The Playhouse Pre-School

All Polices have been read and agreed by The Playhouse Pre-School Committee Trustees and manager;

 1. 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 pre-school through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                In order to achieve this 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 pre-school is accessible - in written and spoken form - and, where appropriate, in different languages. Where necessary, we will try to provide information in Braille, or through signing or an interpreter. We arrange our waiting list in birth order. In addition our policy may take into account the following: the vicinity of the home to the pre-school; and siblings already attending the pre-school. We keep a place vacant, if this is financially viable, to accommodate an emergency admission. We describe our pre-school 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 pre-school 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 describe our pre-school and its practices in terms of how it enables children with disabilities to take part in the life of the pre-school. We monitor the gender and ethnic background of children joining the group to ensure that no accidental discrimination is taking place. We make our equal opportunities policy widely known. We consult with families about the opening times of the pre-school to avoid excluding anyone. We are flexible about attendance patterns to accommodate the needs of individual children and families.

2. SETTLING IN PRE-SCHOOL POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                           We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the pre-school and to feel secure and comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children's well being and their role as active partners with the pre-school.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                           We aim to make the pre-school a welcome place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                  * Before a child starts to attend the pre-school, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information (including our prospectus and policies), displays about pre-school activities, information days and evenings and individual meetings with parents.                                                                                                                                                                   * During the half term before a child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to visit the pre-school.                                                                                                                           * When a child starts to attend, we work with his/her parents to decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the pre-school.                                                                                                                      * We allocate a key person to each child and his/her family, before she/he starts to attend; the key person welcomes and looks after the child and his/her parents at the child's first session.                * We use pre-start visits and the first session at which a child attends to explain and complete with his/her parents the child's registration records.                                                                                              * Within the first four weeks of starting we discuss and work with the child's parents to create their child's record of achievement.

3. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT POLICY

We believe that children benefit most from pre-school education and care when parents and pre-schools work together in partnership.

Our aim                                                                                                                                                                     * To support parents as their children's first and most important educators.                                           * To involve parents in the life of the pre-school and their children's education.                                       * To support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.

Method                                                                                                                                                                      In order to fulfil these aims:                                                                                                                                We are committed to ongoing dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families; through access to written information and through regular informal communication, we inform all parents about how the group is run and its policies. We check to ensure parents understand the information which is given to them; we encourage and support parents to play an active part in the governance and management of the pre-school; we inform all parents on a regular basis about their children's progress; we involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children - either formally or informally - and ensure parents have access to their children's written records; we provide opportunities for parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the group; we inform parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training; we consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone; we provide information about opportunities for being involved in the pre-school in ways which are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language; we hold meetings in venues which are accessible and appropriate for all; we welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take; we inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and check to ensure these are understood. All parents have access to our written complaints procedure; and we provide opportunities for parents to learn about the pre-school curriculum and about young children's learning, in the pre-school and at home.

In compliance with the EYFS the following documentation is in place:                                                     *admissions policy;                                                                                                                                                                      * complaints procedure;                                                                                                                                      * record of complaints; and                                                                                                                                 * activities provided for children.

4. SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                                 “We all share responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All members of the community can help to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people if they are mindful of their needs, and willing and able to act if they have concerns about a child’s welfare”. (Working Together, 2006)

Our pre-school wants to work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life.

Aims                                                                                                                                                                         Our aims are to: create an environment in our pre-school 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                                                                                                                * The Children Act 1989                                                                                                                                       * Human Rights Act 1998                                                                                                                                     * Data Protection Act 1984                                                                                                                                  * The Protection of Children Act 1999                                                                                                               * The Children (NI) Order                                                                                                                                      * The Children (Scotland) Order                                                                                                                        * Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Liaison with other bodies                                                                                                                                 We work within the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board guidelines. We have a copy of Local Safeguarding Children Board Guidelines available for staff and parents to see. We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) 0845 640 40 40 of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which affect the well being of children. We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, in any emergency, for the pre-school and children’s services to work well together. Child services number,01962 869313 and police 0845 045 4545 N.S.P.C.C. 01252 376386 If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the Local Safeguarding Children Board guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child's parents at the same time.

Methods; Staffing and volunteering                                                                                                                     Our named person that coordinates child protection issues is Pauline Sharp. 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. 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. No applicant from September 2008, staff or volunteer/student over 16 years of age will be allowed contact with the Pre-school children unless they have an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure, (CRB) which includes a Protection Of Children Act list/List 99 check. Records are kept of all CRB Numbers and Dates obtained. systems are in place to ensure all staff, volunteers/ students remain suitable to work with children. We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff, and volunteers, and students over 16 years, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the pre-school or has access to the children. (Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006) Volunteers/ students do not work unsupervised. We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have lead to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern. We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the pre-school. We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the pre-school so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children. We have procedures in place to ensure that a child does not go home with an unauthorised adult.

Disciplinary Action                                                                                                                                          Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the pre-school because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority so that their name may be included on the List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. We will also notify Ofsted

Training                                                                                                                                                              We seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the pre-school 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 room allows for constant supervision. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door is left ajar.

Curriculum                                                                                                                                                            We introduce key elements of child protection into our foundation stage curriculum, 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                                                                                                                                                            We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteer /students actions within the pre-school, which may include an allegation of abuse. We follow the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board 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. The Manager or Chairperson will phone the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for Hampshire for advice on how to conduct the investigation. If the investigation proves relevant conduct the individual will be referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

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 investigates.

We allow investigation to be 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.

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.

In the case of a disclosure being made by the child concerned or by a third party it is important for staff/volunteers/students to remember that:                                                                                                    * Defendants have been acquitted where leading questioning or inappropriate investigation has been proven.                                                                                                                                                          * It is vital that subsequent enquiries should not be prejudiced by detailed questioning by staff/volunteers/students

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 guidance of the local Safeguarding Children Board 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 guidance of the local Safeguarding Children Board.

Support to families                                                                                                                                             The pre-school takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers/students 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 guidance of the local Safeguarding Children Board. 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.

