WISE OWLS PRE-SCHOOL

An Outstanding Pre-School based in the beautiful village of Lacock

Policies

Children’s rights and entitlements

At Wise Owls we promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.
We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.
We promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.
We help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults.
We work with parents to build their understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.
Safeguarding children and child protection – 
Wise Owls will work with children, parents, carers and the community to ensure the rights and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Our Safeguarding Policy is based on the three key commitments of the Pre-school Learning Alliance Safeguarding Children Policy.

Key commitment 1: We are committed to building a culture of safety in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of its service delivery.

Key commitment 2: We are committed to responding promptly and appropriately to all incidents or concerns of abuse that may occur and to work with statutory agencies in accordance with the procedures that are set down in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’ (HMG 2006).

Key commitment 3: We are committed to promoting awareness of child abuse issues throughout our training and learning programmes for adults. We are also committed to empowering young children, through its early childhood curriculum, promoting their right to be strong, resilient and listened to.

Looked after children – 
Wise Owls is committed to providing quality provision based on equality of opportunity for all children and their families. All staff and volunteers at Wise Owls are committed to doing all they can to enable looked after children in our care to achieve and reach their full potential.

Children become looked after if they have either been taken into care by the local authority, or have been accommodated by the local authority (a voluntary care arrangement). Most looked after children will be living in foster homes, but a smaller number may be in a children’s home, living with a relative or even placed back home with their natural parent(s).

We recognise that children who are being looked after have often experienced traumatic situations; physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. However, we also recognise that not all looked after children have experienced abuse and there are a range of reasons for children to be taken into the care of the local authority. Whatever the reason, a child’s separation from their home and family signifies a disruption in their lives that has impact on their emotional well-being. Most local authorities do not place children under the age of five with foster carers who work outside the home, however there are instances when this does occur or when the child has been placed with another family member who works.

We place emphasis on promoting children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to. Our policy and practice guidelines for looked after children are based on two important concepts, attachment and resilience. The basis of this is to promote secure attachments in children’s lives as the basis for resilience. These aspects of well-being underpin the child’s responsiveness to learning and enable the development of positive dispositions for learning.

For young children to get the most out of educational opportunities they need to be settled enough with their carer to be able to cope with further separation, a new environment and new expectations made upon them.
Uncollected child – Click here to return to the top
Policy statement In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult by their expected collection time, we put into practice agreed procedures. These ensure the child is cared for safely by an experienced and qualified practitioner who is known to the child and that the child will receive a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible. We inform parents and principal carers of our procedures so that if they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for. We also use these procedures in circumstances where an unauthorised person attempts to collect a child from the setting.

Missing child – 
Children’s safety is our highest priority, both on and off the premises. Every attempt is made, through the implementation of our outings procedure and the entrance/exit 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.

Mobile phones – 
At Wise Owls we take steps to ensure that there are effective procedures in place to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from the unacceptable use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.

Photography – 
Photographs are a valuable tool for recording and assessing children’s activities and achievements.
At Wise Owls we use photographs for different purposes including in a child’s learning journey and for display purposes within the setting. We ensure that parents and carers understand their child may also be on another photograph that may be used in another child’s learning journey, but not as the primary person. If a parent or carer is not happy about one or more of these uses, we will respect their wishes and find alternative ways of recording their child’s play or learning.

At Wise Owls we meet the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that 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.

Recruitment – 
At Wise Owls we recognise that high quality childcare and early education provision is dependent on the input of a professional, well qualified, highly motivated staff team. To achieve this, we believe it is important to recruit individuals with different skills and experience from a variety of different backgrounds. We fully subscribe to the principle of equality of opportunity and do not discriminate on the grounds of gender, age, disability, race, ethnic origin, language, political beliefs, trades union membership, religion, marital status or sexual orientation.

Student placement – 
We recognise that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education we provide. As part of our commitment to quality and to our community, we offer placements to school students on work experience. We aim to provide for a student on a placement with us, an experience that provides an example of quality practice in early years care and education.

At Wise Owls we provide an induction for all employees and volunteers in order to brief them fully about the setting, the families we serve, our policies and procedures, our curriculum and daily practices.

First aid – 
Policy statement At Wise Owls, staff are able to administer first aid treatment in the event of an accident involving a child or adult. At least one member of staff with current first aid training 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, is local authority approved and relevant to adults caring for young children.

At Wise Owls we believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to; someone who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs.

Research shows that the key person approach benefits the child, the parents, carers, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents and carers are confident, our staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in. We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with us. We also want parents and carers to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners with the setting.

We aim to make the setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families. The key person role is set out in the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each child must have a key person. These procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children.

