Introduction to Policy and Procedures Folder

Central Methodist Playgroup is managed by a committee consisting of parents and volunteers elected annually who on behalf of the other parents take on the responsibility for the managing of the group.

This policy and procedures statement folder and the records kept in it are a requirement of section 3 of the EYFS; Safeguarding and Welfare requirements and Ofsted and the statements in it are those agreed by parents and staff.

If you would like to be a part of the managing committee, please let a member of staff know.

Student Policy

This setting recognises that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education provided by early years settings. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years qualifications and training. We also offer placements for school pupils on work experience. We aim to provide for students on placement with us experiences that contribute to the successful completion of their studies and that provide examples of quality practice in early years care and education.


  • We require students on qualification courses to meet the 'suitable person' requirements of Ofsted and have DBS checks carried out.
  • We require schools placing students under the age of 17 years with the setting to vouch for their good character.
  • We supervise students under the age of 17 years at all times and do not allow them to have unsupervised access to children.
  • Students undertaking qualification courses who are placed in our setting on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios.
  • Trainee staff employed by the setting may be included in the ratios if they are deemed 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 setting 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 that hinder the essential work of the setting.
  • We ensure that trainees and students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years training, which provides the necessary background understanding of children's development and activities.

  • Confidentiality Policy

    At Central Methodist Playgroup, staff and managers can be said to have a ‘confidential relationship’ with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality early years care and education in our setting. 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. There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.

    Confidentiality procedures

  • Staff always check whether parents regard the information they share with us to be regarded as confidential or not.
  • Some parents sometimes share information about themselves with other parents as well as staff; Playgroup cannot be held responsible if information is shared beyond those parents whom the person has ‘confided’ in.
  • Information shared between parents in a discussion or meeting is usually bound by a shared agreement that the information is confidential to the group and not discussed outside of it.
  • We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep - for example with regard to any injuries, concerns or changes in relation to the child or the family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding action taken in respect of child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies in relation to their child.
  • We keep all records securely in a lockable cupboard.
  • The only time information can be shared without parents’ or carers’ consent is in the event of a child protection issue.

  • Employment Procedures

    We provide a staffing ratio in line with the Welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements.


  • To meet this aim we use the following ratios of adult to children:
  • children aged two years of age: 1 adult : 4 children; and
  • children aged three to seven years of age: 1 adult : 8 children.
  • We use a key person approach to ensure that each child has a named member of staff with whom to form a relationship and who plans with parents for the child's well-being and development in the setting. The key person meets regularly with the family for discussion and consultation on their child's progress. We hold regular staff meetings to undertake curriculum planning and to discuss children's progress, their achievements and any difficulties that may arise from time to time.

    Vetting and staff selection

  • 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 staff 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 our imposing conditions or requirements that are not justifiable.
  • We use Ofsted guidance on obtaining references and enhanced criminal record checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service for staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. This is in accordance with requirements under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 for the vetting and barring scheme.
  • We keep all records relating to employment of staff and volunteers, in particular those demonstrating that checks have been done, including the date and number of the enhanced DBS check.
  • Changes to staff

  • We inform Ofsted of any changes in the person responsible for our setting.
  • Training and staff development

  • Our setting leader holds the CACHE Level 4 Diploma in Pre-school Practice and all other staff hold the level 3 qualification in Pre-School Practice. One member of staff holds the EYPS status and has completed the Masters Degree
  • We provide regular in-service training to all staff - whether paid staff or volunteers - through the Pre- school Learning Alliance and external agencies
  • Our setting 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 Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy. 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
  • Managing staff absences and contingency plans for emergencies

  • If staff need to take time off for any reason other than sick leave or training, this is agreed with the manager with sufficient notice.
  • Where staff are unwell and take sick leave in accordance with their contract of employment, we organise cover to ensure ratios are maintained.
  • Sick leave is monitored and action is taken where necessary in accordance with the contract of employment.
  • We have contingency plans to cover staff absences, as follows:

  • Staff who are not on duty that particular day may be asked if they are available to work.
  • A list of qualified experienced practitioners who can come in at short notice and who have worked for us before on a casual basis is kept in the ‘contacts box’.
  • If none of the above can be contacted or are not available we may ask for a parent helper to be present during the session.