Whistle-Blowing                                                                                                                                                      If a member of staff has concerns about the behaviour of another member of staff towards a child he or she should report it at once to the manager. Any concern will be thoroughly investigated under the pre-schools whistle-blowing procedures. If there is evidence of criminal activity, the police will always be informed. Wherever possible, and subject to the rights of the child, the member of staff will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. No one who reports a genuine concern in good faith needs to fear retribution.

Confidentiality                                                                                                                                                        A member of staff who uses the whistle-blowing procedure is entitled to have his/her name protected from being disclosed by the manager to the alleged perpetrator without his/her prior approval. However, it has to be recognised that his/her evidence may be required by the police to be used in any criminal proceedings.

6. THE NON-COLLECTION OF CHILDREN POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                                 In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult at the end of a pre-school session, Pre-school puts into practice agreed procedures. These ensure the child is cared for safely by an experienced and qualified practitioner who is known to the child.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                          In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult, we will ensure that the child receives a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible. We inform parents/carers of our procedures so that, if they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for.

Procedures                                                                                                                                                        Parents of children starting at the pre-school are asked to provide specific information which is recorded on our Registration Form, including:                                                                                                * home address and telephone number - if the parents do not have a telephone, an alternative number must be given, perhaps a neighbour's;                                                                                            * place of work, address and telephone number (if applicable);                                                                 * mobile telephone number (if applicable);                                                                                                       * names, addresses, telephone numbers and signatures of adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from pre-school, for example a childminder or grandparent; and            * information about any person who does not have legal access to the child.

On occasions when parents are aware that they will not be at home or in their usual place of work, they record how they can be contacted in our Collection Book. On occasions when parents or the persons normally authorised to collect the child are not able to collect the child, they record the name, address and telephone number of the person who will be collecting their child in our Collection Book. We agree with parents how the identification of the person who is to collect their child will be verified, or by way of a secret password system. Parents are informed that if they are not able to collect the child as planned, they must inform us so that we can begin to take back-up procedures. We provide parents with our contact telephone number. We also inform parents that - in the event that their children are not collected from pre-school by an authorised adult and the staff can no longer supervise the child in our premises - we apply our child protection procedures as set out in our child protection policy.

If a child is not collected at the end of the session/day, we follow the following procedures:            the Collection Book is checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routines; if no information is available, parents/carers are contacted at home or at work; if this is unsuccessful, the adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from pre-school - and whose telephone numbers are recorded on the Registration Form - are contacted; all reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents/carers, for example a neighbour is contacted or another member of staff visits the child's home; the child stays at pre-school in the care of two fully-vetted key persons until the child is safely collected; the child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those named on the Registration Form and in the Collection Book, or unless they confirm the correct password;

If no-one collects the child and the premises are closing or staff are no longer available to care for the child, we apply the procedures set out in our Child Protection Policy. We contact our local authority child services department) (telephone number 01252 314221 )and inform OFSTED and our local Development Worker a full written report of the incident is recorded; and depending on circumstances, we reserve the right to charge parents for the additional hours worked by our staff.

7. LOST CHILD POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                                 It is our intention to observe and monitor all children at all times. In the event that a child is lost the pre-school puts into practice agreed procedures.

Missing child                                                                                                                                                           If a child goes missing from the setting                                                                                                             * The person in charge will carry out a thorough search of the building and grounds.                          * The register is checked to make sure no other child has also gone astray.                                          * Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.                                                                                                                                                            * Person in charge talks to staff to establish what happened.                                                                     * If the child is not found the parent is contacted and the missing child is reported to the police.

If a child goes missing from an outing where parents are not attending and responsible for their own child, the setting ensures that there is a procedure that is followed.                                                 * As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, staff on the outing ask children to stand with their designated person and carry out a headcount to ensure that no other child has gone astray. One staff searches the immediate vicinity but does not search beyond that.                                                     * The person in charge is informed, if s/he is not on the outing and makes his/her way to the venue s/he can aid the search and be the point of contact for the police as well as support the staff.           * The person in charge of the setting contacts the child’s parents/carers.                                               * The staff contact the police and report the child as missing.                                                                    * In an indoor venue the staff contact the venue’s security who will handle the search and contact the police if the child is not found.                                                                                                                     * The person in charge contacts the chairperson of the management committee.

The investigation                                                                                                                                                   * The management committee chairperson carries out a full investigation taking written statements from all the staff present at the time.                                                                                           * The key person/staff writes an incident report detailing:                                                                             * The date and time of the incident.                                                                                                                   * What staff/children were in the group/outing.                                                                                               * When the child was last seen.                                                                                                                        * What has taken place since the child was last seen.                                                                                 * The time estimated that the child went missing.                                                                                         * A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened.                                                         * If the incident warrants a police investigation, all staff co-operate fully. In this case, the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing staff. Social Services may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.                                                               * The incident is reported under RIDDOR arrangements and is recorded in the incident book; the local authority health & safety officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.                                                                                                                                                           * OFSTED is informed.                                                                                                                                        * The Insurance Department at the Pre-school Learning Alliance is informed.

8. Critical incident policy

Immediate                                                                                                                                                              * Contact the necessary emergency services                                                                                                  * Assess ongoing risk & respond as necessary                                                                                             * Confirm roles / responsibilities                                                                                                                       * Gather appropriate child registration form / staff details / medical details ready to pass on to the emergency services                                                                                                                                               * Contact child's or adult's family                                                                                                                       * Manage the other children, talk to them about what has happened, reassure them                             * One person only to deal with telephone calls / manager if possible.                                                      * Consider who is best able to deal with situation.

 Within 30 minutes                                                                                                                                                 * Gather all information from adults / staff present                                                                                        * Contact the local EECU office                                                                                                                          * Check on well-being of staff / adults / children present                                                                              * Ask those directly involved to write a record of the incident

 Within 1 hour                                                                                                                                                         * Inform Ofsted                                                                                                                                                       * Inform insurers                                                                                                                                                   * Consider what information can be shared with the media / consult EECU                                            * Inform Social Care                                                                                                                                               * Write factual report to supplement the record of the incident / including actions taken

 Before end of session                                                                                                                                        * Decide if and what information is to be shared with parents                                                                    * Decide how information is to be shared                                                                                                       * Prepare a clear script to avoid speculation, brief, factual no personal details                                        * Hand over the script with children / or gather all parents and address                                                    * If necessary warn parents that press are outside the setting                                                                   * Do not pass information to siblings or anyone else without parents' permission.

