Other Important Policies
The Programme of Activities at Lawnswood Childcare
A great deal of time and expertise is devoted to ensuring the Lawnswood Childcare programme of activities satisfies the emotional, social, physical and educational needs of the children. It is also of primary importance that the children have fun!
The main criteria borne in mind when devising the weekly programme are:
- The activities must be appropriate to age, understanding and development and be culturally sensitive
- There must be variety, so that children are given opportunities to develop cognitive and social skills
- Staff should aim to involve the children in the planning of their activities to the extent that this is appropriate to their age and understanding
- The programme should be flexible and allow for quiet and noisy activities
- There must be sufficient time for rests/naps appropriate to the ages and needs of individual children
- Children need to deal with activities at their own pace
- Adult to child ratios must be maintained, and group sizes for activities must take account of the ages and needs of individual children
- The activities should form preparation for the formal education that the child will eventually experience in school, and not pre-empt the methodology that the schools will employ
- Weather permitting, outdoor play will always be considered on a daily basis
At Lawnswood Childcare we are willing to provide for children with special educational needs alongside other children, and will be pleased to discuss the particular needs of a child with the parents.
Our Educational Framework
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – Since it came in to force in September 2008 our nursery curriculum has been guided by the EYFS framework. In September 2012 the government revised the EYFS framework to make it clearer and easier for nursery practitioners to use, adding a greater emphasis on partnerships between parents and nursery and highlighting the importance of your role in helping your child develop.
The EYFS sets out the safeguarding and welfare, learning and development and assessment requirements for everyone registered to care for children from birth to 5 years. The framework consists of two documents the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ and ‘Early Years Outcomes’. You can access copies of these documents along with other useful information about your child’s learning and development at www.foundationyears.org.uk.
Safeguarding & Welfare
These are the legal standards that all childcare providers must follow, covering areas such as the staff to child ratios, child protection, staff qualification and training, administration of medicines, risk assessments and complaints. These standards are put in place to ensure that your child receives the highest quality of care whilst at nursery.
Learning & Development
This part of the framework provides guidance for us, in promoting the learning and development of the children in our care, helping children to get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and success.
The Fundamental Themes; are the over-arching principles common to all areas of learning and development at nursery.
A Unique Child
We recognise that every child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We are committed to supporting the individuality of children and ensure that every child in our care is included in all age appropriate educational activities within the setting. We know that a child’s safety, health and well-being are integral to their development, and these are foremost considerations throughout our policy and practice.
We realise that children learn to be strong and independent from a base of caring relationships with a key person(s), and we always give consideration to the feelings of children and their parents. We are committed to building strong partnerships with all parents and in such support the learning and development of all children in our care.
The nursery environment, both indoor and outdoor, plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s learning and development. We are committed to ensuring that our nurseries learning environment is safe and secure yet still challenging. We achieve this aim through regular observation, assessment and planning of our curriculum, detailed in each individual child’s development Journal. We now use an online system called Eylog to record children’s development. Parents can download an app to view their child’s development journal at any time and received update messages of observations taken during their child’s day. We also aim to work in partnership with professional bodies and other settings in the community to support continuity and provide best practice.
The Seven Areas of Learning and Development
Our curriculum supports the knowledge that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and that all areas of learning and development are equally important. Our framework of learning and development is strongly based around play and exploration, active learning and creative and critical thinking both indoors and outside.
The EYFS is made up of 7 areas of learning and development. These areas provide a framework for the planning of activities and experiences throughout the setting and serve as a basis for the observation and assessment of each individual child. Your child’s key person will use this cycle of planning, observation and assessment to make sure that learning experiences are suited to each child’s individual needs.
We focus on three prime areas of learning as they form the foundation of a child’s ability to learn and develop healthily. As a child grows, the prime areas help them develop skills in the four specific areas.
3 Prime areas
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language Development
4 Specific areas
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
In addition, we believe in giving the children some simple responsibilities – giving out drinks at break time, tidying up, laying out tables for play etc. These responsibilities give the children pride in themselves and supports their development of independence.
