Below you will find a summary of all of the policies and procedures followed by myself and my childminding assistant at our Darwen based childminding setting. A full version of these policies and procedures implemented within our childminding setting will be available for parents to view at your childminding registration visit and on an ongoing basis throughout your child’s time attending our childminding setting.
Staff development and training policy
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, Darwen, we endeavour to ensure that we offer childcare of the highest possible standard and do so through staying abreast of changes in legislation and attending external training courses on a regular basis.
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, Darwen, we aim to promote anti-discriminatory practice through having a clear procedure for the allocation of childcare places. The matters which are taken into account, when deciding which child can be offered a place within our childminding setting, are as follows:
- The availability of spaces
- Those children who are siblings or acquaintances of those already attending our childminding setting will have preference over other children with no existing connection
- The ability of our childminding setting to meet the needs of the child
- The effect on the existing children and staff of the admission of the child
- A child wanting a full time place, will have preference over a child requiring a part time place
Settling in policy
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service we recognise that every child has different needs, therefore we do not have a specific procedure to follow when settling a child into our childminding setting. We are willing to go along with parents wishes, after all parents know their children better than anyone. On enrolment a child record form is completed detailing specific information which we use to settle your child into our childminding setting. Two free short visits are offered to help the child to become accustomed to our childminding setting, for these visit’s the child must be accompanied by a parent.
Equal Opportunities policy
At our childminding setting all children’s individuality and rights are promoted and respected. Through our childcare practice we ensure that all children reach their full potential through taking into account: the child’s age and stage of development, gender, ethnicity, home language and ability within all aspects of the planning and delivery of our childminding setting. We ensure that the children within our care feel good about themselves, through celebrating the differences that make us unique individuals. We ensure that the children have access to toys and resources which provide positive images and examples of the diversity of life within our society.
Methods of Communicating with Parents
Parents are encouraged to be involved within our childminding setting and are actively encouraged to discuss problems and ideas with myself and my childminding assistant, to enable us to provide the highest quality of care possible.
This is encouraged using the following methods: informal chats, daily report sheets, text messages, questionnaires and complaint forms.
Access to Information and Parental Involvement Policy
Parents and carers are welcome to view the policies and procedures, which governs the way in which we run our childminding setting, at any time by asking myself or my childminding assistant. You are also welcome to see records kept on your child, but we would appreciate advance notice, so that arrangements can be made to fit in with our availability.
If a parent or carer should have any cause for complaint they should:
Speak to myself or my childminding assistant at the earliest opportunity or fill out a complaint form, all complaints will be followed up with an action plan detailing how the complaint has been resolved. If you still feel that the issue has not been resolved, you have the right to raise the matter with Ofsted.
You as the parent or carer of a particular child within my care will have access to any records kept on your child or children, but you will not have access to information kept on other children within my care.
Behaviour, Sanctions and Discipline Policy
Myself and my childminding assistant will deal with children who are using unacceptable behaviour by using the following behaviour management methods: re-direction of attention, distraction, time out, giving alternative choices and talking to the child about their behaviour. At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, we do not consider physical punishment to be acceptable practices and these measures will not be used to control a child’s behaviour.
Myself and my Childminding assistant encourage good behaviour through verbal praise and encouragement, sticker books, charts and certificates.
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, we endeavour to involve parents in the behaviour management of their children and wherever possible adhere to parent’s wishes.
Arrivals and Departure Policy
On arrival each child will be given a warm welcome and their attendance will be recorded in the register. Under no circumstances will a child be allowed to depart from the premises unless it is with a person either known to us or a person who we have been informed is authorised to collect the child. Children will only be allowed to leave the setting with a named person over the age of 16.
Visitors Security Policy
All visitors to our childminding setting must sign in our visitor’s book. Visitors will not be left alone whilst on the premises. All unknown visitors will be asked for identification before being enabled access to our childminding setting. Visitors without identification will not be enabled access. If any visitors portray any unusual signs of behaviour, they will be asked to leave the setting and the police will be informed.
Late Collection and Non Collection of Children Policy
If a parent or carer is late collecting their child, I will: ring home, ring parents at work or on mobiles and lastly if there is still no response, I will: ring the named contact persons on the child’s registration form.
If I fail to contact the child’s parents or carers within 1 hour, I will then need to treat the child as an abandoned child and contact the police and social services. £10 will be charged for every 15 minutes of lateness.
Missing Child Procedure
At our childminding setting, we will safely supervise the children whilst on outings and teach the children about safety.
If a child was to go missing whilst in our care, the following procedure would be implemented:
Check the surrounding area
Make enquiries with other adults and children within the vicinity to see if they have seen the child.
Call out the child’s name loudly and in a calm manner
If the child cannot be located, myself or my childminding assistant will inform: the police, the parents or carer of the child, Social Services and Ofsted.