At Wise Owls we provide a staffing ratio in line with the Safeguarding and 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 enhanced criminal records through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements.

Administering medication – 

Whilst it is not our policy to care for sick children who should be at home until they are well enough to return to the setting, we will agree to administer prescribed medication as part of maintaining their health and well-being or when they are recovering from an illness. We ensure that where medicines are necessary to maintain the health of a child, they are given correctly and in accordance with legal requirements.

In many cases, it is possible for the child’s GP to prescribe medicine that can be taken at home in the morning and evening. As far as possible, administering medicines will only be done where it would be detrimental to the child’s health if not given in the setting. If a child has not had a medication before, it is advised that the parent or carer keeps the child at home for the first 48 hours to ensure there are no adverse effects, as well as to give time for the medication to take effect.

Our staff are responsible for the correct administration of medication to children who attend the setting. This includes ensuring that parental consent forms have been completed, that medicines are stored correctly and that records are kept according to procedures. In the absence of the key person, the Pre-school Supervisor is responsible for overseeing the administering of medication.

Managing children who are sick, infectious or with allergies – 

We aim to provide care for healthy children through preventing cross-infection of viruses and bacterial infections and promote health through identifying allergies and preventing contact with the allergenic trigger.

Recording and reporting of accidents and incidents – 

At Wise Owls we follow the guidelines of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) for the reporting of accidents and incidents. Child Protection matters or behavioural incidents between children are not regarded as incidents and we have separate procedures for this.

Nappy changing – 

No child is excluded from participating in our setting who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent. We work with parents and carers towards toilet training unless there are medical or other developmental reasons why this may not be appropriate at the time. We provide nappy changing facilities and exercise good hygiene practices in order to accommodate children who are not yet toilet trained.

We see toilet training as a self-care skill that children have the opportunity to learn with the full support and non-judgemental concern of adults.

Food and drink – 

We regard snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for both children and adults and helps children to learn about healthy eating.

We provide healthy snacks for children during both the morning and afternoon sessions. Those children who remain with us all day, join us with packed lunches which are provided from home.

Food hygiene

We provide healthy snacks for children during both the morning and afternoon sessions. We maintain the highest possible food hygiene standards with regard to the storage, preparation and serving of snacks and food for social events.

Achieving positive behaviour –

At Wise Owls we believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are understood, supported and met and where there are clear, fair and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.

As children develop, they learn about boundaries, the difference between right and wrong and to consider the views and feelings, and needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on other people, places and objects. The development of these skills requires adult guidance to help encourage and model appropriate behaviours and to offer intervention and support when children struggle with conflict and emotional situations. In these types of situations key staff can help identify and address triggers for the behaviour and help children reflect, regulate and manage their actions

At Wise Owls we believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for everyone.

We aim to make children, parents and carers, staff and volunteers 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.
Our member of staff responsible for health and safety is the Pre-school Supervisor, Sally and she is competent to carry out these responsibilities. She has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.
We display the necessary health and safety poster in the Manor Room.
We work with the Lacock Village Hall Committee and make them aware of any issues, ensuring that the Manor Room adheres to all of the requirements of the various regulations regarding health and safety.
Maintaining children’s safety and security on premises – 

We maintain the highest possible security of our premises to ensure that each child is safely cared for during their time with us. We work closely with the Lacock Village Hall Committee, parents and carers as well as any contractors who work on the premises to ensure that we meet our standards.

Supervision of children on walks and visits –

Children benefit from being taken outside of the setting to go on visits or walks to the local park or other suitable venues within the village for activities which enhance their learning experiences. Our procedures are designed to keep children safe on walks and visits and we ensure that members of staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the procedures as laid out below and are aware of the importance of these.

Risk Assessment – 
We believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents, carers, staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

Fire safety and emergency evacuation – 
We ensure our premises present no risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions and also meet the requirements laid down by the Lacock Village Hall Committee. The Pre-school Supervisor and staff are familiar with the current legal requirements.

Where necessary we seek the advice of a competent person, such as the Fire Officer or Fire Safety Consultant. A Fire Safety Log Book is used to record the findings of risk assessments, any actions taken or incidents that have occurred and out fire drills.

Animals in the setting – 
Children learn about the natural world, its animals and other living creatures, as part of the Learning and Development Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This may include contact with animals, or other living creatures, either in the setting or on visits. We aim to ensure that this is in accordance with sensible hygiene and safety controls.

No smoking, drugs or alcohol – 
We comply with health & safety regulations, the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the requirements of the Lacock Village Hall Committee in making our setting a non-smoking and drug-free environment both inside the premises and in the outdoor area. We do not provide alcohol or allow alcohol to be consumed at any social function where children are present.