With support from the Early Years Team, Lawnswood Childcare will adhere to the ‘Code of Practice on the provision of Free Nursery Education Places for Three and Four Year olds (2017).’
Lawnswood Childcare can also provide a range of additional activities that add to the education and developmental programme. These include:
- Trips out of the nursery – examples are visits to the library, shopping and the park. These are in addition to our regular periods of outdoor play within the nursery grounds, walks, teddy bears picnics etc. (specific prior parental approval is required for visits outside the nursery.)
- Visits from invited people – Zoo lab and the local police are particularly welcome.
- Hairdressing services – A hairdresser comes to the nursery every 6 to 7 weeks to attend to the children’s hair IF parents request the service.
- Charity events – the children join in fund raising activities such as comic relief, children in need etc.
- Parent and children events – the nursery organises events that both the parents and children can enjoy together with Lawnswood Childcare carers.
- Parties – birthdays are always a special occasion in the nursery, and the Christmas party is a must!!
All these activities and others will provide the fun and stimulation children need, while ensuring the best in preparation for their school days ahead.
Your Child’s Key Person
When your child starts nursery and each time they move up a room, they will be assigned to a key person. Your child’s key person is your main point of contact within the setting. They help your child settle into nursery life and to feel happy and secure. Your child’s key person is responsible for maintaining your child’s development journal and for sharing information with you about your child’s progress and daily activities. It is crucial to your child’s development and happiness at nursery that you and the nursery staff caring for your child work together. We encourage a regular two way flow of communication between you and your child’s key person.
Your Child’s Development
Lawnswood Childcare understands that the quality of your child’s early experiences helps to build a secure foundation for their learning in later years. We aim to assist all children to attain their maximum potential within their capabilities. To help us in this aim, on-going observational assessment through individual EYFS Development Journals, via our online system Eylog, are maintained for your child. This illustrates their continuing development and highlights areas where further assistance may be needed. The development journals help us plan and undertake activities that are suitable and relevant for your child’s stage of development. You can view your child’s development journal online at any time by downloading the EyLog app. You will always be consulted should any area of specific concern arise. Additionally, parent’s evenings are held twice annually where you will have the opportunity to discuss in detail your child’s development and the EYFS.
Two Year Old Progress Check
At some point after your child turns two, your child’s key person will give you a written summary of how your child is progressing with reference to the three prime areas of learning. The purpose of this check is to highlight areas where your child is progressing well and also any areas where they may need additional help or support. The check will also show how you as parents or carers can work with your child’s key person to support your child’s development. You may also find it useful to share the information with other professionals such as your child’s health visitor.
Toilet training is an important event in a child’s development and we recognise this at Lawnswood Childcare. Our policy is to positively encourage children with their development, treating as paramount the individual’s self-esteem and confidence. This means that we have no place for anger or punishment in this process and toilet accidents will be treated as part of the learning process. We do not work to target dates, instead recognising that each child must develop in their own time.
In this area it is particularly important that the nursery works closely in partnership with parents. Parents should discuss their child’s needs and development with the Key person, who will find information about progress outside of the nursery invaluable. The aim should be to bring continuity to training both inside and outside of nursery life.
Parents will be provided with regular information about their child’s progress. This will be done by regular verbal updates and discussion with the key person. Information about toilet accidents will be readily available, including:
- Daily information on the nursery report
- The individual child development record includes a record of progress.
- Discussion in greater depth can take place on open evenings
- If parents have concerns or worries about toilet training, then they should feel free to talk to the key person, the Room leader or the nursery manager.
It is our policy at Lawnswood Childcare to encourage and promote good health and hygiene for all the children in our care. This includes monitoring the children for signs and symptoms of communicable diseases such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, meningitis, hepatitis, diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers of 101 F (38c) or over.
With the welfare of the sick child in mind, and in the interests of the other remaining children in nursery, if in the opinion of the senior staff a child is ill then the parent will be contacted and requested to collect him or her as soon as possible. A child who, on their arrival, is considered to be sick or not well enough to attend by a senior staff member will not be admitted into nursery.
The staff of Lawnswood Childcare must be assured that the child has returned to good health before re-admitting them to the nursery.