 At end of session / day                                                                                                                                         * Bring all the staff together                                                                                                                                 * Check that everyone is okay                                                                                                                             * Give tea / coffee

 Next day & ongoing                                                                                                                                              * Talk to all staff & support if needed                                                                                                                  * Staff meeting to review incident & procedures                                                                                               * Identify any training needs                                                                                                                                * Reflect regularly

 Local Development Team EECU – 01252 814820

9. HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                         This pre-school believes that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our pre-school a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                         We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimise the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                 The members of staff responsible for health and safety are Pauline Sharp. They are competent to carry out these responsibilities. Pauline regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.

Risk assessment                                                                                                                                                Our risk assessment process includes: checking for hazards and risks indoors and outside, and in our activities and procedures. Our assessment covers adults and children; deciding which areas need attention; and developing an action plan which specifies the action required, the timescales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.

We maintain lists of health and safety issues which are checked: daily before the session begins; weekly; and termly and yearly- when a full risk assessment is carried out.

Insurance Cover                                                                                                                                                  We have public liability insurance and employers' liability insurance. The certificate is displayed on Parents notice board.

Awareness raising                                                                                                                                          Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of health and safety issues so that all adults are able to adhere to our policy and understand their shared responsibility for health and safety. The induction training covers matters of employee well being, including safe lifting and the storage of potentially dangerous substances. Records are kept of these induction training sessions and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part. Health and safety issues are explained to the parents of new children so that they understand the part they play in the daily life of the pre-school. As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff and health and safety is discussed regularly at staff meetings. We have a no smoking policy. Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.

Children's safety                                                                                                                                             Only persons who have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau and are registered with OFSTED as child carers have unsupervised access to the children, including helping them with toileting. Adults do not normally supervise children on their own. All children are supervised by adults at all times. Whenever children are on the premises at least two adults are present.

Security                                                                                                                                                           Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of children. The times of the children's arrivals and departures are recorded. The arrival and departure times of adults - staff, volunteers and visitors - are recorded. Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises. Our systems prevent children from leaving our premises unnoticed. The personal possessions of staff and volunteers are securely stored during pre-school sessions.

Windows                                                                                                                                                             We have no low level windows. Windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people. We do not have windows above the ground floor.

Doors                                                                                                                                                                        We take precautions to prevent children's fingers from being trapped in doors.

Floors                                                                                                                                                                   All surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven or damaged.

Kitchen                                                                                                                                                             Children do not have access to the kitchen. All surfaces are clean and non-porous. There are separate facilities for hand-washing and for washing up. Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children's reach.

When children take part in cooking activities, they: are supervised at all times; are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment.

Electrical/gas equipment                                                                                                                                     All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly. Our boiler/electrical switchgear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children. Heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.

There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading. The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds. Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.

Storage                                                                                                                                                                    All resources and materials which children select are stored safely. All equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.

Outdoor area                                                                                                                                                       Our outdoor area is securely fenced. Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used. Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides. Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied before children start playing outside. All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.

Hygiene                                                                                                                                                              We regularly seek information from the Environmental Health Department and the Health Authority to ensure that we keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations. Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene. We have a daily cleaning routine for the pre-school which includes play room(s), kitchen, rest area, toilets and nappy changing areas. We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing up clothes and furnishings. The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene including hand washing and drying facilities and the disposal of nappies. We implement good hygiene practices by: cleaning tables between activities; checking toilets regularly; wearing protective clothing - such as aprons and disposable gloves - as appropriate; providing sets of clean clothes; providing tissues and wipes; and ensuring sole use of paper towels.

Activities                                                                                                                                                          Before purchase or loan, equipment and resources are checked to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the pre-school. The layout of play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities. All equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded. All materials - including paint and glue - are non-toxic. Sand/digging materials are clean and suitable for children's play. Physical play is constantly supervised. Children are taught to handle and store tools safely. Children who are sleeping are checked regularly. Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.

Food and drink                                                                                                                                                 Staff who prepare and handle food receive appropriate training and understand - and comply with - food safety and hygiene regulations. All food and drink is stored appropriately. Adults do not carry hot drinks through the play area(s) without warning, and do not place hot drinks within reach of children. Snack and meal times are appropriately supervised and children are discouraged from walking about with food and drinks. Fresh drinking water is available to the children at all times. We operate systems to ensure that children do not have access to food/drinks to which they are allergic.

Outings and visits                                                                                                                                             We have agreed procedures for the safe conduct of outings. Procedures to be followed on outings are; a risk assessment is carried out before an outing takes place. Parents always sign consent forms before major outings. Our adult to child ratio is high, normally one adult to two children. The children are appropriately supervised to ensure no child gets lost and that there is no unauthorised access to children. We do not use personal vehicles to transport children. For those children remaining at pre-school, the adult to child ratio conforms to the requirements of 1:8 or 1:4 depending on age of child/ren.

Animals                                                                                                                                                            Animals visiting the pre-school are free from disease, safe to be with children and do not pose a health risk.

Fire safety                                                                                                                                                          Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from inside. Smoke detectors/alarms and fire fighting appliances conform to BSEN standards, are fitted in appropriate high risk areas of the building and are checked as specified by the manufacturer.

Our emergency evacuation procedures are approved by the Fire Safety Officer and are: clearly displayed in the premises; explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and practised regularly at least once every six weeks. Records are kept of fire drills and the servicing of fire safety equipment.

First aid and medication                                                                                                                                      At least one member of staff with a current first aid training certificate (relevant to infants and young children) is on the premises or on an outing at any one time. The first aid qualification includes first aid training for infants and young children.

Our first aid kit:                                                                                                                                              Complies with the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981; is regularly checked by a designated member of staff and re-stocked as necessary; is easily accessible to adults; and is kept out of the reach of children. At the time of admission to the pre-school, parents' written permission for emergency medical advice or treatment is sought. Parents sign and date their written approval.

Our Accident Book:                                                                                                                                                 Is kept safely and accessibly; all staff and volunteers know where it is kept and how to complete it; and is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.