Medication Policy and Administration Procedure
Medicines will only be given to a child that has had them prescribed by a doctor. The medicine will be administered following the instructions on the bottle or packet. All medication administered will be recorded onto the child’s medication record form. Medicines and inhalers will be stored in the medicine box out of children’s reach. Calpol and teething gel will be administered wherever required, subject to parents permission and following the instructions on the packaging.
Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs Policy
Smoking is strictly prohibited within my childminding setting, during childminding hours. Alcohol stored on our childminding premises will be kept out of reach of the children. Alcohol will not be consumed within my childminding setting, during operating hours or within 12 hours prior to opening my setting to provide care. The bringing of alcohol onto the premises is strictly forbidden. At my childminding setting, I strictly forbid you from bringing non-proprietary drugs onto the premises. If you arrive at my childminding setting with medication which has been prescribed or obtained over the counter, please ensure that it is sealed and obtained on your person if purely present to pick up or drop off your child. In all other circumstances the medication will need to be obtained by myself for safe keeping during long visits.
Faulty, damaged and broken equipment policy
Wherever possible, faulty, damaged and broken equipment will be repaired before being used within our childminding setting. If this is not possible it is to be thrown away. Outdoor toys and electrical equipment will be checked before and after every use for any faults.
Health, illness and emergency policy
At our childminding setting we actively promote and encourage the good health of all of the children within our care. The children are monitored for the signs and symptoms of infectious diseases. If a child is found to be ill, the parent will be called and asked to collect the child. Any child, who has contracted an infectious illness or disease, will not be re-admitted to my childminding setting until they have been clear of the illness for 48 hours. In the case of a serious illness occurring, the parent or carer will be contacted and if necessary the child will be taken to hospital.
Children with asthma will be helped and encouraged to participate in all activities. I will ensure that my childminding setting is favourable to children with asthma, should the use of an inhaler be required, children with asthma will have immediate access to reliever inhalers.
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, we value the language and cultures of all children and have attended relevant training such as: EAL (English as an additional language) training. We endeavour to promote a positive attitude to bilingualism and provide opportunities for the development of the child’s home language. We aim to work closely with the child’s family to ensure that the needs of their child are met. At Safe and Sound Childcare, we do at present have some bilingual books but aim wherever possible to expand upon the range of resources available to us.
The children within our childminding setting are encouraged to treat all animals with respect, learning how to handle them correctly. Children will be taught to wash their hands after any contact with animals. Children will not be allowed to stroke any animals which are unknown to me, unless at a farm or similar. At my childminding setting I have a 1 year old dog called a Cava doodle, which is a mixture between a King Charles spaniel and a Toy Poodle; he is a very small and very friendly dog. Within my childminding setting, I will ensure that my dogs feeding bowls, food and toys are kept out of reach of any children attending my childminding setting. I will ensure that a high standard of hygiene is maintained within my childminding setting, the garden will be cleaned frequently and prior to children using this area to play. A stair gate will be fitted separating the two downstairs rooms, so that whenever necessary my dog can be kept separate from the children: For example: when he gets excitable or during floor play for toddlers and babies. The children will be supervised at all times by myself and my childminding assistant and will never be left alone with my dog, regardless of how friendly he appears. The safety of the children within our care is our utmost priority.
Healthy Eating Policy
The children attending our childminding setting will be encouraged to make healthy choices, with regards to foods and to experiment by trying new foods from other cultures. Any special dietary requirements or food allergies will be taken into account, when planning our weekly food menus. Our weekly menu will be displayed on the notice board for parents to view. Children will not be permitted to have fizzy drinks. Children will have access to milk and water throughout the day. The children will have access to glasses of fruit juice and cordial at meal times. At our childminding setting we do not encourage children to eat sweets, but on the very rare occasion the children will have access to sweets as a special treat, subject to parent’s permission. In the unlikely event of food poisoning affecting two or more children within our care, Ofsted will be informed.
General Safety Policy
To ensure the safety of the children within our care, we will ensure that the following procedures are complied with:
Children will never be left in a room on their own.
Children will always be within earshot.
The Ofsted adult to child ratios will be adhered to.
Inside and outside safety checks will be undertaken daily.
All doors will be kept securely locked and the keys will be easily accessible to me or my childminding assistant.
I will ensure that outside play areas are securely fenced.
Fire doors will never be obstructed and keys to these doors will be easily accessible to me or my childminding assistant.
The children will only be allowed in the kitchen with adult supervision.
Neither I nor my childminding assistant will walk around with hot drinks and if these are being consumed, they will be kept out of reach of the children.
I will ensure that there is enough space for children and adults to move freely from activity to activity and follow Ofsted guidelines on this.
All toys and equipment will be checked on a regular basis for damage and weakness. All broken items will be repaired or if not, thrown away.
A register will be kept of the children attending.
I will be aware of who is authorised to collect the child or children.
A fire drill will be carried out once every 3 months or when there is a large intake of children and a record of fire drills will be kept.
A record of accidents and incidents will be kept any serious accidents will be reported to Ofsted and Riddor.
