Introduction to policies and procedures

Policies and procedures are essential to help us provide excellent quality provision that is compliant with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They do this by explaining to staff and parents about the type of childcare we offer and what actions we take in practice to achieve this. The EYFS requires providers, to have written policies and procedures and to provide staff training to ensure that they fully understand, and how to implement them. We also ensure that our policies and procedures are accessible and clearly explained to parents.

The EYFS outlines the learning and development, assessment, safeguarding and welfare requirements that all early years providers on the Early years Register must meet to ensure children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Our setting is described as:

  • Childcare on non-domestic premises; a person or organisation providing care on premises that are not someone’s home, such as a purpose built nursery or a village hall. This covers private and voluntary nurseries, pre-schools, out-of-school clubs and holiday play schemes.

There are 10 overarching Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements within the EYFS, some of which are broken down into further headings, as below:

  • Child protection – providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children.
  • Suitable people – providers must ensure that people looking after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles.
  • Staff qualifications, Training, Support & Skills – the daily experience of children in early years settings and the overall quality of the provision depends on all practitioners having appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Key Person – each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for each child and build a relationship with their parents.
  • Child to Staff ratios – staff arrangements must meet the needs of children and ensure their safety.
  • Health - the provider must promote the good health of children attending the setting. They must have a procedure discussed with parents/carers for responding to children who are ill or infectious and take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and take appropriate action if children are ill.
  • Managing Behaviour – providers are responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way.
  • Safety & Suitability of Premises, Environment & Equipment – providers must ensure that their premises, including outdoor spaces are fit for purpose. Providers must have and implement a health and safety policy and procedures, which cover identifying, reporting and dealing with hazards, accidents and faulty equipment.
  • SEN- providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. Providers who are funded by the local authority to deliver early education places must have regard to the SEN and Disability Codes of Practice.
  • Information & Records – providers must maintain records and obtain and share information (with parents and carers, other professionals working with the child, police and social services and Ofsted as appropriate) to ensure the safe and efficient management of the setting and to help ensure the needs of children are met.

Providers must meet all the statutory requirements of the EYFS and must make all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. Each of the policies and procedures that we are required to have in place to do this are provided in this booklet and organised under each of the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS, as listed above. Also included are policies and procedures that the Early Yeas Alliance (EYA) recommends as good practice.

We are required to assess risks to children’s safety and review risk assessments regularly, making written risk assessments in relation to specific issues where we think it is useful and informative. We use templates supplied by the EYA for many of these situations.

Each policy has an overarching policy statement, followed by the relevant procedure describing how the policy will be fulfilled consistently and in a standardised way. References to relevant legislation, publications or guidance are supplied at the end of each policy as relevant. We have included parents, committee and staff in adopting, implementing and reviewing policies so that all adults can influence the way our setting is run.

Adopting policies – copies of the policies and procedures to be adopted are made available to staff and the parent committee. A meeting is held to discuss and then adopt the relevant policies and procedures. This gives everyone the opportunity to discuss and fully understand each policy statement and its associated procedures.

Implementing Policies – all new parents, employees, and volunteers are introduced to the setting’s policies and procedures. The importance and legality of the EYFS requirements contained in these policies are explained so that the setting complies with the statutory requirements of the EYFS. All employees & volunteers will be made aware of the content of the policies/procedures, and their role and responsibility in implementing them.

Reviewing Policies – each policy and procedure will be continually monitored, according to the results of its implementation. This information will be used to make any necessary changes to the policy and procedure or the way it’s implemented. We seek the opinions of staff, parents and volunteers before adopting any changes.