Key Policies

The key policies which we give to parents when their child starts at nursery are as follows:

Exclusion of sick children
Managing food allergies

MMR and immunisations

Parental participation

Health and safety

Equality and inclusion

Child protection and the Prevent Duty

Complaints

Exclusion of sick children

Blois Meadow Day Nursery is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of the children in its care.  To this end, the nursery:

  • ensures any child with an infectious illness is excluded for at least the minimum period advised by the local health authority.
  • advises parents/carers of these minimum periods and updates them as necessary
  • has procedures for contacting parents/carers or nominated persons and for caring for the sick child while awaiting collection.
  • has procedures for informing all parents/carers and staff of the presence of an infectious illness, with special regard for expectant mothers.
  • includes information about exclusion in parents’ induction material
  • requires staff who are ill not to return to work in circumstances which could place children or staff at risk, and to keep their manager informed about the progress of their illness

As a provider of day care, we realise that parents cannot afford to take time off work for every cold or minor illness which their child contracts.  Equally, however, to bring a child to nursery when he or she is clearly suffering from an infectious disease is not fair to other children, to their parents or to our staff.

This is a difficult balance to strike and we will never please everyone – in our experience, nurseries are criticised just as frequently for sending children home as they are for failing to do so.  Our staff are trained professionals, but they are not medically qualified and they have to exercise judgements in what they consider to be in the interests of all the children.

To help staff in exercising that judgement, we have a clearly stated exclusion policy, which follows guidance from the Health Protection Agency and which is made available to all parents on enrolment.  The most frequent application of this policy  is that children must not attend nursery for 48 hours after the last instance of sickness or diarrhoea.  For more specific illnesses we follow the recommended exclusion guidelines, details of which are available on request.

In applying this policy, our staff are following strict instructions.  Please do not put them in a difficult position, however inconvenient it may be.

Managing food allergies

It is absolutely essential that parents inform us, in writing, of any dietary restrictions which apply to their children and that they make it clear whether an allergy is involved.  We do not accept children into the nursery without a fully completed enrolment form, but it is crucial that parents  tell us about any allergies or other health issues which arise subsequently.  In cases of a potentially serious known allergy, we will agree an individual care plan with you.

We produce a monthly print-out of dietary restrictions for each room which is displayed both in the room and in the nursery kitchen.  All room and catering staff are required to sign this sheet as evidence that they have reviewed it and are aware of its contents.  If your child has any allergies or dietary restrictions, please ask to see this sheet to satisfy yourself that it is correct and complete.

Whenever a special meal is produced for a child with a food allergy, it is specially identified using cling film and a coloured sticker.  For older children, who generally  have a name card which is used at mealtimes, the card is also colour coded to denote an allergy.   The limitation to allergies does not mean that we treat religious or cultural preferences lightly – they will continue to be strictly adhered to – but, in order to avoid diluting the message, it must be right to reserve the extra precautions for matters which can be dangerous to health.

We provide a special cake for every child who attends the nursery on his or her birthday.  We make no charge to parents for this, but we do ask you not to bring in your own cakes as these are often shared and we cannot be sure about the ingredients.

For children who are bottle-fed, we ask that parents bring in daily feeds already made up.   Bottles will be tagged by the staff on receipt, transferred to the fridge and returned to you, washed but not sterilised, when you collect your child.

It is our policy that all staff have first aid and basic food hygiene qualifications within six months of appointment.  A qualified first aider is always present in the nursery.

MMR and Immunisations

Blois Meadow Day Nursery takes advice from the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), of which it is a member.  The NDNA’s advice can be summarised as follows:

  • MMR is a highly effective vaccine with an outstanding safety record.
  • All nurseries should keep up to date immunisation records for all children in their care.
  • Nurseries should make parents aware that there may be children in the nursery who have not had MMR or other vaccines.  They should not, however, disclose any information about the vaccination status of individual children.
  • Nurseries should not exclude children who have not had MMR or other vaccines.
  • If nursery staff suspect a case of infection with measles, mumps or rubella among children in their care, they should ask the child’s parents to seek advice from their doctor, who will take appropriate steps to report the case to the public health authorities.  The public health authorities will then advise the nursery on appropriate action to take.

The nursery will ask parents to provide immunisation details for their children on enrolment and to inform the manager of any subsequent immunisations.  We will also seek to update the information by regular questionnaires.

The following information will be provided to parents, updated as required:  it is derived from the NHS website and provides details of the current UK immunisation schedule, as set out below.