  • Equal Opportunities Policy

    Central Methodist Playgroup will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children, particularly those that arise from their ethnic heritage, social and economic background, gender, ability or disability. Our setting is committed to anti-discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and valuing diversity for all children and families. We aim to:

  • provide a secure and accessible environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are considered and valued;
  • include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity;
  • provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people;
  • improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity; and
  • make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities Playgroup.
  • Procedures


    Central Methodist Playgroup is open to all members of the community.

  • We advertise our service widely.

  • We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form.
  • We base our admissions policy on a fair system.
  • We ensure that all parents are made aware of our equal opportunities policy.
  • We do not discriminate against a child or their family, or prevent entry to our Playgroup, on the basis of colour, ethnicity, religion or social background, such as being a member of a Travelling community or an asylum seeker.
  • We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to our Playgroup for reason relating to disability.
  • We take action against any discriminatory behaviour by staff or parents. Displaying of openly discriminatory and possibly offensive materials, name calling, or threatening behaviour are unacceptable on or around the premises and will be dealt with in the strongest manner.
  • Employment (see also Employment Policy)

  • Applicants are welcome from all backgrounds and posts are open to all.
  • We may use the exemption clauses in relevant legislation to enable the service to best meet the needs of the community.
  • The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service. This ensures fairness in the selection process.
  • All job descriptions include a commitment to promoting equality and recognising and respecting diversity as part of their specifications.
  • Training

  • We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
  • We ensure that staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines and performing invasive care procedures when these are required.
  • We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for promoting equality, valuing diversity and inclusion.
  • Curriculum

    The curriculum offered at Central Methodist Playgroup encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as to people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

    Our environment is as accessible as possible for all visitors and service users. If access to Playgroup is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably then we make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled children and adults. We do this by:

  • making children feel valued and good about themselves;
  • ensuring that children have equality of access to learning;
  • undertaking an access audit to establish if the setting is accessible to all children;
  • making adjustments to the environment and resources to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory impairments;
  • making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities, e.g. recognising the different learning styles of girls and boys;
  • positively reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources;
  • avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of books or other visual materials;
  • celebrating a wide range of festivals;
  • creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance;
  • differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s special educational needs;
  • helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable;
  • ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities;
  • ensuring that children learning English as an additional language have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning; and
  • ensuring that children speaking languages other than English are supported in the maintenance and development of their home languages.
  • Valuing diversity in families

  • Central Methodist Playgroup welcomes the diversity of family lifestyles and works with all families.
  • We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life to the setting.
  • We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of the setting and to contribute fully.
  • For families who speak languages in addition to English, we will develop means to ensure their full inclusion.
  • We offer a flexible payment system for families of differing means and offer information regarding sources of financial support.
  • Food

  • Central Methodist Playgroup works in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met.
  • We help children to learn about a range of food, and of cultural approaches to mealtimes and eating, and to respect the differences among them.
  • Meetings

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

  • To ensure our policies and procedures remain effective we will monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meets the overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and valuing diversity.
  • We provide a complaints procedure and a complaints summary record for parents to see.

  • Home Visit Policy

    Aim: To provide an opportunity for a new child and family to meet staff in their own home prior to the child starting at the setting. The purpose of the visit is to help the child, family and key person get to know more about each other in the home environment where the child usually feels more relaxed. Only one home visit per family is usual.

    Procedure:A key person is allocated before the child starts pre-school. Home visits are offered to the family.

  • A home visit will always be attended by two members of staff, the key person and another staff member. The staff will make their own way to and way back from the family's home, this will take place during normal working hours.
  • The key person will use the home visit as a means of talking to the family, gaining information about the child and answering any questions the family may have.
  • The staff will stay together during the home visit and would not expect to be left alone with the child during the visit.
  • Visits will last a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • Staff will be conscious of the fact that they are guests in the family's home and will treat all families with a high level of respect and regard during the visit.
  • At any time during the visit, parents/carers may ask both members to leave and do not have to give a reason why.

  • Medication Policy

    A supervisor will take responsibility for any medication that may need to be administered. Parents will be asked in depth about the medication and will be asked to give a practical demonstration of any equipment to be used eg: an inhaler. Parents will be informed if the medication has been used. A written record of any medication administered will be kept. The medication has to be in the original bottle with clear Doctor’s directions. Paracetamol (Calpol) cannot be administered unless prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist. Calpol should be administered by a parent/carer before bringing the child to the setting if necessary.

    Outings Policy

    We aim to keep children safe on outings whilst in our care.

