Policies and Procedures

These policies have been written to provide a clear and concise foundation to the working relationship between all parties involved, myself (the childminder), the children in my care and their parents. They will function to help avoid any misunderstanding or confusion that may occur, covering both contractual obligations and daily practice by all parties.

I have policies and procedures on the following:

  • Accident and Emergency Policy
  • Behaviour Management Policy
  • Complaints Policy & Procedure
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Food Hygiene Procedure
  • Health and Safety Policy (including Sick or Infectious Children Exclusion Policy)
  • Inclusion and Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Major Allergens Policy
  • Pets Policy and Procedure
  • Photo, Phone and Camera Policy
  • Procedure if a child is lost or goes missing
  • Procedure if a child is not collected
  • SEND Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Safeguarding Children Child Protection Policy
  • Working with Parents Policy
  • Ratio and Child Numbers Policy
  • Plan to meet Individual Children’s Needs

All of the above policies and procedures will be given to you if you take a place for your child.

Admissions

This is an introductory meeting where both the parent(s), child(ren) and I get together for an informal chat in my home. It usually lasts about an hour and gives me the opportunity to explain the childcare service that I offer, and to discuss the parent’s requirements i.e. days and hours. I then give the parent one of my information brochures with a business card and suggest that they go home and consider everything (i.e. if the child will be happy in my care) and ask them to telephone me within a few days if they wish to proceed. If they do, another session is arranged where records are completed and a contract drawn up. I also ask that if parents decide that my childcare setting is not for them to call me and discuss the reasons for this. This is to enable me to learn and improve my childcare setting.

House Rules

These rules are to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.

At meal and snack times, children will sit at the dining table or in a highchair, or outside if weather permits. This promotes good table manners, eating skills and helps to teach communication skills. Name-calling or yelling is not allowed as it’s unpleasant and the majority of children get very distressed. Foul language is prohibited and I won’t have it used in my home. Hitting, pushing, biting, grabbing, spitting or pinching anybody is not permitted.

Outdoor play will always be supervised. Children will be taught to respect people, property and material objects. I emphasise the importance and practice of good manners. Even young children are capable of saying and understanding some of the most common and crucial phrases, such as “Thank you”, “No thank you”, “Please” and “I’m sorry” and we make use of “baby sign language” to help little one’s communicate. Smoking whether inside or outdoors is totally off limits. Children and their parents are very welcome in the areas of the home covered by my registration.

Behaviour Management

I operate non-smoking and non-physical punishment policies in line with NCMA. No child in my care will suffer pain or humiliation, as I believe in positive discipline as a more effective way of managing behaviour:

  • Reward good behaviour
  • Praise and give attention to avoid it being sought
  • Make children feel valued and set realistic targets
  • Be consistent in saying NO and explaining the reason for it
  • Ensure an apology and hugs are given to others
  • Have a set of house rules that apply to all
  • Communicate with parents if a problem arises to find a solution
  • Set a good example myself
  • Respond to unwanted behaviour appropriately, according to the age and level of understanding

Confidentiality

Information held about a child and their family will never be shared without permission of the parent except when in the interest of protecting the child. For example, sharing relevant details with a specialist because of a health or behaviour problem etc or in the case of suspected abuse. However this is still subject to the principle of confidentiality. All information held about a child is stored away from children. Parents are free to come and look at the details held in respect of their own offspring at anytime.

Health

When cooking and baking with children as an activity, I will ensure that the ingredients are as healthy and wholesome as possible, thus promoting and extending the children’s understanding of a well-balanced diet.

Children will have the opportunity to play in the fresh air throughout the year, either in my own rear garden or at local parks etc.

Parents are asked to keep their children at home if they have any infection and to inform me of the nature of it, so that I can alert my other parents and make careful observations of any child who seems unwell.

Pets on the premises are safe to be in the proximity of children and do not pose a health threat.

Parents are asked not to bring a child for care who has been vomiting or had diarrhoea until at least 24 hours has passed, since the last attack.

Cuts or open sores originating from home must be covered with sticking plaster or other protective dressing, and details of these will be recorded when your child is dropped off into my care.

If a child were on short-term medication, I would prefer it to be administered to them by the parent before they leave for work. When this is not convenient, I am only prepared to do it with the parent’s written permission. The medicine must be in its original container with clear instructions.

I will ensure that my first aid equipment remains clean, replenished and replaced as necessary. Sterile items will be kept sealed in their original packages until needed. If an accident occurs to a child whilst they are in my care, then I will write an accident report, which the parent must sign and date upon collection.

I am happy to discuss any health issues with parents at anytime and obtain information if possible. Written parental consent is obtained at the initial onset of placement to seek any necessary emergency medical treatment etc that may be needed in the future, whilst in my care.

Hygiene

The toys and equipment in my home are always in a suitable state of cleanliness.

Hands will be washed with soap after using the toilet, touching animals or messy play etc and before having anything to eat or drink.