All accidents, no matter how small are entered into the accident book. The parent will be asked to sign the accident book on the day of the incident when collecting their child.
When in the opinion of the senior staff a serious accident or illness occurs, then the parent will be contacted immediately together with a medical professional and the appropriate action taken. In the unlikely event of the parent not being available, the senior staff member will assume charge and if necessary take the child to hospital together with the child information sheet and the signed illness and emergency policy.
- Measles – 4 days from onset of rash
- Sickness & Diarrhoea – 48 hours after both have settled
- Impetigo – Until lesions are crusted or healed, or 48 hours after receiving antibiotic treatment
- Chickenpox – 5 days from onset of rash
- Influenza – a senior member of staff must be satisfied that the child is well enough to return to nursery
Viruses and infection can be easily passed from person to person by breathing in air containing the virus which is produced when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through hand/face contact after touching a person or surface contaminated with viruses.
The best way of preventing a virus or infection from spreading around the nursery environment is to maintain high hygiene standards in the nursery by following the guidance below:
- Discuss the need for good hygiene with children, to encourage the following routine
- Ensure children use tissues when coughing or sneezing to catch all germs
- Ensure tissues are disposed of in a hygienic way, and ensure children and staff wash their hands once the tissue is disposed of
- Ensure children wash their hands before eating, after visiting the toilet, after playing outside, and after being in contact with animals
- Staff must wear appropriate protective clothing as advised by the Supervisor when changing nappies, toileting children, and dealing with other bodily fluids. Staff must wash their hands immediately after dealing with the aforementioned instances
- All potties and changing mats must be sterilised before and after each use
- Toys and equipment must be cleaned regularly where necessary – this is of particular importance in baby and toddler rooms
- Dummies and bottles that fall to the floor must be cleaned immediately, and sterilised where necessary
- Nursery carpets will be deep cleaned periodically
- The nursery will ensure stock of tissues, hand washing equipment, cleaning materials, and sterilising fluid.
Lawnswood Childcare recognises that children are vaccinated according to their age. If children are not vaccinated, it is the responsibility of the parents to inform nursery, so that we can ensure that all children, staff, and parents are not exposed to any unnecessary risk. The nursery Supervisor should be aware of any children within the nursery who are not vaccinated in accordance with their age.
At Lawnswood Childcare Ltd we promote the good health of children attending nursery and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection (see Health, Illness and Emergency policy). If a child requires medicine we will obtain information about the child’s needs for this, and will ensure this information is kept up to date.
Staff training for the administering of medicines that require specific technical/medical knowledge will be discussed with parents on a case by case basis. If staff have been trained relating to generic medication such as administering EpiPens, then retraining is not required for each individual child.
When a child attending Lawnswood Childcare becomes unwell, it is our practise to immediately contact the parent and discuss the situation.
We follow strict guidelines when dealing with medication of any kind in the nursery and these are set out below;
It is the normal policy of Lawnswood Childcare that medicines will only be given to a child when prescribed by a medical practitioner.
In line with government guidance, Ibuprofen and medicines containing Aspirin will not be administered to children unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Cough syrups e.g. Benylin, will not be administered to children unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Prescription medicines will only be administered when prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist, and only for the person named on the bottle and for the dosage stated. Medicines must be in their original containers with their instructions printed in English.
Those with parental responsibility for any child requiring prescription medication should hand over the medication to the most appropriate member of staff.
Parents will then be required to give their permission to the administering of the medicine on a consent form, where details concerning the administering of the medicine must be entered.
Administrators of medicines must carry out the following duties:
- Check form HS016 Authority to Administer Medicine has been completed fully by the parent
- Or Check if there are any current HS016 forms for the named child
- Check the package against the child’s name
- Check the contents have the same information on as the package
- Check the use by date of the medication is still valid
The greatest care must be taken to see that medicines are administered according to the instructions, and a signed record of all medication administered shall be made on Doc 213 Individual Medicine Record and witnessed by another member of staff.
This does not apply for creams for regular use at nappy changing time. We will NOT usually record the administration of these creams unless requested by the parent, whether or not they have been prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter.