    In order to do this we will ensure that;

  • The ratio of adults to children on any outing will never be less than 1-1.
  • The Manager will carry out a trial run and full risk assessment of the proposed outing.
  • Essential equipment will be taken on the trip, including playgroups mobile phone and the first aid kit.
  • Records will be kept of any vehicles in which children are transported, including insurance details and a list of named drivers.
  • No member of staff will transport a child in their own vehicle.
  • We adhere to the lost child procedure and make parents aware of these procedures.

  • Complaints Procedure for Service Users

    As a Parent or Carer you can make a complaint, as can anyone else who has concerns about Playgroup and related matters.

    You should first of all contact the Playgroup Management Committee Chairperson or the Manager depending on who you feel is most appropriate, so that a meeting can be organised. This person may decide to involve another member of the committee or staff. Hopefully by doing this your concern can be resolved without further action.

    If you are still concerned then you must make a written complaint to the registering authority via a registration and inspection officer. Please write to:

    Ofsted Piccadilly Gate Store Street Manchester M1 2WD

    Please note that we welcome comments and suggestions and every half term we ask parents to fill in a ‘Parents’ Voice’ form and there is also a termly parental questionnaire.

    Philosophy Statement

    The aim of Central Methodist Playgroup is to enhance the development and education of children of pre-school age, in a happy and healthy environment by:

  • Offering quality in everything that we do
  • Upholding high professional standards
  • Effectively managing resources
  • Delivering a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Providing equality of access for all children in our care
  • Helping children to have self-respect and a respect for others and their environment
  • Offering quality training opportunities and support to staff
  • Providing equal opportunities
  • Recognising personal quality improvements
  • Being supportive of all team members
  • Being sensitive to the needs of parents
  • Developing a partnership approach with parents and carers

  • Safeguarding Children and Child Protection

    Central Methodist Pre-School recognise our moral and statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children are respected and valued. We are alert to the signs of abuse and neglect and follow our procedures to ensure that children receive effective support, protection and justice.

    Our core safeguarding principles are:

  • It is the settings responsibility to take all reasonable steps to safeguard and protect the rights, health and well-being of all children who are in our care.
  • Policies will be reviewed annually, unless an incident or new legislation suggests the need for an earlier review date.
  • The setting will ensure that the welfare of children is given paramount consideration when developing and delivering all activities.
  • All children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity, have equal rights to protection.
  • All staff have an equal responsibility to act on any suspicion or disclosure that may suggest a child is at risk of harm in accordance with this guidance.
  • Aims

    To provide all staff with the necessary information to enable us to meet our responsibilities to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children.

  • To demonstrate the setting's commitment to safeguarding children.
  • The Safeguarding Children's Board procedures and guidelines can be accessed at

    In the event of the setting or a member of staff being accused of a safeguarding allegation the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Phil Holmes will be contacted on: see Allegations against staff policy.

  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children.
  • We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and Criminal Record Bureau checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting.

  • The Children Act 1989 states that the child's welfare is paramount and that every child has a right to protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

    The setting should take necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The designated person for child protection in this early years setting is:

    Every staff member (including temporary/supply/volunteers/assistance) and committee members know the name of the designated person responsible for safeguarding children.

    The setting will ensure that the designated safeguarding person:

  • Is appropriately trained
  • Has an understanding of safeguarding procedures
  • keeps written records of all concerns when noted and reported by staff or when disclosed by a child, ensuring that such records are stored securely and reported onward with policy guidance, but kept separately from the child's general file.
  • Refers cases of suspected neglect and or abuse to children's social care or police in accordance with local procedure.
  • Ensures all staff sign to indicate they have read and understand this policy.

  • To meet and maintain our responsibilities towards children, the setting agree to the following standards of good practice:
  • To treat all children with respect .
  • To ensure all staff are positive role models to children and other members of the team and never engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games.
  • To encourage positive and safe behaviour among children
  • To be a good listener
  • To be alert to changes in a child's behaviour
  • To recognise that challenging behaviour may be an indicator of abuse
  • To ask the child's permission before doing anything for them which is of a physical nature, such as assisting with dressing or administering first aid
  • To be aware that the personal and family circumstances and lifestyles of some children lead to an increased risk of neglect and or abuse
  • Equip children with the skills they need to keep themselves safe To establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop, particular in their confidence and self-esteem and provide opportunities for achievement.
  • Intimate/Personal Care

    Children's dignity will be preserved and a level of privacy ensured. The normal process of nappy changing should not raise child protection concerns. There are no regulations that indicate a second member of staff must supervise the nappy changing process to ensure that abuse does not occur, but we ensure that staff do not leave themselves vulnerable and will always work in an open environment by avoiding private or unobserved situations or closing doors to toilet areas.

