Covid-19 Policy and Safe Operating Procedures
We’re aware Covid-19 has affected everyone and we will do our best to be honest, open and communicate with you. There will be a lot of anxieties and we acknowledge it is inevitable people will feel worried.
It is important that everyone complies with the latest Government guidance on Coronavirus.
What is Covid-19?
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Hopscotch will make every possible attempt to prevent potential spread of infection to staff members and families in their care. This policy applies to all staff, parents, visitors and children affiliated with Hopscotch Nursery.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS advises that the most common symptoms of the coronavirus usually include:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection. It appears young children are less likely to become infected and with less severity.
Rigorous infection control measures
Please feel confident that Hopscotch already has rigorous infection control measures in place, including:
- Increased cleaning measures are in place. Hopscotch is thoroughly cleaned with antibacterial products at the end of each day it is open and throughout the day.
- Hand-washing for at least 20 seconds each time with soap (practitioners and children) upon arrival, before and after meals and regularly throughout the day.
- Staff cover any existing wounds or lesions with waterproof dressing
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons and gloves are used as needed
- There are procedures in place for cleaning equipment and the environment
- Spillages of blood and other bodily fluids are cleaned immediately
- There are procedures for the safe disposal of waste
- Awareness of infection control guidance, including the management of infections.
In the event of Infection whilst at Nursery
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste whilst at nursery, they will be sent home immediately and advised to follow the and take a test. We expect the child/staff member to self-isolate whilst waiting for their test result.
If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to an area with appropriate adult supervision. The adult will wear PPE during this time. Windows will be opened throughout the day for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, we will move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.
If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate toilet. The bathroom will then be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
In an emergency, we will call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
If a member of staff has been in contact with someone showing signs of Covid-19, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They will wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. We will clean with disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left in order to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
If a member of staff or child who is in contact with Hopscotch tests positive with Covid-19, we ask you to inform the nursery as soon as possible and follow government guidance. If we have had a positive case of Covid-19, we will ask everyone who was in contact with the confirmed case to self-isolate for 14 days. This may involve nursery closure.
If anyone who comes into contact with Hopscotch nursery, for example a member of staff, child, parent or grandparent who has recently shown symptoms, they should follow government advice and be tested and self-isolate (remain at home) whilst waiting for their test results. If someone from your child’s household tests positive, everyone else in that household should self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of showing symptoms themselves. Please adhered to these rules and prevent the risk of infection spreading.
We will keep a confidential record of any children who are in self-isolation so please inform us of the date of isolation and the date they are due to return to Hopscotch. This is to help health authorities manage any subsequent outbreaks in our local area.
Once the isolation period is over and the child affected has no symptoms, they should speak with their GP about getting clearance to return to Hopscotch.
Temporary Procedures during Covid-19
Children attending Hopscotch are to be dropped off and picked up from the Nursery car park and at their designated times, reducing as much footprint in and out of the Nursery as possible. Parents and children will queue within 2 metres’ distance of one another whilst waiting to enter the Nursery.
Children and staff must wear clean clothing every day.
It is difficult to avoid a level of physical interaction with young children and it is important to have their wellbeing at the centre of everything we do. If a child is in need of a hug, then it would not be fair to deny this.
Children must bring in their own named drinking cup/bottle each day, and take it home again at the end of each day to be washed. We ask that no toys or comforters are brought into nursery. However, to prevent distress if your child needs a comforter (e.g. a soft toy or blanket), please bring it in a bag and take it home at the end of the day and wash it.
Toys are divided into 4 numbered containers that are rotated each day. Once a container has been used for the day, it is disinfected, packed up and put aside until it is rotated back in. The rotation allows all resources to be left untouched for at least 72 hours reducing the risk of contamination. All fabrics are washed before being put back in their container. Toys and resources that are difficult to clean will be removed, including cushions and soft toys.
We will disinfect toilets after each use and encourage fewer children using them at each time.
All children and staff will wash their hands thoroughly upon arrival and departure of the nursery, before and after meals, and regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds at a time.
If a child or practitioner is sent home after showing symptoms, they will not be allowed back to nursery until their test results have come back. If the result is positive they will not be able to return until at least 14 days after isolation. We advise parents to consider the government guidance of self-isolating if you live with someone who tests positive and will expect not to see you (the parent) for 14 days.
All of Hopscotch’s Team who are involved in the day to day running of the Nursery will receive appropriate instructions and training on how to operate under the terms of the Safe Operating Procedures.
It is important that children do not attend nursery if they are unwell for their own wellbeing and for the safety of others.
The Safe Operating Procedures are based on guidance from the Department of Education and Public Health England specifically for Early Years. In order to continue to offer a safe environment for our staff and children, we have to adapt our everyday practices. Social distancing and hygiene remain two key elements of infection prevention and control. If any symptoms are shown, families must be alert and self-isolate for the safety of everyone.
At the forefront of this heightened awareness of safe operating procedures, we do not forget that care and consideration must be taken to ensure that everyone within the nursery community feel safe and secure. We will try our best to create a normal nursery environment and thank you for your support.
We will be focusing on fostering those secure attachments and, whilst we will be constantly observing and assessing the children, we will not be carrying out lengthy handovers due to the circumstances. If we had any concerns we would always speak with you immediately and hope you would do the same, via the telephone.
Visitors to the nursery will not be encouraged unless it involves a safeguarding issue that cannot be resolved by telephone. There will be no parent’s evenings for the time being, nor any other mass events such as our Hopscotch BBQ.
Covid-19 Outbreak Response Plan
In the event of a Government lockdown
In response to a Government lockdown, Hopscotch will be closed for all except key workers. It is likely our usual opening times/days will change but we will try to accommodate all our key workers as best we can.
In the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19
We will inform all those in contact with Hopscotch as soon as possible, along with Banes Council. If the nursery has two or more confirmed cases, we will contact Public Health England, South West Health Protection Team (PHE SW HPT).
All those who were in contact with the confirmed case will be told to self-isolate for 14 days. As a precaution, Hopscotch will close for 14 days to all parents in order to allow all those in contact with the confirmed case to self-isolate. During this closure, we will deep clean the Nursery. If we have any staff members and/or children who were not in contact with the confirmed case, we will try our best to open the Nursery after the deep clean. If you are showing any symptoms during your self-isolation period, please get tested and inform the Nursery should your results come back positive.
Due to the sudden closure, we will have outstanding payments and will therefore be charging full fees for up to two weeks. We will review payments for anything after this. We’re sorry for the inconvenience but hope you understand our situation. Thank you for your cooperation.
If you do have any concerns, The Department for Education has launched a new helpline for early years providers, schools and colleges – as well as parents, carers and young people – who have questions about coronavirus.
