Policies


Our Policies are reviewed and updated annually. Some of our policies are listed here, the remainder can be viewed in the setting.

ADMISSIONS POLICY

Statement of intent

It is our intention to make our Pre-school accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community.

Aim

We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

Methods

In order to achieve our aim, we operate the following admissions policy.

  • We ensure that the existence of the Pre-School is widely advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community.
  • We ensure that information about our setting is accessible - in written and spoken form.
  • The setting operates an inclusive practice; children with additional needs are welcomed in our Pre-School. We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it enables children with disabilities to take part in the life of the Pre-School.
  • Visits by parents and carers and children are welcome and encouraged prior to booking a place at the setting.
  • Parents and carers of children with additional needs will be expected to provide the setting with information relevant to their child. This will enable the setting to cater for the child’s needs, enabling the best care of the child. It is the setting’s aim to accept all children with additional needs, (in line with our Equality and Diversity policy), and a timed, planned entry may be required in order to accommodate their needs. This would be subject to appropriate staffing, premises, equipment and insurance being available. The management will consider all requests for places for children with additional needs.
  • When possible, admissions will be staggered to ensure that new children receive the attention they need to enable them to settle quickly and securely.
Admissions List
  • The number of children attending will be strictly regulated so that the maximum legally permitted is not exceeded. The Admissions List will be kept by the Pre-school manager and monitored by the management team.
  • We describe our setting and its practices in terms which make it clear that it welcomes fathers and mothers, other relations and other carers, including childminders.
  • We describe our setting and its practices in terms of how it treats individuals, regardless of their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, background, religion, ethnicity or competence in spoken English.
  • We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that no accidental discrimination is taking place.
  • Parents or carers will also be asked to provide the setting with any further information, which they feel will enable us to take the best care of their children. An All About Me Booklet shared between the Pre-School and the home will include information about your child’s routines, particular likes and dislikes for example.
  • If a child does not attend their allocated place at the Pre-School for 2 consecutive weeks and the parents and carers fail to notify the Pre-school Manager their child’s place maybe forfeited.
  • When parents or carers are present at the Pre-School during session time, the Pre-School will operate in the normal way. The parent or carer will be able to see the regular pattern of what happens during the day. In accordance with our Safeguarding Children Policy, parents and carers and any other visitors will not be left unsupervised with any children, or use a mobile phone in the Pre-School rooms and garden. All mobile phones to be kept in the Pre-school office.
Settling in procedures

Staff realise that starting at the Pre-School can be a difficult time for both children and their parents and carers and wish to do everything possible to make it easier for all concerned. It is of paramount importance to the setting that all children will be treated with the greatest care and consideration. A child starting Pre-School should feel comfortable, cared for and settled as quickly as possible. Parents and carers of children who are finding it difficult to settle into the Pre-School, will be kept fully informed of their child’s progress and consulted about different strategies to help settle the child into the Pre-School. Parents and carers are welcome to telephone at any time to speak to a member of staff regarding their child.

Any complaints regarding our admissions procedures should be initially made in writing to the Pre-School Manager who will see that the complaint is dealt with in accordance to the complaints procedure.

ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES

  • There is a system for registering children and staff attendance on a daily basis by way of a timed register. Children and staff ‘self-register’ by using a named apple on a tree.
  • There is a system for registering the attendance of visitors on a daily basis, logged in a visitor’s book. If the visitor is unknown, identification is checked. It is the responsibility of the member of staff overseeing the visitor to ensure that this happens.
  • Full details of each child are obtained from the information given to the Pre-School on the registration form. The information must include work, home, and mobile phone numbers, where applicable. Also the named people who may be contacted in an emergency and their details.
  • On arrival to the setting children, parents and carers are welcomed into the Pre-School.
  • The daily register is marked by a staff member when each child enters through the door.
  • Departures from the setting, for children who are sessional their parents or carers are let into the garden by a staff member and they wait by the main door of the Pre-school, for their child to be called to them.
  • If an adult other than the usual person collecting a child is collecting, then the setting must be notified beforehand by the parents and carers via a form/ slip and this information noted in a communications book by staff and information told to all staff on duty that day.
  • If anyone is to collect other than the parent/carer, they must be over the age of 16.
  • The staff will request the password given by the parents and carers from the authorised person who is collecting.
  • At departure time parents and carers may be asked to wait to talk to a member of staff about any information that needs to be passed on, any forms that may require discussion, or a signature, any concerns or queries a staff member may have.
  • Parents and carers are asked to wait until after the children have departed, which is then an ideal opportunity for parents and carers who may wish to discuss their child’s day with the staff in more depth and confidentially.
  • Parents and carers are welcomed into the setting at any time of the day that is convenient to all parties by appointment.
  • In the event of a non-collection of a child the Non-Collection of children policy is implemented.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Aim

