Policies

    Child Protection Policy

    Green Apple Nursery is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children in our care. The needs of any child will always be our paramount concern. We take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect your child from harm, abuse and exploitation. Our designated Child Protection Coordinator supports staff to maintain awareness of child protection issues and is the first point of contact should you have concerns.

    We ensure that all staff; understand the obligation to protect your child from harm, abuse and exploitation. Use best practice in relation to recruitment and vetting. Understand the responsibility to work to the standards and procedures detailed in SSSC Code of Conduct and Child Protection Procedures. Understand the obligation to report care or protection concerns about a child, or another colleague’s conduct towards a child to the Child Protection Coordinator.

    Green Apple Nursery follows the information for service user’s guidelines by South Lanarkshire Council:

    Everyone has a responsibility to protect children

    Most children grow up in homes where they are loved and well cared for. However, for a variety of reasons sometimes a child may be harmed or mistreated in a way that is abusive. In such cases it is important that the child and their family receive help and support to ensure the child is properly cared for and protected. All children have a right to grow up in a caring and safe environment. All adults have a responsibility to protect children. This includes: Parents, family members, friends, neighbours, professionals, members of the public, voluntary organisations, youth groups, and religious organisations.

    Child abuse; PHYSICAL INJURY – being hit, kicked, punched. PHYSICAL NEGLECT – not being properly fed, clothed, cared for or poor hygiene. SEXUAL ABUSE – inappropriate sexual behaviour or language by an adult towards a child. EMOTIONAL ABUSE – constantly criticised, ignored, humiliated.

    Abusers; Children are usually abused by a parent or some other trusted adult. There are occasions when a child may be abused by someone unknown to them; however, these occasions are very rare. Abusers come from all walks of life and are not restricted to any social class, religion or culture.

    What might make you worried about a child? Children rarely tell if they are being abused, however, there may be signs which make you concerned and may be an indication of a child being abused or neglected.

    A child may; have unexplained bruising or bruising in an unusual place. Appear afraid, quiet or withdrawn. Be afraid to go home.  Appear hungry, tired or unkempt. Be left unattended or unsupervised. Have too much responsibility for their age. Be acting out in a sexually inappropriate way. Be misusing drugs or alcohol.

    Not all children who are abused or neglected will display these signs and equally a child may display some of these signs and symptoms for other reasons. At times there may be other reasons why you are worried about a child.

    The adult may be; acting in a violent or sexual manner towards a child. Misusing drugs or alcohol while caring for a child.

    These are some examples of what might make you worried about a child, however, you may know of other things that are happening which means you need to take action to protect a child.

    What to do it you are concerned about a child; sometimes it can be difficult to know if a child is being abused or at risk of abuse. You might have general concerns about a child but be unsure whether the child is being abused. If you are worried about a child you should report your concerns by contacting any of the following for advice on what to do next: Social work, Health visitor, Family doctor, Teacher or nursery staff, Police, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA).

    Local contact numbers: Social work team (Hamilton) – 0303 123 1008 Police Family Protection Unit – 01698 483095/96 Social Work Emergency Services – 0800 121 4114.

    Unless urgent action is required to ensure the immediate protection of the child, police and social work will usually convene a planning meeting to plan and agree how the joint investigation will be concluded.

    At all times the welfare of the child comes first; usually social work and police will want to: Speak to the referrer, speak to the child, speak to the parents, speak to any other relevant person – other family members, teacher, health visitor, etc. make further enquiries if necessary, take further action if necessary – arrange medical examination, etc.

    If there are no child protection concerns one or more of the following will happen: No further action, social work offer help or support to the child and their family, a case discussion is held to identify support needs of the child and family and mobilise resources, referral to another agency for help or support.

    In the case of on-going child protection concerns: An inter-agency meeting (known as an Initial Child Protection Conference) will be convened. In a small number of cases immediate emergency action may be required to protect the child – child protection order, exclusion order, emergency police powers. Further criminal enquiries; or report to the Procurator Fiscal may be required. Referral to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) may be required

    Our first priority is to keep the children in our care safe and well.

