Belmont Pre-School and Playgroup Policies

We have available a comprehensive book of our policies.  These can be found in the Playcare foyer. These can be borrowed and copies can be made available upon request. Some policies are displayed on the Parents Notice Board as well as other information.

Belmont Playgroup has put together a selection of policies this is to try to ensure parents are happy with these before they sign the Agreement Forms.


Brief Outline

In order to comply with Child Protection procedures we exercise good practice in the toileting of children.  Only staff who have satisfied the necessary police checks are permitted to take children to the toilet or change a child’s clothing.

  • The child’s privacy and cultural beliefs will be respected at all times.
  • Independence and hygiene will be encouraged.
  • Any abnormalities or concerns will be reported to the group leader.

If the child’s clothing needs to be changed for any reason a verbal explanation will be given as to why the child needed to be changed or in extenuating circumstances an incident slip may need to be signed, e.g. if the child has been sick.

The group has a small supply of spare clothing for this use; it should be washed and returned as soon as possible.

 

Intimate Care Policy

The aim of Intimate Care Policy is to work in partnership with parents to help children develop a healthy interest in and understanding of how to look after his/her own personal needs.  Belmont Playcare ensures that staffs are aware of the Intimate Care Policy and conform to the expectations of Belmont Playcare in line with current standards of care and also adhere to the Child Protection policy.

If children are becoming independent in using the toilet, staff will encourage them to do as much as possible for themselves, but will be available to provide any help requested.  All help given will be explained to the child. 

In the case of special medical or child developmental circumstances, all intimate care procedures will be discussed and agreed with parents before the child starts in the setting or during the settling in period.  The constraints of staffing and equal opportunities legislation are taken into account.

We will try to ensure a child’s privacy while at the toilet or while being changed, while not operating behind closed doors.  A child will never be left unattended in the toilets when being changed.  Every member of staff will advise other staff when they are taking child/children to the toilet or for changing. 

Parents should be aware that the toilets are shared and staff from different sessions may be present.  All staff are trained internally in good practice regarding intimate care and aware of privacy and child protection issues.


Belmont Preschool/Playgroup accepts there may be times when staff will need to provide intimate care for a child.  This may include bottom wiping or removing clothes due to soiling or vomiting.  Staff will follow the procedure below:

  • Explain to the child that you need to help them get cleaned up.
  • Plastic Gloves and a disposable apron must always be worn and put on before changing soiled clothing / items. Soiled items will be wrapped and either disposed of or handed back to the parent / carer.
  • All efforts will be made to provide space for the child to be changed in.
  • Changing areas will be warm.
  • Staff and carers hands will be washed using soap and water and all surfaces will be disinfected to avoid cross contamination.
  • Only staff employed by Belmont Playcare who have been vetted , will be allowed to provide intimate care. Students, parents and volunteers are NOT permitted to do this or to have access to the children’s toilets.
  • If a child objects to a member of staff providing intimate care, parents will be contacted to come to Playcare and provide care themselves if necessary.
  • Staff are gentle when changing.  They avoid pulling faces and making negative comments.
  • Staff do not make inappropriate comments about young children’s genitals.
  • We have a duty of care towards children’s personal needs and children are not left soiled. 
  • Belmont playcare use a duplicate book to record when changing children. This will be signed by the parent /carer on collection and a copy given to them.


REFERENCE TO RELEVANT POLICIES/ LEGISLATION

  • Child minding and day care minimum standards (2012) standard 1 & 3
  • Handling and disposal of bodily fluids
 

Child Protection Policy

Principles

Belmont Playcare is committed to safeguarding the well-being of children and promoting their rights.

This policy outlines the protection of children by identifying clear instructions in accordance with legislative framework of The Children (NI) Order 1995, taking into consideration the 5 main principles of the order the first being “the welfare of the child is paramount”.


Policy

We in Belmont Playcare are committed to providing a safe environment where children are protected from harm.  The staff, volunteers and students accept and recognise their responsibilities to develop an awareness of issues that may cause children harm.  We will comply with Health and Social Care Trust Guidelines on Child Protection and will appoint designated persons to deal with Child Protection issues, (see Procedures for Reporting Concerns).


Procedures

In accordance with Trust guidelines (Minimum Standards for Childminding & Daycare for children under Age 12 -2012), Our Duty to Care and Getting It Right, we will endeavour to safeguard children by:

Building a culture of safety in which children are protected from abuse and harm in all areas of our service delivery.

All staff and parents/carers are made aware of our safeguarding policy and procedures.

Provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of the children.

Candidates are informed of the need to carryout “enhanced disclosure” checks with the current up to date vetting procedures before posts can be confirmed.  No person will be placed in a position (either paid or unpaid) which involves contact without being properly and effectively vetted.

