Admissions Policy

• St Andrew’s Pre-school aims to be genuinely accessible to children and families from all sections of the community. We welcome mothers, fathers, other relations and carers.

• We will ensure that the existence of our Pre-school is known in the area, and place advertising notices in prominent places.

• Parents may register children, of any age, by completing a registration form and returning it to the Pre-school (forms available on our website). A small non-refundable deposit is required upon registration to cover administration costs.

• Parents will be notified by telephone or email if a place becomes available for their child.

• The following factors will be taken into account when allocating sessions to new children:

 

1. Date of registration.

2. Special educational, social or family needs.

3. Siblings of children who have or are still attending this Pre-school.

4. The Pre-school Sub Committee comprising Manager, Deputy Manager and Pre-school Administrator have full responsibility for allocating places

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Behaviour Management Policy

We believe that children and adults flourish best in an ordered environment, in which everyone knows what is expected of them. Children need to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else. We aim for a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.

To help children know what is expected of them and to encourage appropriate behaviour, we:

• have simple guidelines governing the conduct of the group and the behaviour of the children; these are explained to children and adults, as required.

• ensure that the guidelines are applied consistently, so that children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up useful habits of behaviour.

• expect our staff to provide a model for the children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy.

• will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.

• will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour.

• we follow a ‘5 step Conflict Resolution’ procedure to support our children. All staff are familiar with the process and the 5 steps are displayed around the room so that all adults are able to give a consistent approach to the children. Staff will model empathy and being sorry to increase our children’s understanding of the feelings of others.

The 5 steps are as follows:

1. STOP.
2. Listen to each other.
3. Think about solutions (Step one – suggest two solutions, ‘What do you think is best’).
4. Do what you have agreed.
5. Tell an adult if it worked.

When children behave in unacceptable ways:

• physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking will not be threatened or used.

• children will never be sent out of the room on their own.

• techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children such as the “naughty chair” will not be used.

• children who misbehave will be given one-to-one support, from a member of staff, in seeing what was wrong and working towards a better pattern. Where appropriate, this might be achieved by a period of “time out” with a member of staff.

• we follow the 5 steps above.

In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes will be made clear immediately, but by means of explanations rather than personal blame. In any case of misbehaviour, it will always be made clear to the child or children in question that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome.

Adults will not shout or raise their voices in a threatening way. Staff will make themselves aware of, and respect, a range of cultural expectations regarding interactions between people.

Any behaviour problems will be handled in a developmentally appropriate fashion, respecting individual children’s levels of understanding and maturity. Recurring problems will be tackled by the whole Pre-school, in partnership with the child’s parents/carers; using objective observation records to establish an understanding of the cause. Staff will be aware that some kinds of behaviour may arise from a child’s special needs.

Maria Hatton is our Behaviour Ambassador trained by Reading Borough Council.

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Cameras and Mobile Devices Policy

• Staff and parent helpers’ mobile phones must be placed in the designated phone wall hanger next to the kitchen hatch. Parent helpers will be reminded of these instructions at the start of each session.

• In the event of an emergency, personal mobile phones may be used in privacy with permission from the Manager.

• Photographs and recordings of children are only taken of children if we have written permission to do so (individual child’s photo consent form).

• On no account will photographs be taken on mobile phones by any adults’ onsite.

• When not in use, our Pre-school cameras, iPads and laptops are stored securely in the Pre-school cupboards. Most observations will be uploaded onsite. However, Key Persons may use the iPads at home to upload observations of their Key children. Staff members are aware of the need to ensure Pre-school Safeguarding and Confidentiality procedures are followed. Each staff member stores their device securely. Key Persons ensure that the devices are not used by family members or other individuals and are never left anywhere other than home, or at Pre-school. The Manager oversees all uploaded information for each child. All Pre-school computers are password protected.

• Parents/Carers are able to take photos and videos of their children taking part in specific Pre-school activities, for private use only. The Staff, supported by the parents are responsible for ensuring that pictures and images taken of children are done so in a way that reflects the protective ethos of St Andrew’s Pre-school.

• Photographs are only for parental/carers personal use and must not be placed on any social network sites (see our Social Media Policy).
• St Andrew’s Pre-school uses a secure online Learning Journal system (Tapestry), allowing staff and parents to access the information via a personal password protected login.

• Staff access allows input of observations and photos.

• Parents can only access their own child’s Learning Journal to input observations and photos, or to add comments on existing observations and photos. Parent logins do not have the necessary permission to edit existing material. Access to information stored on Tapestry is by personal email address and password.

• The Manager moderates observations added to the Tapestry system before they are added to the child’s Learning Journal.

• The Tapestry on-line Learning Journal system is hosted on secure dedicated servers based in the UK.

• In all written observations, other children are not referred to by name.

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Complaints Policy and Procedure

As members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance (PLA) we aim to provide the highest quality education and care for all our children. We aim to welcome each individual child and family; providing a warm and caring environment within which all children can learn and develop as they play.

• We believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy, and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. Our intention is to work in partnership with parents and the general community. We welcome suggestions on how to improve.

• A parent/carer who is uneasy about any aspect of the group’s provision should initially discuss any worries and anxieties with the Manager.

• If there is no satisfactory outcome within a few weeks, or if the problem recurs, the parent/carer should put their concerns in writing; requesting a meeting with the Manager, and the Chair of the Management Committee. Both parents/carers and the Manager may have a second person present at the meeting, if required. A written record of this meeting must be made. Most complaints should be resolved informally at this stage.

• If the matter is still not settled to the parents/carers satisfaction, the parent should contact the Chair again and if necessary Ofsted would be contacted. The address for Ofsted is on the main notice board and in the Ofsted complaints file, both in the front hall.

• We believe that most complaints are made constructively and can be sorted out at an early stage. We also believe that it is in the best interests of the children, the parents/carers and the Pre-school that complaints should be taken seriously and dealt with fairly and confidentially.

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Confidentiality Policy

Our group’s work with children and their families sometimes brings us into contact with confidential information. We will respect confidentiality in the following ways:

• parents/carers will have “reading access only” to the records of their child.

• information given by parents/carers to the Manager will not be passed on to other adults without permission.

• staff will not discuss individual children, other than for the purposes of curriculum planning and group management, with anyone other than the parents/carers of that child.

• any anxieties or evidence relating to a child’s personal safety will be kept in a confidential file and will not be shared within the group, except with the Key Person and the Manager.

• The Key Person will update children’s progress securely using our online tracking system ‘Tapestry’.

• If any information about the children is held on computer, it will be held in an encrypted file. We follow Data Protection guidelines fully.

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Equality and Diversity Policy

STATEMENT OF INTENT

Our Pre-school is committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practise for all children and families.

AIM

We aim to:

• provide a secure environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are valued.

• include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity.

• provide positive non-stereotyping information about different ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

• improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of equality and diversity.

• make inclusion an intrinsic part of life at St Andrew’s Pre-school.

The legal framework for this policy is:

• Race Relations Act 1976
• Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
• Sex Discrimination Act 1975; 1986
• Children Act 1989
• Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
• Equal Pay Act 1970; 1984
• Education Act 1981; 1993
• Education Reform Act 1988
• Disability Discrimination Act 1995
• Equality Act 2010

METHODS

Admissions

St Andrew’s Pre-school is open to all members of the community:

• We advertise our service through our local Children’s Centres, the FIS, on the RBC website link – local offer, local advertising and through referrals from Health Visitors and other Health Professionals.

• We provide information in clear, understandable language, whether in spoken or written form.

• We will provide information in other languages as required. We will use an interpreter, or have our information translated into the appropriate language.

• We base our admissions policy on a fair system.

• We do not discriminate against a child with a disability, or refuse a child entry to our Pre-school because of any disability.

• We ensure all parents are made aware of all our policies.

• We will develop individual action plans to ensure that people with special educational needs are able to participate successfully in all Pre-school activities and in the curriculum offered.

Employment

• Posts are advertised and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria.

