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Admission Policy

St Michael’s Pre-school is open to every family in the community. The waiting list is not operated on a first come first served basis. The waiting list gives first priority to children resident in St Michael’s, their age and then if they have any siblings already at pre-school.

If spaces are available, children can be accepted as soon as they attain the age of two and a half years old. The waiting list takes into account the date of birth rather than the date of enrolment and everything will be done to accommodate late comers.

Settling In
When you are confident and happy to begin leaving your child with us we work closely with a regime that suits you and your child. A few short visits followed by one or two short stays for your child on their own is usually successful as the introduction to the pre-school. One of these visits can be made closer to the end of a session showing the child all parents/carers return to collect their children.

A member of staff will help with the separation by initiating a relationship with you and your child and using activities that interest them. Positive conversation and lots of reassurance supports these first times and the keyperson relationship begins to establish itself.

With an emphasis on Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, every effort is made to accommodate children with Special and Additional Educational Needs. The staff regularly receive training and are experienced in liaising with specialist agencies. Our Special educational needs policy explains how we accommodate special and additional educational needs.

Keyperson Policy

At St Michael’s Pre School we use a keyperson system which we feel is paramount for the children to blossom and develop in the early years setting.

Our aim is to succeed in creating a close and strong relationship with one particular adult.

To achieve this
Each child is given a keyperson just prior to beginning at pre-school, taking into account the days that they will be attending the setting and days worked by the key person. Although this is the initial allocation of keyperson it sometimes changes due to children having a special rapport with a member of staff.

To support this approach we endeavour to make sure another member of staff will also be familiar with the child, accommodating for illness and absences.

We like to execute a rolling snack time, each day with a different member of staff. This enables key people to eat with their key children and to enhance the relationships they are making with their peers. It is also a good opportunity to engage in conversations, getting to know our children better.
We are all attentive to our children with toileting; it would not always be the keyperson who deals with their child. Nevertheless we all make sure that the children are comfortable with the adult who is on hand. Children who prefer certain adults to accompany them can be sure we will recognise this need.

The key person will liaise with the parents/carers to support the child’s play and development, exchanging information.
The keyperson will spend some time each session with their keychildren.
New members of staff will be inducted into the keyperson approach with full backing of existing staff.

The key person will work with the group SENCO to support any SEN and AEN of their key children.

Health, Hygiene and Safety Policy

St Michael’s pre-school aims to provide a safe and secure environment for the child and conforms with the Food Safety Act 1990 and with the Pre-school Learning Alliance guidelines for health, hygiene and safety.
All staff attend ‘paediatrics’ first aid training and renew every three years keeping abreast of changes and procedures.
At least two first aiders are in post at every session and the first aid box is well stocked and checked regularly. All staff and parents are made aware of the accident and incident books.
All staff have a Criminal Records Bureau check and only these people can look after children on a one to one basis. Please read our policy on ‘child protection’ and ‘safe guarding’ children and young people.

The pre-school ensures that all food preparation areas are thoroughly cleaned and that all children and adults wash their hands before handling food. One member of staff has obtained the RIPHH (Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene) qualification. At our snack times we aim to provide nutritious options to meet the children’s individual needs. P lease refer to our ‘snack policy’ for details of our procedure.

Risk Assessment
There are regular checks of equipment and the toys for damage, which could cause injury. These are reviewed for repair or replacement. A Risk Assessment for the different areas of the hall is carried out daily and a record kept. Each assessment will have what the risks are, who is at risk and any action required or taken.
The hall is inspected regularly by the fire safety officer and the pre-school carries out fire drill practice with the children on a regular basis each term. We hold the fire drill for one week each term so that all children attending the setting are aware of the procedure. Having this number of drills helps the children to be familiar with what we do and therefore less likely to be alarmed. These fire drills are recorded by date and time in the register.

Care Plans and Administering medicines
A care plan is written in the event of necessary administration of medicines in the appropriate records book with relevant signatures. Any regular or emergency medicines are kept in separate boxes labeled with the child’s name date of birth and photograph. When administering medicine two members of staff will be involved so that we may sign and counter sign the records. Parents/carers are welcome to attend the setting to administer medicines if they so wish.

Accidents and Incidents
We keep an accident and an incident record and always obtain a signature at the end of a session where appropriate. We are happy to discuss areas of concern in confidence.

Outside play
We keep a separate book in our outside area to record accidents and we have antiseptic wipes and plasters at hand. We obtain parent/carer permission to enable us to use these where necessary. We use running water to flush out particles of dirt but we do not attempt to prize out embedded articles such as grit. If parents/carers wish to have the opportunity to come immediately and attend to their child we will make a phone call to facilitate this desire.