    Behavioural expectations to ensure false accusations are avoided

    Whilst caring for other people's children, we are in a position of trust and our responsibilities to them must be uppermost in practitioners' minds at all times. We do not: Use any kind of physical punishment or chastisement such as smacking, hitting or rough handling. Behave in a way that frightens or demeans any child Use any racist, sexist, discriminatory or offensive language Engage in rough or physical games, including tickling or horseplay Let allegations a child makes go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.

    Children who may be particularly vulnerable

    To ensure all children receive equal protection, we will give consideration and attention to children who are:

  • Disabled or have special educational needs
  • Living in a known domestic abuse situation
  • Affected by known parental substance misuse
  • Asylum seekers
  • Living in chaotic, neglectful and unsupported home situations
  • Vulnerable to discrimination and maltreatment on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality
  • Do not have English as a first language
  • Support for those involved in a child protection issue

    Child neglect and abuse is devastating for the child and can also result in distress and anxiety for staff who become involved. The setting will support the children and their families and staff by:

  • Taking all suspicions and disclosures seriously
  • responding sympathetically to any request from a member of staff for time out to deal with distress or anxiety
  • Maintaining confidentiality and sharing information on a need-to-know basis only with relevant individuals and agencies
  • Storing records securely
  • Offering details of help lines, counselling or other avenues of external support
  • Cooperating fully with relevant statutory agencies
  • Safer recruitment

    The setting practice robust recruitment procedures in checking the suitability of staff, volunteers, assistance to work with children this will include regular enhanced DBS checks, health checks and references. Safer recruitment means that all applicants will:

  • Complete an application form
  • Provide two referees.
  • Provide evidence of identity and qualifications
  • Be checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service as appropriate to their role.
  • Be interviewed
  • The applicant must disclose any cautions, convictions, court orders.
  • All new members of staff will undergo an induction that includes familiarisation with the settings safeguarding and child protection policy and identification of their own safeguarding and child protection training needs.
  • Safeguarding and child protection procedures Recognising abuse

    To ensure that our children are protected from harm, we need to understand what types of behaviour constitute abuse and neglect. We will ensure all staff understand their responsibilities in being alert to indicators of abuse and their responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated person responsible for child protection. There are four categories of abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.

    It is vital that staff are aware of the range of behavioural indicators of abuse and report any concerns to the designated person. We are aware it is our responsibility to report concerns. It is not my responsibility to investigate or decide whether a child has been abused.

    A child who is being abused or neglected may:

  • Have bruises, bleeding, burns, fractures or other injuries
  • Show signs of pain or discomfort
  • Look unkempt and uncared for
  • Change their eating habits
  • Appear fearful
  • Frequently be absent or arrive late
  • Show signs of not wanting to go home
  • Display a change of behaviour
  • Be wary of physical contact
  • Display sexual knowledge beyond that normally expected for their age
  • It is very important that you report your concerns – you do not need absolute proof that the child is at risk.
  • Taking Action

  • In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call 999
  • Report your concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Person immediately
  • If the Designated Safeguarding Person is not available ensure the information is shared with the most senior in the setting that day and ensure action is taken to report the concern to children's social care
  • Report to Kirklees duty and assessment service
  • Do not start your own investigation
  • Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • Complete a record of concern
  • Seek support for yourself if you are distressed
  • Parental Partnership

    Where possible concerns will be discussed with the parent/carer for an explanation, providing it does not put child at immediate risk. Parents must notify the setting regarding any concerns they may have about their child and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded.

    Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

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

  • Listens to the child, offers reassurance and gives assurance that she or he will take action;
  • Does not question the child;
  • Makes a written record that forms an objective record of the observation or disclosure that includes:
  • The date and time of the observation or disclosure.
  • The exact words spoken by the child as far as possible;
  • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time;
  • The names of any other person present at the time.
  • These records are signed and dated and kept in the child's personal file which is kept securely and confidentially.
  • Confidentiality and Sharing information

    All staff understand that child protection issues warrant a high level of confidentiality. Staff should only discuss concerns with the designated person or Manager. That person will then decide who else needs to have the information and will operate a need-to-know basis.