• The applicant who best meets the criteria will be offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service. This ensures fairness in the selection process. All job descriptions include a commitment to equality and diversity as part of their specifications.

• We monitor our application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible.

Training

• We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop practices which enable all children to flourish.

• We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for equality and diversity.

Curriculum

The curriculum offered at St Andrew’s encourages children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of playing and exploring, active learning and creativity and critical thinking.

We do this by:

• Making children feel valued and good about themselves.

• Ensuring that children have equality of access to learning.

• Reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources.

• Avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of materials.

• Celebrating a wide range of festivals.

• Creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance.

• Helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable (See Behaviour Management Policy).

• Ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities.

• Ensuring that children whose first language is not English have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning.

Valuing Diversity in Families

• We welcome the diversity of family life and work with all families.

• We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life while at Pre-school.

• We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of St Andrew’s Pre-school and to contribute fully.

• For families who have a first language other than English, we value the contribution their culture and language offer. At St Andrew’s Pre-school, we celebrate our different cultures by using a country relevant to our group as our topic from time to time

• We offer a flexible payment system for families of differing means.

Food

• Work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met.

• We help children to learn about a range of food, cultural approaches to meal times and eating and to respect the differences among them.

Meetings

• Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to, may be involved in the running of the group.

• Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways – written, verbal, email and in translation – to ensure that all parents have information about access to the meetings.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Normal procedure would apply (see Complaints Policy and Procedure).

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Health and Hygiene Policy

We encourage a healthy lifestyle; a high standard of hygiene is therefore expected from all adults and children. Weather permitting; every opportunity will be taken to play in the fresh air.

Hygiene

We use the following guidelines to ensure good practice:

• children wash hands after using the toilet, after blowing their noses and before preparing, or eating food.

• social service guidelines on hygiene, especially those relating to bodily fluids, are followed with care.

• staff and volunteers are aware of how infections can be transmitted.

• tissues are used to wipe children’s noses and then disposed of hygienically

• children are encouraged to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.

• hand sanitiser is placed around the room and used appropriately.

• all surfaces are cleaned with an anti-bacterial spray before and after snack and lunch time.

• spare clothing is available in case of accidents.

Illness

• Parents are asked not to bring any child who has vomited or had diarrhoea to Pre-school, until at least 48 hours has passed since the last attack.

• Parents are asked to keep their children at home if they have any contagious infection and to inform us so that we can alert other parents that the infection is present at Pre-school. We will then also be particularly aware of the symptoms.

• If a child becomes unwell during a session, the Manager will try to contact the parent. If we do not get any response, we will telephone the nominated emergency contact.

• In the case of a child’s temperature rapidly increasing and a parent not being able to collect their child immediately, we would be able to administer Calpol. This would only happen if the child’s parent had signed a consent form.

Food

• The snacks provided will be healthy and take into account the dietary needs of the children present.

• Foods brought in to Pre-school will be checked for content, as some children have allergies to foods, which could be fatal.

• Due to increased incidences of Peanut and Kiwi fruit allergies we do not allow nuts or Kiwi fruit to be brought in, or eaten at Pre-school.

• It is our policy to ensure that the Parent Helper cuts up the food correctly, as directed by the Pre-school Assistant.

A number of staff have completed a Food Hygiene course and obtained the qualification.

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Home Visit Policy

At St Andrew’s Pre-school, we feel that home visits are important to help the children, their families’ and the Key Person to get to know each other in an environment in which they feel comfortable. This helps with a smoother transition from home to Pre-school. By meeting their Key Person at home alongside Pre-school visits, the children will find comfort in seeing a familiar face in a familiar environment on their first day.

As a setting, we recognise that a child’s parents are their most enduring educators and we recognise that parents offer diverse strengths. By carrying out a home visit, we can learn from parent’s knowledge, so that we can continue to build on the foundations of their child’s learning and development.

The benefits of a home visit are:

• Building relationships
• Making links from the child’s learning at home to the setting
• Gain information on the children’s skills and interests
• Time to go through any outstanding documents with parents/carers

The Home Visit

• An appointment will be made with parents/carers at a mutually convenient time for all. The visit will last for approximately 30 minutes.

• The Key Person and the Manager/Deputy Manager will wear their uniform, with their name badge.

• The Manager/Deputy Manager will use the time to talk to the family, gaining information about their child and answering any questions. Paperwork may be completed at this time as well. The Key Person will spend their time getting to know the child.

• The Key Person and the Manager/Deputy Manager will ask to see the record of your child’s Two year check in your red book – ‘My personal child health record’. We will be happy to discuss any related information at this time if you wish to do so.

• Both members of staff will stay together during the duration of the home visit and would not be expected to be left alone with the child that they are visiting.

• The Key Person and the Manager/Deputy Manager recognise that they will be guests in the home of the family they are visiting, therefore they will treat all families with a high level of respect and regard for the duration of the visit.

• At any time during the visit, parents may ask a staff member to leave without giving a reason why. Both staff members will leave in this situation.

• If a member of staff feels unsafe, or threatened in anyway during the home visit they will leave the premises.

Procedure for Key Person on a Home Visit

• The Manager/Deputy Manager will go through the Profile Update Form and the Funding Form and answer any questions the parent may have about Pre-school.

• The staff member will ask to see the ‘Red Book’ to look through any notes and to see a record of the 2 year check.

• The Key Person will observe and interact with the child. The Key Person will then record any useful information from the visit on the child’s Tapestry journal at the start of the new term.

• The postcard will be given to the child at the visit.

• A photograph will be taken of the child and parent/s for the Parent Board and Journal.

• Once the visit has ended, Staff will move on to their next visit.

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Lost Child Policy

• As soon as a child is discovered missing, search inside and outside.

• If the child is still missing after a thorough search, phone 999.

• Phone parents to inform them of the situation.

• Keep searching until the police arrive and phone for back-up support from the Committee.

• Once the situation is resolved, and the cause of the incident has been investigated, a detailed report will be drawn-up.

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Medication Policy

Medicines

• Drugs and medicines cannot be administered by our staff unless there are exceptional circumstances: parental written permission and instructions must also be given. Medicines must be brought into Pre-school with the details of prescribed doses in the original packaging. Permission is confirmed by completing a ‘Medication consent’ form or ‘Emergency medication’ form. Please be advised that in an emergency medical situation where prior written permission has not been given to administer medicine, an ambulance will be called.

• For life-saving medication (such as Epipen or Diazepam), Pre-school requires a letter from the child’s GP/consultant with details of the child’s needs. Staff will need to be trained to administer such medication by the GP, or nurse specialist. This training must be arranged by the parents’ prior to the child attending. Training must be specific to the individual child concerned.

• For those children who have a medical condition which requires long term medication, prior parental permission will be recorded on a Health Care plan with instructions for when it should be administered. Parents will be asked to sign this form on collection of their child as and when the medication is administered. If required, these medications will be kept on site for as long as they are required and must be replaced by the parent when they expire.

• Pre-school will inform our insurers of any children in our care with life threatening illnesses requiring medication.

• Medication will be stored out of children’s reach and strictly in accordance with the product instructions. Medication must be in date and in the original container in which it was dispensed. The label (which must be in English and legible) must include the instructions for administration. We will only administer the dosage and frequency indicated on the instructions.

• Prescribed medication can only be given to that particular child; we cannot administer to any other child, including a sibling, any medication that is prescribed for another named child.

• Children who are taking medication may attend Pre-school provided they are not suffering from an infectious illness, are not displaying any signs or symptoms of illness and they are well enough to fully participate in Pre-school activities; this is at the Manager’s discretion.

• Cuts, or open sores, should be covered with an appropriate dressing.

• Parents will have the opportunity to discuss health issues with staff and will have access to any information available to us. We maintain links with local health visitors and the local health authority.

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Parental Help Policy

Parents/carers are the first educators of young children. Our aim is to support this essential work by:

• making all new parents/carers aware of our systems, policies and procedures.