Please call the Coronavirus helpline if you have specific questions about the virus, you can contact the helpline on:
Call: 0800 046 8687 – 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) or 10am to 4pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Alternatively, you can contact Public Health England – South West Health Protection Team if you have any questions, need support or clarification relating to the guidance.
Telephone: 03003038162 (option 1, then option 1)
Out of hour’s advice: 03003038162 (option 1)
Further Policies and Procedures:
Section One - Our Ethos
Section Two - The Team
- Team Members and their Responsibilities
- Staffing & Employment Policy
- Performance Management
Section Three - Day to day
- 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
- The Early Years Foundation Stage
- Transitions to Schools
- Personal Property Policy
- Creativity Policy
- Clothing Policy
Section Four - Equality and Diversity
- Health & Wellbeing Policy
- Equality & Diversity Policy
- Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Policy
- Behaviour Modification Policy
- Biting Policy
Section Five - Confidentiality
Section Six - Staying Safe
- Health and Safety Policy
- Food & Drink Policy
- Infectious Diseases Procedure
- Pandemic Policy
- Outings Procedure
- Lost Child Policy
- E-Safety Policy
- In the event of a terrorist attack
- Safeguarding Policy & Procedures
Section One - Our Ethos
Our Ethos Explained
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 one level including the car park and we offer one large classroom of indoor and outdoor play. You will enter through the garden which provides a range of areas for the children to explore their imagination, such as a mud kitchen for role play experiences, a new adventure climbing bank to extend their physical ability and explore nature or simply chill out in the teepee! We have two sheltered areas where children can take part in an activity of their choosing and a mini hut to transform into a shop, cafe or spaceship! We also have a pirate look out, helping children spy for sharks and a pond for them to explore the wildlife.
When coming inside you enter through the large glass bi-fold 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 a paediatric first aid certificate and most hold or are working towards a minimal Level 3 qualification. We have a small team of 11 and we aim to ensure we have good partnerships with our parents helping to ensure good development for the children.
Section Two - The Team
Team Members and their Responsibilities
Lucy Yeandle BTEC L3 – Owner
Responsible for EYE administration, Billing and Registration, Trained in First Aid, Safeguarding, Food & Hygiene L2 & Manual Handling.
Mathilda Norris L6 BA (Hons) in Education Studies – Manager
Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Marketing, Fire Safety Officer, Equal Opportunities, Behaviour Management Officer, Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) Trained in: First Aid; Food & Hygiene L2; and Manual Handling.
Emily Isherwood L3 Norland trained – Deputy Manager - Preschool
Safeguarding Lead, trained in: First Aid; Food & Hygiene L2; and Manual Handling.
Kim Tustin L3 – Senior Practitioner
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
Jo Varley L3 – Senior Practitioner - Preschool
Safeguarding Lead, trained in: First Aid; Forest schooling; and Manual Handling.
Sara Woolway L3 – Senior Practitioner - Rising 3’s
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; Food & Hygiene L2; and Manual Handling.
Chelsea Nicholls – Nursery Apprentice – Rising 3’s - Training towards her level 3
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
Jasmine Fisher – Nursery Apprentice – Rising 3’s - Training towards her level 3
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
Emily Willis – Nursery Assistant – Babies
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
Isabel Plenderleith L3 – Nursery Practitioner – Babies
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
Claire Stevens L3 – Nursery Practitioner
Trained in: First Aid; Child Protection; and Manual Handling.
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.
High standards are expected from all practitioners. Professionalism is expected to be consistent with all they work with, including their fellow team members, children and their parents. Lateness is frowned upon as this sets a bad example to the children in their care and their parents. If a practitioner is unavoidably late, every effort should be made to contact the nursery manager or deputy manager.
Hopscotch is committed to providing a harmonious, respectful, fair and dignified working environment and recognise the right of every employee to work in an atmosphere free of harassment and to complain about it should it occur.
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment may take many forms. It can range from extreme forms such as violence and bullying, to less obvious actions like ignoring an individual. Whatever the form of harassment it will be unwelcome, unreciprocated and offensive to the recipient. The determining factor is how it is received - not how it was intended by the person initiating the behaviour.
All supervisory personnel are responsible for eliminating any harassment or intimidation of which they are aware. The problem may be resolved by immediate and firm action, which will prevent escalation. If this fails you should take your complaint through the Grievance Procedure. All complaints will be handled in a timely and confidential manner. You will be guaranteed a fair and impartial hearing and the matter will be investigated thoroughly. If the investigation reveals that your complaint is valid, prompt attention and action designed to stop the harassment immediately and prevent its recurrence will be taken.
Any employee found to have harassed or bullied another employee will become subject to proceedings under the Disciplinary Procedure.
Performance Management Policy
Performance management is a way of helping Hopscotch to improve its already high standards by supporting and improving work, both as an individual and as part of a team. It allows the team to agree and review priorities and objectives at regular intervals within the framework of Hopscotch’s development plan. This is a continual process.
Children will benefit because we will have a better picture of what, with encouragement, support and high expectations, the children can achieve.
Staff have the right to expect that their performance will be regularly assessed and that they will have a proper opportunity for professional discussion with the Nursery manager about their work and professional development.
Hopscotch already demonstrates best practice through:
- A commitment to the welfare of the children and their achievements
- An appreciation of the crucial role that our practitioners and managers play
- An atmosphere of trust between practitioners and managers, which allows open discussion about strengths and areas for development.
- The encouragement of practitioners to share good practice.
Before the performance management meeting, team members will be given an Individual Plan form. This is designed to encourage them to think about their strengths and achievements and to identify any areas in which they need support or training.
They will need to bring this to the meeting. Following the discussion with the Nursery manager they will then fill in the second part of the form identifying any objectives they wish to achieve and a time frame for these.
This will then be reviewed at the next meeting. If the objectives have been achieved these will then become achievements. New objectives may be planned or a review of the objectives set (as appropriate).
Meetings will take place bi-annually and catch ups will take place every 8-10 weeks. The performance management process for the nursery manager will take the same format but be implemented by 2 members of the team.
Section Three - Day to Day
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
- The children constantly indulge in messy play so please dress them in old clothes.
- We ask that children avoid bringing sweets, chocolate, drinks etc. to avoid squabbles and encourage healthy eating patterns.
- Please let us know of any allergies or phobias that your child may have so that we can be sensitive to their needs.
- Children are required to change into indoor footwear when at Hopscotch. This ensures safe "floor play" and movement inside. Children are also required to change into outdoor shoes/wellies and put on a coat when undertaking outdoor activities. We encourage them to do this themselves so please dress them in sensible shows they’re able to put on themselves.