Where applications are rejected because of the information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and challenge incorrect information.

The setting adheres to the Health and Social Care Trust requirements in respect of references and criminal record checks for staff students, trainees and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unsuitable person works at the setting or has access to the children.

Students, trainees and volunteers do not work unsupervised.

Belmont adheres to the relevant guidelines in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern.

Belmont has a procedure for recording the details of visitors to the setting.

There are security steps in place to ensure that we have control over who comes into the setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children.


Responding Appropriately To Suspicions of Abuse

All those working with children are aware that abuse of children can take different forms as listed in this policy.

We will do this by:

  • Using appropriate strategies e.g. listening to the child and not ask leading questions in order to support children who may make a disclosure of abuse
  • By observing children on a regular basis and noting any significant changes in behaviour that may give cause for concern
  • By keeping appropriate records in accordance with:  Understanding the Needs of Children in Northern Ireland (UNOCINI) and by making a dated record of the details of the concern (cause of concern form) and discuss what to do with the settings designated officer.  The information will be stored.
  • We understand that information and documentation may require to be transferred to relevant organisations and will do so strictly confidentially.
  • By keeping a pastoral care file.  Within this file a note book will be kept to log adult/staff reported child protection Issues. The pastoral care file will be kept in a locked cupboard.
  • In line with confidentiality guidelines and the Data Protection Act and public interest disclosure order:
  • We will keep child protection records until a child’s 21st birthday, in case of possible legal action. After this time the information will be disposed of appropriately.  This information will be kept locked away with only designated persons able to gain access to it.
  • Belmont will refer concerns to the Gateway team and co-operate fully in any subsequent investigation.
  • The designated officer will use detailed procedures and UNICINI forms when making a referral to Gateway.
  • We will also contact our Early Years Link Social Worker/ Early Years Team.
  • Where a child is already known to  Health and Social Care Trust and has a social worker, we will contact them directly.


Recording Suspicions of Abuse

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

Listening to the child and not question the child. Will offer reassurance and give assurance that he/she will take action.

Written records will taken which are signed dated and kept securely and confidentially.

 

Informing Parents

Parents are normally our first point of contact.

If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where guidance does not allow this.

This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser.  In these cases the investigating officer will inform parents.

If a referral is made to the gateway team, we will act within the area’s Safeguarding Children and Child Protection guidance in deciding whether we must inform the children’s parents at the same time.


Preventing abuse by means of good practice

To achieve this we will ensure all adults working in the group are aware of the groups code of conduct

Staff and volunteers will receive an induction with the coordinator detailing tasks and limits placed on them, as newcomers in the group, during the induction process before working with the children

Staff will attend  child protection training and update this on a regular basis

Appropriate adult/child ratios will be maintained and adults will not be left alone for extended periods of time with individual children or small groups

The layout of the room and outdoor area will permit constant supervision of the children

Appropriate activities to develop children’s self-esteem with regard to self-protection will be provided


Excluding known abusers

To achieve this we will ensure:

Pre-Employment interviews take place and take up two references

Access NI Disclosure and SOCARE Checks are carried out as per Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007

New staff are employed in line with Employment Rights (NI) Order 1996.

References will be taken up (one of which will be current or most recent employer) prior to employment or voluntary work

All appointments will be subject to a probationary period, which will be reviewed within six months

Social Services will be informed of changes to staff team


Allegations against staff

  • We ensure that all parents/carers and staff know how to complain about the behaviour or actions of staff or volunteers within the setting, including any allegations of abuse.
  • We follow the guidance of the Health and Social Care Trust when responding to any complaint that a parent/carer has put forward.
  • We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff or volunteer within the settings, may have taken, or is taking place, by first recording the details of any such alleged incident.
  • We refer any such complaint immediately to the Gateway and our link social worker to investigate. Belmont Playcare is aware it is an offence not to do this.
  • We co-operate entirely with the investigation carried out by children’s social care in conjunction with the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).
  • Where the management committee and Gateway agree it is appropriate, the chairperson will suspend the member of staff without pay, or the volunteer under the problem solving procedures, for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but is to protect the staff/volunteers as well as children and families whilst the investigation is being carried out.

 

Disciplinary action

  • Where a member of staff or volunteer has been dismissed due to engaging in activities that caused concern for the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults, we will notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority of relevant information so that individuals who pose a threat to children (and vulnerable groups), can be identified and barred from working with these groups.


Sharing Information

We will do this by:

Sharing concerns only with those agencies who need to know e.g. the Gateway Team

Involving parents and children appropriately as recommended by “Getting It Right”/ “Keeping Safe Project” and information received from the Gateway Team.


Supporting families

Belmont Playcare believes in building trust and supportive relationships with families, staff/students/trainees/volunteers in the group.

