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Our Policies

 [Accident/Incident Forms][Admissions][Animals in the setting] [Behaviour][CAF][Communication][Complaints][Confidentiality][Checking the identity of Visitors Policy]

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[Uniform for parents in high risk jobs]

Admission Policy

Aim: It is our intention to make our setting accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the setting through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

 Objective: To operate a fair procedure where by those children wishing to attend Birch Farm are admitted into the room most appropriate for their age and stage of development, subject to availability.                           

·                   A registration form must be completed and signed by a parent/carer for the relevant section; this will be deemed as acceptance of our Fees & Conditions.  All information on this form will be treated in the strictest confidence.  This registration form must be submitted with £50 registration fee to secure your child/s place at Birch Farm,they will then receive a Birch Farm goody bag, unless you have moved up from another section or already have a sibling within the nursery or who are attending government funded only sessions.

·                   Inoculations are not a specified requirement at Birch Farm.

·                   Discount is available to those children with siblings already at Birch Farm, or through our other discount schemes.

·                   No child will be refused admission to Birch Farm in accordance with our ‘Equal Opportunities’. Should a place not be available a child would be placed on a waiting list. This is operated on a first come first served basis and parent’s carers will be contacted when a space becomes available.  The exception of this rule is for children receiving government funding who are given priority over spaces as per Birch Farms agreement with Suffolk County Council.  

·                   For your child to develop emotionally we request a minimum of 2 x sessions a week but this may be discussed with management.

Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Aim : Birch Farm will endeavour to support all children attending Birch Farm to gain the most from their time in our setting, to ensure all children are able to enjoy and achieve to the best of their ability with appropriate support where needed. This includes challenging any discriminatory remarks and behavior in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy.


  • Staff model positive behaviour and language at all times and challenge inappropriate language or behaviour made by children, staff, parents/carers or visitors. If staff are unable to challenge this behaviour immediately a report will be made to the management team and named behaviour management officers:

Mini Shakespeare

·         Good manners and self-discipline are encouraged and praised at every opportunity.

·         Positive reinforcement of good or sensitive behaviour is vital.

·         There is no punishment area, corner or naughty chair, however a child may be removed from the main body of a group to calm down and talk through the situation. Staff will not use any form of physical intervention, e.g. holding, unless it is necessary to prevent personal injury to the child, other children, and an adult or serious damage to property. Where this becomes necessary the parent/ carer will be informed and an incident record completed which parents/ carers will be asked to sign.

·         Aggressive behaviour, bullying or discriminatory remarks directed at individual children or adults will not be tolerated. Encouragement is given to share and to consider the ‘other persons’ point of view. Where necessary an individual ‘behaviour plan’ may be instigated to provide a consistent pattern of management. Parent’s advice will be sought in this matter.

·         Corporal punishment or the threat of it is never used by staff; behaviour strategies will also be given to any person who cares for or who is in regular contact with children as required.

·         Acceptable and non acceptable behaviour patterns are discussed and addressed throughout our planned activities and form part of the process of enabling children to understand right from wrong.

·         Any incident occurring will be reported to the parent/carer on the same day; if appropriate an incident form will be completed and kept in the child’s file as a record.

·         Birch Farm has 2 named members of staff who are responsible for behaviour management issues and will support staff and parents/carers as necessary and will recommend expert advice if ordinary methods are not effective. The named members are Mini Shakespeare  who have received additional training to support in this role.

  • Should a child on site become a concern due to their behavior and/or threaten the welfare of either staff or their peers, the following procedure should be followed:
  1. Keep calm and remove either the individual child or the other group members from the room/area.
  2. Call Mini  to support.
  3. If the situation does not ease contact the parents / carers.

Where necessary develop a long term behaviour plan for the individual child.

This policy was adopted on ______________________________.

Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Aim: To work with parent and carers of children who have unmet needs in line with the EYFS, where Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is identified as the best option.


Birch Farm will:

·         In line with the Suffolk County Council CAF team ensure all senior staff have basic CAF knowledge through the use of on line training leaflets and published information to ensure support for parents / carers and children where required.


·         Work with parents and carers of any child deemed to have an unmet need that requires the CAF process to be followed including seeking informed consent including involving the child where appropriate.

·         Continue to work with parents and carers where informed consent is not achieved until the process is deemed unnecessary or consent is obtained.

·         Use a pre-CAF form to decide whether a full-needs assessment is necessary.

·         Use the following Suffolk County Council flow chart to guide the CAF process


·         Completion of a CAF form will be undertaken only be a trained member of staff if this is not possible support will be gained from Suffolk County Council to complete the form.

·         Ensure staff are available to attend CAF meetings as required.

 Contact details:

01473 263210                                 
Customer First Telephone: 0808 800 4005

Suffolk Families Information Service: 0345 608 0033

Further details can be found on the Suffolk County Council website search CAF

Date reviewed: September 2016.            

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To ensure equal opportunity to all those who wish to use Birch Farm we will endeavor to communicate using a variety of methods or have factual information translated as required using available resources

 This will be achieved using outside agencies as required and as are available to Birch Farm Staff.


 ·         Birch Farm will use the Families Information Service and online translation services to help translate any factual information that is required by present or future parents/ Carers.

·         Staff with English as an additional language will be supported to understand all policies and procedures but will only be employed in line with Early Years Foundations Stage issued by DCFS in May 2008, amended April 2014

·         Where possible parents / carers will be asked if they have available family or friends who could help to translate verbal conversation with staff such as progress reports.

·         Staff will work with parents to support children who have English as an additional language, or use an additional language within their family environment. This will be achieved by staff learning everyday words, displaying signs in additional language and source books and songs.

·         Staff will support children who use non-verbal methods of communication. This includes BSL and Makaton. Staff will learn key signs and seek training as required, using parents / carers and outside agencies. The nursery will display signs and has various resources to support staff/ children and parent/carers with this aim.

·         We use visual timelines to outline the key points of the day, and also other visual prompts such as visual toilet or snack routines to help children to develop their skills.

·         Where needed alternative methods of communication such as letters and e-mails rather than verbal language are offered.

·         All children and their families are allocated a key person. This staff member will liaise with parents / carers on a daily basis and are responsible for completing observations and planning for their individual key children in line with our key person policy.  We also operate a co-key person system for when staff are absent or sick.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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Complaints Policy:

Aim: We believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting.

Objective: We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly, by an informal approach with the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, We have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

·         Any parent/ visitor or staff member that feels the need to complain regarding any matter at Birch Farm, should where possible first direct their complaint to the head of the section involved.

·         Mini Shakespeare or Nikki Lanchester as Managers will also make time available to discuss complaints should parents/ visitors or staff require a private meeting.  This can be arranged for all those involved. 

·         If the situation has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the parent/ visitor or staff member, a written complaint should be sent to Mini Shakespeare/Nikki Lanchester nursery Managers of Birch Farm or the owners Mini and Darren Shakespeare. 

Any written complaint will be recorded by the nursery manager.  Complaints will be recorded within our complaints log and these may be reviewed at any time.  Following a complaint the nursery manager will investigate thoroughly.  The results of the investigation along with any action taken will be given to the complantive within 28 days. 

·         Parents may at any time contact OFSTED with whom Birch Farm is registered:

Telephone:  0300 123 1231

Our complaints log is held in the director’s office.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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The following legislation is relevant to this policy:

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Freedom of Information Act 2000

Aim: To ensure all information received by Birch Farm is only used as intended and all information is stored safely and securely and disposed of appropriately. 