• ensuring that parents/carers are informed on a regular basis of their child’s progress.

• offering opportunities to parents/carers to contribute to our work: as general helpers, and by sharing their talents e.g. through music, computers, art, crafts etc.

• ensuring that all parents/carers are fully informed about meetings, Pre-school Alliance and RBC events.

• making known to all parents/carers the systems available for registering queries, complaints or suggestions (see Complaints Policy and Procedure).

• providing opportunities for parents/carers to learn about young children’s learning and development through meetings and courses.

Parent helpers

• Parent helpers are a vital part of our Pre-school. We rely on the contribution of parent helpers at each session to provide additional support for activities and to prepare and clear away the children’s snacks. Parent help is also an essential route for providing assistance with preparation for activities and for the maintenance and repair of equipment. Parent helpers are managed by our Pre-school Assistant whilst onsite. Parent help is a great way to participate in your child’s Pre-school experience, get to know other parents/families and talk to your child’s Key Person. All Pre-school families are required to perform parent help duties unless there are extenuating circumstances affecting their ability to do so. Please note that it is not possible for parent helpers to be accompanied by non-Pre-school siblings.

Rota principles and procedure

• Parent help may be performed by either of the Pre-schooler’s parents, a grandparent, or other proxy adult e.g. a nanny/child minder.

• Two parent helpers will be scheduled for each Pre-school session. Both parent helpers will need to ensure that they are available to attend on the sessions they have been scheduled.

• There is a separate rota covering the Pre-school Plus afternoon sessions. All families with a child attending Pre-school Plus will be included on the afternoon rota. In common with other sessions, two parent helpers will be scheduled.

• Parents will be scheduled to perform a number of parent help duties in proportion with their child’s/children’s attendance at Pre-school however, whilst every effort is made to ensure that a fair Parent Help Rota is created, if necessary, each family may be asked to do one extra session over and above what is required during their time at Pre-school.

• Unless special circumstances apply, parents with younger siblings not at Pre-school will still be required to undertake their quota of parent help sessions. The following are examples of special circumstances, but others may exist:-
o Specialist healthcare requirements
o Ongoing social services involvement, such as adoption processes
o Siblings under 6 months
Affected parents should communicate special circumstances when completing the Parent Help Rota Information form.

• Those with multiple siblings attending Pre-school will be asked to undertake no more than one and a half times the number of parent help sessions they would otherwise be allocated.

• It is the responsibility of those scheduled on the rota to arrange cover or swap parent help sessions if, for whatever reason, they become unavailable for that date. The person originally scheduled should amend the printed “master copy” of the rota in the “Parent Help Rota” file on display in the entrance hall and inform the Parent Help Rota Administrator, by email, of the cover arrangements made. This step is essential in order that the weekly Parent Help chart in the Pre-school entrance hall may be accurately completed; the staff team relies on this document to find out who will be on site doing parent help at each session.

• Families must inform the Pre-school of any changes in contact details. Please ensure both the Pre-school Manager/Deputy Manager and Parent Help Rota Administrator are notified of changes.

• No parent helpers will be scheduled on the following days:
o Inset Days
o Pre-school outing
o Christmas party
o Polling days (Pre-school closed)

• Any non-compliance with this Parent Help Policy will be addressed by the Committee with the parent, at the Committee’s discretion.

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Record Keeping Policy

• A record of children’s details is kept in accordance with Ofsted regulations. These include name, address, telephone number, date of birth, doctor’s number, immunisations, and any health problems that it may be necessary to know about.

• We ask for parental permission to seek emergency medical attention, if we are unable to make contact with parents. We ask for parental permission for the child to be taken out of Pre-school. Any changes in these details must be given to the Manager.

• Verbal reports on the child’s progress are given to parents regularly, or any time at the parents’ request. Our register of attendance, which is taken at the start of each session, is open to regular inspection by Ofsted.

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Reserves Policy

SCOPE, DEFINITIONS AND PURPOSE

The Committee has reviewed St. Andrew’s Pre-school’s need for reserves in line with guidance issued by the Charity Commission and the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

The Pre-school needs reserves in order to:

1. meet redundancy liabilities should the Pre-school have to close;
2. ensure there are sufficient cash reserves in the current account to cover day to day running costs;
3. ensure continuity of service provision by:
3a. meeting unexpected costs such as cover for illness or maternity leave, etc.;
3b. covering running costs during periods of lower income (e.g. while adjusting to school policy changes or following falls in fundraising)
4. replace equipment as it wears out and carry out necessary building maintenance;
5. relocate the Pre-school from its current location/premises

In calculating these amounts, the Pre-school assumes the following:

• Salaries and roles as at September 2014.
• 12 weeks notice for all staff.
• No redundancy payments for staff members with less than 2 years of service.
• All payments have been increased by 3 years to ensure funds.

POLICY AIMS

In light of the scope, definitions and purpose, the Pre-school aims to maintain reserves consisting of:

i. reserves to meet redundancy liabilities;
ii. general contingency reserves equal to one term’s (i.e. one-third of annual) total expenditure, excluding maintenance and depreciation

The Committee believes that this level of reserves is prudent and necessary to ensure that the Pre-school can run efficiently and meet future needs.

‘All groups are recommended to have at least three month’s expenditure in reserve and a sum which covers the calculated redundancy liability’ (Managing a Charitably Constituted Setting, PSLA).

‘As a guide, many groups choose one term’s reserves as a suitable level’ (Finance in Early Years Settings, PSLA).

The Committee will monitor the actual level of reserves and compare with the target level no less than once a year (at the financial year-end). The Pre-school has no restricted funds, and therefore essentially all cash balances can be considered to be part of reserves.

In the event of reserves falling significantly below the target level, the Pre-school will aim to restore the reserves as soon as possible by increasing fundraising, increasing earned income, or reducing expenditure. Similarly, if reserves are significantly above the target level, the Committee will put in place a plan as soon as possible, aiming to eliminate the excess within four years by spending money to enhance the quality of Pre-school provision, or otherwise further the aims of the Pre-school, or by reducing fundraising.

The Committee will not, however, take any steps that might call into question the ability of the Pre-school to continue as a financially viable operation in the long term. In particular, it will not plan to use excess reserves to cover essential running costs.

POLICY REVIEW

This policy will be reviewed and approved annually (at financial year-end) by the Pre-school Management Committee.

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Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Policy

The safety of young children is of paramount importance. To ensure the safety of both children and adults, the Pre-school will ensure that:

• the children are supervised by adults at all times and will always be within sight of an adult.

• visitors to Pre-school will be asked for identification. We do not allow unauthorised visitors onsite. All visitors are required to sign the visitor’s book upon arrival and to sign out when leaving. A member of staff must always be notified when a visitor leaves to ensure that all external doors are secured.

• incident/accident forms are used and parents/carers are informed of any incidents involving their child.

• parents will be contacted immediately if a child becomes ill during the course of a session. A member of staff will observe and comfort the child as necessary until the parent arrives.

• detailed Risk Assessment forms are completed by a member of staff each day to check the safety of the equipment, the hall, and grounds. Other Risk Assessment forms are completed for outings and for children with SEN, or additional needs.

• the no smoking policy on the premises is enforced.

• fire drills take place several times a term. The emergency assembly point notice is displayed in the car park and signs showing the assembly point are located beside all extinguishers in the building.

• fire doors are never obstructed but a removable safety barrier is used during sessions for security reasons.

• internal safety gates are used, as necessary.

• fire extinguishers are checked and staff know how to use them.

• heaters, electric points and leads are guarded.

• children do not have access to the kitchen.

• adults do not place hot drinks within reach of the children. All hot drinks must remain on the hatch during free play.

• adults are aware of the systems in operation for children’s arrival and departures as set out in the prospectus. An adult will always stand at the external door during these periods.

• if your child has not been collected within 30 minutes of the close of session then, by law, the Manager is required to contact Social Services.

• a register of both adults and children is completed as people arrive, so that there is a complete record of all those present.

• children will leave the group only with an authorised adult. A password is essential for each child.

