside of the employees working hours.
Mobile Phone Policy
It is our intention to provide an environment in which children, parents and staff are safe from images being recorded and inappropriately used. This in turn eliminates our concerns towards staff being distracted from their work, or more importantly, the inappropriate use of mobile phone cameras around children. Due to this we have a strict no mobile phone policy for all parents/carers/visitors when on the nursery premises. The Nursery allows staff to bring in personal mobile telephones and devices, however these are locked in the staff lockers throughout the day, with the option of checking them during the staff members allocated break. Personal mobile phone calls may only be taken during staff breaks or in staff members’ own time and in the designated staff area. If staff have a personal emergency they are free to use the setting’s phone or make a personal call from their mobile in the designated staff area of the setting, i.e. Kitchen/Office/carpark. If any staff member has a family emergency or similar and require their mobile phone to hand, prior permission must be sought from the Manager, Mathilda Isherwood and the mobile phone should be placed in eye sight of the Manager.
Hopscotch accepts that the internet and social media are in most people’s day to day lives and are important for sharing information, as well as providing a learning tool. However, we are also aware that with it comes many risks and dangers and have therefore set out the following guidelines to protect the children, staff and parents within our setting.
Each of our staff have access to an iPad in order to document each child’s development. The iPads do not leave the premises. The staff are permitted to use the internet on their iPad providing it is for the educational benefit of the children. This may be for gathering information, using an age appropriate learning program, images or video footage for the children. If a staff member wishes to access the internet for their personal use, this must be at the strict request of the manager, Mathilda Isherwood and be during their break in the staff designated area. The manager must also approve the specific web site that is to be accessed. Staff may access the internet for personal use via their personal smart phones in their own time and only during their staff breaks and in the designated staff area.
Hopscotch is contactable via two email accounts - firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com. If a member of staff wishes to send information via the nursery email account, they must obtain permission from the manager. Emailing of personal, sensitive, confidential or classified information should be avoided and if required necessary to do so, should be at the express consent of the manager. Staff are asked not to contact parents from their personal email accounts nor give out their personal email addresses.
All parents/carers are asked to give permission for Hopscotch to use their child's work/photos in the following ways: Learning Journals; Social Media; other professionals in the childcare workforce; and Hopscotch marketing. This consent is valid for the entire period that the child attends nursery unless there is a change in the child’s circumstances where consent can be retracted at any point. A list of children for whom permission has not been granted is created and shared with all the staff. To ensure the safety of the children, all photographs are taken using the nursery’s Ipads. Photographs will never be taken using other technical devices such as parent/staff cameras or mobile phones. Photographs are only taken to: document children’s development; share information on the website/Hopscotch Facebook page; and to display in the setting. We will also make the request that whilst at the nursery any visitors will not take unauthorised photographs of their, or other children. Any students wishing to use photographs for their study purposes will be asked to gain permission from the parents beforehand. We appreciate parents will want to record their children at special events, such as the nativity play. However, for the safety of other children and with respect to other family’s privacy, we will ask them not to take pictures of other children without asking for the parent’s permission. We will also ask that any pictures or video footage displayed on social media sites are of their own children only. Any reports of parents not complying with this request will be dealt with by the manager.
Staff must not send a friend request to current parents, however, we accept that staff may choose to accept friend requests from parents on social media sites. If staff accept friend requests from parents, they must conform to the following precautions:
- No reference should be given to specific children or parents by name.
- No pictures taken in the nursery setting should be published on personal social media pages.
- Any posts made are respectful of the setting and always maintain a professional attitude towards their work.
- No disparaging remarks are to be made about your employer/colleagues. Doing this in the presence of others may be deemed as bullying and/or harassment.
- Social media sites other than the setting’s own Facebook page should not be accessed on the nursery ipads.
- Staff may access their own social media pages from their own devices during their breaks and in the staff designated area.
- Staff should be aware of and will be responsible for unsuitable posts or photos uploaded onto their profiles, regardless of who posted them as they have the option to ‘untag’ themselves and should do if necessary. Dependable on the material posted, it may also be required to contact the ‘friend’ to remove it from the site.