Confidential information is required regarding all children when registering at Birch Farm.  All this and any subsequent information is treated with the strictest of confidence.  All information is kept on site at Birch Farm for the duration of the time the child attends. Following children leaving all registration forms are kept for a further 2 years in line with The Data Protection Act, Accident and medication forms for staff are kept for 7 years as per requirements. Registration forms for the children and any accident/injury or existing injury forms are stored in the office in a locked cabinet.  These forms are kept till a child turns 18yrs old in line with legal requirements. All staff are aware for the need of privacy and confidentiality regarding any family whilst at Birch Farm.  Staff know that they may not give out any information relating to a child, or disclose any information, including telephone numbers, regarding a family at Birch Farm without prior consent from the family. Staff and student induction specifically includes an awareness of this.  Information is also stored on our Instant Nursery Manager System.  This package has a password system as does the computer.  All computers have relevant security packages installed. 

Observations are regularly undertaken by all staff and these observations are used to inform us of children’s developmental stages and help us plan activities appropriate for their needs.  These observations are kept confidential by staff in the child’s individual file. Files are available for parents to view either at parent’s evenings or on request. All Files are stored in a lockable office upstairs in the barn.  All learning journeys remain on site at all times but parents are aware they can view them at any time by just asking either the key person, room leader or a member of the management team. Learning Journeys are then given to a parent when a child leaves Birch Farm and a transition form detailing the child's present stage of development is sent directly to the next provider where possible. This report is shared with parents and carers.

In line with legislation should a concern be raised over a child's safety information would only be shared with those who needed to know, reports are kept in a locked cupboard in the nursery office.   

Children in receipt of Early Years Government Funding have information recorded that is sent to the local authority to process.  A fair processing notice is issued by a DFCSF and a copy of this is below.

The Early Years Setting holds information on children in order to support their development, to monitor their progress, to provide appropriate pastoral care, and to assess how well the setting as a whole is doing.  This information includes contact details, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs and any relevant medical information.  From time to time Early Years Settings are required to pass on some of this data to LAs, the DCSF and to agencies that are prescribed by law, such as QCA and Ofsted.  In particular, at age five an assessment is made of all children (the Foundation Stage Profile) and this information is passed to the Local Authority and receiving maintained school.

 Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills and Ofsted do not routinely process any information about individual children. However, whilst Ofsted holds no records of individual children’s progress, it does use information about the achievement of groups of children to help inform its judgments about the quality of education in Early Years Settings.   

      Under The Data Protection Act 1998 we ensure that information is:

·         Fairly and lawfully processed

·         Processed for limited purpose

·         Adequate, relevant and not excessive

·         Not kept for longer than necessary

·         Processed in line with your rights

·         Secure

·         Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

We are registered with the information commissioner’s office in line with requirements of the data protection act 1998.

This policy was adopted on ______________________________.

Date reviewed: September 2016.

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The following legislation is relevant to this policy:

 The Equality Act 2010

The Children’s Act 1989

The Children’s Act 2004

 Statement of Intent:

Here at Birch Farm we are committed to providing equality of opportunity through anti discrimination practice for all families and children who use our nursery. We will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children.

We recognise that many groups are discriminated against and we as an organisation are against this and will take steps to eliminate discriminatory practice. Birch Farm will not tolerate any discrimination regarding

·         Gender

·         Marital Status

·         Age

·         Race

·         Nationality

·         Religion

·         Physical Disability

·         Medical Disability

·         Social Disability

Aimed at staff, children and parents, or anyone attending Birch Farm.

This statement and policy is given to all staff and is available on our web site and in our operational plan.

Families are made aware of our equal opportunities policy through nursery information packs.


·         To provide a safe and secure environment for all our children

·         Include and value the views of our parents and carers

·         Provide and promote information regarding other ethnic groups and people with disabilities

·         Ensure that our admissions policy does not discriminate in any way

·         Welcome everyone into our nursery

·         Disseminate our knowledge of equality

In line with The Early years Foundation Stage 2007/September 2014 this is implemented by;


·         Our nursery is open to every member of the community, by advertising in local magazines and using our web site.

·         All children have an equal opportunity to attend Birch Farm

·         If spaces are full we operate a waiting list based on a first come first served basis.

·         We will try to offer alternative sessions where possible in conjunction with parents and carers needs and requirements

·         If a child is in receipt of Early years Government funding we are obligated to offer these children spaces first in agreement with Suffolk County Council.

·         Our information can be provided in other languages upon request.

·         We do not discriminate against any child with a disability or refuse entry because of a disability.

·         All parents can see a copy of our policy that are within our operational plan within the reception area.

·         All staff & Students are made aware of all policies within their staff pack when starting at Birch Farm.


·         Everyone has an equal chance to apply for a position and information can be translated if needed.

·         Adverts are placed with the website and on our own web site to allow everyone equal access.

·         The applicant who best meets the job criteria if offered the position subject to references and a Disclosure Barring Service check.

·         We ensure people are able to work within this country as per legislation.

·         Any inappropriate comments or behaviour made by staff are challenged and may lead to disciplinary action if required.


·         Birch Farm provides equal opportunities for all staff with regard to training, staff are required to attend First Aid, Safeguarding Children and Food Hygiene in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage. Other courses are offered equally to all subject to spaces and funding being available.

·         Staff are supported to undertake training with flexible working hours where possible.


The curriculum offered encourages children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from themselves.

Children will be encouraged to listen, learn and appreciate the cultural, physical and emotional needs of themselves and others through play activities. We work with families to help children express and celebrate their individual cultural needs.

We support equal opportunities by:

·         Celebrating a wide range of festivals

·         Gaining respect with a positive environment

·         Making children feel valued

·         Avoiding stereotypes/ derogatory images or remarks

·         Ensuring the curriculum is inclusive to all children by differentiating activities as required.

·         Help children to understand discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable

·         Staff and students are given a code of conduct prior to starting at the nursery 

All children’s development will be recorded in the same format across the whole site using The Learning Journey. All information will be documented and photos, observations etc will be taken.

The resources within the nursery will ensure that boys and girls have full access to all activities and equipment and are encouraged to enjoy and learn from them.

Diversity in Families

·         Birch farm support and work with all families

·         We encourage children to talk about their home life and what they do

·         We are happy for parents/ carers to participate in nursery life at a level suitable to individual families.

·         Parents / Carers with English as an additional language are asked to use their knowledge to support nursery staff. All paperwork will be translated with the help of Suffolk County Council Family Information Service and Internet translation programmes.


·         We work in partnership with parents/ carers to ensure that we receive the medical, cultural and dietary needs on the registration form to ensure individual needs are met.

·         Where necessary parents/ carers will be contacted for support with medical, dietary or cultural advice.

·         Children learn about a range of food within meal and snack times as well as partaking in food tasting activities. They are encouraged to try all foods but never forced.

·         Children learn to respect people’s differences with regard to food by discussions at meal and snack times and stories as appropriate.

·         All allergies are recorded in both the kitchen and individual rooms with photographs to ensure safety. All staff are notified of individual dietary needs.

Racial Incidents & Harassment

  • We ensure that all racial incidents and racial harassment is taken very seriously and staff are made aware of all issues surrounding this.
  • Any one seen to be doing this immediate disciplinary procedures will begin.
  • If a member of staff, a child, or visitor feels that there is an issue then they may report this to the management team and action will be taken immediately.
  • If necessary legal action can be taken by people who feel that they are being racially abused.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.  