• the layout is planned to allow freedom and safety of mobility between activities.

• equipment is checked regularly and any dangerous items repaired or discarded.

• children have no access to dangerous substances, such as medicines and cleaning materials.

• a correctly stocked first aid box is available at all times.

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Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy and Procedures

POLICY STATEMENT

Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

The Children Act 2004 provides a legal framework for a range of services to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. The legislation underpins the five outcomes from the Government’s vision of ‘Every Child Matters’. These were:

• Be Healthy
• Stay Safe
• Enjoy and Achieve
• Make a Positive Contribution
• Achieve Economic Wellbeing

Our aim is to follow the ECM outcomes to protect the welfare of all our children. We have created an environment in which children are safe from abuse. Any suspicions of abuse will be promptly and appropriately responded to.

We display the current version of ‘Do you know what to do if you are concerned about the safety of a child?’ from Reading’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). We have related documents for parents and staff. All staff are aware of the procedure if they have concerns.

Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

 

PROCEDURES

We carry out the following procedures to ensure we meet the three key commitments of the Pre-school Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

Key Commitment 1

We are committed to building a ‘culture of safety’ in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.
Our designated persons who co-ordinate child protection issues are:
Hilary Coome (Manager), Maria Hatton and Amanda Chenery (Deputies)

Our designated officer (a member of the management team) who oversees this work is: Hilary Coome

• We ensure all staff are trained to understand our safeguarding policies and procedures and that parents are made aware of them too.

• All staff have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.

• Adequate and appropriate staffing resources are provided to meet the needs of children.

• Applicants for posts within the setting are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

• Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks and other suitability checks are carried out for staff and volunteers (excluding any Parent Helpers on site in accordance with our Parental Help Policy), prior to their post being confirmed, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.

• Where applications are rejected based on information disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.

• Enhanced criminal records and barred lists checks are carried out on anyone living or working on the premises.

• Volunteers do not work unsupervised.

• Information is recorded about staff qualifications, and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:

– the criminal records disclosure reference number;
– the date the disclosure was obtained; and
– details of who obtained it.

• All staff and volunteers are informed that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders or reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether received before or during their employment with us).
• We notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of a child protection concern.

• Procedures are in place to record the details of visitors to the setting.

• Security steps are taken to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.

• Steps are taken to ensure children are not photographed or filmed on video for any other purpose than to record their development or their participation in events organised by us. Parents sign a consent form and have access to records holding visual images of their child.

 

Key Commitment 2

We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2015).

Responding to suspicions of abuse:

• We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, and sexual, as well as neglect.

• When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or experiencing neglect, this may be demonstrated through:
– significant changes in their behaviour;
– deterioration in their general well-being;
– their comments which may give cause for concern, or the things they say (direct or indirect disclosure);
– changes in their appearance, their behaviour, or their play;
– unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
– any reason to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting.

• We take into account factors affecting parental capacity, such as social exclusion, domestic violence, parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, mental or physical illness or parent’s learning disability.

• We are aware of other factors that affect children’s vulnerability such as, abuse of disabled children; fabricated or induced illness; child abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession; sexual exploitation of children, such as through internet abuse; and Female Genital Mutilation; that may affect, or may have affected, children and young people using our provision.

• We also make ourselves aware that some children and young people are affected by gang activity, by complex, multiple or organised abuse, through forced marriage or honour based violence or may be victims of child trafficking. While this may be less likely to affect young children in our care, we may become aware of any of these factors affecting older children and young people who we may come into contact with.

• Where we believe that a child in our care or that is known to us may be affected by any of these factors, we follow the procedures below for reporting child protection concerns.

• Where such evidence is apparent, the child’s Key Person makes a dated record of the details of the concern and discusses what to do with the member of staff who is acting as the ‘designated person’. The information is stored on the child’s personal file.

• We refer concerns to MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation.

Reading MASH Team:
0118 937 3641.

• In some cases this may mean the police or another agency identified by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

The Reading LADO (Local Area Designated Officer) is:

Victoria Lawson-Jack – 0118 937 3555

• We take care not to influence the outcome either through the way we speak to children or by asking questions of children.

• We take account of the need to protect young people aged 16-19 as defined by the Children Act 1989. This may include students or school children on work placement, young employees or young parents. Where abuse is suspected we follow the procedure for reporting any other child protection concerns. The views of the young person will always be taken into account, but the setting may override the young person’s refusal to consent to share information if it feels that it is necessary to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult. Sharing confidential information without consent is done only where not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.

 

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

• Where a child makes comments to a member of staff that give cause for concern (disclosure), or a member of staff observes signs or signals that give cause for concern, such as significant changes in behaviour; deterioration in general well-being; unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect; that member of staff:

– listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
– does not ask a leading question to the child;
– makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes: the date and time of the observation or the disclosure; the exact words spoken by the child as far as possible; the name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with the date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time.

• These records are signed and dated and kept in the child’s personal file, which is kept securely and confidentially.

• The member of staff acting as the ‘designated person’ is informed of the issue at the earliest opportunity.

• Where the Local Safeguarding Children Board stipulates the process for recording and sharing concerns, we include those procedures alongside this procedure and follow the steps set down by the Local Safeguarding Children Board and MASH.

 

Making a referral to the local authority children’s social care team

• The Pre-school Learning Alliance’s publication “Safeguarding Children” contains procedures for making a referral to the local children’s social care team, as well as a template form for recording concerns and making a referral.

• We keep a copy of this document alongside the procedures for recording and reporting set down by our Local Safeguarding Children Board, which we follow where local procedures differ from those of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

 

Informing parents

• Parents are normally the first point of contact. Concerns are discussed with parents to gain their view of events, unless it is felt that this may put the child in greater danger.

• Parents are informed when we make a record of concerns in their child’s file and that we also make a note of any discussion we have with them regarding a concern.

• If a suspicion of abuse warrants referral to social care, parents are informed at the same time that the referral will be made, except where the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board does not allow this, for example, where it is believed that the child may be placed in greater danger.

• This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the social workers will inform parents.

 

Liaison with other agencies

• We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Board guidelines.

• We have procedures for contacting MASH.

• The current version of ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ is available for parents and staff and all staff are familiar with what they need to do if they have concerns.

• We notify Ofsted of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children or where an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on our premises or elsewhere). Notifications to Ofsted are made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.

 

Allegations against staff

• We ensure that all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, which may include an allegation of abuse.

• We respond to any inappropriate behaviour displayed by members of staff, volunteer or any other person living or working on the premises, which includes:

– inappropriate sexual comments;
– excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities, or inappropriate sharing of images.

• We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board when responding to any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer within the setting, or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, has abused a child.

• We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the setting or anyone living or working on the premises occupied by the setting, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.

• We refer any such complaint immediately to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to investigate.

• We also report any such alleged incident to Ofsted, as well as what measures we have taken. We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.

• We co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the police.

• Where the management team and children’s social care agree it is appropriate in the circumstances, the member of staff or volunteer will be suspended for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff, as well as children and families throughout the process.

 

Disciplinary Action

Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of relevant information, so that individuals who pose a threat to children and vulnerable groups can be identified and barred from working with these groups.

 

Key Commitment 3

We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering young children, through our early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.

 

Training

• Training opportunities are sought for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and signals of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.

• Designated persons receive training in accordance with that recommended by the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

• We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns they may have about the provision.

 

Planning

• The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. No child is left alone with staff or volunteers in a one-to-one situation without being visible to others.
Curriculum

• We introduce key elements of keeping children safe into our programme to promote the personal, social and emotional development of all children, so that they may grow to be strong, resilient and listened to and so that they develop an understanding of why and how to keep safe.

• We create within the setting a culture of value and respect for individuals, having positive regard for children’s heritage arising from their colour, ethnicity, languages spoken at home, cultural and social background.

• We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is developmentally appropriate for the children.

 

Confidentiality

• All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board and MASH.

 

Support to families

• We believe in building trusting and supportive relationships with families, staff and volunteers.