- During the summer months, we insist that children wear sun cream for outside play and ask them to arrive with it already on. Parents can provide their own or opt to use our sun cream, please let us know your preference.
- Toys with small parts become easily lost. Special toys can also cause jealousy amongst others. For this reason, we ask that all toys are left in children’s bags during the session time.
- Play guns and other weapons are discouraged
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 Hopscotch deem the person collecting the child unfit, for example due to substance misuse, they can refuse to allow the child to leave in their care. We will keep the child in our care until someone suitable is available to collect the child. Should there be no-one else, we will ring social services and if necessary, the police.
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 / £6.25 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.
We closely observe absences, monitoring children's attendance patterns to ensure they are consistent and there is no cause for concern. We will question parents, should we have any concerns towards the child’s welfare.
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 38oC 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 38oC. Similarly, we will react if your child’s temperature falls to 35oC.
All parents/carers are asked to complete any dietary requirements/allergies on their child's registration form. This is then transferred onto our list of 'Dietary/Medical Requirements and Personal Preferences.' This list contains any important information, such as: allergies; dietary preferences; permission for trips out; permission to use photos for marketing purposes and or social media; permission to contact other professionals; and information about the child attending another setting. This list is displayed in the Office, Kitchen and portable snack trolley. We also give a copy of each child's allergies/medical/personal preferences to the Early Years Catering company for the children's lunches, which is updated weekly.
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. Some diseases are notifiable i.e. Public Health England and Ofsted must be notified as soon as possible and within 14 days, please ask a member of the team or see the poster in the Nursery Office for further details.
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.
To find out more follow this link -
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.
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.
Section Four - Equality and Diversity
Health and Wellbeing Policy
Hopscotch aims to build and maintain a workplace environment and culture that supports healthy lifestyle choices. We believe everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to promote and maintain a healthy workplace. Hopscotch aims to increase worker knowledge and awareness of health and wellbeing issues and healthy lifestyle behaviours. We will facilitate worker’s active participation in a range of initiatives that support health and wellbeing.
Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” Hopscotch intends to promote this for all our team and children and aim to use the 5 following objectives suggested by the NHS to help us.
- Connect with other people
Good relationships are important for everyone’s mental wellbeing to help build a sense of belonging and self-worth. They give you an opportunity to share positive experiences and provide emotional support as well as allow you to support others. Hopscotch offer plenty of play experiences for the children to explore new friendships and encourage team work within our practice. We also offer team building experiences outside of work to encourage team bonding.
- Be Physically Active and Healthy
Being active is good for your physical health and fitness and also improves your mental wellbeing as it raises your self-esteem and causes chemical changes in your brain, which can help to positively change your mood. Hopscotch encourages lots of physical activities throughout the day for the children and practitioners, such as ‘wake & shake’, trips out, and plenty of outdoor games. We also aim to provide healthy eating choices in the workplace through addressing healthy physical settings, such as food storage and preparation; food access and supply; and education.
- Learn new skills
Hopscotch stimulates learning as it boosts your self-confidence and raises your self-esteem. It helps build a sense of purpose and encourages you to connect with others. We promote a broad learning environment allowing the children to learn new things daily and mix with their peers whilst they learn. We urge our practitioners to attend regular training to bring back into our practise and help their continuing professional development.
- Give to others
We believe acts of giving and kindness can help improve your metal wellbeing as it creates positive feelings of purpose and self-worth as well as a sense of reward and helps you connect with other people. We encourage a lot of sharing and turn taking at nursery, helping children to build friendships and encouraging manners. We plan trips out to the community, supporting local café’s/churches etc.
- Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Hopscotch encourages everyone to pay attention to their current thoughts and feelings, their body and the world around them. This helps us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better as it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Hopscotch Responsibility: Workers are encouraged to:
• Understand this policy and seek clarification from management when required.
• Consider this policy while completing work-related duties and at any time while representing the organisation.
• Support fellow workers in their awareness of this policy.
• Support and contribute to providing a safe, healthy and supportive environment for all workers.
Managers are responsible for:
• Ensuring all workers are made aware of this policy.
• Actively supporting and contributing to the implementation of this policy, including its goals and objectives.
• Managing the implementation and review of this policy.
Policy Monitoring and Review:
• This policy will be reviewed six months from implementation and then annually.
• The effectiveness of the policy will be assessed through: feedback from workers and management; and a review of the policy by management and committee to determine if objectives have been met and to identify barriers and enablers to ongoing policy implementation.
• All workers receive a copy of this policy during the induction process.
• This policy is easily accessible by all members of the organisation.
• Workers are informed when a particular activity aligns with this policy.
• Workers are empowered to actively contribute and provide feedback to this policy.
• Workers are notified of all changes to this policy.
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 Norris. 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.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy & Procedures
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as Identified by the Code of Practice
Hopscotch follows the Special Educational Needs code of Practice as outlined in the Children & Families Act 2014, which highlights that all children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress. We recognise the responsibility as Early Years Educators to offer this to all children, and the need to offer additional support to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
A child is considered to have SEND if:
a) They have a significantly greater difficulty in learning in comparison to their peers.
b) They have a disability that hinders or prevents the child from using educational facilities generally provided for the same age range.
c) Is under five and falls within the definition of (a) or (b) or would do so if special educational provision was not made for the child.
A child is not to be taken as having a learning difficulty solely because the language (or form of the language) in which he/she is, or will be, taught is different from a language (or form of a language) which has at any time been spoken in his/her home.
Special educational provision will be made to accommodate all children with SEND. Special Educational Provision means:
a) For a child of two years or over, educational provision, which is, additional to or otherwise different from the educational provision made generally for children of the same age, other than special schools in the area.
b) For a child under two, educational provision of any kind.
Education Act 1996 Section 312
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is Mathilda Norris.
Mathilda is responsible for any child who has a learning need or a specific disability and must ensure the environment is suitably adapted to cater for their needs. Mathilda will work closely with the child’s parents/carers and key person, as well as liaise with other professionals who may have dealings with the child. It is her duty to put together an individual plan for the child in the nursery.
Hopscotch recognises the right of each individual child, including those with SEND, to an appropriate quality of care and learning through play and education. We are sensitive to the needs and feelings of children with SEND and their families. We will ensure individual needs are recognised and addressed. Parents/carers will be involved at every stage and in any plans that are made to meet a child’s individual special needs.
Equality of opportunity for all children is essential and it is important that children with special needs have the opportunity of learning alongside their peers. SEND children’s progress will be continuously monitored, recorded and reviewed.