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Statement and Aim:

Birch Farm Children’s Nursery is committed to providing children with healthy meals and snacks and physical exercise in an environment where they can grow and develop to their full potential. We aim to meet the needs of each individual child by helping to support them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Birch Farm regards snack and meal times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children and adults and helps children to learn about health eating.

This policy supports the following legislation and government guidelines:

·         The Early Years Foundation Stage 2008/ amended September 2014

·         The Childcare Act 2006


·         To provide healthy meals and snacks

·         Provide fruit and/or Vegetables at every meal time

·         To provide the opportunity for physical exercise throughout the day

·          To work with parents/ carers to keep informed as to any changes in their child’s needs of development.

·         To meet the needs of each individual child.

·         To ensure fresh air through outdoor play daily and offering an open door policy where possible.

Healthy Eating


All sections provide a breakfast bar where the children are encouraged to make healthy choices. The breakfast bar contains:

·         Milk / Water

·         Cereal

·         Toast


Within Rabbits we offer a variety of snacks between mealtimes, usually 10am and 2.30pm or when it is needed by the child. The children are offered water, fresh fruit/vegetable and a carbohydrate.

Foxes and Owls Pre-School operate a morning and afternoon snack bar, this allows children to make healthy choices and decide when they are hungry. The children have to choose their name (photos are added as required), collect a bowl and select a portion of fruit and/ or vegetables and a carbohydrate.

Milk and water are offered to drink and children are encouraged to pour their own.

Pictorial references are used to show children what is on offer and a photo timeline shows children what to do.

Lunch and Tea

Food is prepared fresh daily by our onsite chef. Children are offered fruit and/ or vegetables as part of a main meal, in addition to that offered during snacks. At Birch Farm we try to support children towards a large percentage of their 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. No salt or other additives are added into our meals and we offer a balance of protein, carbohydrate, fats, sugars and fruit and vegetables within our daily menu to support children’s dietary needs. All dietary requirements are taken into consideration with the preparation of meals and an alternative is given which is as similar to the main meal as possible.

Children who are asleep are given lunch or tea when they awake. If food is reheated we use a food probe to ensure temperatures exceed 75˚c.

Food is delivered to each section and prepared according to the requirements of the child.

Servings in Rabbits and Foxes are kept moderately small to encourage those who are not confident at mealtimes, and encouraged second helpings which children can serve themselves for those who wish for more. Owls Pre-school children are encouraged to serve themselves at least part of their meals. This encourages fine motor and social skills as well as developing their independence.

Children are encouraged to try all meals but never forced to eat anything they do not wish to. If a child was not to eat any main course then a dessert will still be offered. Fresh fruit is always available if an alternative is needed.

Holiday Club

Packed Lunches:

Children who bring in lunch boxes are encouraged to:

·         Have no fizzy sweets/ chocolate bars

·         Have no fizzy drinks

·         Always eat savory first

·         Not share or swap food with others

We suggest the following items:-

·         Breadsticks / crackers

·         Vegetable sticks

·         Fresh or dried fruit

·         Yoghurts

·         Sandwiches/ Pitta's

 Throughout the day the holiday club has access to water and is offered snacks in between meals.

They are encouraged to take part in physical activities daily and have access to the outdoors all day. The holiday club is also offered the chance to go swimming everyday subject to lifeguard being available.


Birch Farm will ensure that all children have access to water throughout the day and at mealtimes. Staff will encourage the children to access this especially after exercise and in hot weather.

Babies who still have bottle feeds are held whilst feeding to enforce a feeling of love and security.

All staff hot drinks are kept securely out of reach of all children.

Special Occasions.

For special occasions such as children’s birthdays, leaving etc. We encourage parents to bring in healthy options rather than sweets and cakes to ensure we are giving the children healthy choices. We suggest that parents bring in fruit or vegetable platters that we can share with all children at snack times.  This also helps to ensure those with dietary needs can join in.

Dietary Requirements

At Birch Farm we feel this to be very important so ask that we have parent/carer support so that we are able to cater for special requirements that their child may need. All dietary needs are recorded within the kitchen including photographs to ensure all those working with the children are aware of their dietary needs. Each child is also given a nursery placemat with their name and any dietary requirement; these are colour coded for easy identification. The nursery chef is also given details of any dietary needs and these are recorded in the main catering kitchen area. Staff record details of children attending weekly for the chef with specific areas to record children with dietary needs.


In Rabbits a record is kept of the child’s daily intake of food within their daily diary which parents/carers can take home.

In Foxes and Owls pre-school charts are displayed for parents / carers to access upon collection.


Throughout the day the children are encouraged to get fresh air and exercise. This is supported by staff playing games, setting up obstacle courses and supporting the children whilst outdoors.

Staff also take the children on walks around the grounds. The children are also encouraged to take part in dance and actions song sessions. This also helps to develop skills in language and following instructions.

Children have indoor/ outdoor access wherever possible through the day to support development.  This is aided by green and red door signs for when open door access is available.   Children with special needs are supported to enable them to take part in daily exercise and activities are adapted to support their needs.

Exercise for non mobile children

The babies are given the opportunity for fresh air and exercise within the playground using push along toys and rockers. They also have their own garden in which they can crawl and explore. For those who are yet to crawl we encourage exercise using baby entertainers and baby gyms. Babies also go for walks around the site in buggies and baby carriers.

 Additional facilities

All sections have the opportunity to use the activity play centre where they can access lots of equipment to support their development indoors and outdoors.

Swimming is offered to all children over 3years old. Children are given a ½ hr weekly slot where they enjoy a swim session to encourage physical exercise and also confidence within the water. We work on a 1:4 swimming instructor to child ratio and nursery staff are on hand either on pool side or in the staff room adjacent to the pool for additional assistance and to take children to the toilet. This ensures ratios are maintained at all times. Parents are welcome to come and watch from the viewing room.


·         The premises at Birch Farm are cleaned on a daily basis. All staff are aware of good hygiene practices and are kept up to date with hygiene procedures. Children are constantly reminded of good hygiene practices, especially when using the toilet. All children are taught to wash their hands after using the toilet/ nappy changes, going outside and before eating. All children are highlighted to the fact that outside there may be germs – dirt, wild and domestic animals and to wash their hands on re-entering nursery. Good hygiene is reinforced through activities and positive images around the site and through staff role modeling good practice at all times.

·         All rooms have access to anti bacterial hand gel should this be required such as when helping children with runny noses.

·         Parents/Carers are required to complete a registration form detailing dietary and medical requirements, this information is transferred to each room with photographs to ensure children with dietary or medical needs can be quickly identified by all staff. To further support this each child has a color coded placemat, white indicates no dietary need, and coloured mats indicate a dietary requirement.

·         All staff complete an online food handling course called train 4 food; this is renewed every 3 years. Staff wear disposable aprons when preparing or serving food and snacks.


·         In accordance with the Public Health (infectious diseases) Regulations 1988, should 2 or more children fall ill from food poisoning, or if any child is reported to have meningitis or that we have an outbreak of a notifiable disease as by the Public Health (control of diseases) Act 1984, any such case will be reported to the relevant authority.

·         Staff refer to our policy on the Administering and Storage of Medication should medication be given to staff at the start of their session.

·         Should a child require calpol or piriton during the day a parent/ carer will be contacted where possible before administering to a child. If a parent / carer is not contactable medication will only be given if the child has been in nursery for 4 or more hours and if the parent/ carers has signed consent on the registration form.

