1. Communication with parents
We firmly believe that close co-operation and communication with parents has a profound effect on the service we can offer. The nursery does all it can to encourage and enable comprehensive communication to take place between parents and staff. The Nursery Manager or your child's key worker may be approached at any time to discuss matters of your child's welfare, at a time convenient to both parties. Each child has a communication book. In this book parents receive brief details of routines and activities. There is also provision for parents to put written comments in the book such as feedback or essential information for the coming day. In addition, regular written reports are compiled giving indications of progress in key areas of child development. In the entrance hall we have a parents board, feel free to write any comments or suggestions, named or unnamed and leave for Erskine staff to observe.
2. Safety and Security
Providing a safe and secure environment for both children and staff is of prime importance at all times and is never compromised. Children will not be left unsupervised in the nursery rooms, outside in the play area or when off the premises. Staff to children ratios are followed as to national standards.
All external entrances to the premises will be kept locked. All inquiries from parents should be to the rear door. Visitors should report to the garden door. This ensures that no person can gain access unannounced.
Children can only be released to parents known to the staff or to other nominated individuals whose names have been lodged with the Nursery on the Registration Form, in advance. In the event that staff members are suspicious as to the identity of anyone seeking to collect a child, the nursery will contact a parent before the child is released.
3.Care and Discipline
Loving care and concern is fundamental to the healthy growth of all children. A Key worker is allocated to each child whose responsibility it is to closely monitor the child's progress and welfare. The small and intimate nature of the Nursery encourages the staff to get to know all the children so that in many ways, the model of a larger extended family is more appropriate. Although for many activities, children will be grouped according to age with their Key workers; there are also other occasions when larger gatherings take place such as at meal-times, story time, musical activities or outings. Each and every child will always be treated as an individual. We try to ensure that there are no 'favourites', as this can lead to many and varied difficulties for all concerned. In cases of anti-social behaviour, staff will endeavour to explain why such behaviour is not acceptable. This may prove to be an on-going process. Children may be asked to spend 'time out' to calm down but are never left unsupervised. Staff members work together so that the children see them acting in accordance with the aims and policies of the Nursery at all times. This avoids the problem of sending them mixed messages. Parents will be consulted if the behaviour of their child causes undue concern so that any issues can be more fully discussed. Smacking, physical punishment, or withholding of food are not acceptable sanctions. Any recommendations or suggestions concerning an individual child are treated confidentially and are openly discussed with parents.
The Nursery places high importance to the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical development of all children in its care. The activities on offer are planned and reviewed on a regular and frequent basis to cater for the individuals concerned, the seasons, festivals, local opportunities and events. Children are encouraged to participate but care is taken not to put undue pressure on a child who prefers not to actively take part. Younger children's development is served by guidelines covered in the DfES programme 'Birth to Three Matters'. For the older children of preschool age, a more structured curriculum is offered conforming to the foundation stage 'Early Learning Goals.'
5. Meals and Snacks
Careful consideration is given to what is offered to the children throughout the day. There is a scheduled snack time each morning which will consist of a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and afternoon tea. we are registered with a catering company who supply a cooked meal served at 12.00 am. While the tastes and preferences of the individual are recognised, children will be encouraged to partake of the full and varied diet on offer.
6. Equal Opportunities for All
We make every effort to provide the care and opportunities to everyone to enable them to maximise their potential irrespective of race, ability or disability, gender or religion. Amongst our equipment, we maintain a range of resources and toys which give the children an understanding of the multicultural society. We will endeavour to be sympathetic to cultural and religious customs. We have adopted local authority guidance to promote race equality in our day care setting.
7. Special Educational Needs
We will be sympathetic and responsive where special educational needs are identified or brought to our attention. Reports from external professionals will be noted and subsequent advice shall be implemented within the nursery routines. Individuals will be internally assessed on a regular basis and from this, their on-going needs will be determined. We will then formulate an action plan in consultation with the parents so that the child continues to develop and learn to their full potential.
8. Sun Awareness
The dangers of over exposure to direct sunlight, especially during the summer months are well understood and every care is taken to ensure that children are not over exposed to the sun at any time. In order to assist the nursery to protect children from the sun, parents are expected to provide a named sun hat for use during nursery hours. Children are expected to wear their hat when outside in the sunshine. Sun block should be applied prior to the children entering nursery. If a further application is required half way through the day please make sure there is a named sun cream in your Childs gym bag on their peg, and you have signed the appropriate form Play activities are monitored to ensure that children have periods of time in areas of shade so as to prevent them from becoming overheated or dehydrated.