If we feel any child or member of staff is a victim of any inappropriate behaviour, we will ensure it is dealt with in an appropriate manor. For example, if a child were to demonstrate rude comments, their parents will be informed and their behaviour will be monitored. Similarly, if a member of staff was to demonstrate inappropriate behaviour, we would then follow the disciplinary procedure.
The Principles and Philosophy of Hopscotch Nursery
Hopscotch aims to provide an appropriate learning opportunity in accordance with the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) to all children who attend. We endeavor to identify any child who would benefit from additional support and seek the appropriate provision in order for the child to reach their full potential. Any child identified with special educational needs and disabilities, including mild concerns, or a difficulty in one particular area, will have their needs met, normally within the nursery setting, allowing for any limitations within the building and of financial provision. We will attempt to seek the views of the child by using a range of techniques suitable to his/her development. The child's parents/carers will be fully consulted, informed and involved and their vital role in supporting their child acknowledged. The child with special educational needs will continue to have full access to the EYFS.
Identification of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in children
If a parent has any concerns about their child’s development they should share these concerns with their child’s key person. The key person will be responsible for regular observations and assessments that link to the EYFS. Hopscotch also works closely with outside agencies for additional support, such as: Area Senco’s; Children’s Centres; Local Authority Advisory Teachers; and Speech & Language Therapists.
The EYFS sets out the Early Learning Goals for each area of learning, namely: Personal, Social & Emotional Development; Communication & Language Development; Physical Development; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts & Design. It identifies "stepping stones" of progress towards the early learning goals. Any child identified as having difficulties prior to attending Nursery, or who is identified as having difficulty in moving from one stepping stone to another and requires specific or additional support, will be identified as having Special Educational Needs. Prior to any child receiving additional support, their parents/carers will be confidentially fully informed by their child's key-person and/or nursery Senco of our concerns. An enquiry will be made as to whether the parent/carers have concerns of their own. Any plans formulated will be with the full involvement, consent and co-operation of the child's parent/carers. Regular review dates will be arranged. All parents/carers may have daily access to speak with their child's key-person and the nursery Senco to review their child's Special Educational Needs records.
If it has been identified that the child has a possible individual need, it will be discussed with the parent to plan how best to support the child. The Senco may liaise with other professionals, with the parent’s consent, such as the Speech & Language Therapist, Area Senco, the Children’s Centre or the Health Visitor. This advice might involve meetings and reports in order to enable the Senco and key Person to plan for the child’s individual needs. We aim to promote the welfare and development of the child in partnership with parents and other relevant agencies.
Early Years Action
On identification of a Special Educational Need, an Action plan, drawn up of strategies/targets will be created for supporting the child. These may be different from, or additional too the normal differentiated activities of the setting. The action plan will set out:
- Short term targets for the child (usually 2-3).
- The teaching strategies and provision to be put in place.
- The date and time for when the targets are to be reviewed (usually 4-6 weeks).
- The outcome of the action
The Action plan will be drawn up by the SENCO, fully involving and taking into accounts the views and feelings of the child's parents/carers. The review date will be fixed so as to include the child's parents/carers. Any barrier such as language will be accommodated.
If little or no progress has been made over a longer period of time, as shown in the recorded outcomes, or the child has sensory or physical needs that require additional equipment or intervention or advice from a specialist service, then this next level will be considered so that external support agencies can become involved. The decision is usually made at a Team around the child (TAC) meeting with the SENCO, key-person/s and parents/carers. Any external support agencies that become involved will have access to all the records kept at Hopscotch regarding the Special Educational Needs of a child.
Roles and Responsibilities
Mathilda Norris, the Nursery Manager, has responsibility for the daily management of all aspects of the settings work, including the provision for children with Special Educational Needs. Mathilda works with the team to determine Hopscotch's general policy and approach to provision for children with Special Educational Needs.
All practitioners are involved in the implementation of the SEND Policy and are fully aware of the procedures for informing the SENCO if they have a concern for the child's needs.
The child's key-person/s will ensure that when an action plan has been drawn up and signed by the parents/carers a copy of this policy will be given to them.
The SENCO and outside agencies will inform and support practitioners.
The SENCO or key-person will ensure that the parents/carers will have knowledge of BANES Parent Partnership service.
Monitoring and Review.
Our Special Educational Needs policy will be reviewed annually by our SENCO involving input from the team. The policy will be continuously monitored by our SENCO to ensure compliance with the SEN Code of Practice (February 2002). BANES SENCO training and cluster groups held twice termly provide support and advice.
The SENCO will have time allocated for their responsibilities for monitoring, collecting and recording data, and for monitoring and reviewing the policy.
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.
Section Five - Confidentiality
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.
Hopscotch is registered with the ICO and has a designated Data Protection Lead. It is the responsibility of the Data Protection Lead to ensure all personal data collected is kept safe and secure. All practitioners have access to the personal data, in order for them to find relevant contact information in case of emergencies. Practitioners also have access to their personal files only, after gaining consent from the Data Protection Lead.
Hopscotch’s Data Protection Policy follows ‘The General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR) 2018’ which addresses certain requirements for all Organisations that collect & process personal data as part of their on-going business operations. Personal data is defined by: any information relating to an ‘identifiable living individual; & will therefore, apply to the nursery’s clients (children attending the nursery, and their parents/carers). We only collect personal information that is required for specific business purposes.
We respect and consider each individual’s rights when collecting personal data and allow them to retract/change their information at any time, however it is important we always have some form of contact for the child whilst still in our care. If a parent/carer/employee/volunteer/ student wishes to retract their personal information they must ask in writing to the nursery owner, Lucy Yeandle.
Data Retention Policy
All personal data is processed according to the six data protection principles:
- Processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
- Collected only for specific legitimate purposes.
- Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary.
- Accurate and kept up to date with help from parents/carers.
- Stored only as long as is necessary.
- Appropriate security, integrity and confidentiality is applied.
Should there be a data breach, Hopscotch will notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.
Access to the information we hold
To fulfil our legal obligations and for the purposes of claiming the Nursery Education Grant, eligible children's personal information (excluding photographs) are either sent through Royal Mail to the Local Education Authority (LEA) or delivered by hand.
As part of the statementing process for Special Educational Needs (SEN) educational background data including children's personal information will also be posted to the LEA Special Educational Needs Officer (SENCO).
All personal data sent through the Royal Mail is always via the recorded mail service.
In the case of SEN, onsite meetings may take place between staff and the LEA SENCO. Children's personal information will only be shared with parental permission.
Ad hoc telephone queries regarding children will always be investigated to verify caller's identity before imparting personal information. Similar checks are made when making outgoing calls. The amount of personal information given out over the phone is limited and followed up by face-to-face meetings if necessary.