·         Should a child or staff member require an epipen to be stored on site an epipen plan will be written and the pen replaced as required or if used & staff will be given training on administration.

·         There is a first aid box located in reception. Contents are checked regularly and new items are ordered and replenished accordingly. All permanent staff are required to attend pediatric first aid training every three years or as soon after as a course can be sought.

·         No child may be accepted into Birch Farm while ill with a contagious disease, and no child may return to Birch Farm until the child has been fit and well for 48 hours or as otherwise started on the health and guidance documentation. Should a child fall ill whilst at Birch Farm parents/ carers will be contacted to arrange collection as soon as possible. The child will be made comfortable and a member of staff will remain with them until they are collected.

·         All accidents are recorded on Birch Farm accident forms including date, time and nature of accidents these are countered signed by a member of the management team. Upon collection of a child from nursery parents / carers are asked to check and sign accident forms. To ensure parents are aware of accident/ incident or medication forms needing signing staff add initials to the parents signing in and out forms in reception. This highlights to parents/ carers that a form needs signing.



All children who wish to use the toilet are free to do so but are encouraged to tell a member of staff where they are going. For those children who require support staff are to accompany children assisting with clothing and bottom wiping as required. Staff should ensure that toilets are kept flushed and tided through out the day including a mid day clean using antibacterial spray.  Children are encouraged to develop their independence in using the toilet and wash their hands fully with staff support until this is achieved. Positive images and timelines are displayed showing children following the toileting and washing hands routine.

Nappy Changing

Children’s nappies are changed when they require changing by the child’s key person wherever possible. Pampers nappies and Dermababies nappy cream are used should a child be allergic to these notes are made in the nappy changing room and alternatives used.

The following procedure is followed:

·         Make sure you wear a new pair of gloves for each child.

·         Use the correct nappy size

·         Use cream as required and as appropriate for individual children, apply using clean pair of gloves

·         Dispose of the nappy within the nappy bin

·         Make a note of any new marks on a child’s body, complete an existing injury report if required. This should be shown to the parents/ carers and signed on collection. 

Complete nappy chart

·         Spray nappy mat with anti – bacterial spray & surrounding surfaces.

·         Wash hands/ Staff & Children

·         Only staff who have received enhanced DBS checks are able to change nappies. New DBS forms are issued to staff upon starting at Birch Farm.


Birch Farm operates a no smoking policy. Should a member of staff wish to smoke during the day they may do so during their designated break times and in the designated smoking area away from the children. Staff must ensure they do not smell of smoke upon reentering the nursery.

Any staff member found smoking other than in the designated smoking area will be disciplined following the disciplinary and grievance procedure laid out in the staff pack. This is in line with legislation.

 Any site visitors that wish to smoke during their time at Birch Farm they will be shown to the designated smoking area. Should a visitor be found smoking within Birch Farm they will be asked to leave the site in line with legislation.


Date reviewed: September 2016.

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We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimise the hazards and risks to enable children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

We will ensure that:

·         We provide adequate control of health and safety risks.

·         Risk assessments are carried out and reviewed daily and annually.

·         Information, instruction, training and supervision are provided for our employees.

·         We provide and maintain a safe place and equipment.

·         All staff are aware of the importance of good hygiene practice and are kept up to date with hygiene procedures.

·         We consult with our employees on matters affecting health and safety.

·         Procedures are in place for safe handling and use of substances.

·         Procedures are in place to ensure compliance with current fire regulations.

·         We maintain safe and healthy working conditions, and

·         We shall revise and review this policy as necessary at regular intervals.

At Birch Farm children’s nursery we believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We are committed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of the children, parents, staff, volunteers and other visitors.

Risk Assessment

Our risk assessment process includes:

·         Checking for hazards and risks indoors and outside, and in our activities procedures. Our assessment covers adults and children;

·         Deciding which areas need attention; and

·         Developing an action plan that specifies the action required the timescales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.

We maintain lists of health and safety issues, which are checked:

·         Daily before the session begins

Insurance cover

We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for employers’ liability insurance is displayed on the notice board in reception


Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of health and safety issues so that all adults are able to adhere to our policy and understand their shared responsibility for health and safety. The induction training covers matters of employee well-being, including safe lifting and the storage of potentially dangerous substances.

·         Records are kept of these induction training sessions and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign records to confirm that they have taken part.

·         As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and health and safety is discussed regularly in staff meetings.

·         We have a no smoking policy.

·         Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussion, planned activities and routines.

Children’s safety

·         We ensure all staff employed have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced DBS check.

·         All children are supervised by adults at all times.

·         Children in Rabbits are checked every 10 minutes and Foxes and preschool checked every 15 minutes whilst they are sleeping.   Documented sleep charts are kept daily, and parents are informed of their child’s sleep/s each day. Pre-school have a video screen to be able to see the sleep room at all times and staff remain in the room wherever possible with sleeping children.


·         Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of children. The times of the children’s arrival and departures are recorded by parents in nursery reception on parents signing inn and out forms and on registers within the room by staff.

·         The arrival and departure times of staff, volunteers and visitors are all recorded.

·         Doors to and from the nursery are properly secured to prevent children gaining access or people entering without permission. If there is nobody on the desk in reception then the front door has a finger print recognition system in place for access. Parents leaving the building are asked to make sure the door is securely shut and not to let anyone else in on their way out. They are to ask a member of staff from one of the rooms nearby to let them other people in.

·         The door between the barn and the nursery is coded on the barn side so that only staff can gain access from the barn into the nursery.

·         Children are unable to gain access to an area where staff are unable to see them such as outside. Rooms in Owls have high handles which children are unable to reach.

·         Should anyone gain access, staff should follow the intruder policy displayed within each room.

·         All rooms have designated deployment zones that staff use to ensure children can be seen at all times.

·         A anti-climb/anti-vandal fence has been construction in July 2014 that completely surround the nursery site.


·         Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.

·         All surfaces are clean and non-porous.

·         There are separate facilities for hand-washing and for washing up.

·         Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children’s reach.

·         When children take part in cooking activities, they;

-          Are supervised at all times;

-          Are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and

-          Do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment

Electrical/ Oil equipment

·         All electrical/ oil equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.

·         Our boiler/electrical switchgear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.

·         Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.

·         There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.

·         The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.

·         Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage means.


·         All resources and materials from which children select are stored safely.

·         All equipment and resources are stored and stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.

·         Deliveries are cleared away quickly.

·         Fire doors are kept closed and some are alarmed in case they are opened unofficially.

Outdoor Area

·         Our outdoor area is securely fenced with anti climb/vandal fencing and the surrounding land is privately owned with no bridal ways or paths.

·         The nursery stands in 60 acres of private land with no nearby road access or public right of way across the land. Due to the open nature of the land any person accessing the property would stand out and be met and challenged by the nursery owners, site owners or staff.

·         Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used.

·         Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides through ‘Where do we find lists’ and a daily risk assessment.

·         All outdoor activities are supervised at all times and a deployment map of where staff should be at all times to ensure safe supervision while using the outdoor spaces is displayed on the wall leading to the garden from the indoor/ outdoor play space.

Sun Protection

Sun’s rays can damage children’s skin, and could lead to skin cancer later in life.  As a consequence we will apply sunscreen before the children go out to play on sunny, warm days and will encourage them to wear a sun hat.  Please provide a factor 50 sunscreen in a named container.  If parents do not provide sun cream we will apply nursery sun cream is possible or restrict children's access to the garden.  Parents need to provide their child with a named sun hat and named sun cream –the hat should be preferably with a wide brim or a legionnaire style.