OFSTED is notified of any injury requiring treatment by a General Practitioner or hospital, or the death of a child or adult. Any injury requiring General Practitioner or hospital treatment to a child, parent, volunteer or visitor is reported to the local office of the Health and Safety Executive.

We meet our legal requirements for the safety of our employees by complying with RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injury, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). We report to the local office of the Health and Safety Executive: any accident to a member of staff requiring treatment by a General Practitioner or hospital; and any dangerous occurrences (i.e. an event which does not cause an accident but could have done). Children's prescribed drugs are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children.

Parents give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The administration is recorded accurately and parents sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of a medicine.

If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training is provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.

Sickness                                                                                                                                                                Our policy for the exclusion of ill or infectious children is discussed with parents. This includes procedures for contacting parents - or other authorised adults - if a child becomes ill at pre-school. OFSTED is notified of any infectious diseases which a qualified medical person considers notifiable.

Sickness                                                                                                                                                                 * Parents are asked not to bring their child into the setting if they have been vomiting or had diarrhoea until at least 48 hours has elapsed since the last attack.                                                          * We do not provide care for children, who are unwell, have a temperature, or sickness and diarrhoea, or who have an infectious disease.                                                                                                * Children with headlice are not excluded but must be treated to remedy the condition.                       * Parents are notified if there is a case of headlice in the setting.                                                              * Parents are notified if there is an infectious disease such as chicken pox.                                          * HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) may affect children or families attending the setting. Staff may or may not be informed about it.                                                                                                                * Children or families are not excluded because of HIV.                                                                               * Good hygiene practice concerning the clearing of any spilled bodily fluids is carried out at all times.                                                                                                                                                                         * Staff suffering from sickness and diarrhoea should not return to work until at least 48 hours has elapsed since the last attack.                                                                                                                             * OFSTED is notified of any infectious diseases that a qualified medical person considers notifiable.

 If a child becomes ill during the session we will:                                                                                           * Make careful observations on the child and comfort and reassure them.                                               * Contact the parent/carer as soon as possible.                                                                                             * If no contact available during the session, make the child comfortable and warm in the quiet area on cushions and monitor, giving them a drink of water.                                                                               * Talk to the other children, asking them to be as quiet as possible and to ‘look after‘the child.         * Supervisor to continue to try to contact parent/carer and other named contacts.                                  * One staff member to be responsible for keeping an eye on the child and monitoring the illness.

Safety of adults                                                                                                                                                  Adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment. When adults need to reach up to store equipment or to change light bulbs they are provided with safe equipment to do so. All warning signs are clear and in appropriate languages. Adults do not remain in the building on their own or leave on their own after dark. The sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents is recorded. The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues which need to be addressed.

Records                                                                                                                                                                We keep records of : adults authorised to collect children from pre-school; the names, addresses and telephone numbers of emergency contacts in case of children's illness or accident; the allergies, dietary requirements and illnesses of individual children; the times of attendance of children, staff, volunteers and visitors; accidents; and incidents.

In addition, the following policies and documentation in relation to health and safety are in place.

* Risk assessment.                                                                                                                                              * Record of visitors.                                                                                                                                                * Fire safety procedures.                                                                                                                                       * Fire safety records and certificates.                                                                                                                * Operational procedures for outings.                                                                                                              * Administration of medication.                                                                                                                           * Prior parental consent to administer medicine.                                                                                           * Record of the administration of medicines.                                                                                                   * Prior parental consent for emergency treatment.                                                                                         * Accident record.                                                                                                                                                  * Sick children.                                                                                                                                                        * No smoking.

10. ASTHMA POLICY

The Playhouse Pre-School welcomes all children with asthma, and recognizes that asthma is an important condition affecting many children. We will; Encourage and help children with asthma to participate fully in activities. Ensure that other children in the group understand that asthma can be serious. Provide guidance for practitioners on what to do if a child has an asthma attack.

To ensure the child’s welfare in the event of an emergency we work with parents of children with asthma to ensure that their children are in a safe, caring environment. Promote action by parents and practitioners to actively support the policy in the group. Ensure children have immediate access to reliever inhalers. Ensure the group environment is favourable to children with asthma.

Ensure the child takes their reliever medicine with them on trips and excursions and remind parents of this when planning trips. Always inform the parents if the child has experienced asthma symptoms and had to use their reliever medicine

We will do this by firstly ensuring we have up to date emergency contact details on entry to the Pre-School, it will remain the parents/carers responsibility to inform us of any changes to these as they occur. We will ask the parents/carers how to recognize their child’s symptoms, and when and how to give their child’s medicine. A signed record will be kept of each episode and any medication given. The medicine will be kept in an easily accessible place that only practitioners can reach. Practitioners will regularly update their first aid knowledge, with at least one practitioner first aid trained on the premises at any one time whilst the children are present or on excursions.

11. BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                                Our pre-school believes that children flourish best when they know how they are expected to behave and should be free to play and learn without fear of being hurt or unfairly restricted by anyone else.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                        We aim to provide an environment in which there is acceptable behaviour and where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their environment.

Methods                                                                                                                                                               We have a named person who has overall responsibility for issues concerning behaviour. We require the named person to: keep her/him up-to-date with legislation and research and thinking on handling children's behaviour; access relevant sources of expertise on handling children's behaviour; and check that all staff have relevant in-service training on handling children's behaviour. We keep a record of staff attendance at this training. We require all staff, volunteers and students to provide a positive model of behaviour by treating children, parents and one another with friendliness, care and courtesy. 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 familiarise new staff and volunteers with the pre-school's behaviour policy and its rules for behaviour. We expect all members of the pre-school - children, parents, staff, volunteers and students - to keep to the rules, requiring these to be applied consistently. We praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to share. We avoid creating situations in which children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable behaviour. We recognise that codes for interacting with other people vary between cultures and require staff to be aware of - and respect - those used by members of the pre-school.