• We make clear to parents our role and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, information sharing, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the local children’s social care team.

• We will continue to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse.

• We follow the Child Protection Plan as set by the child’s social care worker in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.

• Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records procedure and only if appropriate under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Legal framework

Primary legislation:

• Children Act (1989)
• Protection of Children Act (1999)
• Data Protection Act (1998)
• The Children Act (Every Child Matters) (2004)
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)

Secondary legislation:

• Sexual Offences Act (2003)
• Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)
• Equalities Act (2010)
• Data Protection Act (1998) Non Statutory Guidance

 

Further guidance:

• Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)
• What to do if you’re Worried a Child is Being Abused (HMG 2015)
• Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
• The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People: A Guide for Practitioners (CWDC 2010)
• Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (HMG 2007)
• Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (HMG 2015)
• Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check

Student placements

We recognise that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education we provide. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years qualifications and training. We also offer placements for school pupils on work experience.

We aim to provide for students on placement with us, experiences that contribute to the successful completion of their studies and that provide examples of quality practice in early years care and education.

Procedures

• We require students on qualification courses to meet the Suitable Person requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and have a satisfactory enhanced DBS check with barred list check(s).

• We require students in our setting to have a sufficient understanding and use of English to contribute to the well-being of children in our care.

• We require schools, colleges or universities placing students under the age of 17 years with us to vouch for their good character.

• We supervise students under the age of 17 years at all times and do not allow them to have unsupervised access to children.

• Students undertaking qualification courses who are placed in our setting on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios.

• Students and apprentices, over the age of 17, who are undertaking a level 3 qualification, may be considered to be counted in the ratios if our Manager deems them to be suitably qualified and experienced.

• We take out employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance, which covers both students and voluntary helpers.

• We require students to keep to our Confidentiality, Social Media and Safeguarding Policies.

• We co-operate with students’ tutors in order to help students to fulfil the requirements of their course of study.

• We provide students, at the first session of their placement, with a short induction on how our setting is managed, how our sessions are organised and details of our policies and procedures.

• We communicate a positive message to students about the value of qualifications and training.

• We make the needs of the children paramount by not admitting students in numbers that hinder the essential work of the setting.

• We ensure that trainees and students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years training, which provides the necessary background understanding of children’s development and activities.

 

APPENDIX 1

Within Berkshire, the LSCB is able to act as an independent body where staff and volunteers can direct whistleblowing concerns around children’s safeguarding, if they have exhausted all the identified options within our setting. It is important to state that this is not another route to raise Safeguarding concerns about a child that you are working with.

APPENDIX 2

The Prevent Duty & Promoting British Values

From 1st July 2015, all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as The Prevent Duty.

St Andrew’s Pre-school staff take Safeguarding very seriously. Therefore to ensure that we adhere to and achieve the Prevent duty we will;

• Ensure that our staff team undertake Prevent Awareness training. Part of this training will enable staff to identify children who may be at risk of radicalisation.
• Build the children’s resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views (for early years providers the statutory framework for the EYFS sets standards for learning, development and care for children from 0-5, thereby assisting their Personal, Social and Emotional development, as well as Understanding the World).

• Assess the risk, by means of a formal risk assessment, of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology.

• Ensure that our staff understand the risks so that they can respond in an appropriate way.

• Become aware of the online risk of radicalisation through the use of social media and the internet.

• As with managing other safeguarding risks, our staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour, which could indicate that they may be in need of help, or protection (children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to hide their views). The Key Person approach means we already know our key children well and so we will notice any changes in behaviour, demeanour, or personality quickly.

• We will not carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we will take action if we observe behaviour of concern. The Key Person approach means that we already have a rapport with our families so we will notice any changes in behaviour, demeanour, or personality quickly.

• We will work in partnership with the Reading LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board) for guidance and support.

• We will build up an effective engagement with parents/carers and families. This is important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation.

• We will assist and advise families who raise concerns with us. It is important to assist and advise families who raise concerns and be able to point them to the right support mechanisms.

• We will ensure that any resources used in Pre-school are age appropriate for the children in our care and that our staff have the knowledge and confidence to use the resources effectively.

• In Prevent priority areas, the local authority will have a Prevent lead who can also provide support. You can also contact your local police force, or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to you in confidence about your concerns and help you gain access to support and advice.

• The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to counter.extremism@education.gsi.gov.uk.

Version 3.0 (updated September 2017)

Selecting Equipment and Toys Policy

The toys and equipment in Pre-school provide opportunities for children, with the help of adults, to develop new skills and concepts, in the course of their play and exploration. The equipment we provide:

• is appropriate for the ages and stages of the children.

• offers challenges for the development of physical, social, personal and intellectual skills.

• features positive images of people, both male and female, from a range of ethnic and cultural groups, with and without disabilities.

• includes a range of raw materials, which can be used in a variety of ways, and encourages an open-ended approach to creativity and problem solving.

• will enable children, with adult support, to develop individual potential through the Characteristics of Effective Learning and move towards the required Early Learning Goal.

• will give the children the opportunity for free choice in a range of activities.

• conforms to all relevant safety regulations, is sound and well made.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Serious Accident Policy

An accident which staff consider serious enough to call an ambulance, would initiate the following procedure:

• Ambulance called for.

• Manager/Deputy to telephone parents to advise of situation.

• Manager/Deputy will accompany child in ambulance, taking child’s personal details form.

• Remaining staff to undertake supervision of group, calling for back-up support from Committee members, if necessary.

An accident which was serious but did not warrant an ambulance i.e. broken arm, cut requiring stitches, concussion etc. would initiate the following procedure:

• Parents telephoned and would themselves take the appropriate action (Doctors surgery or Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department), with staff offering support as required.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Settling In and Transition Policy

• Settling into an Early Years setting is a time of crucial importance to a child’s later happiness in the setting. All children are individuals and while some children will adjust fairly easily to the new environment and new routines, others will take longer to feel comfortable and secure. As parents and as early year practitioners, we can take steps to ensure that the transition into the Early Years setting goes as smoothly as possible.

• Children who have a positive start to their new environment are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and valued, feel good about themselves as learners and have a sense of belonging to the Pre-school community.

Before starting Pre-school

• Before children start at St Andrew’s Pre-school, parents/carers are invited to attend an Induction session. During the evening, Committee and Staff give a short presentation giving information about how we run our setting.

• Parents are also required to complete all necessary documentation including our ‘All about me’ leaflet. The information in the leaflet provides Key Staff with details such as whether the child has any siblings and their position in the family. It also covers information about the child including likes, dislikes, food allergies, favourite toys, anyone known to them at Pre-school, if the child shares their sessions with another setting, or has attended any toddler groups. The Key Person uses the information as the basis for planning to support the child’s development and learning.

• From 2016, St Andrew’s Pre-school will improve links with families further by offering all new parents/carers a home visit before the child starts with us.

Visiting Pre-school

• During the summer term, families are invited to visit the setting to see how we run a Pre-school session. It gives the children and parent or carer time to meet the staff and to meet other children.

Settling in

• A gentle introduction allows children and their carers to get to know the staff and the daily routine and to become familiar with the environment. We find this method highly successful; children feel relaxed, happy and confident, as do their parents/carers. Our partnership with parents is very important; they must have trust and confidence in those looking after their children.

• We make it clear to all families that we will support them in the setting for as long as it takes the child to settle in. We will reassure parents/carers of children who seem to be taking a long time to settle in and give advice and suggestions to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Assessment at Pre-school

• The Key Person completes a development check within half a term of the child starting with us. This is shared with the parents/carers.

• Frequent assessments are made throughout each child’s time at St Andrew’s Pre-school. Key Persons use the online tracking system ‘Tapestry’.

• Key Persons produce a report for parents at the end of the autumn term. During the spring term we hold a parents consultation evening and in the summer term an end of year or Transition report is written.

• Parents are encouraged to review their child’s Learning Journey regularly. Key Persons are available to talk to parents about the development of their child at any time.

