We meet the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that our staff and volunteers are appropriately qualified, and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with statutory requirements.
Vetting and staff selection
- We work towards offering equality of opportunity by using non-discriminatory procedures for staff recruitment and selection.
- All our staff have job descriptions, which set out their roles and responsibilities.
- We welcome applications from all sections of the community. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their suitability for the post, regardless of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex, age, marriage or civil partnership. Applicants will not be placed at a disadvantage by our imposing conditions or requirements that are not justifiable.
- We follow the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted guidance on checking the suitability of all staff and volunteers who will have unsupervised access to children. This includes obtaining references and ensuring they have a satisfactory enhanced criminal records check with barred list(s) check through the DBS. This is in accordance with requirements under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) and the Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) for the vetting and barring scheme.
- Where an individual is subscribed to the DBS Update Service we carry out a status check of their DBS certificate, after checking their identity and viewing their original enhanced DBS certificate to ensure that it does not reveal any information that would affect their suitability for the post.
- We keep all records relating to the employment of our staff and volunteers; in particular those demonstrating that suitability checks have been done, including the date of issue, name, type of DBS check and unique reference number from the DBS certificate, along with details of our suitability decision.
- We require that all our staff and volunteers keep their DBS check up-to-date by subscribing to the DBS Update Service throughout the duration of their employment with us
- staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children – whether received before, or at any time during, their employment with us
- We obtain consent from our staff and volunteers to carry out on-going status checks of the Update Service to establish that their DBS certificate is up-to-date for the duration of their employment with us.
- Where we become aware of any relevant information which may lead to the disqualification of an employee, we will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of children. In the event of disqualification, that person’s employment with us will be terminated.
Notifying Ofsted of changes
- We inform Ofsted of any changes to our Registered Person (director (s) our provision) and our manager.
Training and staff development
- Our manager holds a BA honours degree in Early Childhood studies and Early Years Professional Status, our deputy hold the CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent qualification and at least half of our other staff members hold the CACHE Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent or higher qualification.
- We provide regular in-service training to all our staff - whether paid staff or volunteers - through Derbyshire County Council and external agencies
- Our budget allocates resources to training.
- We provide our staff with induction training in the first week of their employment. This induction includes our Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Children and Child Protection Policy. Other policies and procedures are introduced within an induction plan.
- We support the work of our staff by holding regular supervision meetings and appraisals.
- We committed to recruiting, appointing and employing staff in accordance with all relevant legislation and best practice.
Staff taking medication/other substances
- If a member of staff is taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, we ensure that they seek further medical advice. Our staff will only work directly with the children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children properly.
- Staff medication on the premises will be stored securely and kept out of reach of the children at all times.
- If we have reason to believe that a member of our staff is under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that may affect their ability to care for children, they will not be allowed to work directly with the children and further action will be taken.
Managing staff absences and contingency plans for emergencies
- Our staff take their holiday breaks when the setting is closed. Where a staff member may need to take time off for any reason other than sick leave or training, this is agreed with our manager with sufficient notice.
- Where our staff are unwell and take sick leave in accordance with their contract of employment, we organise cover to ensure ratios are maintained.
- Sick leave is monitored and action is taken where necessary, in accordance with the individual’s contract of employment.
We recognise that qualifications and training make an important contribution to the quality of the care and education we provide. As part of our commitment to quality, we offer placements to students undertaking early years qualifications and training. We also offer placements for school pupils on work experience.
We aim to provide for students on placement with us, experiences that contribute to the successful completion of their studies and that provide examples of quality practice in early years care and education.
- We require students on qualification courses to meet the Suitable Person requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and have a satisfactory enhanced DBS check with barred list check(s).
- We require students in our setting to have a sufficient understanding and use of English to contribute to the well-being of children in our care.
- We require schools, colleges or universities placing students under the age of 17 years with us to vouch for their good character.
- We supervise students under the age of 17 years at all times and do not allow them to have unsupervised access to children.
- Students undertaking qualification courses who are placed in our setting on a short term basis are not counted in our staffing ratios.
- Students and apprentices, over the age of 17, who are undertaking a level 3 qualification may be considered to be counted in the ratios if our manager deems them to be suitably qualified and experienced.
- We take out employers' liability insurance and public liability insurance, which covers both students and voluntary helpers.
- We require students to keep to our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy.
- We co-operate with students' tutors in order to help students to fulfil the requirements of their course of study.
- We provide students, at the first session of their placement, with a short induction on how our setting is managed, how our sessions are organised and our policies and procedures.
- We communicate a positive message to students about the value of qualifications and training.
- We make the needs of the children paramount by not admitting students in numbers that hinder the essential work of the setting.
Induction of employees and volunteers
We provide an induction for all employees and volunteers in order to fully brief them about the setting, the families we serve, our policies and procedures, curriculum and daily practice.
- We have a written induction plan for all new staff, which includes the following:
- Introductions to all employees and volunteers including directors
- Familiarising with the building, health and safety, and fire and evacuation procedures.
- Ensuring our policies and procedures are read and adhered to.
- Introduction to the parents, especially parents of allocated key children where appropriate.