Employee information is shared only with Payman Ltd via post for the purpose of annual tax, and national insurance returns and, with the employees permission, with NEST workplace scheme to administer a pension. All posted personal data sent through the Royal Mail is always using the recorded mail service.
Hopscotch acknowledge that all employees have a right to access their own records, and parents/carers have a right to their own children's records. If other people's information is contained in the response, steps will be taken to conceal their identity.
Accuracy of the information we hold
Contact information for parents and children is updated every year via the registration process. The information is re-confirmed once the child joins. Parents are also asked to inform Hopscotch of any changes to their personal information that we may need to know, such as contact details throughout the duration of their contract. The contact sheet for staff is updated annually.
Discarding Personal Data
When a contract is terminated, Hopscotch will have twelve months to destroy any hard copies of personal data they may have on that individual, unless they have obtained consent, for example to keep photographs on display. This includes all contracts between Hopscotch and a child/parent/carer/employee/student/volunteer which contains any personal information. The personal information will be shredded and disposed of accordingly. This is following point five of the data protection principles. If consent has been given to use any personal data, including photographs, this information is kept for the duration of the data being used. It is possible to withdraw consent at any time and must be done so in writing, addressed to the nursery owner, Lucy Yeandle.
Further information can be found in more depth in our Data Protection Policy.
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.
Section Six - Staying Safe
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 Norris 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.
Food and Drink Policy
Hopscotch regards snack and meal times as an important part of our daily routine. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating. At snack and meal times, we aim to provide nutritious food, which meets the children's individual dietary needs.
• Before a child attends Hopscotch, we ask parents their children's dietary needs, including any allergies which is recorded on their registration form.
• We display current information about individual children's dietary/medical needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully informed about them. These are displayed in the Office, Kitchen and on the snack trolley.
• We regularly consult with parents to ensure that our records of their children's dietary needs - including any allergies - are up-to-date.
• We plan menus in advance and display them near the snack table.
• We display the menus of meals for the information of parents and children.
• We provide nutritious food at all meals and snacks, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
• We include foods from a variety of cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones.
• Through discussion with parents and research reading by staff, we obtain information about the dietary rules of the religious groups to which children and their parents belong, and of vegetarians and vegans, and about food allergies. We take account of this information in the provision of food and drinks.
• We require staff to show sensitivity in providing for children's diets and allergies. Staff do not use a child's diet or allergy as a label for the child or make a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.
• We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate.
• We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves.
• We provide children with utensils which are appropriate for their ages and stages of development and which take account of the eating practices in their cultures.
• We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children about how to obtain the water and that they can ask for water at any time during the session/day.
• In accordance with parents' wishes, we offer children arriving early in the morning - and/or staying late - an appropriate meal or snack.
• We inform parents who provide food for their children about the storage facilities available in the setting.
• We have rules about children sharing and swapping their food with one another in order to protect children with food allergies.
• For children who drink milk, we provide whole and pasteurised milk.
• For each child under two, we provide parents with daily written information about feeding routines, intake and preferences.
Infectious Diseases Procedure
In the event of an infectious disease at Hopscotch, the follow procedure must take place:
- Parent/carer informs nursery manager
- Nursery manager informs staff and parents (where appropriate)
- Nursery manager contacts:
Out of hours for health professionals only: please phone 0300 303 8162 option 2.
- Nursery Manager contacts OFSTED if appropriate.
There are two sorts of infectious diseases:
- Notifiable Diseases - these must be reported to OFSTED
Examples of diseases notifiable to local authority proper officers under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010:
- Acute meningitis
- Food poisoning
- Scarlet fever
- Whooping cough
The full list of notifiable diseases can be found on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/notifiable-diseases-and-causative-organisms-how-to-report#list-of-notifiable-diseases
Report other diseases that may present significant risk to human health under the category ‘other significant disease’.
2. Non-notifiable Diseases- but must be reported to all in the workplace:
- Head lice
- Hand, foot and Mouth
Special Consideration must be given to those with vulnerable immune systems (esp. Thalassaemia, leukaemia and HIV).
There is no need to inform Hopscotch practitioners or parents/carers of HIV or AIDS as good hygiene is practiced and therefore this should not be a risk.
Schools and nurseries are common sites for transmission of infections. Children are particularly susceptible because:
- they have immature immune systems
- have close contact with other children
- sometimes have no or incomplete vaccinations
- have a poor understanding of hygiene practices
We aim to prevent and manage infectious disease at Hopscotch by:
- promoting immunisation
- promptly excluding the unwell child or member of staff
- ensuring effective handwashing is being carried out routinely.
If Hopscotch is notified of a case of infectious disease in a pupil or staff member, we will report it as soon as possible to PHE, our local Health Protection Team (HPT). Not all infections require exclusion. Our local team will give us additional advice and support as needed.
Infections in children are common. This is because a child’s immune system is immature. Added to this, young children often have close contact with their friends, for example through play, and lack good hygiene habits, making it easier for infections to be passed on.
Many diseases can spread before the individual shows any symptoms at all (during the infectious period). For example, a child with chickenpox is infectious to others 1 to 2 days before the rash appears.
Hopscotch’s infection prevention and control measures aim to interrupt the cycle of infection by promoting the routine use of good standards of hygiene, so that transmission of infection is reduced overall. This is usually through:
- immunisation of pupils and staff
- good hand washing
- making sure the environment is kept clean
Where a case of infection is known, measures aim to reduce or eliminate the risk of spread through information and prompt exclusion of a case. Hopscotch recognises that prompt exclusion of staff and children while they are infectious is essential to prevent the spread of infection. Please view our ‘Sickness and Medical Requirements’ for further details. A list of infections which require exclusion can be found in the office.
An outbreak or incident may be defined as:
- 2 or more people experiencing a similar illness are linked in time.
- a greater than expected rate of infection compared with the usual background rate for the place and time where the outbreak has occurred
Hopscotch will contact our local health protection team (HPT) as soon as we suspect an outbreak to discuss the situation and agree if any action is needed. We will also contact our local HPT as soon as possible to report any serious or unusual illness particularly for:
- Escherichia coli (VTEC) (also called E.coli 0157) or E coli VTEC infection
- food poisoning
- measles, mumps, rubella (rubella is also called German measles)
- whooping cough (also called pertussis)
More information on infectious diseases can be found on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-protection-in-schools-and-other-childcare-facilities
Although a pandemic is not inevitable there is a high likelihood that one could occur in the next few years, for example, pandemic flu which tends to be a more serious illness than annual flu. The symptoms would probably be similar, but they could be more severe and cause more serious complications. At Hopscotch during a pandemic, in case of doubt, we will assume that an infection is pandemic flu, and act accordingly. The symptoms are:
- Cough and/or shortness of breath
- Sudden onset of symptoms
- Aching muscles
- Sore throat
- Runny nose, sneezing
- Loss of appetite
- Malaise, lethargy, listlessness
In addition, young children can also have tummy aches, diarrhoea and vomiting.