• We liaise closely with other settings if sharing a child.

Transition to school

• During the Autumn term, families receive a ‘Starting school’ pack from Reading Borough Council via our setting. The pack contains all information required for parents/carers to make their application to their preferred schools. Pre-school staff know the local schools well and we are happy to answer any questions that parents may have about the next step in their child’s education.

• Once school places are offered in the Spring term, our Pre-school Management arrange visits to our feeder schools.

• During the second half of the summer term, we incorporate Transition into our planning for the children. Ways in which we do this include turning the role-play area into a school classroom, having school uniforms available for dressing up time and practising tasks such as carrying a lunchtime tray.

• Staff regularly share reference and story books with children about going to school.

• Staff and children enjoy sharing transition leaflets provided by our feeder schools.

• Each child’s ‘Learning Journey’ is sent directly to the school at the end of the summer term before they leave Pre-school. This includes comments upon the seven areas of learning, the development stages of the child and their hopes and fears for the transition.

• For children with any additional or special educational needs, a transition meeting is arranged with the school, the child’s parents and our Pre-school SENCo.

• For any child moving on to another Nursery or Pre-school, staff will complete the same Transition report which is then sent to the other setting with parental permission.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Social Media Policy

St Andrew’s Pre-school recognises that social media has become a part of everyday life for many individuals and families, including both staff and parents. Social media allows for the free and easy exchange of information, opinions and images. With particular regard to images of children and to enable Pre-school to comply with its strict Safeguarding requirements, it is necessary to set our terms around the use of social media in connection with how Pre-school is presented publicly.

This policy covers (but is not limited to) the following social media channels:

• Facebook
• Twitter
• LinkedIn
• Personal Blogs

The scope of this policy applies to the following people:

• Employees
• Volunteers/work experience students
• Parents/Carers

This policy also refers to the Cameras and Mobile Devices Policy.

St Andrew’s Pre-school has chosen not to register on social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter. This decision has been taken to preserve adherence to rules of Safeguarding.

Social Media and Employees

St Andrew’s Pre-school recognises that employees may be regular users of social media and has no intention to curtail their use of it beyond reasonable requests to adhere to Safeguarding regulations and professionalism.

• Employees are advised not to reveal publicly on social media that they are employed by St Andrew’s Pre-school.

• Employees must not discuss Pre-school (including colleagues, children, parents or the organisation) in conversations that take place on social media in any way that goes beyond giving out information which is already freely available on the Pre-school website.

• It is recognised that potential parents may ask publicly for opinions on St Andrew’s Pre-school and/or other Pre-schools in the area. Staff are advised not to engage in such discussions.

• If an employee becomes aware of any conversation taking place on social media about St Andrew’s Pre-school, and the tone of that conversation is critical of individual staff members or of the organisation, then it must be reported to the Manager for investigation.

• As tempting as it may be to defend colleagues and/or the organisation, employees should not enter into such conversations, unless it is to repeat information already publicly available on the Pre-school website or to pass on an official statement prepared by the Manager and/or the Committee in response to the discussion.

• Employees must not create any social media friendships with parents of current children at Pre-school – this is so that the Manager can be confident that the correct professional relationships are being maintained between staff and parents.

• Pre-school will make an exception to this rule if an employee has an existing relationship with a child’s parent(s) before that child starts at Pre-school. This rule no longer applies once a child has left Pre-school.

• As per the Cameras and Mobile Devices Policy, employees must not place any images of Pre-school children onto social media.

• Any breaches of this policy will be investigated and could result in disciplinary action being taken against the individual concerned.

Social Media and Volunteers/Work Experience Students

St Andrew’s Pre-school recognises that volunteers and work experience students may be regular users of social media and has no intention to curtail their use of it beyond reasonable requests to adhere to Safeguarding regulations and professionalism. It is also recognised that such individuals may not have the training on Safeguarding that an employee has, so the following brief guidelines are provided:

• Remember that nothing you put onto social media can be considered fully private, no matter how strong your privacy settings are.

• Do not state on social media where you will be volunteering / on placement.

• Do not discuss Pre-school in any way on social media; this includes the organisation, its location, its policies and practices, its staff/committee members, its children and its parents/carers. This rule continues to apply after you have finished your volunteering/work experience and exists to ensure appropriate confidentiality and professionalism can be maintained by the organisation and its staff in relation to how it is presented publicly.

• If you become aware of any discussion taking place on social media about St Andrew’s Pre-school, do not enter into it. However, if anything about the discussion gives you cause for concern, then it should be reported to the Manager.

• Do not attempt to establish any relationships with parents/carers of children at Pre-school on social media during the course of your volunteering/work experience.

• The only exception that will be allowed to this rule is if you have an existing social media relationship with a parent/carer before you began your role with Pre-school.

• As per the Cameras and Mobile Devices Policy, do not take any photographs of Pre-school children on your own phone. If you are asked to take photographs of children then they must only be taken using the camera that belongs to Pre-school.

Social Media and Parents/Carers

St Andrew’s Pre-school recognises that parents/carers and their families may be regular users of social media and has no intention to curtail their use of it beyond reasonable requests to adhere to Safeguarding regulations and professionalism. It is also recognised that such parents/carers may not be wholly familiar with the requirements of Safeguarding, so the following brief guidelines are provided:

• Remember that nothing you put onto social media can be considered fully private, no matter how strong your privacy settings are.

• Be cautious on how you discuss Pre-school in conversations on Social media. Do not reveal:

– the location of Pre-school.
– the names of staff members/volunteers working at Pre-school, or anything else that could reveal their identities.
– The names of other children and their parents/carers who attend Pre-school, or anything else that could reveal their identities.

• If you have any negative opinions or concerns about any aspect of how Pre-school is run, do not discuss it on social media. Such concerns should always be reported to the Manager so that they can be investigated, discussed and resolved formally.

• If any opinions are discussed on social media which result in any detrimental effect on Pre-school, its employees, its children or its parents/carers, then Pre-school will follow formal proceedings to investigate.

• Do not create any social media friendships with staff/volunteers at Pre-school – this is so that the Manager can be confident that the correct professional relationships are being maintained between staff and parents.

• Pre-school will make an exception to this rule if a parent has an existing relationship with an employee/volunteer before your child starts at Pre-school. This rule no longer applies once your child has left Pre-school.

• If you become aware of any conversation taking place on social media about St Andrews Pre-school and the tone of that conversation is critical of individual staff members or of the organisation, then it must be reported to the Manager for investigation.

• The Cameras and Mobile Devices Policy instructs parents/carers that any photographs they take at Pre-school’s special events are for personal use only and should not be put onto any social media channel.

Conditions of Use of a St Andrews Pre-school Parents/Carers Facebook Group

St Andrew’s Pre-school recognises that many parents/carers are regular users of Facebook and that some parents/carers have identified the benefits of having a Facebook group exclusively for current parents/carers. The use of this group would be for announcements/discussions such as:

• Repeating messages given at circle time – this will enable parents/carers who’s children are dropped off by someone else or who do not attend on a particular day to stay informed about important messages.

• Encouraging support of fundraising activities.

• Providing parents/carers who don’t know each other, with a means of contacting each other without having to ask Pre-school to do it for them.

• Sharing of useful information, e.g. suggestions on enhancing/creating nativity play costumes.

• Reuniting lost property to the correct person.

To be able to maintain appropriate controls of professionalism and Safeguarding, Pre-school has identified the following requirements for the management of this group:

• The group must always be kept as a “Secret” group (as opposed to a Closed or Open group) Refer to Definition 1 below.

• Only current parents/carers may be members.

• When new children start at Pre-school, the parents/carers should be sent an invite to join us on e-mail. New parents/carers will be invited to join shortly after the start of the summer holidays before their child starts.

• Membership of the group is entirely voluntary and parents/carers may leave or join at any time.

• When children leave Pre-school, the parents/carers should be removed from the group. This removal should happen shortly after the start of the summer holidays following their last day.