Staff must ensure the parent countersigns Doc 213 Individual Medicine Record acknowledging medication given on that day when they collect their child.
Once written consent is received for a course of medication or on going use of a particular medication, permission is not needed again for that child. However, this must still be recorded on Doc 213 Individual Medication Record to be countersigned by the parent. The following conditions must also be followed;
- The permission will only remain valid for that brand name of medication and cannot be used for similar types of medication for instance if the course of antibiotics changes, a new form will need to be completed.
- The dosage on the permission form is the only dosage that will be administered. We will not give a different dose unless a new form is completed.
- Parents must notify us immediately if the child’s circumstances change for instance a dose has been given at home or a change in strength/ dose needs to be given.
The nursery will not administer a dosage that exceeds the recommended dose on the instructions unless accompanied by written instructions from a relevant health professional such as a letter from a doctor or dentist.
The parent must be asked when the child has last been given the medication before coming to nursery; and the staff member must record this information on Doc 213 Individual Medication Record. Similarly, when the child is picked up, the parent or guardian must be given precise details of the times and dosage given throughout the day. The parent’s signature must be obtained at both times.
At the time of administering the medicine, a senior member of staff will ask the child to take the medicine, or offer it in a manner acceptable to the child at the prescribed time and in the prescribed form. (It is important to note that staff working with children are not legally obliged to administer medication).
If the child refuses to take the appropriate medication, then a note will be made on the form.
Where medication is “essential” or may have side effects, discussion with the parent via telephone will take place to establish the appropriate response.
Non-prescription Medication (these will not usually be administered)
The nursery will not administer any non-prescription medication containing aspirin or Ibuprofen.
If a child needs liquid paracetamol or similar medication during their time at nursery, such medication will be treated as prescription medication with the onus being on the parent to provide the medicine.
The nursery will only administer non-prescription medication for a short initial period, at the discretion of the nursery manager, dependant on the medication and the condition of the child. After this time medical attention should be sought.
For any non-prescription cream for skin conditions e.g. Sudocrem, prior written permission must be obtained from the parent and the onus is on the parent to provide the cream which should be clearly labelled with the child’s name.
If any child is brought to the nursery in a condition in which he/she may require medication sometime during the day, the officer in charge will decide if the child is fit to be left at the nursery. If the child is staying, the parent must be asked if any kind of medication has already been given, at what time and in what dosage and this must be stated on Doc 213 Individual Medicine Record.
If a child’s condition deteriorates, the nursery manager will contact the child’s parent to ask that their child is collected.
If a child arrives at nursery and appears to be unwell beyond non-prescription medication, staff reserve the right to refuse nursery care until the child has been seen by a medical practitioner.
The nursery DOES NOT administer any medication unless prior written consent is given for each and every medicine.
On registration, parents will be asked if they would like to fill out a medication form to consent to their child being given a specific type of liquid paracetamol in particular circumstances such as an increase in the child’s temperature (Doc HS028 Authorisation to Administer Emergency Medication). This form will state the dose to be given, the circumstances in which this can be given e.g. the temperature increase of their child, the specific type of non-prescription medication and a signed statement to say that this may be administered in an emergency if the nursery CANNOT contact the parent.
An emergency nursery supply of fever relief (e.g. Calpol) will be stored on site. This will be checked at regular intervals by the designated trained first aider to make sure that it complies with any instructions for storage and is still in date.
If a child does exhibit the symptoms for which consent has been given to give non-prescription medication during the day, the nursery will make every attempt to contact the child’s parents via telephone and the Eylog app. Where parents cannot be contacted then the nursery manager will make the decision as to whether the child is safe to have this medication based on the time the child has been in the nursery, the circumstances surrounding the need for this medication and the medical history of the child on their registration form.
When deciding whether or not to administer fever relief, the manager, or officer in charge in absentia, will use the following criteria:
- Child is feeling unwell
- Child is in pain
- Child’s temperature is above 37.5 °C.
If the answer to two or more of the above is yes, then the child can be given a single dose of Calpol provided this has been pre-authorised by the parent. If a child’s temperature goes over 38 °C however, fever relief can be administered on this fact alone.