The aim of this policy is to ensure that parents and carers have a clear understanding of their responsibility for keeping the Pre-School informed regarding the care of their child and the process that it may undertake.

Method

If your child is or going to be absent from Pre-School you will need to inform the Pre-School either prior to the planned absence or on the day informing the Pre-School as to why they are not in and when you expect them to come back. Please phone using 0118 9519973 or email us via contact form to report an absence.

We record and monitor children’s absences.

If your child has been absent for 3 sessions in a row and you have not informed us we will contact, you in the first instance by phone to talk to you about their absence and their expected return.

If we are unable to contact by phone we will send you a letter/email and ask for a reply either by phone or post/email.

If this has been unsuccessful we may hand deliver a letter or visit your home address to speak to you in person to find out the reasons as to why they are absent.

If your child is in receipt of 2-year funding, we will notify Reading Borough Council’s Early Years team.

If your child is on a Child Protection Plan or a Child in Need Plan, we will notify the nominated social worker.

BEHAVIOUR POLICY

Statement of intent

Parkside Pre-school believes that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.

Aim

We aim to teach children to behave in socially acceptable ways and to understand the needs and rights of others. The principles guiding the management of behaviour exist within the Early Years Foundation Stage for supporting Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Methods
  • We require all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents, carers and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy.
  • We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require staff to be aware of and respect those used by everyone at the setting.
  • We familiarise new staff and volunteers with the setting’s behaviour policy and its rules for behaviour.
  • We work in partnership with parents and carers. Parents and carers are regularly informed about their children's behaviour by staff.
  • We expect all members of our Pre-school staff, children, parents, volunteers and students to adhere to the Behaviour Policy and ensure that it is applied consistently.
Strategies with children who engage in inappropriate behaviour
  • We expect all members of the setting - children, parents, carers, staff, volunteers and students - to keep to the strategies, requiring these to be applied consistently.
  • When children behave in unacceptable ways, we help them to see what was wrong and how to cope more appropriately.
  • We only use physical restraint, such as holding, to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property. Details of such an event, a parent is informed on the same day.
  • In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, we make clear immediately the unacceptability of the behaviour and attitudes, by means of explanations rather than personal blame.
  • We handle children's unacceptable behaviour in ways which are appropriate to their ages and stages of development - for example by distraction, acknowledgement of feelings and supporting children to gain control of their feelings so that they can learn a more appropriate response.
  • We require all staff, volunteers and students to use positive strategies for handling any conflict by helping children find solutions in ways which are appropriate for the children's ages and stages of development - for example distraction, praise and reward.
  • We ensure that there is a wide range of stimulating equipment and resources and sufficient activities available so that children are meaningfully occupied without the need for unnecessary conflict over sharing and waiting for turns.
  • We praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share.
  • We support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
  • We support each child in developing a sense of belonging in our Pre-School, so that they feel valued and welcome.
  • We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for inappropriate behaviour.
  • When children behave in inconsiderate ways, we help them to understand the outcomes of their actions and support them in learning how to cope more appropriately.
Children under three years
  • When children under three behave in inconsiderate ways we recognise that strategies for supporting them will need to be developmentally appropriate and differ from those for older children.
  • We recognise that very young children are unable to regulate their own emotions, such as fear, anger or distress and require sensitive adults to support them.
  • Common inappropriate or hurtful behaviours of young children include tantrums, biting or fighting. Staff are calm and patient, offering comfort to intense emotions, supporting children to manage their feelings and talk about them to help resolve issues and promote understanding.
Rough and tumble play and fantasy aggression

Young children often engage in play that has aggressive themes, such as superhero and weapon play, some children appear pre-occupied with these themes, but their behaviour is not necessarily a precursor to hurtful behaviour or bullying, although it may be inappropriate at times and may need addressing using strategies as above.

