Policies and Procedures

Table of Contents:

  1. Admissions
  2. Settling Period
  3. Food and Nutrition
  4. Behaviour Management
  5. Alcohol and drugs
  6. Property
  7. Equal Opportunities and Inclusive Practice
  8. British Values
  9. Bullying
  10. Fees
  11. Holidays
  12. Sickness and Health
  13. My Cover
  14. Asthma
  15. Emergency Evacuation and Fire
  16. Outings
  17. Accidents and Incidents
  18. Confidentiality
  19. Safeguarding and Child Protection
  20. Allegations of abuse against me
  21. Complaints
  22. Agreement Form

Admissions

I am registered to care for 6 children (under 8 years old).

If your child has special needs, I am happy to take this on as long as I can provide them with the care they need (for example I will not be able to provide one-to-one care or look after a child in a wheelchair, as my home is not suitable). If your child does have additional needs, I will be happy to discuss these with you, so that I can ensure you and they are.

All children are welcomed into my home and I encourage the other children in my care to support me with helping them to settle in. When taking on additional children I also take into consideration the children already in my care who are happy and settled to ensure minimum disruption to their routines.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding my admissions policy, please do not hesitate to contact me. I welcome feedback on anything that will help to make the process easier for all of the children.

Settling Period

I understand how difficult it is for parents to leave their child with a childminder and return to work, which is why it’s important for me to work with you to ensure your child is settled and that you are happy with the care they receive.

I organise settling in sessions for you and your child which gives you the opportunity to provide me with lots of information about your child; their likes and dislikes; routines; favourite activities; how to comfort them if they become upset and; how they have reacted when left in someone else’s care before.

This gives me the opportunity to start to build a relationship with you and your child and to understand both your needs and wishes. So, I am happy for you to stay until you feel that your child is settled.

Some children take longer than others to settle and some settle quickly and then become distressed a few weeks into the placement. Whatever the case, I will work with you to support you and your child through this transitional period and make it as easy as possible.

It is important that you and your child are relaxed and happy in my home and with the care I provide.

In these early stages, some parents find it helpful to call me during the day to find out how their child is. Whilst I am happy to take your calls, (texting is better) please be mindful that the children are my first priority, so I may not be able to talk for long, or sometimes to even answer the telephone straightaway if I am attending to any of the children’s needs. For example, I may be changing a nappy or feeding.

Please do not panic if you call or text and there is no immediate answer. I will call or message you back as soon as I can.

Food and Nutrition

A good balanced diet is vital for children to develop healthily along with fresh air and regular exercise.

All of the children in my care have healthy meals, snacks and drinks throughout the day and I am happy to discuss menus with parents and cater for children with different food allergies and cultural/religious requirements. So, if your child has any particular dislikes or favourite dishes please do let me know.

I will record what your child has eaten and provide approximate amounts verbally. If you have any concerns regarding diet/menu/quantity, please do not hesitate to discuss this with me.

I do not permit children to have fizzy drinks, unless it is a special occasion and parents have given permission. Children are offered water, milk, smoothies, fruit juices or squash.

On collection from school, we will return home and the children are served a hot evening meal depending on each individual requirement.

Behaviour Management

Promoting positive behaviour is very important and I do this by:

  • Giving lots of praise for good behaviour
  • Giving the children individual attention so they feel valued
  • Setting a good example, being a good role model
  • Listening to what the children have to say
  • Rewarding good behaviour (choosing next activity etc).

It is important to help the children understand the house rules, which are realistic and achievable by all of the children. I am consistent in the enforcing the rules and do not give out confusing signals.

I am aware of the different reasons why children misbehave and will endeavour to keep to routines so that your child feels safe and is not tired or hungry.

I have developed strategies that I use to calm situations, which depend on the childs age and ability. These include:

  • Distraction – Remove the child from the situation and give them an alternative activity.
  • Discussion – If the child is able to understand I will discuss their behaviour and try and get them to appreciate the consequences of their actions on others. I will make sure that they understand that it is their behaviour I am unhappy with, not them.
  • Time Out – Removing the child from the activity and sitting them quietly for a few minutes.