Giving non-prescription medication will be a last resort and the nursery staff will use other methods first to try and alleviate the symptoms, e.g. for an increase in temperature the nursery will remove clothing, use fanning, tepid cooling with a wet flannel. The child will be closely monitored until the parents collect the child.
Life Saving and Invasive Medication including Injections, Pessaries and Suppositories
As the administration of injections, pessaries and suppositories represents intrusive nursing, we will not administer these without appropriate medical training for every member of staff caring for this child. Usually, this training is specific for every child and not generic. The nursery will do all it can to make any reasonable adjustments including working with parents and other professionals to arrange for appropriate health officials to train staff in administering the medication.
Staff training for the administering of medicines that require specific technical/medical knowledge will be discussed with parents on a case by case basis.
A special health/allergy assessment form must be completed by a person with parental responsibility.
If staff have been trained relating to generic medication such as administering EpiPens, then retraining is not required for each individual child.
For the administration of invasive and or life-saving medications we require a letter or care plan from the child’s GP or consultant stating the child’s condition and the treatment required.
Please note that we are required to supply evidence of compliance with the above procedures to our insurance provider. We have a legal obligation to hold a sufficient level of liability insurance and as the sharing of this information is necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with our insurance provider, we are able to share this information without consent.
Assistance with Everyday living
When a child requires help with everyday living e.g. breathing apparatus, colostomy bags or feeding tubes we require a letter from the child’s GP or consultant stating the child’s condition and the treatment required.
A special health/allergy assessment must be completed by a person with parental responsibility.
We will not administer these treatments without appropriate medical training for the child’s key persons. This training is specific for every child and not generic. This can include training by the child’s parents.
The nursery will do all it can to make any reasonable adjustments including working with parents and other professionals to arrange for appropriate health officials to train staff in administering the medication/assistance.
Please note that we are required to supply evidence of compliance with the above procedures to our insurance provider. We have a legal obligation to hold a sufficient level of liability insurance and as the sharing of this information is necessary in order to meet our contractual obligations with our insurance provider, we are able to share this information without consent.
All medication for children must have the child’s name clearly written on the original container and kept in a closed box, which is out of reach of all children.
Emergency medication, such as inhalers and EpiPens, will be within easy reach of staff in case of an immediate need, but will remain out of children’s reach.
Any antibiotics requiring refrigeration must be kept in a fridge inaccessible to children.
All medications must be in their original containers, labels must be legible and not tampered with or they will not be given. All prescription medications should have the pharmacist’s details and notes attached to show the dosage needed and the date the prescription was issued. This will all be checked, along with expiry dates, before staff agree to administer medication.
All nursery staff have a responsibility to work with children only where they are fit to do so. Staff must not work with children where they are infectious or too unwell to meet children’s needs. This includes circumstances where any medication taken affects their ability to care for children, for example, where it makes a person drowsy.
If any staff member believes that their condition, including any condition caused by taking medication, is affecting their ability they must inform their line manager and seek medical advice. The nursery manager will decide if a staff member is fit to work, including circumstances where other staff members notice changes in behaviour suggesting a person may be under the influence of medication. This decision will include any medical advice obtained by the individual or from an occupational health assessment.
Where staff may occasionally or regularly need medication, any such medication must be kept in the person’s locker / in the staff room or exceptionally in the nursery room where staff may need easy access to the medication such as an asthma inhaler. In all cases it must be stored out of reach of the children. It must not be kept in the first aid box and should be labelled with the name of the member of staff.
Children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own safety and the safety of their peers. Our nursery believes that children flourish best when they know how they and others are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who act as good role models, show them respect and value their individual personalities. Positive, caring and polite behaviour will be encouraged in an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.
Within Lawnswood Childcare we aim to set these boundaries in a way which helps the child to develop a sense of the significance of their own behaviour, both on their own environment and those around them. Restrictions on the child’s natural desire to explore and develop their own ideas and concepts are kept to a minimum.
We wholeheartedly support the Children Act guidelines on behaviour and sanctions. These state that sanctions applied in the case of unacceptable behaviour must take account of the age and stage of development of the child, be given at the time, be relevant to the actions or reactions and be fair.