  • We recognise that rough and tumble play are normal for young children and acceptable within limits. We regard these kinds of play as pro-social and not as problematic or aggressive.
  • We will develop strategies to contain play that are agreed with children, and understood by them, with acceptable behaviour boundaries to ensure children are not hurt.
  • We recognise that fantasy play also contains many violently dramatic strategies, blowing up, shooting and sword fighting, and that themes often refer to goodies and baddies and as such offer opportunities for children to explore concepts of right and wrong. However, we will discourage the making and playing of guns and weapons.
  • When children are involved in fantasy play we encourage empathy and lateral thinking to explore alternative scenarios and strategies for conflict resolution.
Hurtful behaviour

We take hurtful behaviour very seriously. Young children will at some stage hurt or say something hurtful to another child, especially if their emotions are high at the time, but this is not helpful to label this behaviour as bullying. This hurtful behaviour can be momentarily spontaneous and often without cognisance of feelings of the person who they have hurt.

  • We recognise that young children behave in hurtful ways towards others because they have not yet developed the means to manage intense feelings that sometimes overwhelm them.
  • We will assist children to manage these feelings as they are unable to do this for themselves.
  • We support children to self-manage their emotions by calming the child who is angry as well as the one who has been hurt by the behaviour.
  • Our way of responding to pre-verbal children is to calm them through holding and cuddling. Verbal children will also respond to cuddling to calm them down, but we offer them explanation and discuss the incident with them to their level of understanding.
  • We recognise that young children require help in understanding the range of feelings experienced. We assist children to recognise their feelings by naming them and helping children to express them, making a connection verbally between the event and the feeling.
  • We assist young children to learn to empathise with others, understanding that they have feelings too and that their actions impact on others feelings, and to develop pro-social behaviour.
  • We are aware that this behaviour may reoccur before skills such as sharing and turn-taking develop. Children will need repeated experiences with problem solving, supported by adults and clear boundaries.
  • We support social skills through modelling behaviour, through activities, drama and stories. We build self-esteem and confidence in children, recognising their emotional needs through close and committed relationships with them.
  • We support children to understand the effect that their hurtful behaviour has had on another child; we do not force children to say sorry, but encourage empathy towards the person they have hurt.
Bullying

Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. We take bullying very seriously.

It is characterised by intent to hurt, often planned and accompanied by an awareness of the impact of the bullying behaviour.

If a child bullies another child or children:

  • We show the children who have been bullied that we are able to listen to their concerns and act upon them;
  • We intervene to stop the child harming the other child or children;
  • We explain to the child doing the bullying why their behaviour is inappropriate;
  • We give reassurance to the child or children who have been bullied;
  • We help the child who has done the bullying to recognise the impact of their actions;
  • We make sure that children who bully receive praise when they display acceptable behaviour;
  • We do not label children who bully;
  • We recognise that children who bully may be experiencing bullying themselves, or be subject to abuse or other circumstances causing them to express their anger in negative ways towards others;
  • When children bully, we discuss what has happened with their parents and carers and work out with them a plan for handling the child's behaviour; and
  • When children have been bullied, we share what has happened with their parents, explaining that the child who did the bullying is being helped to adopt more acceptable ways of behaving.
  • We recognise that children who bully may not be able to empathise with others, for this reason we do not force children to say sorry, but encourage the child to think about the consequences of their actions towards the other child.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Statement of Intent

Parkside Pre-school believes that children, parents and carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our Pre-School and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.

Aim

We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

Methods

To achieve this, we operate the following complaints procedure;

How to complain

Stage 1

  • Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the provision talks over, first of all, their worries and anxieties with the Pre-School Manager or Deputy Manager.

Stage 2

  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the Pre-School Manager or Deputy Manager.
  • Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at Stage 1 or at Stage 2.

Stage 3

  • The parent requests a meeting with the Pre-School Manager and the Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Reading. The parent may wish a partner or friend present. An agreed written record of the discussion is made. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.
  • This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

Stage 4

  • If at the Stage 3 meeting the parent and Pre-School Manager cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help to settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
  • The mediator keeps all discussions confidential. They can hold separate meetings with the Pre-School personnel (Pre-School Manager and Chief Executive Officer) and the parent, if this is decided to be helpful. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice they give.