- Familiarising with confidential information in relation to any key children where applicable.
- Details of the tasks and daily routines to be completed.
- The induction period lasts at least two weeks. The manager inducts new employees and volunteers. A member of the senior management team inducts new managers.
- During the induction period, the individual must demonstrate understanding of and compliance with policies, procedures, tasks and routines.
- Successful completion of the induction forms part of the probationary period.
- Following induction, we continue to support our staff to deliver high quality performance through regular supervision and appraisal of their work.
The role of the key person and settling-in
We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents, the staff and the setting by providing secure relationships in which children thrive, parents have confidence, our staff are committed and the setting is a happy and dedicated place to attend or work in.
We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel secure and comfortable with [our staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children's well-being and their role as active partners with our setting. We aim to make our setting a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.
The key person role is set out in the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each child must have a key person. These procedures set out a model for developing a key person approach that promotes effective and positive relationships for children.
During the COVID-19 outbreak it is likely that some children will not have their usual key person. Where this is the case, the principles of the key person role are followed as closely as possible.
Any temporary staff must be trained to proficiently and safely administer medication and medical procedures for individual children. They must also adhere to the guidelines and procedures on caring for the individual needs of children with SEND, as detailed in their Health Care Plans. 8.4a Prioritised Place Risk Assessment should be used to identify any risks that may be incurred due to a change in key person for such children.
- We allocate a key person before the child starts.
- The key person is responsible for:
- Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgemental.
- Working with the parents to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the child’s well-being, care and learning.
- Acting as the key contact for the parents.
- Developmental records and for sharing information on a regular basis with the child’s parents to keep those records up-to-date, reflecting the full picture of the child in our setting and at home.
- Having links with other carers involved with the child and co-ordinating the sharing of appropriate information about the child’s development with those carers.
- Encouraging positive relationships between children in her/his key group, spending time with them as a group each day.
- We promote the role of the key person as the child’s primary carer in our setting, and as the basis for establishing relationships with other adults and children.
- Before a child starts to attend our setting, we use a variety of ways to provide his/her parents with information. These include written information including our prospectus , displays about activities available within the setting, information days and evenings and individual meetings with parents.
- We encourage parents to visit the setting with their child
- The key person welcomes and looks after the child and his/her parents at the child's first session and during the settling-in process.
- We complete a home visit to ensure all relevant information about the child can be made known.
- When a child starts to attend, we explain the process of settling-in with his/her parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the setting.
- Younger children will take longer to settle in, as will children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need their parent to be on hand to re- settle them.
- We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person; for example, the child looks for the key person when he/she arrives, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child is also familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.
- When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when.
- Within the first four to six weeks of starting, we discuss and work with the child's parents to begin to create their child's record of achievement.
The progress check at age two
- The key person carries out the progress check at age two in accordance with any local procedures that are in place and referring to the guidance A Know How Guide: The EYFS progress check at age two.
- The progress check aims to review the child’s development and ensures that parents have a clear picture of their child’s development.
- Within the progress check, the key person will note areas where the child is progressing well and identify areas where progress is less than expected.
- The progress check will describe the actions that will be taken by us to address any developmental concerns (including working with other professionals where appropriate) as agreed with the parent(s).
- The key person will plan activities to meet the child’s needs within the setting and will support parents to understand the child’s needs in order to enhance their development at home.
We provide a staffing ratio in line with the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that children have sufficient individual attention and to guarantee care and education of a high quality. Our staff are appropriately qualified and we carry out checks for enhanced criminal records and barred list checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements.
To meet this aim we use the following ratios of adult to children:
- Children aged two years: 1 adult : 4 children:
- at least one member of staff holds a full and relevant level 3 qualification; and
- at least half of all other staff hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.
- Children aged three years and over: 1 adult : 8 children
- at least one other member of staff holds a full and relevant level 3 qualification.
- at least half of all other staff hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification
- The number of children for each key person takes into account the individual needs of the children and the capacity of the individual key person to manage their cohort.
- We only include those aged 17 years or older within our ratios where they are competent and responsible. We may also include students on long-term placements and volunteers (aged 17 or over) and apprentices (aged 16 or over), where we deem them to be suitably qualified and experienced.
- A minimum of two staff/adults are on duty at any one time; one of whom is either our manager or deputy.
- Our manager deploys our staff, students and volunteers to give adequate supervision of indoor and outdoor areas, ensuring that children are usually within sight and hearing of staff, and always within sight or hearing of staff at all times.
- All staff are deployed according to the needs of the setting and the children attending.
- Our staff, students and volunteers inform their colleagues if they have to leave their area and tell colleagues where they are going.
- Our staff, students and volunteers focus their attention on children at all times and do not spend time in social conversation with colleagues while they are working with children.
- We assign each child a key person to help the child become familiar with the setting from the outset and to ensure that each child has a named member of staff with whom to form a relationship. The key person plans with parents for the child's well-being and development in the setting. The key person meets regularly with the family for discussion and consultation on their child's progress and offers support in guiding their development at home.
- We hold regular staff meetings to undertake curriculum planning and to discuss children's progress, their achievements and any difficulties that may arise from time to time.