- Parents have the right to complain to the manager if they deem anything they have seen on a member of staff’s profile as offensive/unsuitable.
- Any comments and/or images uploaded that are deemed impertinent will be dealt with by the manager and may result in a disciplinary.
- If you have any concerns about information on your social networking site or if you are the victim of cyberbullying, you should contact your Manger immediately.
All staff are made aware of the importance of acceptable use of Social networking during their induction. It is crucial to protect the children and the nursery reputation that staff draw a line between their personal and private life.
If indecent images of children or unsuitable material are found it is crucial that the nursery does not investigate and the LADO is called immediately, as this may lead to criminal proceedings.
Personal Property Policy
Children should not bring sweets or valuables to the nursery (e.g. jewellery, toys, things of personal significance, etc.), since staff cannot be held liable for any such belongings being lost or damaged.
Hopscotch nursery aims to provide an environment that will enable ALL children to access a range of creative arts and creative learning and thinking opportunities. Creativity allows children to develop their creative talent and imagination. We aim to provide a physical and mental stimulating environment, in order for children to extend their creative ideas and be confident to make suggestions bring forth ideas that challenge others and themselves. We regard all approaches to creativity to be important. We accept, value and positively promote all types of imaginary play, artistic tendencies, cultural art and music. We acknowledge that the vast majority, if not all, of children’s play is creative in one respect or another. Creativity is a characteristic way of thinking, making choices and solving problems. Practitioners provide interesting resources/situations that engage the children’s attention and are encouraged to recognise and value all forms of expression and communication, thus prompting further exploration and investigation. We aim to constantly provide changing materials in order to fuel the children’s creative instincts and that will stimulate curiousity, creativity, communication and activity, such as: stones; shells; wood; etc. Through open ended questioning and the use of personal experiences or emotional situations as creative tools, we encourage and increase children’s developing imagination. Practitioners also present the children with new situations, tools, materials and music every day in order to continue their curiousity and learning. We believe all children take a huge role in the creative aspects of day to day life and it is always valid and valued. Our main aim is for children to have the self-belief in themselves to always speak up and voice their ideals and ideas, as well as feel confident and self-assured about their ideas and beliefs they express to others.
Every child must be provided with a complete change of clothes on a daily basis. It is an essential component of educative play that children are able to enjoy art and craft activities with, for example, glue, paste, paint, sand, playdough, water, etc. Inevitably children will transfer some of these materials to themselves and their clothing. We attempt as far as possible to purchase ‘washable’ resources, but in practice not everything washes off all clothing materials. Parents should, therefore, dress their children with this in mind. The nursery will accept no liability for clothing damaged while the child is at the nursery. We promote children’s independence and ask for simple clothing to allow them to go to the toilet, dress and undress with as little help from the adult as possible. We ask that children are provided with suitable clothing depending on the weather and that all their belongings are clearly labelled.
Lost Child Policy
Hopscotch has the highest regard for safety of the children in our care. Practitioners will always be extremely aware of the potential for children to go missing during sessions.
Even when all precautions are properly observed, emergencies still arise. Therefore members of staff will undertake periodic head counts, especially at the transition points between sessions (in addition to the registration procedures). If for any reason a practitioner cannot account for a child's whereabouts during a session the following procedure will be activated:
The practitioner in question will inform both the Manager and the rest of the team that the child is missing and a thorough search of the entire premises will commence. The staff team will be careful not to create an atmosphere of panic and to ensure that the other children remain safe and adequately supervised.
The Manager will nominate two members of staff to search the area surrounding the premises. All staff will be extra vigilant to any potentially suspicious behavior or persons in and around Hopscotch.
If after 15 minutes of thorough searching the child is still missing, the Manager will inform the police and then the child's parent/carer.
While waiting for the police and the parent/carer to arrive, searches for the child will continue. During this period, other practitioners will maintain as normal a routine as is possible for the rest of the children at Hopscotch.
The Manager will be responsible for meeting the police and the missing child's parent/carer. The Manager will co-ordinate any actions instructed by the police, and do all they can to comfort and reassure the parents/carers.
Once the incident is resolved, the Manager whole team will review relevant policies and procedures and implement any necessary changes (paying particular note to the relevant provisions of the Security and Risk Assessment Policies).