If occasionally a child misbehaves I will let you know verbally on collection. Some children can become upset if the incident is retold in front of them, so when possible I will take you to one side to let you know what has happened.

I will also inform you of how the matter was dealt with, which in most cases the matter will not require any further action.

If you have any concerns regarding the management of your child’s behaviour, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is important that we work together on managing behaviour in order not to confuse your child.

Alcohol and drugs

As an Ofsted registered childminder I work alone and will have sole responsibility for your child whilst they are in my care. It is vital that I am alert to any dangers and able to protect him/her.

To do this effectively, I must not be under the influence of alcohol or any form of drugs (including some prescription medication). If I am on prescribed medication, other than routine antibiotics, I must inform Ofsted who will make a decision as to whether I can continue to mind whilst taking them. I will not drink any alcohol during minded hours or immediately before.

If you have been drinking, perhaps a work leaving do, Christmas party or whilst entertaining clients, I would prefer if you arranged for another responsible adult to collect your child, especially if you plan to drive home. You may call me and I can delay the pick-up time if possible.

Property

Whilst I take care with each child’s property (this includes clothing, toys, etc.), I cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of them.

Equal Opportunities and Inclusive Practice

I give all of the children in my care the opportunity to reach their full potential. Sometimes this means adapting an activity to their ability and stage of development, providing additional resources or; giving one child more attention and support than others during a particular activity or routine.

All children are given the opportunity to play with all the toys (subject to health and safety with children under 3 years of age). No toys are just for girls or just for boys. I try to ensure my toys reflect positive images of children and people from different cultures and with different abilities.

No child in my care will be discriminated against in anyway, whether for their skin colour, culture, gender, ability or religion.

I encourage the children to learn more about their own culture and to find out about the culture and religions of the other children, thus, developing a healthy respect of each other’s differences and to value everyone as an individual.

British Values

The fundamental British values are:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance.

Democracy is making sure that everyone is treated equally and has equal rights.

Rule of law is about understanding the rules that matter, managing our feelings and behaviour. Learning right from wrong and behaving appropriately within agreed and clearly defined boundaries and dealing with consequences.

Individual liberty focuses on self- confidence, self-awareness, people and communities. Helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves.

Mutual respect and tolerance is learning to treat others how we would want to be treated. How to be part of a community, manage our feelings and behaviour, and form relationships with others. I naturally have an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance in my home, where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued. We also encourage children to engage with their wider community.

Bullying

I will not permit any form of bullying in my home. Bullying can be:

  • Physical: Pushing, kicking, hitting, biting etc
  • Verbal: Name-calling, sarcasm, rumour spreading and teasing
  • Emotional: Excluding, ridicule, humiliation, tormenting
  • Racist: Taunts, graffiti and gestures.

Being bullied can result in the victim having depression, low self-esteem, shyness, poor academic achievement, isolation and in extreme cases threatened or attempted suicide.

If a bully is left unchecked they will learn they can get away with violence and aggression. A bully has a higher chance of acquiring a criminal record and not being able to have good relationships when they become an adult.

If I have any concerns that a child in my care is being bullied at (pre-) school or is bullying, I will discuss the matter with you immediately. I will work with you to support your child to resolve the problem.

If your child is being bullied;

  • I will reassure them that the bullying is not their fault;
  • tell them that I care about them and am 100% on their side;
  • I will give them lots of praise, encouragement and responsibilities to help them feel valued;
  • I will work with you to help the child to develop techniques to deal with the bully – assertiveness, walking away etc.

If your child is the bully;

  • I will reassure your child that I still care about them but it is their behaviour I don’t like and I will work with them to help change this;
  • I will work with your child to find ways to make amends for their actions;
  • I will develop a reward structure for good behaviour;
  • I will discuss the matter with you, not in front of your child, to see if there are any problems that may have triggered the bullying;
  • if you have any concerns regarding your child please discuss them with me as soon as possible. It is much better to deal with these problems before they become major issues.

Fees

See Fees page for details.

The first 30 minutes will be charged at full hourly rate and there on for each additional 15 minutes.