• Members of staff should not join the group – this is to ensure that appropriate standards of professionalism are maintained between parents and staff.

• No posting photographs of any children.

• No posting photographs of any members of staff, volunteers or work experience students.

• There should be 2 or 3 administrators to monitor activity and deal with any issues or activity that break these requirements.

• Any negative discussions about Pre-school and/or its staff should be removed. The individual posting them should be contacted directly by an administrator, to explain the reason for the removal and the issue in discussion should be passed on to the Manager for appropriate follow up.

• Administrators should be the only people inviting parents to join the group. Technically, anyone in a Secret group can invite others to join but this must not be allowed to happen.

• Administrators should share out the role of posting circle time messages based upon which days their children are/are not attending Pre-school.

• Parent Help swaps can be requested on the group but they will not be considered as confirmed until they have been agreed with the Parent Help Rota Co-ordinator.

Definition 1

The definition of how a Secret group differs from an Open or Closed group is as follows:

– Anyone can join but they have to be added or invited by a member.
– Only current and former members can see the group’s name.
– Only current members can see who is in the group.
– Only current and former members can see the group’s description.
– Only current and former members can see the group’s tags.
– Only current members can see what members post in the group.
– Only current members can find the group when doing a search.
– Only current members can see stories about the group on Facebook, such as news feed or search.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Special Educational Needs Policy

AIM

We aim to:

• to welcome and provide appropriate learning opportunities for all children and to have regard to the DFES Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs. This policy is in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2014, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Equality Act 2010 and also reflects our Local Offer. Details of our Local Offer are at the end of this policy.

OBJECTIVES

• The Manager has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the setting’s work including the provision for pupils with special educational needs.

• We will ensure that all children have the same entitlement to a broad based curriculum irrespective of their SEN.

• We will explore all opportunities to provide extra resources to match the child’s individual needs using an IEP (Individual Education Plan).

• We will regularly review, with the parents and any appropriate professionals, the child’s progress and the way forward, which will ensure a planned coordinated approach for the provision of the child’s needs.

• We will provide appropriate opportunities for the development of every child’s self-esteem and encourage full integration into the setting.

• We will evaluate the success of the SEN policy by monitoring the progress of children with SEN.

• Appropriate training will be made available and offered to all staff.

• Staff will be encouraged to establish relationships with other settings to share expertise and training.

• In conjunction with parents, our observations and record keeping will enable us to monitor the child’s needs and progress on an individual basis.

• When a need for a child has been identified, and before any further action is taken, there will be full and on-going discussions with parents. Other professional agencies concerned with the child will be consulted, as appropriate. We will consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment leading on to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC) The SEN coordinator (SENCo) is responsible for managing this process.

• The SEN coordinator (SENCo) for St Andrew’s Pre-school is Hilary Coome who is responsible for the day to day operation of the SEN policy.

LOCAL OFFER

• From September 2014, every Local Authority was required to publish information about services in their area for chidren and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND); and also services outside of the area which children from their area may use. This is known as the “Local Offer”.

• The Local Offer puts all the information about education, health and care services, voluntary agencies, leisure activities and support groups in one place. It has two main purposes:-

– To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available.

– To make provision more responsive to local needs.

• The Government says that the Local Offer must be developed and reviewed in partnership with children and young people, parents/carers and local services, including early years’ settings, schools, colleges, health and social care agencies.

• Reading has worked in partnership with other Local Authorities in the Berkshire area to deliver a Local Offer which will be consistent as far as possible and which will allow for information sharing across Local Authority boundaries where this is appropriate.

• The Children and Families Act (2014) introduces many changes to the special educational needs (SEN) system:-

– A new single plan to replace the statement of special educational needs that will include Education, Health and Social Care.

– School action and school action plus to be replaced by a new school based category, “Additional SEN Support”.

– A local offer for parents.

– A new SEN Code of Practice.

– Personal budgets for those with a single plan.

– Mediation for parents going to Tribunal.

– Individual Action Plans to cease.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Staffing and Employment Policy

A high ratio of adults to children is essential to providing good quality Pre-school care. We have:

• one member of staff to every 5 children.

• 6 staff out of a team of 9 are fully qualified to Management level (NNEB or NVQ3).

• a Key Person system, ensuring that each child has one particular staff member who has a special interest in them, planning and extending them as individuals during their Pre-school sessions. Children may change Key Person but in our setting, they benefit from knowing all staff members who will observe and assess all the children in the group during different activities.

• regular staff meetings, providing opportunities for staff to plan the curriculum and discuss the children’s progress.

• worked towards an equal opportunity employment policy, seeking to offer opportunities equally to men and women, with and without disabilities, from all religious, social and cultural groups.

• access to regular in-service training for all staff through the Pre-school Learning Alliance, Reading Borough Council and other professional bodies.

• a financial strategy that includes training and overtime costs.

• committed ourselves to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation.

• DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks for all staff employed by the group.

• regularly monitor and support our staff and carry out annual appraisals. All staff have job descriptions and contracts of employment which stipulate adherence to the Pre-school’s stated policies.

Any allegation of abuse or malpractice by a member of staff will be taken seriously and appropriate action taken.

If an allegation is proven, advice will be sought from OFSTED. Similarly, if an allegation is proved to be invalid or unsubstantiated, after thorough investigation, advice would again be sought from OFSTED.

Details of our disciplinary and grievance procedures are available for Staff and Committee on the share point of Office 365.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Special Educational Needs Policy

AIM

We aim to:

• to welcome and provide appropriate learning opportunities for all children and to have regard to the DFES Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs. This policy is in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2014, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), the Equality Act 2010 and also reflects our Local Offer. Details of our Local Offer are at the end of this policy.

OBJECTIVES

• The Manager has overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the setting’s work including the provision for pupils with special educational needs.

• We will ensure that all children have the same entitlement to a broad based curriculum irrespective of their SEN.

• We will explore all opportunities to provide extra resources to match the child’s individual needs using an IEP (Individual Education Plan).

• We will regularly review, with the parents and any appropriate professionals, the child’s progress and the way forward, which will ensure a planned coordinated approach for the provision of the child’s needs.

• We will provide appropriate opportunities for the development of every child’s self-esteem and encourage full integration into the setting.

• We will evaluate the success of the SEN policy by monitoring the progress of children with SEN.

• Appropriate training will be made available and offered to all staff.

• Staff will be encouraged to establish relationships with other settings to share expertise and training.

• In conjunction with parents, our observations and record keeping will enable us to monitor the child’s needs and progress on an individual basis.

• When a need for a child has been identified, and before any further action is taken, there will be full and on-going discussions with parents. Other professional agencies concerned with the child will be consulted, as appropriate. We will consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment leading on to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC) The SEN coordinator (SENCo) is responsible for managing this process.

• The SEN coordinator (SENCo) for St Andrew’s Pre-school is Hilary Coome who is responsible for the day to day operation of the SEN policy.

LOCAL OFFER

• From September 2014, every Local Authority was required to publish information about services in their area for chidren and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND); and also services outside of the area which children from their area may use. This is known as the “Local Offer”.

• The Local Offer puts all the information about education, health and care services, voluntary agencies, leisure activities and support groups in one place. It has two main purposes:-

– To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available.

– To make provision more responsive to local needs.

• The Government says that the Local Offer must be developed and reviewed in partnership with children and young people, parents/carers and local services, including early years’ settings, schools, colleges, health and social care agencies.

• Reading has worked in partnership with other Local Authorities in the Berkshire area to deliver a Local Offer which will be consistent as far as possible and which will allow for information sharing across Local Authority boundaries where this is appropriate.

• The Children and Families Act (2014) introduces many changes to the special educational needs (SEN) system:-

– A new single plan to replace the statement of special educational needs that will include Education, Health and Social Care.

– School action and school action plus to be replaced by a new school based category, “Additional SEN Support”.

– A local offer for parents.

– A new SEN Code of Practice.

– Personal budgets for those with a single plan.

– Mediation for parents going to Tribunal.