When children behave in unacceptable ways, we help them to see what was wrong and how to cope more appropriately. We never send children out of the room by themselves. We never use physical punishment, such as smacking or shaking. Children are never threatened with these. We do not use techniques intended to single out and humiliate individual children. 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 (what happened, what action was taken and by whom, and the names of witnesses) are brought to the attention of our pre-school leader and are recorded on an Incident form. A parent is informed on the same day and signs the Incident form to indicate that he/she has been informed. 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 do not shout or raise our voices in a threatening way to respond to children's behaviour. We handle children's unacceptable behaviour in ways which are appropriate to their ages and stages of development - for example by distraction, discussion or by withdrawing the child from the situation. We work in partnership with children's parents. Parents are regularly informed about their children's behaviour by their key person. We work with parents to address recurring unacceptable behaviour, using objective observation records to help us to understand the cause and to decide jointly how to respond appropriately.

Bullying

Bullying involves the persistent physical or verbal abuse of another child or children. We take bullying very seriously. If a child bullies another child or children: we intervene to stop the child harming the other child or children; we explain to the child doing the bullying why her/his 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 say sorry for her/his actions; we make sure that children who bully receive praise when they display acceptable behaviour; we do not label children who bully; when children bully, we discuss what has happened with their parents 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.

12. SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS/DISABILITY POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                             We provide an environment in which all children are supported to reach their full potential.

Aims                                                                                                                                                                    We have regard for the DfES Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. And the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001; we include all children in our provision. We provide practitioners to help support parents and children with special educational needs (SEN)/disabilities. We identify the specific needs of children with SEN/disabilities and meet those needs through a range of strategies. We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children's needs. We monitor and review our practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                  * We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) - at present this is the manager. James Sharp is awaiting training for the role.                                            * We provide a statement showing how we provide for children with SEN/disabilities.                         * We ensure that the provision for children with SEN/disabilities is the responsibility of all members of the setting.                                                                                                                                      * We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.     * We ensure that our physical environment is as far as possible suitable for children with disabilities.                                                                                                                                                               * We work closely with parents of children with SEN/disabilities to create and maintain a positive partnership.                                                                                                                                                            * We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's education.                                                                                                                  * We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.                       * We liaise with other professionals involved with children with SEN/disabilities and their families, including transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.                                                                * We use the graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children's special educational needs.                                                                                                                                  * We provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children with SEN/disabilities.                           * We provide a differentiated curriculum to meet individual needs and abilities.                                    * We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing individual educational plans (IEPs) for children with SEN/disabilities.                                                                        * We ensure that children with SEN/disabilities are appropriately involved at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability.                                                                    * We use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with SEN/disabilities.                                                                                                                             * We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our SEN/disability policy.                       * We ensure the privacy of children with SEN/disabilities when intimate care is being provided.        * We provide in-service training for practitioners and volunteers.                                                               * We raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff.              * We ensure the effectiveness of our SEN/disability provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. IEP reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agencies views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.                                                                                                                                                                 * We provide a complaints procedure.                                                                                                               * We monitor and review our policy annually.

13. RESTRICTIVE HANDLING POLICY

Sometimes, in very rare cases it may be necessary to physically restrain a child who is in serious danger of harming themselves or others, or of causing serious damage to property. This method is only used when all other behaviour management pathways have been followed.

Who can use restrictive physical intervention?                                                                                              A member of staff who knows the child well, this person is most likely to be able to use other methods to support the child and keep them safe without resorting to R.P.I.

What type of Restrictive physical intervention can be used?                                                                    Any use of R.P. I in our setting is consistent with the principle of reasonable minimal force.

Our staff will:                                                                                                                                                     *Aim for side by side contact with the child.                                                                                                    *Aim for no gap between the adult's and child's body.                                                                                  *Aim to keep the adult's back as straight as possible.                                                                                 * Hold child by 'long' bones i.e. avoid grasping at joints where pain and damage are most likely.       *Ensure that there is no restriction to the child's ability to breathe.                                                           *Avoid lifting children.

It may be necessary for staff to receive specific training in the use of restrictive physical intervention.

Planning and monitoring                                                                                                                                    If restrictive physical intervention has been used the situation is reviewed and trends identified so that plans to reduce the need for future responses are made.

An individual behaviour plan for the child will be written. If this plan includes R.P.I. it will be just one part of a whole approach to supporting a child's behaviour.

Please ask staff for more information on behaviour plans. Everyone involved in the child's care, including parents will contribute to the behaviour plan, which will be recorded and reviewed.

Recording and reporting                                                                                                                                       We will record any use of R.P 1. Within 24 hours of the incident, parents will be informed at the end of the child’s session.

Supporting and reviewing                                                                                                                                   It is distressing to be involved in a restrictive physical intervention, whether as the person doing the holding, the child being held, or someone observing or hearing about what has happened. Support will be given to all those who were involved

Complaints                                                                                                                                                        Where anyone (child, carer, staff member or visitor) has a concern, this should be dealt with through the setting's usual complaints procedure.

14. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                               Our pre-school believes that children and parents 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 pre-school. 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 pre-school 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 pre-school's provision talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the pre-school leader.

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 leader and the chair of the management committee. Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at Stage1 or at Stage2.

Stage 3                                                                                                                                                                   The parent requests a meeting with the pre-school leader and the chair of the management committee. Both the parent and the leader should have a friend or partner present if required. 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 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. Staff or volunteers within the Pre-school Learning Alliance are appropriate persons to be invited to act as mediators. The mediator keeps all discussion confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the pre-school personnel (pre-school leader and chair of the management committee) 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 s/he gives.

Stage 5                                                                                                                                                                When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the pre-school leader and the chair of the management committee 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 the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

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.

The address and telephone number of our Ofsted regional centre are:

Early Years Ofsted,

Telephone Number: 08456 014772

Royal Exchange Buildings St Ann's Square Manchester M2 7LA

These details are displayed on our pre-school's notice board.

If a child appears to be at risk, our pre-school follows the guidelines of Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures. In these cases, both the parent and pre-school are informed and the pre-school leader works with Ofsted or the Area Child Protection Committee to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.

Records                                                                                                                                                                 A record of complaints against our pre-school 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.

15. STAFFING AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                               We provide a high staffing ratio to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and are checked for criminal records through the Criminal Records Bureau in accordance with Ofsted's requirements.