Slapping, smacking or shaking – never has been and never will be acceptable practice at Lawnswood Childcare and will not be used. It is never acceptable to manage behaviour by shoving, pushing or man-handling a child in any way, this includes pulling children by the wrist/arm and/or lifting them off the ground by the arms, wrist or legs. The only exception to this being to maintain the immediate safety of a child(ren)and or staff.
Our expectations of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable methods of behaviour managements are made explicit to all staff, agency workers, students and volunteers, in doc 233 Staff Behaviour Policy.
The named person
- Streetsbrook Road nursery – Joanne Danaher
- Shirley Heath nursery – Nikki Williams
- Castle Bromwich nursery – Kay Dorris
The named person will advise and support other staff on behaviour issues
Ensure that parents are fully informed about and support the actions being taken to address a child’s unacceptable behaviour
Along with each room leader keep up to date with legislation and research relating to behaviour
Support changes to policy and procedure in the nursery
Access relevant sources of expertise where required and act as a central information source for all involved
Access training, and ensure all staff receive relevant in-house training and support for behaviour management procedures.
We will aim to:
- Recognise the individuality of all our children and that some behaviours are normal in young children e.g. biting
- Encourage self-discipline, consideration for each other, our surroundings and property
- Encourage children to participate in a wide range of group activities to enable them to develop their social skills
- Ensure that all staff act as positive role models for children
- Encourage parents and other visitors to be positive role models and challenge any poor behaviour shown
- Work in partnership with parents by communicating openly
- Praise children and acknowledge their positive actions and attitudes, therefore ensuring that children see that we value and respect them
- Encourage all staff working with children to accept their responsibility for implementing the goals in this policy and to be consistent
- Promote non-violence and encourage children to deal with conflict peacefully
- Provide a key person system enabling staff to build a strong and positive relationship with children and their families
- Provide activities and stories to help children learn about accepted behaviours, including opportunities for children to contribute to decisions about accepted behaviour where age/stage appropriate
- Supporting and developing self-regulation and empathy as appropriate to stage of development
- Have a named person who has overall responsibility for behaviour management, usually being the nursery manager or deputy.
Nursery rules are concerned with safety, care and respect for each other. Children who behave inappropriately by physically abusing another child or adult are supported to talk through their actions and apologies where appropriate. The child who has been upset will be comforted and the adult will confirm that the other child’s behaviour is not acceptable. It is important to acknowledge when a child is feeling angry or upset and that it is the behaviour that is unacceptable not the child.
Your views on sanctions in respect of your child will be sought and respected at the time of registration with Lawnswood Childcare.
If all else fails, Lawnswood Childcare Ltd reserves the right to exclude without notice a child where their behaviour is disruptive, or where in the opinion of our senior staff a child represents a health and safety risk to other children or to staff members.
When children behave in unwanted ways
Children will not be singled out or humiliated in any way. Where children use unacceptable behaviour they will, wherever possible, be re-directed to alternative activities. Discussions with children will take place as to why their behaviour was not acceptable, respecting their level of understanding and maturity.
Staff will not raise their voices in anger at a child. Shouting at, demeaning or degrading a child will always be viewed as serious misconduct. The only instance a raised voice is acceptable is if it is essential to keep a child(ren) safe.
In any case of misbehaviour, it will always be made clear to the child or children in question, that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome.
How a type of behaviour is handled will depend on the child’s age, level of development and the circumstances surrounding the behaviour. It may involve the child being asked to talk and think about what he/she has done. All staff will support children in developing empathy, and this may include asking the child to apologise for their actions. Children will only be asked to apologise if they have developed strong empathy skills and have a good understanding of why saying sorry is appropriate.
Parents will be informed if their child’s behaviour is unkind to others or if their child has been upset. In all cases inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with in nursery at the time.
At Lawnswood Childcare we do not use ‘Time Out’ as a behaviour management practice.
All children will be emotionally supported to develop positive behaviour and non-aggressive strategies to enable them to express their feelings, every effort will be made to provide for their individual needs.