    Nutrition and Mealtimes

    Mealtimes should be a happy, social occasion for children and staff alike. Positive interactions should be shared at these times and enjoyed. Green Apple Nursery is committed to offering children healthy, nutritious and balanced meals and snacks which meet individual needs and requirements.

    We will ensure that:

    • A balanced and healthy breakfast, Lunch and two daily snacks are provided for children attending a full day at the nursery.
    • Menus are planned in advance, rotated regularly and reflect cultural diversity and variation. These are displayed for children and parents to view.
    • We provide nutritious food at all snack and meal times, avoiding large quantities of fat, sugar and salt and artificial additives, preservatives and colourings.
    • Menus  include at least 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day.
    • Parents and children are involved in menu planning.
    • Fresh drinking water and Milk is constantly available and accessible. It is frequently offered to children and babies.
    • Individual dietary requirements are respected. We gather information from parents regarding their children’s dietary needs including any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that a child has and any special health requirements before a child is admitted to the nursery. Where appropriate we will carry out a risk assessment in the case of allergies and work alongside parents to put into place an individual dietary plan for their child
    • Staff will show sensitivity in providing for children’s diets and allergies. They do not use a child’s diet or allergy as a label for the child, or make a child feel singled out because of her/his diet or allergy.
    • Staff always set a good example and eat with the children and show good table manners. Meal and snack times are organised so that they are social occasions in which children and staff participate in small groups. During meals and snack times children are encouraged to use their manners and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and conversation is encouraged
    • Staff use meal and snack times to help children to develop independence through making choices, serving food and drink, and feeding themselves. Staff support children to make healthy choices and understand the need for healthy eating
    • We provide foods from the diet of each of the children’s cultural backgrounds, providing children with familiar foods and introducing them to new ones. Cultural differences in eating habits are respected
    • Any child who shows signs of distress at being faced with a meal he/she does not like will have his/her food removed without any fuss. If a child does not finish his/her first course, he/she will still be given a small helping of dessert. Children not on special diets are encouraged to eat a small piece of everything
    • Children who refuse to eat at the mealtime are offered food later in the day
    • Children are given time to eat at their own pace and not rushed
    • Quantities offered take account of the ages of the children being catered for
    • We promote positive attitudes to healthy eating through play opportunities and discussions
    • The nursery provides parents with daily written records of feeding routines for all children under 2 years old.
    • No child is ever left alone when eating/drinking to minimise the risk of choking
    • All staff that prepare and handle food are competent to do so and receive training in food hygiene.

    Outdoor Play Policy

    At Green Apple Nursery we are committed to the importance of daily outdoor play and physical development in all children regardless of their age and stage of development. All activities will be made accessible to children with learning difficulties and disabilities to ensure all children are able to freely and independently use the outdoor area and physical play opportunities to best effect.

    Children need regular access to outdoor play in order to develop their large and small muscles, experience an environment that is different to the inside of the nursery and more importantly access sunlight in order to absorb vitamin D more effectively.

    The outdoor areas, both within the nursery grounds and in the local community have a wealth of resources which help children to develop in a variety of ways, including independence, exploration and investigative skills, risk taking and self-esteem all of which support children to develop skills for now and the future.

    The nursery will ensure all areas are safe and secure through close supervision and the use of robust risk assessments and safety checks. Staff are informed of the importance of these procedures and are trained appropriately to ensure these procedures are followed effectively.

    Parents’ permission will be sought before any child leaves the nursery during the day, this includes short outings into the local community. Please refer to the visits and outings policy for further information on this process.

    All outdoor play opportunities and outings will complement the indoor activities and provide children with both adult-led and child-initiated opportunities to enable children to learn and practice new skills, knowledge and behaviours.

    The nursery will use this policy alongside the following policies to ensure the safety and welfare of children throughout their time outside.

    • Health and safety
    • Sun care
    • Babies and toddlers
    • Lost child policy
    • Parents and carers as partners
    • Supervision of children
    • Visits and outings.

    Settling In Proceedure

    We aim for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners, with the child being able to benefit from what the nursery has to offer.

    We aim to support parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by giving consideration to the individual needs and circumstances of each child and their families.