    Child protection information will be handled in line with the data protection act:

  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate
  • Kept no longer than necessary
  • Secure

  • Childrens Health & Safety

    1. The health and safety of children is paramount with in a childcare setting. Practitioners must provide a safe, accessible environment for children to learn and develop. Risk Assessments are carried out to identify any potential hazards and reduce risk. Whenever children are playing with or near water they must be constantly supervised. A paediatric first aider must be present at every session. A first aid box is present at every session and all staff are aware of it's location, I am responsible for keeping it well stocked and in date. Children wash hands before eating and after toilet use. Individual paper towels are used to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Settings should be made secure so children cannot wander off, also they have to be secure so that strangers cannot enter the building. No smoking on the premises is allowed and signs are displayed. Fire exits must be clearly marked and equipment checked regularly. Fire drills should be carried out often. A register is completed daily and visitors book used effectively. If an accident occurs concerning a child, gloves must be worn and the child dealt with by the registered first aider. The accident must then be recorded as soon as possible.

    2. At Central Methodist Playgroup we have a detailed Health and Safety policy which is reviewed regularly and acted on. A safety check-list is used, this helps us check daily that the toilets have been cleaned, paper towels are in place, alarms are on and the first aid box is available, etc. Health and Safety training is completed by Management and relaid through team meetings. Any issues or concerns that arise are also discussed in meetings. A self – evaluation form is completed, this enables us to constantly review health and safety and look at ways we can improve.

    3. Policies and procedures are kept up to date, it's effectiveness reviewed every six months. Management have overall day to day responsibility for the Health and Safety policy. All staff must read the policy, sign and return to playgroup. In team meetings we talk about the health and safety of children to make sure everyone has understood and knows their roles in keeping children safe. All staff are encouraged to add to the health and

    E-Safety and Social Networking Policy

    ICT, digital and mobile technology resources are now recognised as essential to support learning, teaching and personal and social development. They form part of an essential life skill. When using technology with young children and adults in their setting, practitioners need to ensure that the resource is used safely and responsibly.

    Why is internet use important?

  • The internet can be used to support learning as well as for social and personal development activities. It can motivate, engage and develop self esteem, confidence and as a tool development. It is now regarded as a necessary tool, in settings, for practitioners and children.
  • The internet is an essential element for education, business and social interaction. Our pre-school has a duty to provide children and young people with quality internet access as part of their experience.
  • Managing e-mail
    The pre-school will promote safe use of e-communications to other practitioners, professionals, parents/carers.
  • E-mails sent to an external organisation should be written carefully and authorised before sending, in the same way as a letter written on headed paper. How should website content be managed?
  • Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of children are published on the site.
  • Website photographs that include children will be selected carefully and will not enable individuals to be clearly identified.
  • Full names of children should not be used anywhere on the website, first names will only be used in association with photographs.
  • The manager will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate. Practitioners using social networking sites

    Social networks are very popular. The most popular social networks are web based, commercial and not designed for educational use. They include sites like facebook. As childcare workers, we have a professional image to uphold and how we conduct ourselves online helps determine this image. There have been instances of childcare professionals demonstrating professional misconduct while engaging in inappropriate dialogue about their setting or children, staff and parents. One of the hallmarks of social sites is the ability to “friend” parents/carers within these sites. When parents/carers gain access into a worker's network of friends and are able to view personal photos, the dynamic is altered. It is important to maintain a professional relationship to avoid relationships that could be misconstrued. For the protection of your professional reputation, it is expected that you comply with the following practices:

  • Do not accept parents/carers as friends on personal social networking sites.
  • Do not initiate friendships with parents.
  • Remember that people classified as “friends” have the ability to download and share your information with others.

  • Allegations against staff

    Registered providers must inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Registered providers must also notify Ofsted of the action taken in respect of the allegations. These notifications must be made as soon as it is practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegation being made. A registered provider who without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence.

    Policy Statement

    We aim to ensure all children in our care are safe from harm at the pre-school and outside pre-school. We ensure all parents know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff and volunteers within the setting. It is essential that any allegation be dealt with quickly and consistently, in a way that provides effective protection for children and at the same time supports staff.