Belmont Playcare makes clear to parents our roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection, such as for the reporting of concerns, providing information, monitoring of the child, and liaising at all times with the Health and Social Care Trust.

Belmont Playcare follows child protection guidelines as set out by the Health and Social Care Trust in relation to the settings designated role and tasks in supporting that child and their family, subsequent to any investigation.

Records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child in accordance with Health and Social Care Trust guidelines.


Supporting Staff

We will support all staff through the process of reporting any known or suspected abuse; we will ensure all procedures are followed through correctly and followed up if required.

Belmont Playcare’s childcare protection policy comes from the legislation on child protection.

1. The Children (N.I.) Order 1995. There are main points in this order and the first states that “the welfare of the child is paramount”.

2. Safeguarding Vulnerable groups (NI) Order 2007.

3. The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child

4. The Human Rights Act (1998) – Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 14

5. The Data Protection Act 2000

6. The Sexual Offenses (NI) Order 2008

7. Minimum Standards for Childminding and Day Care for Children Under Age 12 specifically Standard 1

8. Trust Guidelines, Our Duty to Care and Getting it Right

9. All Policies – specifically

Admissions

Allegations of Abuse Against Staff

Anti-Bullying

Behaviour Management

Comments and Complaints

Code of Conduct

Confidentiality

Disciplinary Procedure

Equal opportunities and Anti-Discrimination

Health and Safety

Partnership with Parents

Staff Recruitment and Training

Staff Induction and Development

Staff Code of Conduct and Roles/ Responsibilities about the room

Whistle Blowing 

 

Behaviour Management Policy

Policy’s Statement of Intent

Belmont Playcare takes a positive approach to discipline with the aim of fostering self-esteem and respect, tolerance and self-control amongst the children.  We recognise that in a disciplined environment, children learn to control their own behaviour, feel good about themselves, understand the needs of other people and the consequences of their own actions, and consequently become increasingly independent and responsible.

However, discipline should not be confused with punishment which can lead to control of behaviour through fear, poor self-esteem and failure to develop inner controls to handle future problems.  Belfast Trust regulations are:-Smacking or any punishment which humiliates is not permitted within the Playcare environment.

 

Procedures

At Belmont Playcare we seek to promote good discipline and positive behaviour in a number of ways.


Layout of the room

We recognise that the layout of the room and programme of activities offered are key factors in the promotion of desirable behaviour, and consequently the prevention of undesirable behaviour.

We will set out the room in such a way as to accommodate a wide range of stimulating and enjoyable activities which are suitable for the children’s developmental levels, while dividing it into a number of distinct and accessible work areas.  These include areas for both quiet and more physical activities.

We will offer activities which are appropriate to the developmental levels of the children to encourage independence and good self-esteem.

We will also provide activities to foster co-operation and sharing amongst the children, for example our system for using the sand tray/climbing frame whereby the children must wear one of a limited number of wristbands when activities are set outdoors, which are removed when leaving that activity.  The procedure and reasons for its implementation are clearly explained to the children in an effort to encourage turn-taking and co-operation.

We will provide opportunities for pretend play as a way in which the children can experiment with situations and express feelings in a safe and acceptable way.  Play with materials such as sand, water and dough provide appropriate outlets for feelings of aggression.


Programme for each session

We aim to balance new experiences with familiarity through a well-planned, predictable sequence of activities, so providing the children with security and a sense of control and reducing the likelihood of disruptive, aimless behaviour.

We will provide a seamless, flowing sequence of activities in the routine of the Playcare, during which the individual child can make their own choices and have a sense of control over what is happening next.

We will avoid, where possible, long waiting periods and make short waits as active as possible.


Adults’ expectations and interaction

As members of staff in Belmont Playcare, we recognise the need to support and encourage the children through modelling care and concern for others, rather than taking a controlling and punitive approach to discipline.

We will give positive encouragement and praise to acknowledge children’s efforts in an attempt to promote self-esteem and reinforce desirable behaviour.

We will seek, value and listen to children’s ideas and points of views.

Children will be given clear, consistent explanations for rules and limits.

We will be consistent in following through agreed expectations and necessary limitations, while avoiding those that are unnecessary.

Staff will support children in the resolution of conflict situations, helping children to verbalise their feelings in an acceptable way and negotiate settlements.

Staff will intervene immediately in the event of aggressive or destructive behaviour, giving a clear reason for their action.

Staff will retain their sense of humour.


Collaboration with parents

We acknowledge that children will bring diverse experiences into the group, and that parenting-and lifestyles are varied.  We aim to work in partnership with parents.

We will aim to share our policy on behaviour with parents before children attend the group in an effort to promote mutual understanding and acceptance of what we are trying to do and the methods used to achieve this.