At Wise Owls we will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children. We recognise that children and their families come from diverse backgrounds. All families have needs and values that arise from their individual, social, economic, ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds.

Children grow up in diverse family structures that include two parent and one parent families; some children have two parents of the same sex. Some children have close links with extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins while others may be more removed from close family or may live with other relatives or foster carers. Some children have needs that arise from a disability or may have parents that are affected by disability. Some children come from families who experience social exclusion or severe hardship; some have to face discrimination and prejudice because of their ethnicity, the languages they speak, their religious or belief background, their gender or their impairment.

We understand that these factors affect the well-being of children and can impact on their learning and attainment. We are 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 family structures, diverse socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people;
improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity;challenge and eliminate discriminatory actions;make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities of the setting; andfoster good relations between all communities.
Supporting children with special needs – 
At Wise Owls we provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs (SEN), are supported to reach their full potential. Therefore:

We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs.
We support parents, carers and children with special educational needs.
We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs at the earliest opportunity and meet those needs through a range of SEN strategies.
We work in partnership with parents, carers and other agencies in meeting individual children’s needs.
We monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.

It is our intention to make our setting accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open and clearly communicated procedures.

Parental involvement – 
At Wise Owls we believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents, principal carers and settings work together in partnership. Our aim is to support parents and carers as their child’s first and most important educators by involving them in their child’s education and in the full life of the setting.

Some parents are less well represented in early year’s settings; these include fathers, parents who live apart from their children, but who still play a part in their lives, as well as working parents. In carrying out the following procedures, we will ensure all parents are included.

When we refer to parents, we mean both mothers and fathers; these include both natural or birth parents as well as step-parents and parents who do not live with their children, but have contact with them and play a part in their lives. Parents also include same sex parents as well as foster parents.

The Children Act (1989) defines parental responsibility as being ‘all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority which in law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.

Children’s records –
At Wise Owls we have record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; the means we use to store and share that information takes place within framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act.

This policy and procedure is taken in conjunction with our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy and our Information Sharing Policy.

Provider records – 
We keep records and documentation for the purpose of maintaining our business. These include:

Records pertaining to our registration.
Landlord/lease documents and other contractual documentation pertaining to amenities, services and goods.
Financial records pertaining to income and expenditure.
Risk assessments.
Employment records of our staff including their name, home address and telephone number.
Names, addresses and telephone numbers of anyone else who is regularly in unsupervised contact with the children.
We consider our records as confidential based on the sensitivity of information, such as with employment records. These confidential records are maintained with regard to the framework of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998)

This policy and procedure should be read alongside the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy and Information Sharing Policy.

Transfer of records to school – 
We recognise that children sometimes move to another early years setting before they go on to school although many will leave us to enter a nursery or reception class. We prepare children for these transitions and involve parents/carers and the receiving setting or school in this process. We prepare records about a child’s development and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage in our setting; in order to enable smooth transitions, we share appropriate information with the receiving setting or school at transfer.
Confidential records are shared where there have been child protection concerns according to the process required by our Local Safeguarding Children Board. The procedure guides this process and determines what information we can and cannot share with a receiving school or another setting.

Confidentiality and client access to records – 
In our setting, members of staff and the Management Committee 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. We have record-keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; the means that we use to store and share that information takes place within the framework of the Data protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998).

Information sharing – 
At Wise Owls we recognise that parents and principal carers have a right to know that the information they share with us will be regarded as confidential and that they will be informed about the circumstances and reasons why we are obliged to share information. We are obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it or to whom it relates, if it is in the public interest. That is when:

it is to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been, or to prevent harm to a child or adult; or
not sharing it could be worse than the outcome of having shared it.
The decision should never be made as an individual, but with the back-up of the Chair and members of the Management Committee. The three critical criteria are:
where there is evidence that the child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm;
where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm; or
to prevent significant harm to children and young people or adults, including the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.
Working in partnership with other agencies – 
We work in partnership with local and national agencies to promote the well-being of all children.

Making a complaint –
We believe that children, parents and carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and will give serious and prompt attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly, by an informal approach with the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim is to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

Advertising – 
We recognise the importance of promoting the services we provide to families in the local community who may want to use them. We provide information about our services in a variety of different ways and aim to make it as accessible as possible to all.

We recognise that the most effective advertising will be through recommendations from users of the setting who are happy with the service we provide. We will therefore, continue to strive towards providing high-quality care and learning for all the children we cater for. Our staff, officers and members of the Management Committee will be aware of this and will treat all children, parents, carers, colleagues and visitors with courtesy and respect at all times.