Stage 5

  • When the mediator has concluded their investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the Pre-School Manager and the Chief Executive Officer is held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator's advice is used to reach this conclusion. The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.
  • A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

The role of the Office for Standards in Education, Early Years Directorate (Ofsted) and Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of our registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements are adhered to.

The telephone number of our Ofsted regional centre is:

These details are displayed on our Pre-School notice board.

If a child appears to be at risk, our Pre-School follows the procedures of the Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) in our local authority.

In these cases, both the parent and Pre-School are informed and the Pre-School Manager works with Ofsted and the Reading Safeguarding Children Board LSCB) to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.

Records

A record of complaints against our settings and/or the children and/or the adults working in our Pre-School is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.

FEES POLICY

Parkside Pre-School understands that the cost of registered childcare may seem expensive to a parent/carer. However, providing a high quality, secure and stimulating service for children is not inexpensive and to ensure the continued high standards and sustainability of Parkside Pre-school, it must ask the parent/carers to respect its policy in respect of fees.

  • The level of fees will be set by The Management of YMCA Reading, and reviewed annually in the light of, Parkside Pre-school’s financial position, its future strategic plans and any other broader economic or social considerations deemed relevant.
  • Payment of fees should be made half termly in advance (usually 6 or 7 weeks), as set out on the invoice.
  • Payments should be made by the date on the invoice.
  • If the fees are not paid on time, Parkside Pre-school will notify the parent/carer in writing and request payment at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • The Pre-school Management has the right to issue a formal warning to the parent/carer and inform them that continued late payment will result in their child’s place at Parkside Pre-school being forfeited.
  • If fees are paid persistently late or not at all with no explanation, Parkside Pre-school will be forced to terminate that child’s place. Under exceptional circumstances, the Pre-school Management may agree to allow the child to continue attending Parkside Pre-school for the remainder of the week.
  • YMCA Reading reserves the right to pursue amounts of outstanding monies through the County Courts.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to speak to a member of staff or the Pre-school Management if they have any query about the fees policy, or if, for any reason, they are likely to have difficulty in making a payment on time. Parents/carers are strongly advised to arrange a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity, to avoid jeopardising their child’s place at Parkside Pre-school.
  • Fees can be paid by cash or BACS transfer using the details on your invoice.

OUTINGS POLICY

Policy Statement

Children benefit from being taken out of Pre-School to go on visits or trips to local parks or other suitable venues for activities which enhance their learning experiences. We ensure that there are procedures to keep children safe on outings; all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the procedures below.

Procedures
  • Parents/carers sign a general consent on the Registration Form for their child to be taken out as a part of the routine activities of the Pre-School.
  • A second consent form will detail the specific venue, activity and travel arrangements. This will also need to be signed by parents/carers.
  • A check of the suitability of the venue is always carried out before each visit.
  • A risk assessment for each venue is carried out, which is reviewed regularly.
  • A risk assessment is carried out before an outing takes place.
  • Our adult to child ratio is high, normally one adult to two children.
  • Named children are assigned to individual staff to ensure each child is individually supervised, to ensure no child goes astray, and that there is no unauthorised access to children.
  • Staff take a mobile phone on outings, and supplies of tissues, wipes, changes of clothing, as well as a mini first aid pack, snacks and water. The amount of equipment will vary and be consistent with the venue and the number of children as well as how long they will be out for.
  • Staff take a list of children with them with contact numbers of parents/carers.
  • A minimum of two staff should accompany children on outings. At least one of these will be level 3 qualified and have Paediatric first aid training. A minimum of two members of staff should remain behind with the rest of the children.
  • During the outing, the children will each wear a high vis vest.
  • In the unlikely event that child should become lost, our Missing Child Policy will come in to effect.

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY

Statement of intent

We recognise that the welfare of all children is paramount and that all children and young people; regardless of ability or culture, have equal rights of protection. We have a duty of care when they are in our charge and will do everything we can to provide a safe and caring environment whilst they attend our setting.