Accident Procedure and the Reporting of Accidents
As a registered childminder, I am legally required to have a valid paediatric first aid certificate. I can administer basic first aid treatment and my first aid box is clearly labelled and easily accessible. I obtain written permission from parents to obtain emergency medical treatment, should it be required.
On the discovery of an accident I will assess the severity and provide appropriate first aid treatment. I will reassure the injured child whilst making sure that the other children within my care are safe. If I have to accompany the child to hospital, I will either take the other children with me or call on my childminding assistant, Kelly Ann Williamson.
Evacuation Procedure on the Discovery of a Fire
On the discovery of a fire, I will:
Raise the alarm by ringing the bell.
Collect the register.
Immediately evacuate the building using the nearest exit.
On the way out of the building check all rooms, toilets, corners etc for children if unsure if they are present and close all windows and doors.
Once clear of the building, I will take the register to ensure that all children and adults are present.
Lastly I will dial 999 for the fire service.
Activities and Outings Policy
To help to ensure the safety of the children who use our childminding service when participating in activities and outings, the following procedure will be followed:
Activities and outings will be carefully planned taking account of potential risks and provisions will be put in place to help to manage and minimise these risks. The children will be adequately supervised, following Ofsted guidelines on adult to child ratios. Under no circumstances will alcohol or cigarettes be consumed when participating in activities and outings with the children. Written permission will be obtained from parents giving consent for children to participate in outings. A first aid kit and children’s emergency contact details will be available to myself and my childminding assistant for immediate use throughout the outing.
Special Educational Needs Policy
I will ensure that appropriate support is given to any children within my care with special needs by:
Understanding the needs of individual children through gaining information on the aspects of the child’s learning capabilities or behaviour which I need to know about. Working in collaboration with the child’s parents, carers and any other professionals who are involved with the child’s care. The information gained will be used to devise an appropriate individual learning programme that meets the specific needs of the child. I will evaluate and record the child’s progress in relation to their ilp and discuss the child’s progress with the child and any person involved with the child’s care.
Mobile Phone and Camera Policy
Any photographs taken of children for their EYFS file will be printed for incorporation into this file and then discarded from the camera or phone. Prior to taking any photographs of children, I will seek consent from parents. When taking photographs, I will ensure that children are appropriately dressed and be able to justify to Ofsted my reasons for taking any photographs.
In the event that I am unable to provide care, I will call upon my childminding assistant Kelly Ann Williamson, who will provide back up cover in my absence. Kelly will be known to you as she will be working in the capacity of my childminding assistant and therefore will be present most days, whilst I am childminding. You will be informed of this change via telephone call or text message at the earliest opportunity.
Care, Learning and Play Policy
Within our childcare setting myself and my childminding assistant strive to provide the children within our care, with a learning environment that will be caring, fun and stimulating and do so in the following ways:
Implementing ideas from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and ensuring that any planned activities cover the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We ensure that there is a balance of adult led and child initiated activities delivered both indoors and outdoors.
As part of the EYFS Learning Journeys, myself and my childminding assistant will regularly observe your child and make records, which will be used to enable me to make plans on how I can help your child move onto the next stage of their development.
Nappy and Toilet Training Policy
At Safe and Sound Childminding Service, we are happy to accept children in nappies. I will need you to provide me with the following:
Cream that you can use on your child
I will provide a changing mat, which will be wiped over with disinfectant between each use. I will change your child regularly and immediately if they have soiled a nappy.
When your child starts to show signs that they are becoming aware of their bodily functions, I will arrange a convenient time to meet with you and discuss your plans on potty or toilet training your child. It is very important that we work together to potty train your child and pick a suitable time to do it.
I will provide the following equipment for potty and toilet training.
A step stool
A toilet seat
Should I have a serious concern about the welfare of a child I will:
Record what I have heard and seen on a child protection record sheet. If the matter requires further investigation, I will speak to the carer or guardian of the child, if appropriate. If I have no more concerns after speaking to the child’s parents, no further child protection action will be taken, but a written record will be kept on file. If I have serious concerns about the welfare of a child, the duty officer at social services will be contacted and informed. A report will be written with regards to the referral within 48 hours and passed on to the social worker dealing with the investigation. The police and Ofsted will also be informed.
Working with Parents Policy
Myself and my childminding assistant strive to work in partnership with parents and carers to meet the needs of them and their children and do so in the following ways:
All children and parents are treated equally and made to feel welcome in our childminding setting.
Myself and my childminding assistant keep up to date about working in partnership with parents and carers and any relevant legislation through attending regular training courses.
All parents and carers of the children within my care can view our policies and procedures which detail how we run our setting.
A written contract is drawn up with parents and carers prior to their children attending our childminding setting detailing the expectations of the care to be provided and is reviewed annually or when circumstances change. Wherever possible myself and my childminding assistant aim to provide child care, tailored to the needs of parents and their preferences and wishes.
A receipt is issued for all money paid; this can be used as evidence of childcare costs when applying for help towards childcare, through tax credits.
Parents are kept regularly informed about our daily routines and childcare practices both verbally and in writing.