  • We follow the guidance of the Kirklees Safeguarding Children's Board when receiving an allegation of abuse against a member of staff.
  • The concerned staff member will not be approached at this stage unless they impose an immediate risk to the children.
  • The manager shall inform the committee in relation to the allegation.
  • All details of the allegation will be recorded and reported to the Local Authority Designate Officer (LADO) Phil Holmes who can be contacted on:
  • The LADO will discuss the allegation with the Safeguarding Officer of the setting Katie and where necessary obtain further details of the allegation and the circumstances in which it was made. He will also consider if there is enough evidence that establishes that the allegation is false or there is not enough evidence, or whether disciplinary action is appropriate.
  • If the allegation is found to be true and there is reasonable cause to suspect that abuse did take place or is taking place, then the LADO will immediately refer the matter to Children's Social Care Services and arrange for strategy discussion to be held within 1 working day of the referral. In the event of a strategy meeting being held, then this should occur as soon as possible and will include the LADO and the safeguarding officer.
  • The safeguarding officer must co-operate fully in any investigation carried out by the LADO and Children's Social Care in conjunction with the police.
  • If the governing body and Children's Social Care agree the chair will suspend the staff member in question. This is not an indication that abuse has taken place, but it is to protect the staff as well as children and families throughout the process.
  • Ofsted will be notified regarding the allegation as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at least within 14 days of it occurring. Allegations can also be reported to keys reporting who will advise you on what action to take. They can be contacted through The Safeguarding Children's Board procedures and guidelines can be accessed at

  • Behaviour Management Policy

    Discipline is needed in playgroup in order to provide a safe and friendly environment for the children to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else.

    Central Methodist Pre-School staff and committee recognise that for children to get the best value they can from a Pre-School session, behaviour that leads to negative attitudes and wastage of time needs to be dealt with quickly.

    The named lead for behaviour management is Katie Wallace.

    . Rules governing the conduct of the group and the behaviour of the children will be discussed and agreed by the group and explained to all newcomers, both adults and children.

    All the adults in the group will have the responsibility for ensuring that the rules are applied consistenty so that children have the security of knowing what to expect.

    Staff will be aware of the contributing factors to unwanted behaviour and where possible listen to children to alleviate some of the problems. Children will be given the opportunity to develop good relationships with both peers and staff, helping to raise their confidence and self-esteem, thus preventing uncooperative behaviour.

    Staff will;

  • Welcome the children at the start of each session.
  • Get to know the child prior to attending through home visits.
  • Will tell the children their names.
  • Will have a fair, consistent and positive approach to all children.
  • Include the children, encouraging their ideas and questions.
  • Respond to their thoughts and suggestions.
  • Involve children in the decision making.
  • Celebrate achievements.
  • Where physical intervention is taken for the purposes of averting immediate danger a record is kept and parents will be notified.
  • The group has clearly defined policies to deal with unwanted behaviour.

    Staff will;

  • Help children to understand that rules need to be kept and remind them of these.
  • Intervene quickly and explain why the behaviour is unacceptable. Making sure that it is made clear to the child in question that it is the behaviour , and not the child that is unacceptable.
  • Distract children with other activities.
  • Talk over issues with parents and carers when the behaviour continues, to try and work out a long-term solution.
  • Staff will never;

  • Use physical punishment such as smacking or shaking.
  • Send children out of a room.
  • Single out individuals by using techniques such as a 'naughty chair'.
  • Shout or raise their voices in a threatening way.

  • Alcohol and Other Substance Policy

    We as a setting have overall responsibility for all children whilst they are in our care. It is vital that all staff are alert to any dangers. In order to do this effectively staff/volunteers/helpers must not be under the influence of alcohol or any form of drugs. If prescribed medication, medical advice will be sought. Staff will only be allowed to work if their ability to look after the children will not be impaired. All medication will be kept in the locked safe in the store cupboard.

    As a setting we also ask that any parent/carer arriving to pick up there child is not under the influence of alcohol or other substances and is safe to do so. Any concerns will be recorded and the safeguarding procedure will come into affect.

    Animals in the setting policy

    Children learn about the natural world, it's animals and other living creatures, as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.This may include contact with animals, or other living creatures, either in the setting or in visits. We aim to ensure that this is in accordance with sensible hygiene and safety controls.