We will work in collaboration with parents, sharing information on a regular basis.

 

When behaviour occurs and staff intervention is required

Staff will speak to the child about his/her behaviour, pointing out mistakes made or where standards are not met.  She will then tell the child what she expects the next time.

Discuss the session’s rules with an individual, group or whole class and try to help the child/ren see where they went wrong.

Withdraw a child from an activity which he/she is disrupting, pointing out the unacceptable behaviour and allowing the child a short “reflection” time.

Dangerous behaviour will not be allowed and the child will be withdrawn from the activity and only allowed to resume it when the staff feels he/she will not repeat the behaviour.

When staff/volunteers see danger or damage threatening, they may firmly say "No or "Stop" followed with reasons and positive guidance towards acceptable activities

Physical restraint e.g. holding will not be used unless it is required to prevent injury to child or other children, adults or property. In cases where it is used the incident will be recorded and the parent informed the same day.

If inappropriate behaviour is persistent then a meeting will be arranged with parents to discuss the behaviour and a plan of action will be agreed to encourage better performance.  The leader will monitor all future behaviour and record changes with praise and/ or stickers.  Parents will be involved through weekly discussions.

Through a positive approach to behaviour we hope to empower children to understand and take responsibility for their own behaviour.
 

Rules Rewards and Consequences

Preschool AM & PM

Rules

  • Children are encouraged to be kind to each other.
  • Use quiet voices.
  • Listen to each other.
  • Use their walking feet.
  • Do what their leader asks.

Rewards

  • Happy words from leader.
  • Positive notes home.
  • Pom-pom in class jar (once full children receive a special class treat).

Consequences

  • Spoken to first time.
  • Spoken to second time- brought to rules to discuss – timer used for 3 minute thinking time in area of preschool. Once timer finished staff member reinforces the positive behaviour and child returns to area of play.
  • If behaviour continues staff re-follow consequences chart and if needs be discuss child’s behaviour with parent at end of the session.

Playgroup Session

Rules

  • Children are encouraged to be kind to each other.
  • Use quiet voices.
  • Listen to each other.
  • Use their walking feet.
  • Do what their leader asks.

Rewards

  • Positive words from leader
  • Positive words home
  • Stickers
  • Pom Pom Jar

Consequences

  • Spoken to first time.
  • Spoken to second time- brought to rules to discuss – timer used for 2 minute thinking time in area of playgroup Once timer finished staff member reinforces the positive behaviour and child returns to area of play.
  • If behaviour continues staff re-follow consequences chart and if needs be discuss child’s behaviour with parent at end of the session.

Exclusion Procedure

When all the above procedures have been implemented, we will work in partnership with parents to agree an exclusion period for the child.

 

Complaints/Comments Policy

Belmont Playcare aims to provide the highest quality care and education for all the children attending the Playcare centre.  We aim to provide a warm welcome and a caring environment within which all children can learn and develop as they play.  We intend to work in partnership with parents/carers to meet their needs and the needs of their children.

We welcome comments/suggestions on how to improve Belmont Playcare.

We endeavour to quickly and informally resolve concerns through discussion with the appropriate member of Belmont Playcare staff.  A comment and complaint will be taken seriously and dealt with fairly and confidentially.

If a parent/carer is not satisfied with any aspect of Belmont Playcare service provision and cannot informally resolve the issue they may then follow Belmont Playcare’s complaints procedure


REFERENCE TO RELEVANT POLICIES/ LEGISLATION

The Children (NI) Order 1995 – Child’s welfare to be of paramount consideration

Child minding and Day Care Minimum Standards - Standard 1 & 16


Procedures

We will seek the parents’ view by:-

Comments:

- Encouraging parents to place comments in the comments box, which can be located at the front door.

- Ensuring comments are shared with staff and management committee on a regular basis.

- Distributing an annual questionnaire.


Complaints:

Ensuring parents are aware of the following steps to take if they feel a complaint is necessary.

- Concerned parents/carers should firstly speak to their session leader, or if preferred Belmont Playcare’s coordinator.

- If the issue is not resolved or reoccurs the parent/carer should put their complaint in writing to the coordinator.

- If this fails to resolve the issue a meeting may be requested with Belmont Playcare committee and leader (if appropriate) by writing to the committee chair.

- Both parties may have a friend/partner present and a written record of the meeting will be kept.

- Should the parent/carer and Belmont Playcare fail to reach an agreement an external mediator may be invited to help resolve the issue.

- In some circumstances it may be necessary to involve the Health and Social Care Trust if a child appears to be at risk or there was a possible breach of registration requirements.  In this case a further investigation of the complaint would be carried out.

 


Contact     (The Early Years Team) (02895042811)