 We would request that parents/carers apply sunscreen before they bring their child into nursery and staff will apply extra sunscreen as necessary throughout the day.

 The hours between 11am and 3pm will be avoided for long outside play times and instead will use our indoor / outdoor barn to play in during these times.

 The importance of sun protection will be discussed with the children and will be engaged in activities to promote this issue at the beginning of and throughout the summer.


·         Our daily routines encourage children to learn about personal hygiene.

·         We have a daily cleaning routine for the setting which includes play room(s), kitchen, rest area, toilets.

·         We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing-up clothes and furnishings.

·         The toilet area had a high standard of hygiene including hand washing and drying facilities.

·         We implement good hygiene practices by:

-          Checking toilets regularly;

-          Cleaning tables between activities;

-          Wearing protective clothing such as aprons and disposable gloves- as appropriate;

-          Providing sets of clean clothes;

-          Providing tissues and wipes and encouraging children to wipe their noses and to cover their coughs

-          Staff are trained in Food Hygiene

·         The building and all its equipment are maintained in a clean and healthy manner to prevent illness and spread of disease. This is done both by nursery staff and a cleaner who comes in every evening.


·         The lay out of play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities.

·         All equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded.

·         All materials- including paint and glue - are non-toxic

·         Sand is clean and suitable for children’s play.

·         Physical play is constantly supervised.

·         Children are taught to handle and store toys safely.

·         Children who are sleeping are checked regularly.

·         Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.

Food and Drink

·         Staff that prepare and handle food receive appropriate training and understand – and comply with – food safety and hygiene regulations.

·         All food and drink is stored appropriately.

·         Adults do not carry hot drinks through the play area(s) and do not place hot drinks within reach of the children.

·         Snack and meal times are appropriately supervised and children do not walk about with food and drink.

·         Fresh drinking water is available to children at all times.

·         We operate systems to ensure that children do not have access to food/ drinks to which they are allergic.

Fire Safety

·         A detailed fire risk assessment is carried out annually.

·         Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from inside.

·         Fire alarms are checked on a regular basis.

·         Our emergency evacuation procedures are:

-          Clearly displayed in the premises;

-          Explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and

-          Practised and ensured that all staff are involved

·         Records are kept of fire drills and the servicing of fire safety equipment.

First Aid and Medication

All staff are first aid trained as well as Birch Farm providing staff with refresher courses. The first aid qualification includes first aid training for infants and young children.

Our first aid kit:

·         Complies with Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981;

·         Is regularly checked by a designated member of staff and re-stocked as necessary;

·         Is easily accessible to adults; and

·         Is kept out of reach of children.

All first aid administered, no matter how trivial, is to be recorded in the Accident/Incident Report form. Staff accidents are also to be recorded in the staff accident book. All accident forms are counter signed by senior management to ensure that any reoccurring accidents or incidents are highlighted immediately and rectified by appropriate action.

Our Accident Files;

·         Is kept safely and accessibly in each nursery section;

·         All staff and volunteers know where it is kept and how to complete it; and

·         Is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.

Ofsted is notified of any injury requiring treatment by a general practitioner or hospital doctor, or the death of a child or adult.

Administration of Medication

·         See the Policy called Administering and Storage of Medication for details.

We follow the Guidance on Infection controls in schools and other childcare settings as provided by the Health Protection Agency. 

·         We are unable to provide care for children who have sickness and diarrhoea, or who have an infectious disease. Children are unable to attend nursery until they have been well for at least 48 hours.

·         Children with head lice are not excluded, but must be treated to remedy the condition.

·         Parents are notified if there is a case of head lice in the setting.

·         Parents are notified if there is an infectious disease, such as chicken pox.

·         Good hygiene practice concerning the clearing of any spilled bodily fluids is carried out at all times.

·         Environmental Health is notified of any infectious diseases that a qualified medical person considers notifiable.

·         In accordance with 2010, should two or more children fall ill from food poisoning, or if any child is reported to have meningitis or should Birch Farm have an outbreak of a notifiable disease indentified as such in the Public Health (control of disease) Act 1984, any such case will be reported to the relevant authority.

Safety of Adults

In accordance with the EYFS, We keep records of;


·         Names and addresses of all staff on premises, including temporary staff who work with the children or who have substantial access to them;

·         Names and addresses of the owners;

·         All records relating to the staff’s employment with the setting, including application forms, references, results of checks undertaken etc.

Safety of Children

All parents or carers are asked to fill out a registration, medical and dietary form before leaving their child in our care. These include:

·         Names, addresses and telephone numbers of parents and adults authorised to collect children from setting;

·         The names, addresses and telephone numbers of emergency contacts in case of children’s illness or accident;

·         The allergies, dietary requirements and illness of individual children.

Birch Farm ensures at all times that staff: child ratios are maintained as registered with Ofsted.  Birch Farm ensures at all times that the correct number of children are allowed to attend as per our registration with Ofsted.

Children are never left unsupervised.

Forms are also used to record:

·         The times of attendance of children, staff, volunteers and visitors;

·         Accidents and medicine administration records;

·         Consents for administration of medication, emergency treatment

·         Existing injuries; and

·         Incidents

The following people are responsible for:

  • Registration of the nursery – Proprietor/ Director – Through OFSTED
  • Insurance – Proprietor
  • Fire Alarm Servicing – Proprietor
  • PAT Testing – Proprietor
  • Recycling Service – Proprietor – Babergh District Council
  • General up keep of the setting – Proprietor, Management.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Health & Safety:

Equipment Check list


Plug-covers, light bulbs and electrical equipment                          

 MINI                                                                                            MONTHLY

Playground  & Outdoor Equipment

ALL STAFF                                                                                          DAILY                                                                                                         

Litter in Barn & Playground

ALL STAFF                                                                                            DAILY

 Wear & Tear in each section

SUPERVISORS                                                                                      DAILY

 Litter Bin

Darren & Mini                                                                                        DAILY

 Fire Alarm System Board

MINI                                                                                                      DAILY

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Aim: To ensure safety and security of all children in our care. In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult at the end of a session/day, we put into practice agreed procedures. These ensure the child is cared for safely by an experienced and qualified practitioner who is known to the child. The child will receive a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible.

If a child is not collected at the end of a session/day, we implement the following:

·                   The daily register/diary is checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routine.  If no information is available, parents/carers are contacted at home or at work.  If this is unsuccessful the emergency contacts authorised by the parents/carers on their registration forms will be contacted. 

·                   The child would be kept at Birch Farm, until collection effected.

·                   In extreme cases we would contact known friends, family and finally the police.

·                   Should this still not effect a collection, we will contact our local authority social services department, telephone number 0808 800 4005 or main switch board 01473 583000. Suffolk Families 0845 60 800 33

·                   A written report of the incident is recorded.

·                   Depending on circumstances, we reserve the right to charge parents for the additional hours worked by our staff. 

 If a child is lost we implement the following:

Children’s safety is our highest priority, both on and off the premises. Every attempt is made, through carrying out the exit/entrance procedure, to ensure the security, to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times.