    Visiting animals in the setting (pets)

  • Under no circumstances are animals to be brought onto the pre-school premises unless prior authorisation has been obtained
  • The only exception to the above relates to Guide Dogs
  • We carry out a risk assessment with a knowledgeable person accounting for any hygiene or safety risks posed by the animal or creature
  • If authorisation has been granted, all animals visiting must be free from disease, and safe to be with children
  • Children are taught correct handling and care of the animal or creature and are supervised
  • Children wash their hands after handling the animal or creature and do not have contact with soiled bedding or animal soil
  • If animals or creatures are brought in by visitors to show the children they are the responsibility of the owner
  • The owner is involved in the risk assessment, detailing how the animal or creature is to be handled and how any safety or hygiene issues will be addressed
  • Parental/carer consent will be sought before the handling/ exhibition of any animalor creature

  • Staff and Volunteer Induction and Training Policy

    We provide an induction for all staff, volunteers and managers in order to fully brief them about the setting, the families we serve, our policies and procedures, curriculum and daily practice. We have an induction plan for all new staff, which includes the following;

  • Introductions to all staff and volunteers, including management committee members.
  • Familiarising with the building, health and safety and fire procedures.
  • Ensuring our policies and procedures have been read and are carried out.
  • Introduction to parents, especially parents of allocated key children.
  • Familiarising them with confidential information in relation to any key children.
  • Details of the tasks and daily routines to be completed.
  • The induction period lasts two weeks. The Manager inducts new staff and volunteers. The chairperson or senior manager inducts new managers.
  • During the induction period, the individual must demonstrate understanding of and compliance with policies, procedures, tasks and routines.
  • Hours of work, rate of pay, sick and holiday leave.
  • EYFS training.
  • Safeguarding training
  • All training will be recorded. Staff training requirements will be evaluated annually during an appraisal with the line manager.

    Record Keeping Policy

    There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; means of storing and sharing that information take place within the framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act. This policy is taken in conjunction with the confidentiality policy and our procedures for information sharing.


    We keep two kinds of records on children attending our setting:

    Developmental records

  • These include observations of children in the setting, photographs and samples of their work and summary developmental reports.
  • These are kept in a cupboard in the main pre-school room and can be freely accessed, and contributed to, by staff, the child and the child's parents/carer. This cupboard is locked when the pre-school is not open.
  • Personal records

  • These include registration and admission forms, signed consent forms, and correspondence concerning the child or family, reports or minutes from meetings concerning the child from other agencies, any confidential matter involving the child, such as developmental concerns or child protection matters.
  • These confidential records are stored in a lockable cupboard and are kept secure by the person in charge.
  • Parents have 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 person.
  • We retain children's records for three years after they have left the setting.
  • Provider records

    We keep records for the purpose of maintaining our business. These include:

  • Records pertaining to our registration
  • Contractual documentation pertaining to amenities, services and goods.
  • Financial records pertaining to income and expenditure.
  • Risk assessments.
  • Employment and training records of staff.
  • Procedures

  • All records are the responsibility of the management committee who ensure they are kept securely.
  • All records are kept in an orderly way in files and filing is kept up-to-date.
  • Health and safety records are maintained; these include risk assessments, details of checks and inspections.
  • Our public liability insurance certificate is displayed.
  • All our employment and staff records are kept securely and confidentially.

  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating Policy

    At Central Methodist Pre-School we encourage children to develop a positive attitude to food and healthy lifestyles. This is achieved through adopting a whole setting approach which encompasses children, their families and staff. 'Good health in the early years helps to safeguard health and well being throughout life. It is important that children develop healthy habits when they first learn about food and activity' (Early Years Foundation Stage, 2008).

    Children under the age of 5 years have different nutritional needs to those of older children and adults. They have a high energy and nutrient requirement in relation to their size. Healthy eating messages aimed at adults are not wholly appropriate for children in early years. Early years is an important time to shape food preferences and habits, by allowing children to make their own selections through guided choice, this can have a positive impact on health in later life.

  • Those responsible for food preparation and handling of food must be competent to do so and will have the appropriate food hygiene/safety qualifications.
  • Information must be made available to parents/carers regarding food and drinks provided for the children.
  • If parents provide packed lunches or other food from home, pre-school will inform them about what can be transported and stored safely and about appropriate food content.
  • Staff will be good role models for healthy eating.

  • Allergies/Food preferences/Special Diets

    The setting will obtain and record necessary information from parents/carers regarding any ethnic/ cultural or special dietary requirements, preferences or food allergies in advance of the child being admitted to the setting. A health care plan will be put in place.


  • The setting will provide healthy, balanced and nutritious snacks and drinks.
  • No salt or sugar will be added to foods.

  • Snack Time

  • The setting will pro-actively involve children at snack times to create a social occasion which provides opportunities to promote children's social and educational development as well as encourage good eating habits and table manners.
  • Fussy eaters will be encouraged but not forced to eat. Praise will be given when the child eats, food will be removed without judgement if the child refuses food.
  • Children will be given enough time to eat their snack.