All incidents of children going missing from Hopscotch will be recorded in the Incident Record Book, and in cases where either the police or the social services have been informed, Ofsted will also be informed, as soon as practicable.
The nursery work with children and families and may sometimes bring volunteers/students, parents/carers and the practitioners into contact with confidential information. To ensure this confidentiality:
Parents/carers will only have access to information and records about their own child.
Practitioners will not discuss individual children other than with the parent/carer of that child, unless it is for purposes of curriculum planning/group management. This confidentiality clause is written into their job description and therefore forms part of their contract.
Information given by parents/carers to the nursery manager will not be passed onto other adults without permission.
Any people involved with the nursery including paid staff, student, volunteers and parents/carers of other children will be advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it.
Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, will remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
All the above undertakings are subject to our main commitment at nursery, which is the safety and well-being of all the children.
Behaviour Modification Policy
Hopscotch acknowledge that it is the child’s behaviour that is unacceptable, not the child. We are responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way and will not threaten corporal punishment, nor will we use or threaten any punishment which could adversely affect a child's well-being. We aim to present all children with a code of behaviour. We promote the development of a sense of right and wrong behaviour by teaching your child the appropriate way to act. We discourage unacceptable behaviour whilst your child is in our care. Sometimes it is necessary to help children understand their own boundaries in certain situations, explaining why we do not accept certain behaviour and to exercise firm and consistent restraint.
If at any time a child displays unacceptable behaviour, staff will approach the situation in the following way:
- (a) intervene at the time of conflict in order to establish the cause of upset;
- (b) talk to the children involved to gauge their feelings and reactions to the situation;
- (c) ask each child how they/the other must be feeling so that both may realise that it is not just one person involved;
- (d) in younger children who are not yet able to reason diversionary tactics, distraction would be used at this time;
- (e) where possible staff will anticipate and defuse difficult situations before disagreements arise that children might find hard to handle.
At no time during disciplining your child would staff use physical punishment, e.g. smacking, shaking or slapping and it is our belief that using negative words like “no” and “naughty” are unhelpful and leave no room for movement, especially for the older children.
Biting is fairly common amongst young children and it is one of the things that concerns adults the most. Biting is often very painful and frightening for the child who is bitten. It can also be frightening for the child who bites, because it upsets the child and makes adults very angry. Biting can make the child who bites feel very powerful because of the strong reaction that it brings. This power can be frightening for the children because they need to feel secure that their feelings can be controlled. It happens for different reasons with different children and under different circumstances. The first step in learning to control it, is to look at why it may be happening.
Parents of the child that is biting would be informed and the keyperson will have an initial discussion with the parent.
Using the who, what, when and where method to pinpoint the problem:
Who was involved? What happened before or after? How was the situation handled? When did the biting occur? Where did it happen?
If all the above measures have been put in place and the child continues, the parents will be invited to a meeting with the management team where further discussions regarding what the parents are doing to help stop the child biting.
In the rare case that the child continues biting, the child may be removed from the Nursery for a short period of time for the safety of the other children.
Our policy is not to disclose the name of the child who does the biting.
In the case of the older children the following would apply:
- (a) the child will be removed from the situation in the company of an adult;
- (b) child and adult will spend time talking about the conflict;
- (c) whilst reassuring the child that it is the behaviour which is unacceptable and not the child, firm guidance will be given should the unacceptable behaviours arise again;
- (d) the child will be removed, reassured and guidelines reaffirmed consistently by all staff as the need arises. At all times praise is freely given to the child at the slightest sign of positive change in behaviour;
- (e) during this period the Manager will talk with the parent/carer in order to inform them of the situation and to ask if they are experiencing similar difficulties;
- (f) advice will be given if it is needed regarding help from outside agencies e.g. Inclusion Officer Health Visitor, GP.