Sun Creams

We advise the use of sun creams in the summer months to protect the children during outside play and encourage you to apply this before arriving at the setting. In the event that you run out of time or have forgotten we have a bottle of sun screen in the foyer of the hall for you to use. We would ask you to contribute to the replacement by way of a donation of 50p. I am sure you will understand the cost to the pre-school if parents use this on a regular basis.

The incident book has many uses for us
We can be made aware of areas that are not safe and activities that need different levels of monitoring depending on how and where they are presented.
We can observe numbers of children and grouping to assess suitability of access.
We can note children who may not ‘gel’ and ensure each child is catered for.
We can record behaviour patterns and change resources, grouping etc. Please refer to the ‘Behaviour Management’ Policy for details on this area.

Accident Policy
During your child’s session at pre-school we endeavour to provide a safe environment enabling easy access to activities inside and outside and to the toilet facilities.
Each day, staff will carry out risk assessments as they set up in the morning. Floors and surfaces are inspected to make sure rubbish and items are removed from the area. Doors are propped open to ensure the children can go in and out to the toilet area without risk to the doors closing on them. The toilet doors are fitted with bolts out of reach of the children so that they cannot accidentally shut themselves in. Also we hang towels over the tops of doors so that fingers are safe from being pinched as the children push the door too, for privacy. The kitchen area is safe from chemicals which are kept out of reach and the door closed as staff go in and out.
The tables and chairs are of a suitable height for the children. Sometimes activities are set up on a floor area to make playing with them safe. Staff are vigilant in their monitoring of activities containing small objects. We actively discourage the children from putting things in their mouths.
Tools such as scissors and our wood work tools are only available with adult supervision, showing by example how these should be held and used.

We have visual reminders of the children who have particular allergies so that any member of staff delivering snack time can always refer to when unsure about foods that are on offer.

Staff access paediatric first aid training every three years. At least 2 members of trained paediatric first aiders are in attendance at each session.
In the event of an accident to a child or children, immediate first aid will be administrated. A member of staff shall make every effort to contact the parent/carer to ask them to collect the child. If unable to reach parent/carer or any of the other named persons on the child’s records, the supervisor will call for a doctor or if appropriate take the child to surgery, making sure the setting is left with the correct staff/child ratio. Every effort will be continuously made to contact the parent/carer.

We hold public liability insurance and employers liability insurance, which can be seen displayed in the foyer of the hall.

Behaviour and Discipline Policy

St Michael’s pre-school aims to give a good secure grounding to the child’s future and accepts that all children are individuals. We have an Inclusion and Equal Opportunities policy to support this ethos and work to meet the personal, social and emotional needs of the children.
The children need to learn to consider the differing views, feelings, needs and rights of others.
Although Brigitte Watkins is the designated person, all staff share the responsibility for such a programme as ‘behavioural management’. We keep abreast of legislation, research and thinking on how best to promote positive behaviour and act as ‘role models’ in our setting.

We will always endeavour to work with parents to ensure consistent expectations of children’s behaviour.

Such behaviour as biting, kicking, throwing objects, swearing and discriminating behaviour and remarks are unacceptable. The pre-school will treat all such behaviour with understanding and will be positive in it’s praise and encouragement of good acceptable behaviour.

Our incident book is used to record what has happened, including dates, times and names to see if there is a pattern to such behaviour. We endeavour to look at areas and activities making sure they are presented in a way that encourages positive play. We also look at the grouping of children to ensure suitability of numbers at the different activities. All staff are aware that during rough and tumble play the children can sometimes become hurt. In these situations the children are supported with positive words and take opportunities to explore concepts of right and wrong.

There will be no corporal punishment and no labeling. The pre-school will ensure that children are removed quickly from any difficult situations to ‘cool off’. The children will be invited to rejoin activities when a simple word of ‘sorry’ to the injured party is heard. No child will be excluded from the general area.
Discussions will hopefully help the children to understand why certain behaviour is not acceptable.
Sometimes we are able to help the children themselves to settle disputes and resolve their issues. This a way of developing their problem solving skills. To be able to talk it through or think of a way forward promotes the children’s social and emotional skills. Having a sense of achievement gives opportunities for boosting the children’s self esteem.

Usually children do not like to see others upset and these situations are resolved quickly and gently.
We are always happy to discuss worries and concerns with parents/carers in strict confidence.