  • Drinks

  • Children will have access to drinking water at all times.
  • Children over the age of two may be offered semi-skimmed milk.
  • The only drinks provided throughout the day at any time will be milk and water.
  • Celebrations

  • Where birthday cakes, sweets are brought into the setting, we will take into account possible allergies/special diets of other children and will be eaten after snack time or sent home with the child at the end of session.
  • Parents/carers will be consulted over appropriate ways to celebrate ethnic/cultural and religious occasions.
  • Top Tips for Good Practice

  • Use child sized cutlery and crockery.
  • Involve children in table setting and clearing away after snack.
  • Snack time can be used as an opportunity for children to learn about healthy eating and socialising.

  • Missing Child Policy

    Children's safety is maintained as the highest priority at all times both on and off premises. Every attempt is made through carrying out the outings procedure and the exit/entrance procedure to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our missing child procedure is followed.

    Child going missing on the premises

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing the key person/staff alerts the setting leader.
  • The setting leader will carry out a thorough search of the building and car park.
  • The register is checked to make sure no other child has gone astray.
  • Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.
  • If the child is not found, the parent is contacted and the missing child is reported to the police.
  • The setting leader talks to the staff to find out when and where the child was last seen and records this.
  • The setting leader contacts the chairperson and reports the incident. The chairperson, with the management committee carries out an investigation and may come to the setting immediately.
  • Child going missing on an outing

    This describes what to do when staff have taken a small group on an outing, leaving the setting leader or another member of staff back at the setting. What to do when a child goes missing from a whole setting outing may be a little different, as parents attend and are responsible for their own child.

  • 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 member searches the immediate vicinity but does not search beyond that.
  • The setting leader or manager is contacted immediately and the incident is reported.
  • The setting leader contacts the police and reports the child as missing.
  • The setting leader contacts the parents, who make their way to the setting or outing venue as agreed with the setting leader. The setting is advised as the best place, as by the time the parent arrives, the child may have been returned to the setting.
  • Staff take the remaining children back to the setting.
  • 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 setting leader contacts the chairperson and reports the incident. The chairperson, with the management committee carries out an investigation and may come to the setting immediately.
  • The setting leader, or designated staff member may be advised by the police to stay at the venue until they arrive.
  • The Investigation

  • Staff keep calm and do not let the other children become anxious or worried.
  • The setting leader together with the chairperson or representative from the management committee or owner, speaks with the parent.
  • The chairperson and management committee or owner, carry out a full investigation taking written statements from all the staff in the room or who were on the outing.
  • The key person member writes an incident report detailing;
  • The date and time of the report.
  • What staff/children were in the group/outing and the name of the staff designated responsible for the missing child.
  • When the child was last seen in the group/outing.
  • What has taken place in the group or outing since the child went missing.
  • The time it is 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. Children's social care may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.
  • The incident is reported under RIDDOR arrangements; the local authority Health and Safety Officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.
  • In the event of disciplinary action needing to be taken, Ofsted is informed.
  • The insurance provider is informed.
  • Managing people

  • Missing child incidents are very worrying for all concerned. Part of managing the incident is to try to keep everyone as calm as possible.
  • The staff will feel worried about the child, especially the key person or the designated carer responsible for the safety of that child for the outing. They may blame themselves and their feelings of anxiety and distress will rise as the length of time the child missing increases.
  • Staff may be the understandable target of parental anger and they may be afraid. Setting leaders need to ensure that staff under investigation are not only fairly treated but receive support while feeling vulnerable.
  • The parents will feel angry, and fraught. They may want to blame staff and may single out one staff member over others; they may direct their anger at the setting leader. When dealing with a distraught and angry parent, there should always be two members of staff, one of whom is the setting leader and the other should be the chairperson of the management committee or representative. No matter how understandable the parents anger may be, aggression or threats against staff are not tolerated, and the police should be called.
  • The other children are also sensitive to what is going on around them. They too may be worried. The remaining staff caring for them need to be focused on their needs and must not discuss the incident in front of them. They should answer children's questions honestly but also reassure them.
  • In accordance with the severity of the final outcome, staff may need counselling and support. If a child is not found, or is injured, or worse, this will be a very difficult time. The chairperson will use their discretion to decide what action to take.
  • Staff must not discuss any missing child incident with the press without taking advice.