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Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
All of our senior practitioners are designated safeguarding officers, these include the owner of the business: Lucy Yeandle, the Manager: Mathilda Isherwood, the Deputy Manager: Harriett Ryder and our Senior Practitioner: Jessie Bullock. However, the main Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Mathilda Isherwood and the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Harriett Ryder. Should there be a time when neither Mathilda Isherwood or Harriett Ryder are on the premises, either Lucy Yeandle or Jessie Bullock will be the next point of call. Conversely, we believe:
“Keeping children safe is everybody’s responsibility”
If a child makes a disclosure/or you have concerns around a child please follow the steps below;
- Listen to the child, do not ask questions, do not interrupt, offer reassurance but do not make promises you may not be able to keep.
- Record the child’s actual words (on the safeguarding form)
- Relay to designated safeguarding Lead (Mathilda Isherwood) immediately for guidance and discuss any action required
- Parents would be notified about the disclosure, except where we feel that the child may be put at risk of significant or further harm.
- Referral made to social care if it is thought to be appropriate and necessary and we will then follow their guidance.
- We will continue to care for the child and be aware of any further disclosure’s and follow the same procedure again
The nursery has a duty to report any concerns around abuse to the local Authority. The children’s Act 1989 places a duty on the Local Authority to investigate. Hopscotch will follow the procedure set out by the local Authority and will seek their advice on all actions taken subsequently.
If the nursery have concerns that a child in their care is being abused, whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual abuse, neglect, (including Extremism, radicalisation and FGM) the next steps should be followed;
- Record the initial concerns on a safeguarding form, this maybe a physical mark, change in behaviour etc.
- Relay to designated safeguarding Lead, (Mathilda Isherwood) immediately for guidance and discuss any action required
- Ask parent/carer for an explanation, we would always share information with parents except where we feel that the child could be put at risk of significant or further harm. In this instance we would always seek advice from social care.
- If parent’s explanation is not consistent or satisfactory we will reinforce our duty of care and report to the children’s services – referral and assessment team (contact list on next page).
- Follow advice given by children’s services – referral and assessment team and continue to care for the child and be aware of any further concerns and follow the procedure again
If at any point you are not happy with the DSL’s feedback or decision you will raise this with the nursery owner (Lucy Yeandle).
Please for more information on types of abuse and signs and symptoms of abuse, look in the blue “safeguarding Guidance file” provided by the local Authority.
Our Safeguarding forms are kept in the red safeguarding file in the filling cabinet for confidentiality and will be reviewed by the DSL monthly.
If you need to make a child protection referral or discuss a concern about a child:
Children and families Assessment Intervention Team (Social Care)
Bath Area & North East Somerset Area:
Out of Hours Emergency Social Care Duty Team:
Alternatively you can call Childline for advice on 0800 1111 or email them by visiting www.childline.org.uk
For further guidance on making referrals please visit www.swcpp.org.uk
If allegations are made about a member of staff or other adult in your setting you must contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Head of safeguarding and quality assurance
To report allegations to Ofsted (which must be done within 14 days of receiving the allegation/complaint)
0300 123 4666
0300 123 1231
Concerns relating to extremism can be raised direct
Children and Families Team:
If a child or young person is in immediate danger the please dial 999 and ask for police assistance.
MANAGING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS WHO WORK WITH CHILDREN
The Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCBs) are responsible for managing, monitoring and evaluating allegations against staff and volunteers who work with children.
Procedures are to be followed when an allegation or concern that any person who works with children has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work with children.
Steps to follow:
- Allegation made, reported from a child, another staff member or parent complaint. This should be treated seriously, no assumptions should be made and confidentiality is key. The DSL should not investigate or discuss with either the staff member accused or any other member of staff.
- The Local Authority Duty Officer (LADO) should be contacted within one working day. Number on Key contacts page and referral form in the blue safeguarding file. Ofsted should also be contacted.
- The LADO will advise of further action (more details in the blue safeguarding file)
Safeguarding – Whistle Blowing
The term whistleblowing applies when you are acting as a witness, raising a concern about misconduct that you have seen and that threatens other people or children.
During staff support and supervision time, all members of staff will be asked individually if they have any concerns regarding other staff members, giving them the opportunity to disclose or discuss these concerns.
This policy provides individuals in the workplace with protection from victimisation or punishment where they raise a genuine concern about misconduct or malpractice in the workplace. The policy is underpinned by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which encourages people to raise concerns about misconduct or malpractice in the workplace, in order to promote good governance and accountability in the public interest. The Act covers behaviour, which amounts to:
- A criminal offence
- Failure to comply with any legal obligation
- A miscarriage of justice
- Danger to health and safety of an individual and/or environment
- Deliberate concealment of information about any of the above.