– Individual Action Plans to cease.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Transition Policy

Settling into an early years setting is a time of crucial importance to a child’s later happiness in the setting. All children are individuals and while some children will adjust fairly easily to the new environment and new routines, others will take longer to feel comfortable and secure.

As parents and as early years practitioners, we can take steps to ensure that the transition into the early years setting goes as smoothly as possible.

Children who have a positive start to their new environment are more likely to feel comfortable, relaxed and valued, feel good about themselves as learners and have a sense of belonging to the Pre-school community.

Before starting Pre-school

• Before children start at St Andrew’s Pre-school, parents and carers are invited to attend an Induction session. During the evening, committee and staff will lead a short presentation giving information about how we run our setting.

• Parents are required to complete all necessary documentation including our ‘All about me’ leaflet. The information in the leaflet provides Key staff with details, such as whether the child has any siblings and their position in the family. It also covers information about the child including their likes, dislikes, food allergies and favourite toys. Other questions include anyone known to them at Pre-school, if the child shares their sessions with another setting, or has attended any toddler groups. The Key Person uses the information as the basis for planning to support the child’s development and learning.

• From September 2016, St Andrew’s Pre-school have improved links with families further by offering all new families and carers a home visit before the child starts with us at St Andrew’s Pre-school.

Visiting Pre-school

• During the summer term, families are invited to visit the setting to see how we run a Pre-school session. It gives the children and parent or carer time to meet the staff and to meet other children.

Settling in

• A gentle introduction allows children and their carers to get to know the staff and daily routine, as well as becoming familiar with the environment. We find this method highly successful; children feel relaxed, happy and confident, as do their parents/carers. Our partnership with parents is very important; they must have trust and confidence in those looking after their children.

• We reassure all families that St Andrew’s Pre-school will support them for as long as it takes the child to settle in. We support parents/carers of children who seem to be taking a long time to settle in and give advice and suggestions to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Assessment at Pre-school

• The Key Person completes a development check within half a term of the child starting with us. We share this with the parents and carers.

• Frequent assessments are made regularly for each child. Key Persons use the online tracking system ‘Tapestry’.

• Key Persons produce a report for parents at the end of the Autumn term. During the Spring term we hold a parents consultation evening and in the summer term an end of year, or Transition report is written.

• Parents are encouraged to review their child’s online ‘Tapestry’ journal regularly. Key Persons are available to talk to parents about the development of their child at any time. We liaise closely with other settings if sharing a child.

Transition to school

• During the Autumn term, families receive a ‘Starting school’ pack from Reading Borough Council via our setting. The pack contains all information required for parents to make their application to their preferred schools. Pre-school staff know the local schools well and we are happy to answer any questions that parents may have about the next step in their child’s education.

• Once school places are offered in the Spring term, our Pre-school Manager arranges visits to our feeder schools.

• During the second half of the summer term, we incorporate Transition into our planning for the children. Ways in which we do this include turning the role-play area into a school classroom, having school uniforms available for dressing up time and practising tasks such as carrying a lunchtime tray, or changing for P.E.

• Staff regularly share reference and story books relating to starting school with the children.

• Staff and children enjoy sharing transition leaflets provided by our feeder schools.

• A Transition report is sent directly to the feeder schools during the summer term before children leave Pre-school. This includes assessments using the seven areas of learning, the development stages of the child, parents’ hopes and fears for the transition and comments from the Key Person.

• For children with any additional or Special Educational Needs, a transition meeting is arranged with the school, the child’s parents’ and our Pre-school SENCo.

• For any child moving on to another Nursery, or Pre-school, staff complete the same Transition report which is then sent to the other setting with parental permission.

• If the other setting uses ‘Tapestry’, we are able to share and/or access the journal using with a password and parental permission.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Whistle Blowing Policy

What concerns are covered?

St Andrew’s Pre-school expects employees who have serious concerns about any aspect of their work to voice their concerns internally, either with the Manager or Chair of Committee, within the organisation rather than overlooking the problem.

We also wish to encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns and to question and act upon concerns and malpractice.

This policy was written to supplement, rather than replace, the existing Complaints Policy Procedure. Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific procedures, e.g. Child Protection, will normally be referred under its own procedures.

This Policy is intended to cover serious concerns that fall outside other procedures and may relate to something which:

• Is against Financial Regulations and policies.

• Falls below established standards of practice.

• Amounts to improper conduct, including something that is believed to be:

– Against the law.
– A Health & Safety risk.
– Damaging to the environment.
– A misuse of money.
– Corruption or unethical conduct.
– Abuse of clients or service users.

Who can an employee raise a concern with?

The employee should firstly raise their concerns with their Manager. However if they do not feel that this is possible, they should approach the current Chair of Committee.

How does an employee raise a concern?

Concerns may be raised verbally or in writing. Staff who wish to make a written report are advised to set out the background and history of the concern, giving names, dates and places, where possible, and the reasons for making the disclosure. This will make the investigation easier to complete.

Although a member of staff is not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of the allegation, they will need to demonstrate that they have an honest and reasonable suspicion that malpractice has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur.

How will the concern be dealt with?

St Andrew’s Pre-school will respond to any concerns raised. In order to protect a member of staff who raises a concern and those accused of wrong-doing, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. Such initial enquiries have to be dealt with promptly, thoroughly, impartially and confidentially, in accordance with the Procedure.

The management team (Chair and Manager) or if the complaint relates to the Manager (Chair and Co Chair), will acknowledge the concern immediately and then in writing within two weeks, giving an indication of how the concern will/or has been dealt with. If it has not been dealt with, the letter will include an indication of how long the procedure will take.

Initial Enquiries

As part of the initial enquiry, the member of the management team may meet with the employee to gather information or clarify certain details. Employees must co-operate fully with the investigation and disclose all relevant information. The member of the management team will record, in written format, all meetings.

If other employees are able / willing to substantiate the concern, they should also meet with the member of the management team dealing with the concern.

If the management team believe other employees are aware, but do not feel able to come forward, then the management team should approach them, reassuring them that their concerns will be treated confidentially.

Possible outcome of initial enquiries

Depending on the nature of the concern, and the evidence found, possible outcomes include:

• Unable to investigate due to anonymous report and not enough information to proceed.

• If the concern was shared but was inaccurate, no further investigation would be carried out.

• Where there is believed to be grounds for concern then further investigation will be carried out.

Further investigations

Dependant on the nature of the concern e.g. suspected fraud, theft, serious malpractice etc., the management team may investigate further.

Care needs to be taken when carrying out the investigation to:

• Protect the employee(s) concerned.

• Avoid alerting anyone about whom a concern has been raised (where appropriate).

• Avoid alerting other employees who may then warn the subject of the concern.

• Record the information as the record may be used in a formal hearing, if it is a serious complaint.

• Keep all records secure and confidential.

Untrue allegations

If an employee raises a concern in good faith, but it is subsequently confirmed by the investigation to be untrue, no action will be taken against the employee. However, if the allegation is found to have been made maliciously or for personal gain, disciplinary action may be taken against the employee.

APPENDIX 1

Within Berkshire, the LSCB is able to act as an independent body where staff and volunteers can direct Whistleblowing concerns around children’s safeguarding, if they have exhausted all the identified options within our setting. It is important to state that this is not another route to raise Safeguarding concerns about a child that you are working with.

Version 2.0 (reviewed August 2017)

Withdrawal Policy

• Once a family has formally accepted a place for their child at St Andrew’s Pre-school, this forms a binding agreement between both parties.

• Should a family wish to withdraw their child from Pre-school, we will require a full term’s notice, in writing, of their intention to leave. This is necessary to give the Pre-school Administrator and Manager sufficient time to re-allocate the sessions and budget accordingly.

• For example, if a family provides written notice on 12 November to withdraw their child from Pre-school at the end of the Winter term (in December), the family would be charged fees for the whole of the following term (until the end of the Spring Term), as we receive funding on a termly basis.

Version 1.0 (reviewed August 2017)