We help staff reflect on their own responses to challenging behaviours to ensure that their reactions are appropriate. Promoting Positive Behaviour training is available to all staff through our Early Years Alliance (PLA) online platform.
Physical intervention is always used as a last resort and reduced at the earliest possible time. If appropriate other strategies must be used first. When all other strategies have been exhausted, it may become necessary to physically intervene for several reasons. These include the child placing themselves in danger, hurting themselves or someone else, causing serious damage to property, or trying to run away.
Formal observations will be recorded on a Behaviour Incident Record (Doc 235), staff will make every effort to identify any behavioural concerns and the causes of that behaviour. From these observations and discussions with parents an individual behaviour plan (IBP) will be implemented. When a child’s behaviour involves aggressive actions towards others, for example hitting, kicking or biting, the manager will also complete a Behaviour Risk Assessment (Doc 234), identifying any potential triggers or warning signs and to ensure other children’s and staff’s safety. In instances of aggressive behaviour, it may be that the child is removed from that area until they have calmed down.
Any instance of staff physical intervention in the management of a child’s behaviour will be recorded on a Physical Intervention Incident Record (Doc 236), which will be shared with parents on the same day or at the earliest possible opportunity. Please refer to our Physical Intervention Policy for full information.
If any parent has a concern about their child’s behaviour, a member of staff will be available to discuss these concerns. All concerns will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Biting is very common amongst younger children and infants, and children will bite for a number of different reasons. Biting not only causes emotional distress for the children concerned, but also for the parents of the child who is bitten and the child who bites. Staff will always be respectful of feelings when dealing with parents; the importance and seriousness of the issue cannot be emphasised enough.
Where possible, the prevention of biting at nursery is desired, however not all children will respond to the same types of intervention. In order for staff to resolve biting issues efficiently and with minimal stress for the child(ren) and parents involved, we need to understand the reasons why children bite. The four main causes are as follows:
- Experimental biting
- Biting out of frustration
- Biting through feeling powerless or threatened
- Biting due to teething or being unwell
The avoidance of mixed messages is encouraged by Lawnswood Childcare, so as not to confuse or frustrate the child further. As a hypothetical example, an adult who pretends to bite a child’s fingers during play could communicate that biting is a game. Adults chewing objects might encourage children to copy them, and consequently, a child who is then stopped from chewing an object might transfer their behaviour to people.
The Role of the Adult
The nursery uses the following to prevent biting: sensory activities, biting rings, adequate resources and staff who recognise when children need more stimulation or quiet times. However, in the event of a child being bitten we use the following procedures. The most relevant staff member(s) will:
- Comfort the child who has been bitten and check for any visual injury. Administer first aid where necessary. Complete an accident form and inform the parents via phone if deemed appropriate. Continue to observe the bitten area for signs of infection.
- The child who has bitten will be calmly removed from the situation to sit with an adult for a couple of minutes. The adult will tell the child who has caused the bite in terms they understand that biting (the behaviour not the child) is unkind and that it makes the child who has been bitten sad. The child will, where developmentally appropriate, be asked to say sorry or supported to develop their empathy skills by giving the child who has been bitten a favourite toy, book or comforter. An incident form should be completed to share with the child’s parent at the end of the day.
- In the event of repeated instances of biting, the key person must carry out observations to distinguish if there is a trigger for the behaviour such as tiredness or frustration.
- The room leader will arrange a meeting with the child’s parents to discuss strategies to prevent the biting behaviour. An action plan will be formulated, which must be adhered to, both at nursery and at home where possible, to ensure consistency.
Lawnswood Childcare will always keep informed the parents of the child who has been bitten and of the child who did the biting. Close contact with parents is paramount for maintaining positive relationships, for the benefit of the child.
Parents of the child displaying biting behaviour will be reassured that it is part of their child’s development and not made to feel it is in anyway their fault.
Nursery staff are encouraged to offer advice on biting in general, and to provide parents with detailed information regarding action plans where relevant.
Lawnswood staff will always keep names of biters confidential to avoid confrontation between families, and to prevent the unfair isolation of a child.