Holidays

I am likely to take breaks during the year, usually coinciding with school holidays. I am happy to cater for ad hoc care during the school holidays. Please give as much notice as possible as I’m not always available during the school holidays.

Sickness and Health

I appreciate that as a working parent you need to be able to go to work, however if your child is unwell then they will be better cared for in their own home you or another family member. I am happy to care for children with minor coughs and colds but cannot care for children who are very unwell, infectious or running a high temperature. As I have to go out each day to do school and pre-school runs I need to consider the welfare of all the children in my care.

If your child has had diarrhoea or vomiting in the last twenty-four hours please keep them at home and let me know how they are doing. They need to be clear of any episodes for at least 48 hours before returning to my care.

If your child becomes ill whilst in my care, I will make them as comfortable as possible and isolate them from the other children if necessary. I will reassure them if they get distressed and I will contact you immediately, whilst continuing to care for your child until you arrive to collect them.

I am happy to administer prescribed and non-prescribed medication with consent from parents. All medicines will need to be supplied with clear written dosage instructions i.e. as directed by doctor, details will be kept in the child’s folder. All medication that is administered will be recorded in the daily journal.

I will contact you if one of my own children is unwell, informing you of the illness/symptoms and if I am able to work. This then allows you to make an informed decision as to whether to bring your child or not.

If any unforeseen circumstance should occur and I am unable to care for your child e.g. serious illness, I shall try to make arrangements with another Ofsted registered childminder to provide cover if required.

My Cover

I have emergence child care arrangement with another (local) child minder.

Asthma

I am willing to care for a child who has asthma and have put together the following policy and procedures. I recognise that asthma is an important condition that affects many children.

I will:

  • encourage and help children with asthma to participate fully in activities;
  • ensure children have immediate access to reliever inhalers;
  • ensure the environment is favourable to children with asthma;
  • ensure that other children in my care understand that asthma can be serious;
  • ensure that I know what to do if a child has an asthma attack to protect the child’s welfare in the event of an emergency;
  • work with parents of children with asthma to ensure that their children are in a safe and caring environment;
  • ask parents to tell me about their child’s asthma symptoms;
  • discuss how to recognise when their symptoms are getting worse and how to help them take their reliever medicine;
  • I will record this information on the child’s personal record form;
  • furthermore all children with asthma will have immediate access to their reliever medicine whenever they need it. This may include allowing them to carry it with them either in their pocket or an inhaler pouch, if they are mature enough to do this. I would request that I am also given an inhaler to keep at my house, in case the child forgets to bring it back with them. Please let me know if your child needs to be reminded to take their inhaler and if they need to do it privately (I appreciate that some children are shy about taking their medication in front of others) I will always inform parents if their child has experienced asthma symptoms and had to use their reliever medicine. If, after discussion between the parents/carers and the doctor or nurse, it is believed that a particular child is too young to carry their inhaler, I will keep it with me.

I need parents to provide written information detailing;

  • what asthma medicines the child takes and when;
  • what triggers the child’s asthma and what to do if the child’s asthma gets worse and;
  • emergency contact details.

I will ensure any spare medicines stored by me are labelled and have not passed their expiry date.

Emergency Evacuation and Fire

In order to keep the children and myself safe I have developed the following procedure to evacuate my home in the event of an emergency. This may be as a result of a fire, flooding, gas leak etc.

The children will practice the evacuation procedure with me so they will not panic or be alarmed in the event of a real situation occuring. Practices will be carried out on different days of the week to ensure all children understand what to do and details will be recorded in the evacuation log:

  • Raise the alarm
  • Evacuate the children using the safest and nearest exit available (babies will be carried to safety).

Take:

  • Attendance record for the day
  • Contact numbers
  • Mobile phone
  • Assemble across the road from the house (at the end of the garden if leaving via the rear of the house)
  • Contact the emergency services
  • Comfort and reassure the children
  • Arrange safe place for myself and the children to stay until parents can collect them
  • Follow the instructions of the emergency services
  • Do not return to the building until the emergency services have declared it safe to do so

Outings

When taking children on outings it is essential that proper planning is done to ensure the safety and welfare of all children involved.