The incubation period (the time from being exposed to the virus to showing symptoms of infection) is from one to four days: for most people, it will be 2-3 days.
The infectious period (how long you are infectious to others) for most people is from soon after they develop symptoms, and until the symptoms disappear. In general, adults can continue to excrete viruses for up to five days, and children for up to seven days, but occasionally longer. Over this period, the amount of virus, and therefore the infection risk to others, will decline as symptoms improve, but does not disappear until the symptoms themselves also disappear.
Therefore, if pandemic flu does occur then there may be a period or several periods of up to 9 weeks when the usual smooth running of Hopscotch could be affected, however in line with Government guidance we will try to continue our service as normally as possible.
Phases of a Pandemic
Our planning for a pandemic is based around the World Health Organisation defined phases of a pandemic:
Phase 1: viruses circulating among animals but have not been reported to cause infections in humans
Phase 2: an animal influenza virus circulating among animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.
Phase 3: a new sub-type of virus has been identified, but no human-to-human transmission is confirmed. This is when Hopscotch begin to plan for a possible pandemic.
Phase 4: small clusters of infection have been identified, ‘community level outbreak’ but with limited human-to-human transmission. Indication of a significant increase in risk of a pandemic, but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.
Phase 5: large clusters of infection have been identified but human-to-human spread is localised; this suggests the virus is adapting to humans but may not yet be fully transmissible between humans. This is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalise the organisation, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
Phase 6: Pandemic phase; increased and sustained transmission between humans.
Planning for a Pandemic
The manager will ask each member of staff to be aware of this document and host a staff training session. A practical guide to prevention is to be issued to all staff. Staff will also be trained in the use of personal protective equipment, PPE (masks, gowns, gloves).
The staff will encourage children to practice good hygiene standards i.e. regular hand-washing, minimising contact between hands and mouth/nose, unless hands have just been washed, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue, then disposing of it promptly and carefully (bag it and bin it).
- The Health and Safety Officer will purchase a small supply of PPE for use if a practitioner is required to supervise a child who becomes unwell whilst at Hopscotch during a flu pandemic, plus hand sanitiser, several small pedal bins for tissue disposal, antiseptic wipes and bags. Hopscotch will have available a wipe down mattress to be used if a child becomes unwell during the flu pandemic, and a small amount of bedding for this purpose.
- The manager will consider the financial implications of possible closure on Hopscotch. This might be for a period of a few weeks only or up to 9 weeks, and could be recurrent. Parents may choose not to send their children to Hopscotch during flu pandemic. In that event, we would still expect to receive their fees.
- The manager will establish who the LEA contact for planning for an influenza pandemic is, and how they contact us or we contact them regarding advice re closure. The manager and deputy manager are to communicate with the LEA contact regarding flu planning particularly closure issues.
- If a child becomes unwell whilst at Hopscotch, they will be sent home immediately.
- If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a quieter area with appropriate adult supervision and minimal others around them. The adult will wear PPE during this time. Windows will be opened throughout the day for ventilation.
- If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate toilet. The bathroom will then be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
- In an emergency, we will call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
- To minimise the risk to colleagues from used PPE, it is essential that practitioners are trained to remove PPE in a standard manner. To begin with, staff will be asked to remove the apron, and then remove the surgical mask from their face, avoiding touching the front of the mask (by using the tapes). If the gloves have been worn, they will be removed first, by turning them inside out in one single motion, then the apron and then the mask. All used PPE will be placed in a specific labelled dustbin that has a lid, and will be disposed of as clinical/infectious waste. After disposing of the PPE in the bin, staff will be asked to wash their hands with antibacterial soap and water, or hand sanitiser.
- Telephone and email contact lists for existing parents will be double checked and updated. The manager will have a Master copy, so that advice on closure and re-opening can be conveyed via telephone and email if necessary.
- A list of parent helpers that have been CRB checked who might be called upon in the event that extra help is needed, for example if a staff member is taken ill during a session, will be drawn up.
- The manager will advise practitioners that in the event of a pandemic, Hopscotch pay and leave terms and conditions as set out in the Staff Manual will apply.
- The manager will identify any practitioners and children who are at risk from complications i.e. those suffering from chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease or chronic kidney or liver disease, immunosuppressed or taking immunosuppressive medications, from influenza and might need to spend the whole period of the pandemic at home. Practitioners will be given suitable work to carry out at home.
- Cleaning regimes will be stepped up to ensure hard surfaces (door handles, light switches, taps, kitchen worktops) are cleaned more regularly than usual, using normal cleaning products.
- Copies of this policy will to be made available to parents on request.
- The manager will review in detail this policy, and will review the situation regularly.
- A poster will be displayed on the Hopscotch gate to remind parents/carers to keep children displaying flu symptoms or who are generally unwell at home.
- Staff will remove all soft toys from Hopscotch and temporarily remove all rugs.
- Hopscotch will remain open unless: it is decided on the basis either of information available to us and/or advice from the LEA that we should close; if it appears to be in the best interests of children at Hopscotch that we should close; or if staffing ratios make opening unsafe.
- The manager will have the final decision regarding closure and all decisions will be made with the best interests of children attending Hopscotch at heart.
- If the decision to close Hopscotch is taken, the manager and deputy manager will contact each family by telephone or email to advise closure, an estimate of the likely period of closure will be given. The manager will also inform the LEA and a notice will be posted on the Hopscotch gate.
- If Hopscotch closes staff will still be expected to attend unless unwell, or unable to work due to dependents sickness or at risk as identified in phase 4.
- Staff will be asked to stay at home if unwell and until fully recovered. Children will be asked to stay at home if unwell and until fully recovered.
If a child becomes unwell with possible influenza while at Hopscotch, the child will be moved to a quieter area with appropriate adult supervision and minimal others around them. The adult will wear PPE during this time. Parents will be contacted and asked to collect the child. If the child appears to be seriously ill staff will call for an ambulance or other urgent medical care if it is available, and telephone the national advice line.
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.
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.
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 Norris 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 the following email account: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/messaging accounts nor give out their personal information. Parents are asked not to contact any member of the Hopscotch Team via their personal email/messaging accounts, but only via the above two 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 information/image is used, 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.
In the event of a terrorist attack
In light of the recent events in the UK and globally, and the possibility of a major incident, terrorist attack or national disaster happening near us, we now feel it is necessary to have a procedure in place on what to do should any such event occur.