·       All attempts to locate the child would be exhausted through staff searching the local area, buildings and last known location.  Thereafter the police would be informed and parents /carers contacted.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Birch Farm is a family run business and endeavours to provide an excellent childcare service to the immediate community, forging close links with the school and the surrounding rural and urban communities.  The day to day administration of the site is directed by the owners Mini and Darren Shakespeare, supported by Mini Shakespeare & Nikki Lanchester nursery managers and Hannah Benee the site administrator. The development and maintenance of the site is managed by Mini and Darren when it is necessary. Regular management meetings are held to discuss the ongoing and forward planning of Birch Farm.

There is a section leader in charge of each area of the nursery, who are responsible for the day to day management. Regular meetings are held between management to help maintain and improve the high standards offered at Birch Farm.

Our insurance for Birch Farm is reviewed and renewed annually. A copy of our Employers Liability is displayed in reception and all section notice boards.  We have public liability cover for up to £10 million.

All our policies are developed and used for the efficient and safe management of Birch Farm and are regularly reviewed.  These are as detailed in our Operational Plan.  Parents and Ofsted will be informed of any significant changes to our premises or our Operational Plan. Ofsted and The Child Protection Agency will be informed of any allegations of abuse which have taken place on the premises and a full investigation undertaken by management.  Ofsted would also be informed of any other significant events.  We inform The Early Years & Training Unit of any changes in staff and staff are logged on the Early Years Qualification Audit Tool.

Our advertising and marketing strategy is directed at the local area for both working and non-working parents.  Permission will be sought individually before any photograph/video may be used for advertising purposes.

Following a successful interview, staff will be subject to our comprehensive staff policies and procedures, which includes a satisfactory DBS Police check.  Any allegations of abuse by a member of staff or volunteer alleged to have taken place on the premises will be brought to the attention of Ofsted forthwith.

All sections at Birch Farm have short term planning which is done on a weekly basis, medium and long term planning is completed in the form of continuous provision sheets. These are constantly monitored and evaluated.  Records are kept for individual children and are obtained on a daily, weekly, monthly and half termly basis as required. These will be kept confidential and safe at Birch Farm.  Once a child leaves these records are retained for a minimum of 2 years.  These records are always available for parents to see.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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Policy statement: No child is excluded from participating in our setting who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent. We work with parents towards toilet training, unless there are medical or other developmental reasons why this may not be appropriate at the time.

We provide nappy changing facilities and exercise good hygiene practices in order to accommodate children who are not yet toilet trained.

We see toilet training as a self-care skill that children have the opportunity to learn with full support and non-judgemental concern of adults.

Aim: To ensure the safety and security of all staff and children during the nappy change procedure.

When changing nappies:       

·        Make sure that you wear a new pair of gloves for each child.

·       Use correct size of nappy.

·       Only use cream if they are allowed and always change your glove before placing your contaminated glove into the pot.

·       Make a note of any new marks on the child’s body if you spot any that have not been reported by the parents – inform supervisor and complete a ‘Existing injury form’ which must be shown and signed by the parent/carer on collection. 

·       Complete the nappy chart. 

·       Spray the napping changing mat after each child is changed – therefore always left clean for the next child. Wash both staff & children’s hands.

·       Dispose of nappy in the nappy bin and leave nappy area clean and tidy.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Off Site Outings:

·         All outings from Birch Farm are arranged and confirmed in advance with parents and written permission obtained.

·         All parents are given the choice as to whether their child/ren attends.

·         All vehicles used are fitted with seat belts and have a current MOT certificate.

·         All vehicles are taxed and insured as a business to carry children.

·         Only named drivers on the insurance policy with a current, clean licence are allowed to drive vehicles.

·         Key persons are responsible for a small number of children and extra parental help may be required for a trip to take place to ensure our staff: child ratio is appropriate.

·         A full risk assessment is completed.

·         An attendance register is checked regularly throughout the trip to ensure children are accounted for at all times.

·         Essential equipment and records are taken on outings for example: contact numbers, First aid kits, Mobile phones

·         Should a child go missing, the senior member of staff will be informed and the management of the venue advised to start their ‘lost child policy’.  The police will be informed should this become necessary - parents will be contacted at this point.

·         All staff will submit a written report of the incidence and the procedure reviewed.

Onsite Outings:

·         Trips may be arranged as walks around site through the fields or visits to the play barn. They may also be children attending swimming/ ballet or Jo Jingles lessons.

·         A full risk assessment of site walks swimming/ Jo Jingles/Ballet and play barn has been completed and is shared with all staff and available in every section of the nursery

·         A full count of the children is undertaken before and during the trip. Registers are taken with also.

·         If going outside of the building (walks in the fields) a two way radio is supplied to ensure contact with the nursery/ play barn staff at all times. These have full reception for the whole site.

·         No children are taken near the main road.

·         Clothing appropriate to the weather is obtained before the trip, if no clothing is available a child may be asked to remain behind to ensure their health and wellbeing.

·         Staff ensure that management are informed where they are going including the route.

·         Staff always supervise the children 1 in front of the group and 1 behind Ratios are maintained at all times.

·         Visits to the play barn are on undertaken if the play barn is quiet enough for staff to be able to see and supervise the children easily, should the play barn become bust children return to nursery.

·         Swimming/ ballet or Jo Jingles lessons must be booked separately to ensure the correct ratios are maintained except the nursery Jo Jingles taster sessions.

·         Should a child go missing, the senior member of staff will be informed and the management of the venue advised to start their ‘lost child policy’.  The police will be informed should this become necessary - parents will be contacted at this point.

·         All staff will submit a written report of the incidence and the procedure reviewed.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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 ·         Outdoor play is a vital part of a child's development and Birch Farm aims to support each individual child in their development through such practices of outdoor play.

·         To provide children with the opportunity to explore and experience the outdoor environment at Birch Farm.

·         To ensure that all children at Birch Farm experience outdoor play to support their holistic development.

·         Birch Farm aims for all children to be outside everyday, throughout the year.


 ·         Birch Farm highly values the benefits of the outdoor play and encourages staff to plan activities for children outside. At every opportunity we aim for all children to be outside when possible and for staff to implement each of the outdoor environments in the way of bringing the indoors outdoors.

 ·         In colder weather conditions children have the indoor/ outdoor barn to play in. Birch Farm values this as a place for children to play outdoors but with the shelter of the indoors.

 ·         In Rabbits children are taken outside with the use of buggies so the non-walkers have the same opportunity as the walkers to experience the outdoors.  All rooms have an open door risk assessment and rooms operate an open door policy whenever possible in line with maintaining staff ratios.

 ·         Children are often taken for walks through the land surrounding the nursery, with the 20 acres of fields the children have a range of environments to explore.

 ·         Rabbits, Foxes and Owls pre-school all have their own outside play area where the children can engage in play activities suitable for their developmental needs and interests. The indoor and outdoor environments both mirror one another for the children to feel familiarity and also have the continuity within the two areas. Outdoor play is a natural enhancement and extension of indoor environments and ideally children should be able to choose to play outside at any time. Birch Farm aims for a flow in between the two areas to give children the choice and within time all three rooms will have the free-flowing access from the indoors to outdoors and vice versa.

 ·         Risk assessments are undertaken but where activities benefits outweigh the risks they will be offered.

 What can being outside promote?

·         Holistic development – children’s all round development is promoted from being outdoors. 

·         Spacial awareness.

·         A Healthy appetite.

·         Sleep. Fresh air does wonders!

 Birch Farm requests that parents:

·         Provide their child with appropriate clothing e.g. sun-hat for the summer months and gloves, scarf and hat for winter.

