Belmont Pre-School and Playgroup Policies

Currently our Child Protection Policy is under review and will be added soon!

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.

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.

The policy should be read in conjunction with:

- Intimate Care policy;

- Safeguarding policy,

- Child Protection policy,

- Health & Safety policy

- Moving and handling policy. Intimate Care/ Physical Contact At Belmont Playcare we care for very young children. There will be times when staff are required to have close physical contact with a child. It is also important for the children to feel safe, secure and loved in their environment. We understand that children can react differently to physical contact and we respect this. Staff have received training in safeguarding & child protection. Staff are aware of potential hazards and cautions when providing physical contact.  If staff have any doubt about physical contact or they observe any practice that causes concern, then they are to speak to the Designated Officer.

This policy sets out the reasons for physical contact between an adult and young person.

Specific reasons touch, and physical contact are used:

Communication Placing a hand on child’s shoulder when speaking to them.

Supporting communication e.g. directing, guiding supporting children in a task.

Learning Climbing up slide (Hand on back).

To assist and prompt interactions with peers and staff.

To support engagement with the resources.


Using a hand to guide, prompt a learner during changes between activities.


Many aspects of play activities naturally involve touch.

Emotional Reasons To communicate affection and warmth. Reduce risk of harm Protect children from harm by physically intervening. To calm down (a gentle stroke on the back). Other Intimate Care To give medical and nursing care.

Wherever possible, a description and rational will be given to the child. “I am going to lift you down”. “Can I lift you up?” This will be followed by positive praise appropriate to the situation and age and stage of the children.

REFERENCE TO RELEVANT POLICIES/ LEGISLATION Child minding and day care minimum standards (2012) standard 1, 3

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.


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.
  • 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

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.

Anti-Bullying Policy (Preschool and Playgroup Children)

What is bullying?

Bullying is not always easy to define as it can take many forms and can be either short term or long term. It has been defined as “the wilful conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone.”

We at Belmont Playcare are committed to provide a caring, friendly and safe environment for all children and their families, so they can learn through play in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.

Bullying/harassment (physical or emotional) by children, parents, staff/volunteers is unacceptable in Playcare. Bullying/harassment will be positively challenged by supporting the victim and helping those responsible to understand and overcome their behaviour.

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable

The Anti-Bullying Policy also has links with other policies,


  • Child Protection
  • Behaviour Management
  • Special Needs
  • Complaints
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Whistle Blowing
  • Confidentiality.

Preventing bullying by means of good practice

  • Encourage a whole group approach to prevent bullying.
  • Provide a safe, secure and happy environment.
  • Promote positive behaviour.
  • Work in partnership with parents.
  • Encourage respect among children.
  • Encourage respect for equipment and resources.
  • Ensuring that awareness is raised through staff training.
  • Explain boundaries within the setting.
  • Promote co-operative group work.

Types of bullying

Verbal bullying

This is the most common type of bullying and it includes teasing, name- calling, taunts and threats.

Non-verbal forms of communication include gesture (a clenched fist), body language (a swagger) and facial expressions.

Physical bullying can range over a wide continuum of severity, ranging from a push, pinch or some form of physical assault.

This can be heard in phrases such as `You’re not playing with us` or `You’re not coming to my party`. To be left out of the social group can be hurtful for young children.

This may appear to be a strong word, but it includes forcing someone to hand over play materials or valuables.

Young children are sensitive about their possessions and become upset if their precious items regularly go missing.

Knocking down someone’s work or destroying a game can be very distressing.

Possible signs of being bullied

  • Unwillingness to go to the Playcare session.
  • Visible signs of anxiety when entering certain situations.
  • Unexplained mood swings/ becoming withdrawn at group situations.
  • Loss of concentration and enthusiasm when taking part in activities.
  • Reluctance to speak out/ say what is troubling them.
  • Becoming upset for no obvious reason.
  • Complaining about being unwell.
  • Atypical soiling. This is not an exhaustive list and these signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered.

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


  • The Children (NI) Order 1995 – Child’s welfare to be of paramount consideration
  • Child minding and Day Care Minimum Standards - Standard 1, 16


We will seek the parents’ view by: -


  • Encouraging parents to place comments in the comments box, which can be located at the front door.
  • Ensuring comments are shared with staff and Belmont Playcare’s Board of Trustees on a regular basis.
  • Distributing an annual questionnaire.


  • 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’s Board of Trustees and the leader (if appropriate) by writing to the 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)

Policy on Confidentiality Principles


Our work within Belmont Playcare will bring us in contact with confidential information. It is our intention to respect the privacy of the children, parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality care.

However, a child who is in need of protection has overriding needs which requires that all relevant information be given to all the appropriate agencies such as social workers, doctors etc.


To ensure that all those working and volunteering in Belmont Playcare can do so with confidence, through the use of the confidentiality policy.

At Belmont Playcare we expect session teams, staff and volunteers to respect the confidentiality policy in the following ways.

  • All registration forms and records of children attending Playcare are kept by Playcare Coordinator in the secure place for one year, and then safely destroyed. Accident and incident books should be kept indefinitely.
  • Parents/carers will have ready access to files and records of their own child- but not of any other child.
  • Staff will not discuss individual children with people other than parents/carers of that child.
  • Information given to Playcare leaders in confidence will not be passed on to other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child's needs or a safeguarding concern. Staff induction includes an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in the role of the key person.
  • Personnel issues will remain confidential to the people involved.
  • Parental consent is to be obtained if information about the child is to be shared with The Early Years Team or Department of Education.
  • Staff will never discuss/gossip about parents and their children.
  • Staff will not make judgements about children or their parents.
  • All issues relating to the employment of staff will remain confidential to those directly involved. Records should be retained for 7 years.
  • Personnel details of staff given to the coordinator will not be passed on without permission.
  • Parents / carers, children, young people and staff need to know the boundaries of confidentiality in order to feel safe and comfortable in discussing personal issues.
  • The settings attitude to confidentiality is open and easily understood and everyone should be able to trust the boundaries of confidentiality operating within the setting.
  • Everyone in the setting needs to know that no one can offer absolute confidentiality.
  • The setting at all times puts the safety and welfare of the child first and any issue will be referred to the setting’s designated person for child protection if necessary.
  • All staff, students and Board of Trustees members will be made aware of this policy.
  • The policy will be reviewed regularly at staff and Board of Trustees meetings. Any breach of confidentiality by members of staff or Board of Trustees will lead to disciplinary action

This policy will be reviewed annually by the management Board of Trustees to ensure it remains fit for purpose.


Preschool AM & PM

Playgroup Session