Aims
Our aims are to:
  • create an environment in our setting which encourages children to develop a positive self-image, regardless of race, language, religion, culture or home background;
  • help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults;
  • encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence;
  • enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches; and work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all our children.
The legal framework for this work is:
  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974 & 2001)
  • The Children Act (1989, 2004 & 2006)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)
  • Data Protection Act (1998)
  • The Protection of Children Act (2004)
  • Disability Discrimination Act (1995 & 2005)
  • Race Relations Amendment Act (2000)
  • Prevent Duty Act (2014)
  • Working together to Safeguard children (2015)
  • Disclosure and Barring service (DBS) and safer recruitment
  • Family law act (1996)
  • Violence, crime and victims act (2005) which also include The female genital mutilation act (2003) (FGM) Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Forced marriage (2007)
Links with other policies
  • Code of conduct
  • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Behaviour management
  • Health and safety
  • Confidentiality
  • Camera mobile phone use
  • Nappy changing
  • Arrivals and departure
  • Non-collection of children
Liaison with other bodies
  • We work within the Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)
  • We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident that has occurred in the setting and any changes in our arrangements which affect the wellbeing of children.
  • We have procedures for contacting the local authority on safeguarding issues.
  • If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the Reading Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures in deciding whether we must inform the child's parents at the same time.
  • The Reading Safeguarding Children’s Board (LADO) Jeremy Curtis 0118 9373555 or for email referrals LADO@reading.gov.uk
  • Children's single point of access 0118 9373641, Child Referral form, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm out of hours Emergency Duty team 01344 786543
  • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH):
  • Ofsted Telephone 0300 1231231
  • Prevent Duty Thames Valley Police:
Methods
  • The named safeguarding officers for this setting are Alison Bennett and deputy lead is Marie Nolan.
  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • Applicants for posts within the Pre-school are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 & 2001. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the Pre-School or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • We abide by the Protection of Children Act 1999 requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.
  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.
  • Photographs of children are taken on the setting camera with the permission from parents and carers if they are to be displayed outside of the setting or on the Pre-School walls. The permission is recorded on the Registration Form.
  • We request that parents and carers tell us if someone else is collecting. The collection of children by unknown persons is operated with a password system - please refer to our Arrivals and Departure Policy.
  • Non-Collection of children. When Pre-School staff have followed the Non-Collection of children policy and have been unable to contact named persons on the child’s registration form, then the Police will be informed and advice as to how to proceed next.
  • Staff are required to keep all personal items including mobile phones in the office. If staff need to use their mobile phone for emergencies whilst at work, it will be kept in the Pre-School manager’s office and not used in the Pre-School where the children are. Camera, mobile phone policy
  • Nappy changing for children is carried out in accordance with the Nappy Changing Procedures.
  • Children who need a change of clothing are encouraged to do this independently, however, a member of staff will help the child to undress or dress. The staff ensure that the child’s privacy is maintained whilst the staff member is within sight and hearing distance of another member of staff.
Disciplinary Action

Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the setting or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Department of Health administrators so that the name may be included on the List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Training

We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the setting to ensure that they are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and so that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals. We ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the Pre-school.

Planning

The layout of the rooms allows for constant supervision. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, quiet soft areas are provided.

Planning for Learning
  • We introduce key elements of child protection into our Early Years Foundation Stage, so that children can develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the Pre-School a culture of value and respect for the individual.
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stages of our children.
Complaints and Whistleblowing
  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteers actions within the Pre-School, which may include an allegation of abuse.
  • We follow the procedures of Reading Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) when investigating any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child.
  • We follow all the disclosure and recording procedures when investigating an allegation that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child as if it were an allegation of abuse by any other person.
Responding to suspicions of abuse
  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms - physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour, or in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur, or where children's play gives cause for concern, the Pre-school will investigate.
  • All investigations are carried out with sensitivity. Staff in the Pre-School take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or ask questions of children.
  • Where a child shows signs and symptoms of 'failure to thrive' or neglect, we make appropriate referrals.
Assurance for those raising concerns or reporting child abuse

Any employee, or child using this procedure is assured that their concerns will be treated seriously and sensitively. Every effort will be made to ensure the anonymity of the person raising the concern. However, it is not possible to give absolute guarantees of confidentiality, especially if the matter raised results in action being taken by one or more legal authority.