·         Sensible footwear depending on weather.

·         Provide sun cream for your child. It is the responsibility of the staff to apply sun cream to children when it is needed.

·         All children’s items are clearly labeled.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Aim: In order to fully support children Birch Farm believes in a comprehensive parent partnership and uses a variety of methods to develop this. Our aim is to support parents as their children’s first and most important educators by involving them in their children’s education and in the full life of the setting. We also aim to support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.

Parents must complete a Registration Form before a child may start at Birch Farm.  All information disclosed by parents/carers will be treated in the strictest confidence.  These records will be kept at Birch Farm at all times and will be kept for 2 years after a child has left.  All records are available for inspection by the Early Years Child Care Inspector. When a child becomes eligible for Early Education Funding details collected during this process will be shared with County Council Staff as part of the claim process, these funding forms are retained for 7 years in line with legislation requirements.

Upon starting nursery parents receive a detailed frequently asked question document to help them gain as much information as possible regarding the nursery but an open office policy also means nursery management are generally available and the owners are always happy to meet parents either formally or informally.

We have displayed a poster from Ofsted giving all parents the opportunity to telephone them with any comments regarding our nursery.  Ofsted now outsource to an agency that inspect on their behalf.  Ofsted no longer give any warning before an inspection.  This is now one inspection covering both care and education.  Parents will be informed of the report once issued.

Parents are provided with a ‘Welcome Pack’ for each section so that they familiar with the daily routine, activities provided, etc before they start.  Parents are asked to complete an All about me booklet when they start so that we have a fuller picture of the family as a whole. Photographs provided by these are kept on premises until the child leaves. The information in the all about me can provide a valuable starting place for staff when planning activities for children as they start at nursery. Parents are also offer trial sessions and these are also used as a chance to get to know parents and the routine and likes of each child.

Parents are prime carers and as such their views and concerns are greatly valued and acknowledged.  We operate an Open Door Policy and parents are always welcome to see their child/s work/records at any time.  A written daily diary of information is kept in Rabbits and Foxes and shared with parents/carers each day.  In other sections information is verbally shared at the start and end of a session and if necessary written notation made.  There are Parent Sharing Forms available where they sign in/out, should they wish to make any comments regarding the nursery or their child’s care named or anonymously. 

Each section prepares short term planning which is undertaken on a weekly basis, mid and long term planning, which is in the form of continuous provision sheets, to help ensure every day is well balanced and meets the necessary learning goals.  These are displayed in each section for parents/carers to see.  Wall displays are updated regularly with new work and form a very important part of the nursery’s daily routine.

There is a parent’s area in reception, which has a variety of information – booklets/leaflets for them to look through.  Should any parent require a copy of any information, they may ask at reception.  This area also contains a copy of The Early Years Foundation Stage. This is the curriculum document that the nursery follows.  Should you wish to borrow a copy please sign it out at reception.  Birch Farm keeps parents informed on a regular basis via newsletters and have ‘parents evening’ in all section every term.  Each section has a foyer where information is displayed, both current and long term.  Parents and carers skills are always welcomed, please share these with us. All our policies are kept in our operational plan file within the Reception and parents/carers are welcome to look at these at any time.

Parents/ carers have the opportunity to make comments using clouds on things that have happened at home. The clouds are available in each section, and also by signing in and out sheets in reception. These clouds are then added to a child's learning journey and information gained is a great help when writing Possible Lines of Direction.

A termly parents evening is held for every section and parents are invited to come along and share their child's learning journeys, children and parents can add details of their thoughts to the jigsaw report, this is then updated with the parents when the child's learning journey is due for a detailed 6 weekly update.

Children are only released to persons named on the Registration Form.  Should another person need to collect a child, a password plus a description is used to verify the validity of the collection.

If a child is identified as a ‘child in need’, appropriate information will be given to the relevant referring agency, usually with the parents’ permission.

In 2014 our action plan aims to have open sessions where parents can make appointments to spend time in their child's room experiencing a morning at nursery. Any parent or grandparent wishing to do this will be asked to leave all bags and devices that could take images etc at reception to support the safeguarding policy of the nursery. Parents will never be left in charge of a group of children and will always be supervised.

Should any parent/carer who wishes to make a complaint about our nursery should follow the Complaints Procedure as documented.  A record of all complaints will be kept at Reception and is available for any parent/carer to see on request and if requested we undertake to provide Ofsted with a list of complaints and any action taken subsequently for any period.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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Birch Farm Children’s Nursery is committed to the inclusion of children with additional needs.  The nursery believes that all children have a right to learn and develop alongside their peers. We celebrate the unique qualities of each individual child and aim to meet the needs of all our children in an inclusive environment.


1)            To welcome children with additional needs (special educational needs and disabilities) as part of our community and to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to become confident young children. 

2)           The Early Years Foundation Stage will be differentiated in order to accommodate each child’s individual needs and abilities.

3)           To work in partnership with parents/carers keeping them fully involved in their child’s education, through regular review/progress meetings, IEP meetings, open days, parent’s evenings and daily feedback.

4)           To provide a graduated response to support children’s individual needs and where appropriate, actively involve the child in planning for their learning.

5)           We will liaise with other agencies and professionals to provide the best education we can, ensuring we are working as a team. 

 The name of our Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator (SENCO) is:

Nikki Lanchester.

 The role of the SENCO involves:

 ·         To support staff through staff inductions and ongoing training, to ensure they understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting special education needs. Management will ensure that staff have a clear understanding of the SEND Code of Practice (2014)

·         The SENCO will advise and support colleagues at all times.

·         Ensuring parents/carers are close involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting.

·         Liaise with other professionals or agencies beyond the setting.   

 Admission arrangements for children with SEND

Birch Farm’s policies are committed to the inclusion of all children. We ensure everyone feels listened to and their contributions are valued, making sure that every child, whatever their additional needs are, is fully involved in all activities.


Specialist facilities, resources and staffing

·         If a child is identified as needing a lot of adult support to access the learning environment, the group would explore the possibility of employing an extra member of staff to support the child, or restructuring existing staff.

·         Birch Farm has a range of resources to support children throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage.  We will aim to use these resources appropriately.  Birch Farm will research the possibility of borrowing specialist equipment/toys in order to meet a child’s particular need in conjunction with agencies already working with the daily.


Identification and assessment of children with SEN

As set out in the SEND code of Practice 2014, a child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. 

 ·         We will monitor the progress of all children as part of their work. Through regular observations. Ongoing assessments will be made of children’s learning and progress as well as their response to learning opportunities, the learning environment, routines and staff. As a setting we use the graduated approach; Assess, plan, do, review.

·         We use a record-keeping system such as ‘My Learning Journey to record significant achievements and share them with parents. These assessments will alert us when a child is not making adequate progress.

·         We will take specific action to help children with SEN and disabilities make the best possible progress. Adapting the curriculum slightly to suit a child’s individual needs to help them.

·         If a child joins the group with a recognised learning difficulty or disability we would carry out observations but at the same time collect as much information regarding the child’s progress to date from the parents/carers. We will also liaise with the other professionals involved if given permission from parents/carers. 

 ·         We will also adapt the learning environment, the activities we present and our teaching style if need be in order to help the individual access the curriculum to their best ability.