Current UK immunisation schedule

2 months

  • 5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib). This single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio andHaemophilus influenzae type b (Hib, a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children).
  • Pneumococcal infection

3 months

  • 5-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
  • Meningitis C

4 months

  • 5-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
  • Pneumococcal infection, second dose
  • Meningitis C, second dose

Between 12 and 13 months

  • Hib/Men C booster. Given as a single jab containing meningitis C, third dose and Hib, fourth dose
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
  • Pneumococcal infection, third dose

3 years and 4 months, or soon after

  • MMR second jab
  • 4-in-1 pre-school booster (DtaP/IPV). Given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

Around 12-13 years

  • HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer (girls only): three jabs given within six months

Around 13-18 years

  • 3-in-1 teenage booster (Td/IPV). Given as a single jab which contains vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

Parental participation

Blois Meadow Day Nursery is committed to working with parents and carers as partners in providing high quality care, education and play facilities for their children.  Accordingly, the nursery:

  • carefully plans, with parents/carers, for the arrival of each new child
  • ensures that parents meet and establish dialogue with the child’s key person
  • ensures that parents/carers are kept informed about nursery policies, procedures, daily routine and parent induction material
  • provides parents/carers with opportunity to work with their children alongside key staff in the nursery
  • provides parents/carers with opportunity to participate in festivals and all nursery events
  • provides parents/carers with access to their child’s records and consults them in the planning of child care practices
  • reviews each child’s development and progress with parents/carers on a regular basis
  • holds regular structured parent meetings
  • produces a regular newsletter.

Health and safety

Blois Meadow Day Nursery is committed to providing an environment which is free from risk and which safeguards the health, safety and welfare of the children within our care, our employees  and our visitors.

We provide our employees with appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the National Standards for Under Eights Day Care and Childminding (Full Day Care) 2001.

Day-to-day management responsibility for health and safety standards within the nursery and for compliance with current Ofsted Full Day Care requirements rests with the manager, assisted by the deputy manager who will undertake this role in the manager’s absence.

Equality and inclusion

Blois Meadow Day Nursery is committed to anti-discriminatory practice.  As an employer, the nursery aims to ensure that people are recruited, selected, employed, trained and promoted according to their abilities for the job.  Accordingly, no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, cultural or national origin, race, colour or religion, which cannot be justified as necessary to ensure the safe and effective performance of the work or training for the work.  The nursery takes measures to protect staff from bullying/harassment within the workplace.  Employment practice is regularly reviewed.

As a childcare provider, the nursery aims to apply principles of equality and inclusion in practice and to promote them to the children in its care.  Accordingly, the nursery selects equipment, toys, dolls etc. which portray a positive image of a wide range of cultures and disabilities,  It celebrates and discusses a variety of religious and cultural festivals.  All children including those with special needs (where possible) have equal access to equipment, games, books and staff.  The nursery encourages children to join in all activities and discourages stereotyping.  Childcare practice is regularly  reviewed and staff are kept up to date through specific training.

This policy is drawn to the attention of every member of staff and every parent/carer.

Child protection and the Prevent Duty

Blois Meadow Day Nursery is committed to providing high quality care.  Our first responsibility is to look after the safety, welfare and well being of all children in our care.  When we believe that these may be in jeopardy, we have a duty to act quickly and responsibly.  We are also under a legal duty to report any suspicions of abuse to the local authority.  Accordingly, we will:

  • ensure that all staff are aware of the contents of the relevant local authority’s Child Protection Handbook and that specialist training in child protection is provided to staff
  • require all staff to report promptly to the manager or deputy any suspicions of neglect or physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • record details of any signs of mark or injury to a child arriving at the nursery
  • where appropriate, discuss concerns with the parent/carer and record a note of the discussion
  • where appropriate, refer concerns to the local authority
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality at all times

Under recent legislation we are also required to identify and respond to any signs that a child may be vulnerable to radicalisation.  In particular, we have a duty to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.  We aim to achieve these goals through adherence to the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and through appropriate training and communication with staff and parents.

Complaints

Parents should initially raise problems with the child’s key person (if the issue concerns their child) or the manager (if it concerns the whole nursery).  Any issue relating to the health and safety of a child or member of staff should be addressed directly to the manager, who will deal with it urgently.

In the first instance every effort will be made to resolve any matters within the setting of the nursery.  If the matter is not resolved, the directors will meet with all parties involved in an effort to find a solution  If, exceptionally, the matter still remains unresolved the parent/carer can contact Ofsted on 0800 123 1231.

Formal complaints should be made by letter or e-mail to the directors.  Each complaint will be logged on receipt and investigated: parents will be informed, in writing, of the outcome within 28 days.   We keep a written record of all complaints, which is available to all parents on request unless issues of confidentiality arise, in which case we will seek the advice of Ofsted before making disclosure.

Complaints against staff will be addressed through our staff disciplinary and grievance procedures.