This policy is designed to nurture a culture of openness and transparency within the setting, which makes it safe and acceptable for employees and volunteers to raise, in good faith, a concern they may have about misconduct or malpractice.
An employee or volunteer who, acting in good faith, wishes to raises such a concern should normally report the matter to their Nursery Manager who will advise the employee or volunteer of the action he or she will take in response to the concerns expressed. Concerns should be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible. The manger would need to consider the concern presented to them and contact the necessary contact to discuss further, if it is an allegation against a staff member they would call the LADO immediately and not investigate further. If an employee or volunteer feels the matter cannot be discussed with their Nursery Manager, he or she should report it to the Nursery Owner. If the employee or volunteer feels the disclosure was not handled in the appropriate way, he or she may report it straight to LADO themselves.
A disclosure in good faith to Nursery Manager or Nursery Owner will be protected. Confidentiality will be maintained wherever possible and the employee or volunteer will not suffer any personal detriment as a result of raising any genuine concern about misconduct or malpractice within the organisation.
The Prevent Duty
Childcare providers are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology.
The channel programme focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The DSL has attended Channel training and feedbacks to staff members at staff meeting and will inform new staff during induction.
For Principles signs & symptoms, please read page 116 of the blue Safeguarding guidance file.
If the nursery has a concern regarding a child, we will follow the same actions on page 1 regarding concerns. And discuss the matter with social care.
As a nursery we promote British values, that encourage the children to celebrate their differences and understand that different beliefs are acceptable however they should not let be influence by them. Children are also taught to seek help with anything that is disturbing or upsetting them.
Safeguarding – Recruitment and Training
The operation of effective safeguarding practice relies on having safer selection and recruitment practices in place.
The Manager (Mathilda Isherwood) and owner (Lucy Yeandle) have both attended safer recruitment training issued by the Local Authority.
We obtain the following requirements from every staff member before they start their employment;
- Two written reference, one referee will be contacted in person to verify it.
- An application form, including employment history and all gaps in employment are checked and accounted for. Certificates are all supplied and checked.
- Payment information is required to establish identity and the right to work in UK
- All members of staff and volunteers will have an enhanced DBS check run on them before employment starts. We are also signed up to the DBS Update service. If during this process a person is deemed inappropriate to work or work with children the job offer will be declined immediately.
- During induction period’s staff are expected to attend regular training including child protection/safeguarding.
- During induction all staff members will read the nursery policies and sign to abide by them, especially confidentiality and safeguarding.
- All staff members receive safeguarding training, this will be given at the level required.
The DSL (Mathilda Isherwood) and the Deputy DSL (Harriett Ryder) have both received a two day integrated agency safeguarding training and this will be renewed every two years.
All other staff members have received a more basic level of training that focuses more on the signs and symptoms of abuse and the procedure they should follow and this will be renewed every two years.
We discuss in Staff meetings any changes to safeguarding or any concerns staff may have concerning this, if it is appropriate. The staff also have individual supervision and support time once a week with the DSL where any issues can be raised. The DSL always asks them if they have any concerns with staff members or if their own living status has changed that puts them in a vulnerable or difficult position when caring for children. The staff member must notify the DSL if they are living or associating with a person that is unsuitable and could therefore make them unsuitable. All staff members are asked to sign a waiver, explaining this and that if they withhold this information and it comes to light they will be taken down the disciplinary process.
Ofsted will need to be notified and they will make the decision if there is a risk of this person working with children, they will then disqualify the staff member or give them a waiver to continue working.
At Hopscotch we keep a written record of all complaints and their outcome in the red complaints book. We would always respond to a complaint within 28 days and this is available on request for Ofsted.
All complaints should be addressed and investigated by the manager (Mathilda Isherwood), or if the complaint is regarding the manager the owner (Lucy Yeandle) will investigate.
We have a poster on our parent’s board explaining to parents how they can complain, if the issue cannot be resolved between parent and nursery.