I inform parents of any planned special trips for example to the coast or a local place of interest. I always obtain your permission for all special outings with your child, usually verbally.

I ensure that I take with me everything I may need, emergency contact cards for the children, first aid kit, nappies and changing bag (if required), spare clothes, mobile phone, drinks and a healthy snack or a packed lunch.

Depending on the location of the visit, I will develop plans (risk assessment) on what to do in the event of an incident.

Accidents and Incidents

The safety of your child is paramount and I will take every measure I can to protect your child from hurting themselves. However, sometimes accidents do happen and in this instance I will;

  • comfort your child and reassure them;
  • assess the extent of their injuries and if necessary call for medical support/ambulance;
  • undertake any first aid procedures that are necessary (I have been trained to carry out to these procedures and have required certificate) and;
  • settle your child and contact you as soon as possible to inform you of the accident, and if necessary I will ask you to return to care for your child / meet me at the hospital.

After every accident, however minor I will:

  • Complete a report in my accident book.
  • Ask you to sign the report.

If the incident requires any medical treatment then I will:

  • Inform Ofsted
  • Inform my Insurance company
  • Contact PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years ) for additional advice/support

It is important that you keep me informed regarding your child’s condition following an accident and if you have sought medical advice.

Confidentiality

Any information regarding your child or your family, given to me either verbally or in writing, will be treated as confidential.

Parents will have access to their own child’s records but not to others. All documentation relating to your child is stored in a file, which is not accessible to any other party.

I will not discuss your child with others unless I have permission from you, for example to take your baby to be weighed by the Health Visitor. I will however divulge confidential information to Social Services and to Ofsted if I have any concerns that your child is being abused. You will also find out confidential information about my family and myself during the course of our working relationship and I would be grateful if you too would respect my family’s confidentiality.

Safeguarding and Child Protection

My responsibility as a childminder is to ensure the safety and welfare of all the children in my care in line with the procedures laid out by my local Safeguarding Children’s Board. I have received training on Safeguarding Children (Child Protection) and am aware of the signs and symptoms of child abuse, physical, emotional and sexual, and those of neglect.

If I have reason to believe that any child in my care is being abused in any way I am legally bound to report the matter to the Duty Social Worker for Lewisham Social Services, Child protection Team. Under these circumstances, I will not be able to keep information relating to your child confidential, but will need to share it with Ofsted, Social Services and the police if requested.

I use my mobile to take photographs of the children to send to their parents and with your permission, on some displays in my home. I can also transfer photos via email/Whatsapp when the family requests them. On signing this document I will assume there are no objections to this.

Allegations of abuse against me

As a childminder working alone, I am more vulnerable to allegations of abuse being made against my family or me. I will take precautions to protect myself from this happening by;

  • ensuring all household members over 16 are DBS cleared;
  • ensuring all visitors to the house do not have unsupervised access to the children under any circumstances;
  • ensuring, where possible, that no workmen are in the house during minded hours, unless it is to repair an emergency issue or for health and safety reasons;
  • document every accident and incident that occurs whilst in my care, informing parents and requesting them to sign my records;
  • noting any marks on the children when they arrive and asking parents to inform me of any accidents that have occurred whilst outside my care;
  • ensuring the children are supervised at all times and;
  • keeping accurate records on each child and writing a daily diary.

Complaints

I hope that you are happy with the service that I provide to you and your child and that it meets your expectations. Should you have any concerns or issues that you may wish to discuss, then please do inform me so as I can arrange a quiet time in which to obtain all the details from you.

It is a requirement by Ofsted that all complaints are logged along with the outcome and any action taken. These records must be available to show an Ofsted Childcare Inspector if required.

If you feel that you are unable to talk to me or that after talking the matter remains unresolved then you can talk in confidence to:

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) on 0300 003 0005.

If you wish to make a formal complaint; please feel free to contact the Ofsted Complaints and Investigation Unit on 0300 123 4666.

Agreement Form

Please read this policy portfolio. By signing this PDF document you are agreeing to all of these terms.

Click here to Download Agreement Form