Aims                                                                                                                                                                        To ensure that children and their parents are offered high quality pre-school care and education.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                   * To meet this aim we use the following ratios of adult to child: Children aged two – three years of age: 1 adult: 4 children. Children aged three - five years of age: 1 adult: 8 children                                * A minimum of two staff/adults are on duty at any one time.                                                                        * We use a key person system to ensure that each child and their family have a particular member of staff for discussion and consultation. We hold regular staff meetings to undertake curriculum planning and to discuss children's progress, their achievements and any difficulties which may arise from time to time.                                                                                                                                         * We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection. All staff have job descriptions which set out their roles and responsibilities.                                                                                                                                                      * We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of marital status, age, gender, culture, religious belief, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by us imposing conditions or requirements which are not justifiable.                                                                   * Our pre-school leader holds a Foundation degree in Early Years Care and Education (level 5), and our deputy holds a Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education. Other members of staff hold, or are working towards level 3 and 2 in Childcare Learning and development.                    * We provide regular in-service training to all staff - whether paid staff or volunteers - through the Pre-school Learning Alliance.Our pre-school budget allocates resources to training.                          * We provide staff induction training in the first week of employment. This induction includes our Health and Safety Policy and Procedures and Child Protection Policy and Procedures. Other policies and procedures will be introduced within an induction plan.                                                        * We support the work of our staff by holding regular supervision meetings and appraisals.               * We are committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation and best practice.                                                                                                                              * We use Ofsted guidance on obtaining references and criminal record checks through the Criminal Records Bureau for staff and volunteers who will have substantial access to children.

16. DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR PRE-SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

Minor disagreements                                                                                                                                        Minor disagreements among pre-school staff, or between staff and committee, can usually be resolved at the regular staff management meeting or informally by discussion.

Disciplinary procedure                                                                                                                                         A more serious situation arises when a dispute cannot be resolved, or when the committee is dissatisfied with the conduct or activities of an employee. Any disciplinary matter will normally be dealt with using the following procedure. At every stage the employee should be given reasonable notice (five days) that a disciplinary hearing is due to take place to give him/her the opportunity to prepare his/her case, and s/he should be offered the opportunity to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative if s/he wishes. The disciplinary panel in a committee-run group should consist of the pre-school chair and two nominated committee colleagues, who should ensure that confidentiality is maintained within the panel.

1. Oral warning                                                                                                                                                  i).The employee will be interviewed by the disciplinary panel who will explain the complaint.          ii)The employee will be given full opportunity to state his/her case.                                                      iii)After careful consideration by the disciplinary panel, and if the warning is considered to be appropriate, the employee needs to be told:                                                                                                   * what action should be taken to correct the conduct;                                                                                    * that s/he will be given reasonable time to rectify matters;                                                                           * what training needs have been identified, with timescales for implementation;                                  * what mitigating circumstances have been taken into account in reaching the decision;                    * that if s/he fails to improve then further action will be taken;                                                                       * that a record of the warning will be kept; and                                                                                                 * That s/he may appeal against the decision within a limited time period (five days).

2. Formal written warning

If the employee fails to correct his/her conduct and further action is necessary, or if the original offence is considered too serious to warrant an initial oral warning.                                                       i)The employee will be interviewed by the disciplinary panel who will explain the complaint and given the opportunity to state his/her case. (Reasonable time must be allowed for the employee to prepare his/her case).                                                                                                                                           ii)If a further formal warning is considered to be appropriate, this will be explained to the employee and a letter confirming this decision will be sent to the employee.                                                         iii)The letter will:                                                                                                                                                    * contain a clear reprimand and the reasons for it;                                                                                        * explain what corrective action is required and what reasonable time is given for improvement;      * state what training needs have been identified, with timescales for implementation;                        * make clear what mitigating circumstances have been taken into account in reaching the decision;                                                                                                                                                                  * warn that failure to improve will result in further disciplinary action which could result in a final written warning and, if unheeded, ultimately to dismissal with appropriate notice; and                         * explain that s/he has a right to appeal against the decision.

3. Final written warning                                                                                                                                       If the employee fails to correct his/her conduct and further action is necessary, or if the original offence is considered too serious to warrant any initial warnings.                                                              i) The employee will be interviewed and given the opportunity to state his/her case. (Reasonable time must be allowed for the employee to prepare his/her case).                                                             ii) If a final warning is considered to be appropriate, this will be explained to the employee and a letter confirming this decision will be sent to the employee.                                                                         iii) The letter will:                                                                                                                                                    * contain a clear reprimand and the reasons for it;                                                                                        * explain what corrective action is required and what reasonable time is given for improvement;      * state what training needs have been identified, with timescales for implementation;                        * make clear what mitigating circumstances have been taken into account in reaching the decision;                                                                                                                                                                 * warn that failure to improve will result in further disciplinary action which could result in dismissal; and                                                                                                                                                      * explain that s/he has a right to appeal against the decision.

4. Dismissal                                                                                                                                                          If the employee still fails to correct his/her conduct, then:                                                                            * the employee will be interviewed as before; and                                                                                         * If the decision is to dismiss, the employee will be given notice of dismissal, stating the reasons for dismissal and giving details of the right to appeal.                                                                                 If the progress is satisfactory within the time given to rectify matters, the record of warnings in the individuals file will be destroyed.

Suspension                                                                                                                                                              If the circumstances appear to warrant instant dismissal, an employee may be suspended with pay while investigations are being made. These should consist of obtaining written statements from all witnesses to the disciplinary incident, and from the employee who is being disciplined. Obviously these investigations should be carried out within as short a time as possible.

Instant dismissal is possible only in circumstances of gross misconduct. Examples of such misconduct would be:                                                                                                                                           * theft or fraud;                                                                                                                                                       * ill-treatment of children;                                                                                                                                      * assault;                                                                                                                                                                * malicious damage;                                                                                                                                            * gross carelessness which threatens the health and safety of others; or                                                * being unfit to work through use of drugs or alcohol.

Otherwise, an employee should not be dismissed without the appropriate warnings.