The Pre-School will not tolerate harassment of any employee, or child who raises a concern and such harassment will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedures.

For monitoring and recording purposes the manager will maintain a register of concerns raised and the resolution reached.

Misuse of the procedure

Malicious complaints about an employee and or the serious and persistent abuse of the procedures available to raise concerns of child abuse will not be tolerated and will be dealt with through a disciplinary procedure.

Employees are forbidden to discuss any suspected or proven allegation of child abuse with;

  • Anyone within the provision other than in the course of the official reporting procedures as set out in this policy.
  • A member of any external agency or authority other than as part of the formal reporting procedure as set out in this policy or in relation to a formal investigation into the case.
  • Any other interested party including parents, relatives and or carers of the child, without the express permission of the management to do so.
  • All enquiries from the media concerning an alleged or proven allegation of child abuse should be referred to the management. Any direct question should be answered with the words "No Comment".
Disclosures

Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:

  • offers reassurance to the child;
  • listens to the child; and
  • gives reassurance that she or he will take action.

The member of staff does not question the child

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

Staff make a record of:

  • The child's name;
  • The child's address;
  • The age of the child;
  • The date and time of the observation or the disclosure;
  • An objective record of the observation or disclosure;
  • The exact words spoken by the child;
  • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time; and
  • The names of any other person present at the time.

These records are signed and dated and kept in a separate confidential file.

All members of staff know the procedures for recording and reporting to the designated person or deputy.

Informing Parents

Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the procedures of the Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) does not allow this. This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

Confidentiality

All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the procedures of the Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Support to families
  • The Pre-School takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • The Pre-School continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child only if appropriate under the procedures of the Reading Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).
  • With the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount, we do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.
Allegations Made Against Staff or Volunteers

If an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff or volunteer, the manager will be informed as soon as possible. All concerns and allegations will be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality. Please refer to the procedures above.

OFSTED will be informed of any allegations of abuse against a member of staff or volunteer, or any abuse that is alleged to have taken place on the premises or during a visit or outing. We will follow any guidelines or advice given to us.

Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation. This will be in line with support and advice from LADO. All enquires, external investigations and interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities. The setting retains the right to suspend any member of staff in connection with any allegations made, following the advice of LADO and OFSTED. The setting retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry. Support will be available for any member of staff in the setting who has been affected by an allegation, as well as their colleagues in the setting and the parents and carers.

DATA PROTECTION PRIVACY STATEMENT

Sharing information with others

As a Pre-School it is necessary for us to collect personal information about you and your child. Sometimes we have to confirm or share information with other organisations. If we need to do this, we will make it clear to you on the forms you complete giving us the information. We will inform you before sharing any of your or your child’s information.

In some cases, a third-party organisation, such as a funding body, may require you to sign an agreement to allow your information to be shared e.g. on a funding form. Please read all paperwork thoroughly before signing, so that you know exactly how your information will be used.

Information

We will make sure that the information about you is accurate and up to date when we collect or use it. You can help us with this by keeping us informed of any changes to the information we hold about you.

Information security

We will keep information about you and your child secure. We will protect your information against unauthorised change, damage, loss or theft. All information collected on paper forms is kept locked away. Our computer systems are password protected.

Keeping information

We will hold information about you and your child only for as long as the law says. After this, we will dispose of it securely.

Openness

We will tell you what kinds of information we hold and what we do with it.

Access and correctness

Whenever possible, we will let you see the information we hold about you and correct it if it is wrong. We will comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and any subsequent legislation on information handling and privacy. We will help you with any questions or problems that you may have with the Data Protection Act 2018, the Human Rights Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If we cannot help you, we will give you advice on where to write to get the information you may need.

Our Commitment

We will only collect information that is necessary for what we do. We will be fair in the way we collect information about you. We will tell you what we intend to do with the information about you. Where practicable, we will collect information directly from you. If we collect information about you from someone else, we will make sure you know that we have done this whenever possible.

Types of information we collect

Yours and your child’s full names; Your child’s date of birth; Your address; Your contact numbers and those of your emergency contacts; Your email address; Your child’s medical conditions and your National insurance number.

While your child is with us we store information regarding:

Their ongoing progress and development; photographs of them; Accident records; medication records.