Collection of Child Policy

We ask for prompt pick up at the end of the session. We fully understand sometimes events may mean that you are running late.

Named people who can collect children are recorded on the children’s contract and without prior notice from the parents/carers, no one else can pick the children up.

If a person unknown, and the pre school has not been notified, comes to collect a child we would make stringent checks to whom the person was, including phoning the parents and asking questions.
A password can be arranged when filling in contracts and can be used in these circumstances between parent/carer and staff. This is especially helpful when we have not met a person before. We do ask that you arrange for people familiar to the children to collect them so that we can avoid unnecessary distress to the child.
The child would only be released if we were totally satisfied with the person picking them up.

In the event that a child has not been collected we take care of the child ensuring that they do not become distressed. There will always be two qualified staff on the premises until the child is collected.
After 1 hour of making every effort to contact parents/carers we apply the procedure for uncollected children.

Please refer to our policy regarding uncollected children

Uncollected Child Policy

In the event of a child not collected by an authorised adult at the end of the session, St. Michaels pre-school will put into practise an agreed procedure.

This procedure is discussed when talking to new parents on their introductory visit and child’s entry to the preschool. We assure parents/carers that their child will be properly cared for by two fully vetted members of staff in the event that they are unavoidably delayed.
We minimise any distress to the child. We realise that sometimes situations dictate the need to send a different person to collect a child. The parent /carers are made aware of the setting telephone number.

First we try to contact the parent/carer, if unable to make contact we would then be using the records to phone one of the named contacts. There will be at least two people named and we would hope to reach one of them to collect the child in question. After a period of an hour without being able to contact the necessary people, we would be obliged to make a call to the children’s social services care team. This is inline with child protection procedures on ‘safe guarding’ children.

Staff do not leave the premises to look for parents/carers, nor do they agree to take a child home with them under any circumstances. Parents/carers should be aware that there is no insurance cover outside the opening hours of the pre-school.

Should a relative or friend try to collect a child without prior notice to the pre-school we would not be releasing the child until we have contacted the parent/carer to verify the situation.

On occasions when people unknown to the pre-school staff, arrive to collect a child, we would have agreed a ‘password’ with the parent/carer in advance. This password will be recorded on the child’s records so that all staff would have access to this information.

With an enormous emphasis on our ‘partnership with parents’ we encourage family members and friends to accompany the parents/carers as they drop off or collect their child. This is extremely useful for the staff to meet and become familiar with the names and faces of people who will be called on to pick up children known to them.

Please be assured that unless you have told us of a change in the person picking up your child, we will not be releasing them to anyone until we have spoken to you.

Security / Lost Child Policy

We maintain the highest possible level of security of our premises to ensure complete safety of your child whilst at pre-school.
The front door has two separate locks and needs a key to open. This key although is kept in the area to facilitate our Fire Evacuation Procedure, is hung high up and inaccessible to the children. The rear door has a bolt and a Yale lock which is switched to ‘deadlock’ position.

All visitors to the setting are entered into a book which is dated and timed (arrival and departure). The type of visitor to our setting could be either a parent/carer, visiting professionals to support the setting or maintenance personnel. All professionals and maintenance personnel wear identity cards.
If a parent/carer comes to collect or drop off a child at times other than the beginning or the end of the session we ask them to present themselves to the kitchen door. A member of staff will open up and lock again until persons are ready to leave. At this point we will confirm with each other the change in the numbers of children recorded on the register. The record will include the time of entry and/or departure. This is necessary in case of needing to evacuate the building in an emergency. At these times we must be able to account for every child or visitor arriving or leaving the premises.

At St. Michael’s Pre-School in the unlikely event of a child leaving the premises without parent or carer, the following procedures will be followed.
The register will be checked to account for the children present.
One member of staff will check the immediate outside whilst a member of staff rings the parent or carer and then alerts the police.
This would be followed by a full investigation into the incident.

As we have an outside play area, please be assured that the correct staff/child ratio is adhered to and at no time do the children have access to outside play with out members of staff.

Please rest assured we have no current worries about security, but the vulnerable moments are at dropping off and picking up times. A gate on the internal door is used to discourage children from running in and out at pick up and drop off times. Children accessing the toilets at these times do so with parents/carers or a member of staff.
Although every measure will be taken to ensure the safety of your child in the foyer, please note that ultimate responsibility lies with the parent/carer before you have handed the child to us at the gate on arrival and after we have handed them over to you at departure.

Safe Guarding Children

St Michael’s Pre-school follows the policies set out by The Children’s Act 1989.
The first priority is the welfare of the child. All staff endeavour to be aware of the signs of child abuse and if suspected, the relevant agencies will be contacted after a discussion with parents if appropriate.