Appeals                                                                                                                                                                 At each stage of the disciplinary procedure the employee must be told s/he has the right to appeal against any disciplinary action, and that the appeal must be made in writing to the pre-school owner or chair within five days of a disciplinary interview. The appeal hearing should be heard, if possible within 10 days of receipt of the appeal. In a community group, two or three committee members - not, if possible, those involved in the initial disciplinary procedures - will serve as an appeals committee. In a privately-run group, manager(s) other than those involved in the earlier disciplinary stages should hear the appeal if at all possible. If this is not possible, the appeal group may consist of the same people as the original panel, and they must make every effort to hear the appeal as impartially as possible. The employee may take a colleague or trade union official to speak for her/him.

* The employee will explain why s/he is dissatisfied and may be asked questions.                             * The leader, owner, manager or chair will be asked to put his/her point of view and may be asked question.                                                                                                                                                                  * Witnesses may be heard and may be questioned by the appeals committee and by the employee and the leader, owner, manager or chair.                                                                                      * The committee will consider the matter and make known its decision.

A written record of the meeting will be kept.

Grievance procedure                                                                                                                                            If an employee is dissatisfied s/he must have the opportunity for prompt discussion with her/his immediate supervisor. For the supervisor of a pre-school this would normally be the manager/owner or committee chair. For other pre-school staff it would be the pre-school leader. If the grievance persists, a management panel should be set up for the purpose of further discussion, at which the employee may, if s/he wishes, be accompanied by a colleague.

There must be a right of appeal, to the owner or to the full pre-school committee. At this level also, the employee's colleague or trade union official may be present.

The aim of the above procedure is to settle the grievance fairly and as near as possible to the point of origin. It is intended to be simple and rapid in operation.

17. CONFIDENTIALITY POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                               It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality pre-school care and education.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                       We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                 To ensure that all those using - and working in - the pre-school can do so with confidence, we respect confidentiality in the following ways.

* Parents have ready access to the files and records of their own children but do not have access to information about any other child.                                                                                                                  * Staff will not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child's needs. Staff induction includes an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in the role of the key worker.                                                                            * Any concerns/evidence relating to a child's personal safety are kept in a secure, confidential file and are shared with as few people as possible on a "need-to-know" basis.                                            * Personal information about children, families and staff is kept securely in a lockable file whilst remaining as accessible as possible.                                                                                                             * Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.                                                                           * Students on Pre-school Learning Alliance or other recognised qualifications and training, when they are observing in the pre-school, are advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it.                                                                                                                                                                * Any personal files that a key person may have to complete in their own time will be kept in a secure place away from others, and returned the following day; staff have signed a separate agreement for this.

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the pre-school, which is to the safety and well being of the child. Please see also our policies on child protection (4) and the Social networking policy .

18. SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY

Authority                                                                                                                                                                This social networking policy applies to all associates, of The Playhouse Pre-School.

State of social media                                                                                                                                      Social media, professional networking sites, rapid-fire communications, blog sites, and personal Web sites are all useful technologies; The Playhouse Pre-School realises this fact. Every associate has an opportunity to express themselves and communicate online in many ways in their own time. Above all else, everyone needs to use good judgment on what material makes its way online.

This policy will set forth guidelines that employees should follow for all online social networking communications in reference to The Playhouse Pre-School, its staff, any parent, carer or child, past or present.

Relevant technologies                                                                                                                                        This policy includes (but is not limited to) the following specific technologies:                                    Personal blogs                                                                                                                                                     Twitter                                                                                                                                                          Facebook                                                                                                                                                      MySpace                                                                                                                                                         Personal Web sites

Responsibility                                                                                                                                                   Any material presented online in reference to The Playhouse pre-School, is the responsibility of the poster and is not necessarily correct. Any communication to be made should be in a professional manner. It is therefore recommended that current/past parents/carers are not to be “added as friends”. This is due to the nature of the personal content, such as language and photographs found within social networking sites such as Face book. Adding a parent may give them access to material on other “friends” pages that may give a less than professional impression of the pre-school and its staff. “Friends” however may not want their details available to a particular person; this may mean reviewing their own security settings within the social networking site.

Topic matter guidelines                                                                                                                                  The Playhouse Pre-School associates are encouraged to use the following guidelines in social networking practices:                                                                                                                                            * Maintain professionalism, honesty, and respect.                                                                                        * Maintain confidentiality, Apply a "good judgment" test for every activity related to The Playhouse Pre-School, its staff, any parent, carer or child, past or present                                                                   * Could you be guilty of leaking information, confidentiality, child protection issues, customer data, or upcoming announcements? Is it negative commentary regarding The Playhouse Pre-School?

 Activity showing good judgment would include;                                                                                              * Statements of fact about The Playhouse Pre-School and its services.                                                   * Facts about already-public information.

Further, if any associate becomes aware of social networking activity that would be deemed distasteful or fail the good judgment test, please contact the Manager, chairperson or a member of the trustees.

Inaccurate or defamatory content                                                                                                            Associates who participate in online communication deemed not to be in the best interest of The Playhouse Pre-School its staff, any parent, carer or child, past or present, will be subject to disciplinary action. This online communication can include but is not limited to:                                   * Pre-school information or data leakage.                                                                                                       * Inaccurate, distasteful, or defamatory commentary about the Pre-school, its staff, any parent, carer or child, past or present.

Disciplinary action can include termination or other intervention deemed appropriate by the committee trustees.

Off-Limits material                                                                                                                                             This policy sets forth the following items which are deemed off-limits for social networking:              * Any data including child or parent carer details                                                                                            * Any staff / committee or trustees personal data or details                                                                         * Any online communication regarding proprietary information such as layoffs, strategic decisions, or other announcements deemed inappropriate for uncoordinated public exchange is strictly forbidden from any online social networking discourse.

Remember you wouldn’t discuss personal details about yourself or the pre-school at the supermarket, because someone might over hear you, and it is just not professional. The same can be said of social networking sites!

19. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY

 

Statement of intent

Our pre-school is committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice 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; and make inclusion a thread which runs through all of the activities of the pre-school.

 

 

The legal framework for this policy is:                                                                                                              * Race Relations Act 1976;                                                                                                                                 * Race Relations Amendment Act 2000;                                                                                                          * Sex Discrimination Act 1986;                                                                                                                           * Children Act 1989; and                                                                                                                                       * Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001.