9. Personal Hygiene
Routine is the key to ensuring that the highest standards of personal hygiene of both children and staff are maintained. Toilet training is one of the most significant skills to be learned by a child therefore all children are monitored after going to the toilet to ensure that they wash their hands properly. Similarly, before eating, all children have their hands washed and when appropriate, will be encouraged to wash their own. In order to minimize the possibility of the spread of infections, to the staff or other children, staff members will wear disposable gloves each time they change a nappy, , when administering First Aid in situations which involve bleeding cuts. These are positioned in all areas of the nursery units In cases of infestation of head lice, nits, etc., the nursery must insist that the child is treated immediately. Only after this is done, may the child be readmitted.
10. Transport and Vehicles
Children will only be transported in vehicles in accordance with the terms stated in the Contract. If the vehicle of a staff member is used, the Nursery Director shall be satisfied that:-
· There is valid insurance which covers business use.
· The driver holds a current Drivers Licence.
· The vehicle has a current M.O.T. certificate (if applicable).
· All journeys will be logged.
· When travelling in a car all children will be provided with an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat and will be belted in accordance will the Road Traffic Act Regulations. Due to its weight, our minibus is exempt from the booster seat regulations. However, it is fitted with children's seats for additional safety.
· In all cases when on outings, recommended ratios of adults to children will be adhered to, as required by the current day care regulations.
11. Records, Confidentiality and Data Protection
A file will be maintained by the nursery for each individual child. These are held confidentially and will not be made available to any other person who does not have Statutory Authority to view them. The file of an individual will be made available by request from the parent or guardian. As required by the Data Protection Act 1998, we are registered with the Data Protection Notification Department.
12. Arrangements when Children are ill
The following paragraph is quoted from the Contract which parents must agree to before care commences.
"Hassocks Happy Feet Day Nursery" cannot undertake the care of sick children. The nursery must be informed of any child illnesses, sickness or problems before attempting to bring the child to the premises. Each case can then be considered strictly on an individual basis.
In the interests of other children and staff it will be necessary to exclude any child who has been diagnosed with certain contagious illnesses and diseases. This exclusion will remain in force until the condition has been cleared by the child's doctor. The current list of illnesses includes:- chicken pox, mumps, rubella, measles, etc."
A comprehensive list is available on request. All cases of gastroenteritis should be regarded as infectious. Children must be kept at home for forty eight hours until the diarrhoea and vomiting bug has cleared. The final twenty four of these the child should be eating as normal. If a child becomes ill or unduly distressed during nursery hours, one or other of the parents will normally be informed by telephone. After discussion, it may be decided that it is necessary for the child to be collected earlier than normal. If we are unable to contact parents or secondary contacts in an emergency we hold the power to deal with the situation wherever we feel fit.
13. Administering of Medication
In order for the nursery to administer any medication to a child, full details must be given in advance and the written permission authorised on a Medical Permissions Form. The details will include:- Name of Medicine, Dose Times, Special Instructions and the dated signature of the parent. Staff will endeavour to follow the instructions on the Medical Permissions Form.
14. Administering of First Aid
All staff joining the nursery either already hold a first aid certificate or are expected to attend a recognised Basic First Aid course. This includes instruction which specifically covers administering First Aid to infants and children. On-going training is undertaken so as to renew the Certificate on a regular basis, a number of staff members hold a current First Aider-at-Work certificate.
15. ‘Child Protection’ Procedures
The nursery will make every effort to be vigilant for cases of 'Child Abuse.' If there are any suspicions of child abuse we will act in accordance with the advice and guidelines laid down in the document - Protecting Children from Abuse.
16. Complaints Procedure
If you ever feel that we are falling short of our stated aims please speak to the Nursery owner or manager, Sue Adair or Donna Makey. If need be, we will ask you to put your concerns in writing to us. We with investigate the matter and respond to you in writing as soon as possible, but within 28 days. If the matter is not resolved and you continue to be dissatisfied with our response, you may contact OFSTED, who will investigate your complaint. Email us
Our staff at Erskine hold the relevant qualifications required for their position in the nursery, or are undergoing training. We ensure that a recognised DBS(formerly CRB) check is undertaken before staff are allowed direct contact with the children.