What happens if an allegation of abuse is made against a member of staff in the Setting?




If anyone makes an allegation of abuse against a member of our staff, Brigitte Watkins will be informed immediately and will contact:
Area Children’s Officer (early years) Tracey Scott on 01233 898696.
They will assess whether the allegation reaches the threshold for referral to Police/Social Services and advise accordingly regarding further action to be taken in respect of the child and the member of staff.

Brigitte Watkins will complete the form for recording allegations or complaints made against staff.

Brigitte Watkins will not discuss the allegation with the member of staff concerned, unless advised to do so by Social Services.

All staff need to be aware that it is a disciplinary offence not to report concerns about the conduct of a colleague that could place a child at risk. When in doubt – consult Tracey Scott.

If Social Services and/or the police decide to carry out an investigation, it may be possible that Ofsted will advise us to suspend the member of staff, whilst enquiries are carried out. St Michael’s Pre-school could also invoke their disciplinary procedure.

We will not carry out an investigation ourselves unless Social Services and the Police decide it is not appropriate for them to do so. We understand that Ofsted may wish to undertake further investigations.

Always remember, -The welfare of the child is Paramount.

A copy of any complaints made against the setting is available to parents/carers at any time. The record book can be found in the foyer of the hall.

Refreshments Policy

On induction new staff members are given a copy of the group’s policies, which include the policy for refreshments. They are made aware of the importance of introducing foods to the children for a variety of needs.

Fresh water is available throughout the session, this is to meet the need for a drink as well as encouraging independence and promoting equal opportunity for all children to choose when they would like to have a drink. Staff deployment within the setting ensures that there is adult support when needed.

Our ‘rolling’ snack time between 10.15am and 11.15am enables the children to initiate their own access to refreshment. Water and milk are available alongside something to eat. The staff have a sound knowledge of healthy eating and balanced diets, they are able to encourage the children with enthusiasm to try new and different foods. We use celebrations and observe a variety of cultures to look at foods and the diets in a variety of countries. We use activities to discuss the weather conditions and climates that influence the success of crops and animal farming in different parts of the world thus forming their diet. During snack time we take opportunity to talk about our enjoyment of foods as well as the nutritious content and how our bodies keep healthy, grow and develop strength.

The children are encouraged to cook and prepare foods on a regular basis. This gives the children an understanding of the amounts needed for a portion of food per child. The children are able to make choices and whilst observing the children’s likes and dislikes they can help us plan to repeat foods and to try others.
Feedback from parents contributes to the planning of snacks, as we are able to note the children’s responses and what they say at home. From the information the parents give we can plan to introduce new flavours/textures not yet experienced.

The staff have daily access to information regarding individuals, ie. Allergies, intolerance’s, medical and cultural needs, this is updated on a regular basis and all staff are aware of the importance of keeping abreast of this area.

Fire Evacuation Policy

In the event of a fire, as with the fire drill:


A whistle is blown (the only time a whistle is used) and the manual fire alarm sounded.

The children gather together at the fire door and hold on to the blue rope with right hand.

The deputy supervisor checks all toilets, kitchen, committee room, cloakroom, stage and stockroom. At the same time making the 999 call on pre-school mobile phone.

Whilst this is taking place the other staff lead the children through the fire exit (double doors in hall) straight into rear car park with register and record folder.

The supervisor takes a role call from the registrar for all children and staff.

The group and staff wait in car park. If needed we ring parents for collection. Otherwise we wait for the fire service to ensure it is safe to re-enter the building.

Regular fire drills are practised through out the term and recorded in the register.

Confidentiality Policy

St Michael’s pre-school aims to give complete confidentiality on records and conversations held between;

.staff to parent/carer
.parent/carer to staff
.staff discussions on a child
.management to staff

Staff and volunteers are aware of confidentiality and those issues, which must be kept confidential, and those, which must be disclosed eg. Social Services.

The Pre-school promotes the role of the Keyperson in sharing information with parents and carers. Where appropriate or necessary the information will be shared between staff. The Manager may be privy to information regarding Social Services, this information is not shared with all staff as a matter of course. Parents/carers must feel confident that the pre-school treats all conversations as confidential. All written records and information are kept secure and locked away on the premises. The manager keeps all information on children secure from others when needing to work from the ‘home’ office.
In the event of children whose parents do not share the same home we will do our best to clarify how much information we may share regarding ‘play dates’ with other families, ie, if a different parent collects on a certain day, may we disclose this and or telephone numbers so that another parent/carer can make arrangements.