Methods; Admissions                                                                                                                                            Our pre-school is open to all members of the community.

We advertise our service widely. We reflect the diversity of members of our society in our publicity and promotional materials. We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form. We provide information in as many languages as possible.

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 that all parents are made aware of our equal opportunities policy. We develop an action plan to ensure that people with disabilities can participate successfully in the services offered by the pre-school 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 is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Criminal Records Bureau. 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, volunteers and parents 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 in the pre-school 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 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; ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities; and 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 into the pre-school. We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of the 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. We offer a flexible payment system for families of differing means.

Food                                                                                                                                                                       We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met. This is done by providing mainly fruit and vegetables at snack time, with the occasional treat such as cake or similar on special occasions. We help children to learn about a range of food, cultural approaches to mealtimes and eating and to respect the differences among them, through adult led food tasting, or again at snack time.

Meetings                                                                                                                                                  Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to may be involved in the running of the pre-school. Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways - written, verbal and in translation - to ensure that all parents have information about access to the meetings.

20. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENT

 

 

The Playhouse Pre-school is committed to the principles and practice of equal opportunity. The pre-school wishes to provide equal opportunities to all in employment, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, nationality, national origin, sexuality, religion, marital status and social class. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All employees will be treated fairly and equally. Selection for employment, promotion, training or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability. The equal opportunities policy will be distributed to all employees.

 

 

Our Commitment                                                                                                                                              Every employee is entitled to a working environment which promotes dignity and respect for all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated. The commitment to equal opportunities in the pre-school is good management practice and makes sound business sense.

Breaches of the pre-school’s equal opportunities policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.

21. STUDENT PLACEMENT POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                          This pre-school recognises that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education provided by pre-school settings. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years' qualifications and training.

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

Methods                                                                                                                                                                   * We require students to meet the 'suitable person' requirements of Ofsted.                                           * We require schools placing students under the age of 17 years with the pre-school to vouch for their good character.                                                                                                                                              * No student is allowed unsupervised access to children.                                                                           * Students who are placed in our pre-school on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios. Students who are placed for longer periods - for example, a year - may be counted in our staffing ratios provided we consider them to be competent.                                                                       * We take out employers' liability insurance and public liability insurance which covers both trainees and voluntary helpers.                                                                                                                          * We require students to keep to our confidentiality policy.                                                                          * 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 pre-school is managed, how our sessions are organised and 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 which hinder the essential work of the pre-school.                                                                                                   * We ensure that students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years' training which provides the necessary background understanding of children's development and activities.

22. FOOD AND DRINK POLICY

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                          This pre-school regards snack and meal times as an important part of the pre-school's session. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                          At snack times parents bring in fruit or vegetables for us to wash and then share with the children, we are mindful of children’s individual dietary requirements, such as allergies. We aim to meet the full requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Every Child Matters on Staying Healthy

Methods                                                                                                                                                             Before a child starts to attend the pre-school, we find out from parents their children's dietary needs, including any allergies. We record information about each child's dietary needs in her/his registration record and parents sign the record to signify that it is correct. We regularly consult with parents to ensure that our records of their children's dietary needs - including any allergies - are up-to-date. Parents sign the up-dated record to signify that it is correct. We display current information about individual children's dietary needs so that all staff and volunteers are fully informed about them. We implement systems to ensure that children receive only food and drink which is consistent with their dietary needs and their parents' wishes. We involve children and parents in the planning. We provide nutritious food at all snacks, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings. We encourage parents to provide packed lunches that include the following elements: protein for growth; and minerals and vitamins in salads and fruits. We encourage parents to use foods from their children's cultural backgrounds. Through discussion with parents and research reading by staff, we obtain information about the dietary rules of the religious groups, to which children and their parents belong, and of vegetarians and vegans, and about food allergies. We take account of this information in the provision of food and drinks. We require staff to show sensitivity in providing for children's diets and allergies. Children are not labelled or singled out because of their diet or allergy. We organise meal and snack times so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate. We use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink and feeding themselves. We provide children with utensils which are appropriate for their ages and stages of development and which take account of the eating practices in their cultures. We have fresh drinking water constantly available for the children. We inform the children about how to obtain the water and that they can ask for water at any time during the session/day. We give parents who provide food for their children information about suitable containers for food. We have rules about children sharing and swapping their food with one another in order to protect children with food allergies. For children who drink milk, we provide whole and pasteurised milk.

23. EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES POLICY

 

Statement of intent                                                                                                                                              We believe that high quality care and education is promoted by providing children with safe, clean, attractive, age and stage appropriate resources, toys and equipment.

Aim                                                                                                                                                                       We aim to provide children with resources and equipment which help to consolidate and extend their knowledge, skills, interests and aptitudes.

Methods                                                                                                                                                                 In order to achieve this aim: we provide play equipment and resources which are safe and - where applicable - conform to the BSEN safety standards or Toys (Safety) Regulation (1995);

we provide a sufficient quantity of equipment and resources for the number of children; we provide resources which promote all areas of children's learning and development, which may be child- or adult-led; we select books, equipment and resources which promote positive images of people of all races, cultures and abilities, are non-discriminatory and avoid racial and gender stereotyping; we provide play equipment and resources which promote continuity and progression, provide sufficient challenge and meet the needs and interests of all children; we provide made, natural and recycled materials which are clean, in good condition and safe for the children to use; we provide furniture which is suitable for children and furniture which is suitable for adults; we store and display resources and equipment where children can independently choose and select them; we check all resources and equipment regularly as they are set out at the beginning of each session and put away at the end of each session. We repair and clean, or replace any unsafe, worn out, dirty or damaged equipment; we keep an inventory of resources and equipment. This will record the date on which each item was purchased and the price paid for it; we use the inventory to: review the balance of resources and equipment so that they can support a range of activities across all areas of play, learning and development; and record the dates and results of checking the resources and equipment; we provide adequate insurance cover for the pre-school's resources and equipment; we use the local library and toy library to introduce new books and a variety of resources to support children's interests; and we plan the provision of activities and appropriate resources so that a balance of familiar equipment and resources and new exciting challenges is offered.