Hopscotch Nursery will do everything within their power to protect, comfort and support your child in the event of a major incident, National Emergency or Terrorist Attack. The health and safety of your child and thus the care and security we provide is paramount.
Should your child be exposed to any such incident, we will ensure their safety and reassure all children in our care. If involved or caught up in the incident, Hopscotch will comply fully with the instructions from the emergency services, ensuring the safety of your child at all times. All staff are aware of the importance of being fully alert during trips, acknowledging all emergency exits and the whereabouts of all the children at all times, insisting everyone is close together incessantly. The Hopscotch team will have a mobile phone at hand to use in the event of an emergency.
Should an attack occur within the surrounding Hopscotch area, all staff will comply to the following procedure.
Staff outside the building are to, without panic but with due urgency, usher all children and staff inside the building, unless unsafe to do so when an alternative should be communicated. They are to check that there are none who miss the signal as they are inside the secured building with the doors, windows and all potential access points closed and locked behind them.
Staff inside the building are to remain by external doors until they are locked and supervised, observing through the eye hole. They are to ensure all windows, doors and other potential access points are closed and locked. They are to move away from windows if appropriate and pull down blinds in order to take all those present, away from possible view.
Staff are then to call 999 and await further instructions. If in the event it is too dangerous to speak, staff have been briefed on dialling 55 after 999.
Should a parent/carer be caught up in an incident, Hopscotch will continue to look after your child until you are able to return or have arranged for another person to collect them. Please look at our ‘Arrival/Departure Policy’ for further details on people collecting the child who are unfamiliar to Hopscotch. We will try our best to keep in contact by landline, mobile or email. This may include overnight care in extreme circumstances, but will be discussed with you and Social Services will also be kept informed. Rest assured, your child will not be put at risk in any way.
Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
Safeguarding children is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of profession.
Safeguarding means to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, to live free from abuse, harm and neglect. Under Working together guidance, and as outlined by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020, safeguarding children means:
- Protecting Children from maltreatment
- Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development.
- Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
- Taking action to enable all children have the best outcomes.
The following works closely alongside the document ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’ (July 2018) as well as ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (September 2018).
Working together to safeguard children states that children feel they need: Vigilance; Understanding and action; Stability; Respect; Information and engagement; Explanation; Support; Advocacy; and Protection. Hopscotch follows these when delivering care to all our children. We also closely follow the ‘Every Child Matters’ five key outcomes for all children in the UK, ensuring we are delivering the best possible practice:
- Being healthy: children are entitled to enjoy good physical and mental health and to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Staying safe: children should be protected from harm and neglect.
- Enjoying and achieving: children should get the most out of life and develop the skills for adulthood.
- Making a positive contribution: children need to be involved with the community and society and not engage in anti-social or offending behaviour.
- Economic well-being: children should not be prevented by economic disadvantages from achieving their full potential in life.
Hopscotch has a duty to protect all children, particularly those considered to be a child in need, or a child at risk of significant harm. We will ensure children are appropriately safeguarded and given the level of support relevant to their needs. The Children’s Act 1989 defines a child in need as ‘a child who is unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or whose health and development is likely to be significantly or further impaired, without the provision of services; or a child who is disabled.’
Significant harm includes:
- The severity of ill-treatment
- The duration and frequency of abuse and/or neglect
- The extent of pre-meditation
- The degree of threat and coercion, sadism and bizarre or unusual elements in child sexual abuse.
- The ability of those with parental responsibility to protect their child
All of our senior practitioners are safeguarding officers, these include the owner of the business: Lucy Yeandle, the Manager: Mathilda Norris, the Deputy Manager: Emily Isherwood and our Senior Practitioners: Jo Varley; Kimberly Tustin; and Sara Woolway. However, the main Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Mathilda Norris and the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Emily Isherwood. Should there be a time when neither of these are on the premises, either Lucy Yeandle; Jo Varley; Kimberly Tustin; and/or Sara Woolway will be the next point of call. Conversely, we believe:
“Keeping children safe is everybody’s responsibility”
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. We all have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. In order to fulfil this responsibility effectively, all practitioners should make sure their approach is child-centred. This means that they should consider, at all times, what is in the best interests of the child. We understand no single practitioner can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances. If children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action. Therefore, we ensure that all our practitioners are confident to:
- Be alert to and recognise child welfare issues
- Raise concerns
- Share information with others where necessary
- Make referrals to social care when appropriate (or come and talk to the DSL, about making a referral)
- Contribute towards any plans and decisions about a child if necessary.
- Challenge poor practice in the workplace.
In order to deliver this, we train all of our practitioners to understand our safeguarding policy and procedures, and ensure that they all have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. Training is made available in order for our practitioners to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way, and with confidence. Hopscotch especially acknowledges its duty to ensure our DSL is well known and approachable, and their knowledge is up to date.
The DSL ensures Hopscotch fulfils its safeguarding obligations in the best way possible to ensure practitioners are trained and supported effectively so that they are skilled in safeguarding children.
The DSL has direct responsibility for the safeguarding practices of Hopscotch, including listening to concerns, referring them at a higher level and raising awareness of the child protection and safeguarding procedures. They are the first point of contact for safeguarding enquiries and must offer advice and support for other staff members in the workplace. The DSL acknowledges that children’s responses to abuse are often unexpected and, to us illogical so all staff members are trained and prepared in what to do should a child come to them with information. The DSL’s responsibilities include:
- To be alert to and recognise child welfare issues
- To raise and share concerns
- To share information with others where necessary
- To know when to make referrals to social care when appropriate and ensure staff know how to contact you about doing so.
- To contribute towards any plans and decisions about a child if necessary.
- To speak to the parent, carer or child about the concerns if required.
- To recognise the importance of safer recruitment and staff conduct and follow safer recruitment practices.
- To participate in regular training and ensure other staff members are trained in safeguarding procedures.
- To challenge poor practice in the workplace.
- To ensure Hopscotch has appropriate safeguarding policies and procedures that reflect our organisation.
- To ensure everyone at Hopscotch (including volunteers and trustees) are appropriately trained in safeguarding practice and procedure – including safer recruitment where their role requires it.
Hopscotch’s DSL may need to seek advice using the following sources:
- Consult with social care
- Read Banes Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships (LSCP) policies and procedures for further guidance
- Discuss the care confidentially with other services working with the family and consider their views
- Discuss the case with other Hopscotch practitioners whilst being mindful of confidentiality.
- If we have a concern about another professional, we will seek advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Hopscotch adopts a culture of openness where concerns are openly discussed and consideration is constantly given to improving and developing safeguarding practice. Hopscotch ensures all practitioners are confident in recognising signs of abuse and in reporting any concerns.