    The nursery staff will work in partnership with parents to settle their child into the nursery environment by:

    • Providing parents with relevant information regarding the policies and procedures of the nursery
    • Encouraging the parents and children to visit the nursery during the weeks before an admission is planned
    • Planning settling in visits and introductory sessions (lasting approximately 1-2 hours). These will be provided free of charge over a one or two week period dependent on individual needs, age and stage of development
    • Welcoming parents to stay with their child during the first few weeks until the child feels settled and the parents feel comfortable about leaving their child. Settling in visits and introductory sessions are key to a smooth transition and to ensure good communication and information sharing between staff and parents
    • Reassuring parents whose children seem to be taking a long time settling into the nursery
    • Encouraging parents, where appropriate, to separate themselves from their children for brief periods at first, gradually building up to longer absences
    • Allocating a key person to each child and his/her family, before he/she starts to attend. The key person welcomes and looks after the child ensuring that their care is tailored to meet their individual needs. He/she offers a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with his/her parents during the settling in period, and throughout his/her time at the nursery, to ensure the family has a familiar contact person to assist with the settling in process
    • Reviewing the nominated key person if the child is bonding with another member of staff to ensure the child’s needs are supported
    • Respecting the circumstances of all families, including those who are unable to stay for long periods of time in the nursery and reassure them of their child’s progress towards settling in
    • Children will not be taken on an outing from the nursery until he/she is completely settled.
    • Parents will be asked to complete a settling in questionnaire when their child is fully settled.

    Sleeping Policy

    At Green Apple Nursery we aim to ensure that all children have enough sleep to support their development and natural sleeping rhythms in a safe environment.

    The safety of babies sleeping is paramount. We adopt a policy of practice recommended by The Cot Death Society to minimise the risk of Sudden Infant Death. This includes:

    • Babies are placed on their backs to sleep, but when babies can easily turn over from the back to the stomach, they can be allowed to adopt whatever position they prefer to sleep
    • Babies/toddlers will never be put down to sleep with a bottle to self-feed.
    • Babies/toddlers will be monitored visually when sleeping, checks are recorded every 10 minutes and babies will never be left in a separate sleep room without staff supervision at all times.
    • When monitoring the staff member will look for the rise and fall of the chest, and if the sleep position has changed.
    • A change in sleeping  positions will be documented on the safe sleep chart and initialled by the staff member.
    • We will increase the monitoring of a sleeping baby to every 5 minutes during the first six weeks the baby/toddler is in our nursery.

    We provide a safe sleeping environment by:

    • Monitoring the room temperatures
    • Using clean light bedding/blankets and ensuring babies are appropriately dressed for sleep to avoid overheating.
    • Only having Safety  approved  cots  (or other suitable sleeping equipment, i.e. pods or mats) that are  compliant  with British  Standard  regulations,  and  mattress  covers  are  used  in  conjunction  with  a clean fitted sheet.
    • Not using cot bumpers or cluttering cots with soft toys, although comforters will be given where required.
    • Keeping all spaces around cots and beds clear from hanging objects i.e. hanging cords, blind cords, drawstring bags.
    • Ensuring each baby/toddler is provided with clean bedding.
    • Should  a  baby  fall  asleep  while  being  nursed  by  a  practitioner  they  will  be transferred to a safe sleeping surface to complete their rest.
    • Having a no smoking policy.

    Routine sheets are filled out with the parent and key person when they are settling into the nursery and this is updated at timely periods to review. If a baby has an unusual sleeping routine or position that we would not use in the nursery i.e. babies sleeping on their tummies we will explain our policy to the parents and ask them to sign a form to say they have requested we carry out a different position or pattern on the sleeping babies form.

    We recognise parents’ knowledge of their child in regards to sleep routines and will, where possible, work together to ensure each child’s individual sleep routines and well-being continues to be met. However staff will not force a child to sleep or keep them awake against his or her will. They will also not usually wake children from their sleep.

    Staff will discuss any changes in sleep routines at the end of the day and share observations and information about children’s behaviour when they do not receive enough sleep.

    Sleeping twins

    We follow the advice from The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) regarding sleeping twins and will not put them together in the same cot to sleep. Further information can be found at:

    http://fsid.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=426

    http://www.healthychildcare.org/pdf/sidschildcaresafesleep.pdf