A box of tissues will always be at hand and children will be encouraged to blow and wipe their noses when necessary. Soiled tissues will be disposed of hygienically. Children will be encouraged to cover their mouths when coughing.

Any spills of blood, vomit or excrement will be wiped up with antibacterial wipes and flushed down the toilet. Disposable gloves will always be used when cleaning up spills of body fluids.

Floors and other infected areas will be disinfected using an anti-bacterial bleach or cleaner, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Soiled pants and clothing will be placed in a bag to be taken home. All surfaces will be wiped with an appropriate cleaning agent.

I will always wash my hands thoroughly before handling food and after using the toilet and changing nappies.

Different cleaning cloths will be used for kitchen and bathroom areas.

Raw food and cooked food will be prepared in separate places. Waste will be disposed of correctly in a bin, out of the children’s reach and after using it, I will wash my hands thoroughly.

Non-Smoking

A non-smoking policy is in force in my home and garden at all times and I expect all visitors to respect it.

Physical Contact

I like to inform parents in advance of the nature and type of physical contact that their child will experience whilst in my care. No physical punishment is given to any child whilst with me as I think that discipline should be taught through reason and affection. The three main types of contact are:

  • Nurturing: which includes hugs, non-intimate kisses i.e. on the head or cheek, hand holding, gentle tickling and cuddling. This type of contact is never given unless the child feels comfortable or they express it.
  • Safety and Guidance: which includes restraining children from harmful situations, separating children who are in physical conflict, directing children by gently leading or guiding them and administering first aid to injuries.
  • Hygiene: which includes washing of hands and faces, assisting with bathroom duties (according to the age and ability of the child concerned), nappy changing, examining rashes and unusual marks, nose blowing and any necessary clothing changes.

Working In Partnership with Parents and Families

Being a registered childminder is a demanding occupation that involves sharing responsibilities with the children in my care and their families. Most importantly, recognizing the prime role that they play in their children’s upbringing. Therefore I can assure you that I will never try to take over or act as a substitute parent. You as a parent know your child best and I will listen to your advice etc.

There will be a written contract with parents, which sets out the expectations of both parties as to the care of the child and the business arrangements.

Respect will be shown for family’s traditions and childcare practices plus the service that I offer will run harmoniously with your own values, wishes and beliefs.

Communication is very important to me. When I accept a new family into my business, I hope that we’ll be able to share any concerns or questions that may arise. I welcome anything that has a positive outcome etc on a child in my care.

You are free to telephone me any time between 8 am and 6 pm. If you do call during the day, please be aware that we may be out or I could be busy with the children and not in a position to answer easily. However, just leave a message on the answer phone and I will call you back as soon as possible.

Sick Children

I am a “well-child” care provider and will not look after children who are ill. This is because, my own family, your child, others whom I child mind for and I will suffer in terms of health, well-being and safety. If your child is ill or showing signs of it, or your child is unable to participate in our normal routine, you must not bring them to me for care.

When a youngster is sick, they require the comforts of their home, plus the love and attention of their parent.

If your child is returned to my care before being fully recovered or not collected promptly when a parent is asked to, earlier than the contracted hours etc due to feeling poorly, everybody else is inconvenienced unnecessarily. Also, if my family and I catch an infection due to a child not being kept at home when appropriate, I will not be able to child mind, subsequently lose my income and other families will have to make alternate childcare arrangements which leads to disruption. Therefore, your co-operation in this matter is very important and much appreciated.

When a child arrives, he / she will be checked visually for illness. If they become poorly whilst in my care, and need to be collected, I expect a parent to arrive within an hour of my telephoning. If the latter cannot be reached or doesn’t appear within the designated time, their emergency contact person will be called and asked to collect the child instead.

For the benefit of the other minded children and my family and I, a sick child will not be allowed to return to care until 24 hours after their condition has returned to normal. A child may come back 48 hours (depending on the illness) after they have received the first dose of an antibiotic.

If you aren’t sure about whether to bring your child, please ring me and we can discuss the matter together. Allergy related symptoms and non-communicable illnesses do not require exclusion. In the case of head lice, a child will be excluded until treated, so minimising the risk of infecting others. To further prevent an outbreak, frequent checks should also be made.

Complaints Procedure

It’s your right as a parent to pass on or complain about the care and education of your child whilst they’re in my home, if you’re not happy with it.

I gladly welcome any suggestions that you may have and will always take any concerns seriously.

If you do have a worry etc, please remember that I am always willing and available to discuss an issue, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Just let me know and we will arrange a mutually convenient time for us to both meet and chat further, without any children being around. Please remember, that this applies to myself too, if I have any problems that I wish to raise about your child. Hopefully, this will resolve the matter and achieve a satisfactory outcome. If not, you should contact your local OFSTED who’s responsible for the registration of childminders and ensuring that they adhere to the laid down regulations. However, I am confident that most things can be sorted out at an early stage, between the parent and myself.