Recognising abuse include:
• significant changes in a child's behaviour, including being withdrawn, impulsive or aggressive
• deterioration in a child’s general well-being, including developmental regression.
• unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect
• children’s comments which give cause for concern
• any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside of Hopscotch, for example in the child’s home or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation
• inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, any other person working with the children, or by another child, for example: inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images.
• All of our practitioners, leaders and managers recognise that children and learners are capable of abusing their peers.
There are 4 main categories:
It is also recognised by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020 that mental health issues can be a serious indicator of abuse or neglect.
For more information on types of abuse and signs and symptoms of abuse, please look in the blue “Safeguarding Guidance File” provided by the local Authority which is found in the office.
We acknowledge that children don’t always recognise or disclose that they are being harmed and therefore it is important we are able to recognise indicators suggesting a child is being abused or neglected. We will always keep the child at the heart of any safeguarding process and listen to their needs. Should a child disclose information, our best response will involve: being calm and level-headed; reassuring the child; and listening well. We will assess whether there is any risk of harm to the child and decide what action is needed. The process will involve:
- Speaking to the child
- Speaking to the family, if appropriate
- Talking to professionals involved with the family
- Checking social care records
- Liaising with the police if it seems likely that a criminal act has been committed.
Hopscotch will use the single assessment process, introduced by Working together guidance to ensure children receive the right level of support they need. The varying level of need of the individual child or family are:
- Low-level needs
- Emerging needs
- Complex needs
- Child protection concerns.
If appropriate, Hopscotch will create an Early Help Assessment (EHA) with multiple services to identify what kind of support the child and family may need so as to resolve the problem and potentially remove the need for the intervention of social care.
If we have a case involving significant harm or risk of significant harm, we will make contact over the phone with social care immediately, following banes LSCP procedure. This will also be followed up in writing.
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).
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 DSL (Mathilda Norris) 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 has concerns that a child in their care is being abused, whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual or 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 DSL, (Mathilda Norris) 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 below).
- 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.
It is important to avoid:
- Making assumptions about what the child is experiencing
- Letting the child think that you don’t believe them
- Asking leading questions and ‘putting words into the child’s mouth’
- Describing the potential abuser using negative words: the abuser may be someone the child loves.
- Making promises that you won’t be able to keep
- Interviewing the child with too many questions: it’s the responsibility of social care or the police to find out more information.
Our Safeguarding forms are kept in the pink safeguarding file in the filling cabinet for confidentiality and will be reviewed by the DSL monthly.
Hopscotch appreciates the importance of working together, respecting everyone’s opinion and acknowledging the child is always the central focus. We will follow the Information Sharing guidance (July 2018) when collecting and sharing information with other professionals.
Hopscotch believe if people don’t take action, the child is likely to remain at risk of harm and although we will always take action if we have concerns, we understand that it is for social care and the police to investigate safeguarding concerns. Hopscotch’s responses to any safeguarding concerns are:
- Child centred, our actions are in the child’s best interests.
- Focused on action and outcomes for children
- Holistic in approach, addressing the child’s needs within their family
- Ensure equality of opportunity
- Involve children, ensuring their voice is heard
- Involve families, if appropriate
- Identify risks to the safety and welfare of the child.
- Multiagency and multi-disciplinary
- A continuing process, not an event
- Lead to action, including the provision of services
- Review services provided on an ongoing basis
- Are transparent and open to challenge.
The referral will include the following:
- Clearly presented information and identification of concerns and risks, supported by evidence where possible.
- Details of any urgent action that may be needed to safeguard the child
- Information about work done with the child or family to address the concerns where appropriate
- Information about professionals working with the family
- Historical information, especially if there has been an accumulation of incidents or concerns.
- A description of the discussion with the family or child or an explanation why this has not taken place
- Identification of any potential risks to professionals, including social workers, who may need to visit the family home
- Identification of any relevant issues – such as domestic abuse, substance misuses, mental illness, parental disability or the potential need for an interpreter if the family’s first language is not English.
- The telephone referral will be followed up in writing and shared with social services to create a written record and agreement of what was shared and what actions were agreed upon.
KEY CHILD PROTECTION CONTACTS
If you need to make a child protection referral or discuss concern about a child:
Children and Families Assessment Intervention Team (CAFAIT)
Bath Area & North East Somerset Area: 01225 396312 / 01225 396313
Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 01454 615165
If a child or young person is in immediate danger then please dial 999 and ask for police assistance.
If you have concerns about domestic abuse, you can contact REFUGE through their National Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 2000 247
If allegations are made about a member of staff or other adult in your setting you must contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
LADO: 01225 396810
To report allegations to Ofsted (which must be done within 14 days of receiving the allegation/complaint)
Complaints/concerns: 0300 123 4666
Helpline: 0300 123 1231
Whistleblowing: 0300 123 3155
For more information about Child Protection:
B&NES Child Protection Procedures: https://www.proceduresonline.com/swcpp/banes/
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.
Staff must report any concerns they have to the DSL as soon as possible. They are also asked during regular support and supervision times, where 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, found in the office.
If the nursery has a concern regarding a child, we will follow the referral process found on page 118 of the blue Safeguarding guidance file, found in the office.
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 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 The Owner (Lucy Yeandle), the Manager (Mathilda Norris) and the Deputy Manager (Emily Isherwood) have all attended safer recruitment training issued by the Local Authority.
We obtain the following requirements from every staff member before they start their employment;
- Valid Identification checks for every employee to ensure their identity is true and they have a right to work in the UK. This is done by obtaining an original document to prove their identity which is checked whilst in their presence before being copied and stored in their personal files.
- 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.
- Qualification Certificates are all supplied, checked and displayed in the workplace.
- Payment information is required to establish identity and the right to work in the 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 which is given at the level required.
The DSL (Mathilda Norris) and the Deputy DSL (Emily Isherwood) have both received a two-day integrated agency safeguarding training. We follow the local authority recommendation for the DSL to attend Inter-agency safeguarding training, followed by Advanced Inter-agency training two years later. After this, we attend a relevant child protection course every 2 years to increase our knowledge of a specific Child Protection issue (e.g. domestic violence; CSE, Prevent, FGM). If this regular update lapses, we will attend the inter-agency training again. Other staff receive basic Child Protection training in recognising and responding to signs of abuse and neglect 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 Norris), 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.
We will inform Ofsted if any complaint relates to a possible breach of the Statutory Framework for EYFS the and the timescale. The telephone number is 0300 123 4666 and the address is on the Ofsted parents’ poster.
All Policies and Procedures are reviewed termly.