Staff Discussions
When discussing individual children at staff meetings and with outside agencies regarding development, progress and planning, all staff adheres to confidentiality. Staff do not repeat conversations and or information outside the work place.
We ask for written agreements to allow us to share information with other settings that a child may be attending at the same time as St Michaels Pre School. This is to ensure a true picture of your child is reflected in their ‘Learning Journal’.

Management to Staff
All conversations between staff and management are confidential to the parties involved. Staff can be secure in the knowledge that they can talk freely to the management and that these conversations will go no further.

Non Smoking Policy

At St Michael’s Pre-School we have a no smoking policy set out in the Health and Safety regulations of the Welfare Requirements. This applies to any member of staff and any visitor to the inside or outside premises of the pre-school during any of our sessions. The hall management committee is having receptacles fitted on the outside of the hall to accommodate safe disposal of cigarettes on entry to the building.
There are no smoking signs displayed in the building.

As the hall is used for social occasions and clubs as well as the pre-school we are aware that sometimes the hall will have a lingering smell from people’s clothes from the previous evening. In these instances we ventilate the hall before the children arrive.

Currently we have no members of staff who smoke. Therefore the need to leave the building during breaks for a cigarette does not apply.

Part of our risk assessment involves an inspection of the outside area to make sure that any lighters, cigarettes and or packets are disposed of before the children access the area.

St Michaels Pre-School Special Educational Needs Policy

At St Michaels Pre-School our admission policy offers places to all children from the age of 2.5 years onwards including children with additional and special educational needs.
In order to achieve this we work closely with parents/carers and outside agencies to provide the support your child may need. This involves ongoing observations and reports where necessary and a good parent/key worker relationship. Where appropriate, meeting with parents/carers prior to their child joining the group helps us to build a picture of your child’s needs and your expectations of us. In turn we are then able to reassure you that the group will endeavour to source the correct training and support most appropriate to you.

Early identification of needs can be found through our observations and records. Any information that you as parents/carers can give also supports us in gaining the ‘whole’ picture. Here we aim to adapt or change any physical or emotional barriers to your child accessing the curriculum and enjoying achievements of their potential.

Our ‘SENCO’, (Special Educational Needs Coordinator);

..assists in identifying any difficulties or barriers that your child may have in accessing the curriculum in full.

..helps to plan approaches and strategies.

..keeps parents/carers informed of progress. the SEN policy each year -in consultation with the staff of the pre- school.

..liaises with the outside agencies who are there to help. able to liaise with the Early Years Area SENCO (Carol Rowe).

Contacting outside help only occurs with full parental/carers consent and assurances of confidentiality between parent/carer, key worker and SENCO of the setting.

When using the Records of Transfer we pass on relevant information to the next school or setting ensuring a smooth transition to support you and your child.

Making Concerns Known Policy

A parent who is uneasy about any aspect of the groups provision should first of all talk it over with the pre-school leader or make use of the complaints record book in the foyer of the premises. If this does not have a satisfactory outcome in a couple of weeks, or if the problem recurs, the parent should put the concern or complaints in writing and request a meeting with the pre-school supervisor. Both parents and supervisor should have a friend or partner present if required and an agreed written record of the discussion should be made, signed also including a witness signature.

Most complaints should be resolved informally at this initial stage.

If the matter is still not sorted out to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent should again contact the owner.

If the parent and group cannot reach agreement, it might be helpful to invite an external mediator, one who is acceptable to both parties, to listen to both sides and to offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help clarify the situation. The mediator will help define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
The mediator will keep all discussions confidential. They will meet the group if requested and will keep an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice they have given.

Ultimately if all parties reach an impasse it may be necessary to contact OFSTED

0845 6 404040

Complaints Procedure Policy 28 days

St Michael’s Pre-school will handle complaints promptly, confidentially and fairly, when brought to the attention of the Pre-school Supervisor or manager. Each incident will be thoroughly investigated and the conclusions discussed with the person bringing the complaint. We would hope to be able to resolve any complaints at managerial level.

There is a book for a record of complaints in the foyer each day for parents/carers to write in or read.

All prospective and new families who join the group are given the group policies to read and made aware of the daily availability of the complaints record in the foyer to the hall. There is also a book for suggestions. This may be regarding a policy query or any ideas you might like to see included in our pre school. Please follow up any suggestions verbally with any of the staff.

If the result of any complaint is unsatisfactory, then parents/carers can contact OFSTED Early Years on
0845 6404040.