·         The staff will discuss the progress of the children attending the group on a regular basis. If it is agreed that there is cause for concern regarding a child, the SENCO or key person will approach the parents/carers and discuss their concerns. The parents/carers will then be involved in how we can support the child with their individual needs. At this stage we would discuss whether the strategies we have in place are benefiting the child.  If we felt more was needed, together we would create an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) for the child, setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, (SMART) targets. 

·         The IEPs are a planning, teaching and reviewing tool which underpin the process of planning intervention for the individual child. This is an ongoing working document. When the IEP is reviewed with staff and parents/carers and we feel the child has made little or no progress, we would ask the parents/carers permission for us to fill out the IAA referral form and contact the Early Years and Childcare Service for advice and support for their child. After the Early Years team has visited the setting and seen the child we would incorporate their advice into a new IEP.

·         SENCO and parents/carers will liaise with the other professionals to ensure we are working as a team, sharing valid information, group meetings etc, to achieve the best possible education we can for the child.

 Complaints about our SEN provision

Any complaints regarding our SEN provision will be dealt with as per Birch Farms Complaint’s Policy.


Monitoring and evaluation our SEND policy

The SENCO and manager will monitor our policy at quarterly intervals throughout the year to ensure it’s updated, relevant and working effectively. Parents/carers have access at any time to this policy which is located in a folder in reception and on our website. Parents/carers views on our care in supporting their children is always taken into consideration and valued when planning our approach and procedures. 


SEN training

Our SENCO will attend all training that is available and advised by Suffolk County Council in relation to supporting children with special educational needs, and relay back to all other staff. Other staff at Birch Farm will have the opportunity to attend courses which will benefit them in supporting their key children with SEN, e.g. inclusion and early identification. Updated information, books and articles are available for staff to sit and read during allocated paperwork time/planning meetings to assist them with effective planning. All staff are given login details to access and complete online training o EduCare relating to SEN. (June 2016) As of Sept 2016 this will be mandatory for all staff to complete within the first three months of employment. This is stated in their induction packs.


Partnership with parents

We aim to form positive relationships with parents/carers and families of all our children at Birch Farm.

As a key person we make sure we are liaising with the parents/carers to identify the specific care and learning needs of their child. Parents/carers know more about their own children than anyone else and their contributions are always valued. They hold vital information and have a critical role to play in their children’s care and learning. The EYFS framework requires us to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents/carers starting as early as the child starts at our setting with the first formal assessment, the progress check, at age two. As soon as a child is identified as needing additional help, parents will immediately be informed and we will work in partnership with parents/carers to establish the support the child needs.

We support the parents/carers to:

·       play an active and valued role in their child’s education

·       feel free to comment on any aspect of their child’s education

·       have access to information, advice and support during assessment and any related decision-making

·       gain knowledge of their child’s entitlement to education, support and provision. We provide family centered support and consider the individual family’s needs and the best way to support them

On 1st September 2014, Suffolk Parent Partnership changed its name to Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
Telephone: 01473 265210

Needs assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Occasionally, despite the best efforts of parents/carers, practitioners and input from other professionals, a child will be unable to access the curriculum without further formal support. At this time, the SENCO will discuss with the child’s parents/carers and other professionals whether to make a request for a needs assessment. A needs assessment is a detailed multi-agency assessment that is carried out to explore the child’s special educational needs and to set out what provision will be necessary to meet these needs in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The SENCO will receive support to complete this assessment if necessary from the Early Years and Childcare Team. All advice together, with the assessments of other professionals will be considered in forming the final content of the EHCP. A child who is referred for a needs assessment will continue to be supported through the current individual plans incorporating any outside professional advice.

For a child in the EYFS, a review of the EHCP will need to take place every six months. This will be led by the SENCO, who will bring together all the professional parties involved with the child. Reviews are a place to share progress and involve both parents and child in reviewing and, if necessary, revising the content of the EHCP.

Links with other early years settings

Birch Farm endeavour to liaise with all other settings the child may be involved with wherever possible. This includes a transition document and their learning journey tracker to be sent to the new setting to support a smooth transition. Prior to this if given permission by parents/carers the SENCO will contact the new school to discuss the child’s individual needs, current IEP and all relevant information that will be important to ensure their child is receiving a positive transition. 


The Early Years and Childcare Team and the Suffolk SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) can assist parents by ensuring they have all the information available about local school provision.

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Safeguarding Children:

This policy applies to all staff, students and volunteers working or coming into contact with children at Birch Farm.  It complies with the Children Act 2004.

AIM: Our aim is to provide a safe, stimulating, but relaxed environment in which children can learn and develop. Where they will feel secure and are encouraged to talk but also be listened to.


Protection of the child at Birch Farm is our first priority.  We recognise that the welfare of all children is paramount and that all children, regardless of their ability or culture have equal rights of protection.



The Safeguarding Vulnerable Group Act 2006

Children’s Act 2004

Childcare Act 2006



Every effort will be made to ensure that only suitable persons will be employed to look after children.  In accordance with The Early Years Foundation Stage this is implemented by:-


·                     All staff and permanent volunteers will undertake a DBS check.  There will be no unsupervised access to children until this has been successfully completed.

·                     All students attending will also be required to have a full DBS carried out by their college and this will need to be seen by management. With the exception of school placements.

Complying with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)


·         All staff/volunteers must provide proof of identity in the form of passport/driving licence and evidence to support current address, or other evidence as per DBS instructions.

·                     All staff/volunteers must provide two referees – one professional and one personal (not a family member).  These will be contacted as soon as possible for confirmation of suitability of person to work with children.

·                     There will be a three month probationary period, which may be extended if felt necessary.

·                     All staff/volunteers have an ongoing responsibility to declare any offences which may affect their suitability to care for children or be left unsupervised with them, unless such disqualification has been waived by Ofsted. This is checked annually at staff appraisals.

·                     Ofsted would be notified if a member of staff, for any reason fails to continue to meet these criteria.


Birch Farm has 2 designated members of staff, who is responsible for monitoring and recording concerns, liaison with child protection agencies and making referrals to social services without delay. They are Mini Shakespeare and Hannah Benee, their names are listed in all sections and on Reception.  As well as this all staff are:-


·                     Made aware of the Safeguarding Children Policy through their staff induction process.  A senior member of staff will talk them through it to ensure that they understand it, before allowing them to sign to say they understand it. 

·                     Made aware of the booklet ‘What to do if you are worried about a child being abused’.  A copy of this booklet is available in each section and in Reception. 

·                     Aware of child protection issues and have regular training to ensure that this is kept up to date.  They are made aware of the procedures to follow should there be any cause for concern. 

·                     Made aware that if they have any cause for concern an accurate note must be made of the incident, the date and time, and signed by all relevant parties involved.  This must be safely kept in a locked file for evidence if needed at a later date. 

·                     To act as “whistle blowers” should they feel a member of staff is not fulfilling their duty to safeguard the children in their care, concerns should be reported to a designated person or in exceptional cases to OFSTED. Staff acting as a “whistle blower” will not face any disciplinary action themselves providing they were acting in good faith.

·                     Made aware that they must work together with other agencies to ensure the risk of harm to the child’s welfare is minimised.  Any relevant information they have is to be shared with those agencies.

·                     But it is important that we understand that if we feel it necessary to make a referral we can do this if we feel that the officers do not deal with our concerns.


What happens if a staff member is accused of abuse?

Should a member of staff be accused of abuse they will:


·                     Be suspended immediately and a full investigation will be undertaken by the management

·                     Depending on the outcome of this investigation the member of staff concerned may be dismissed and police charges would be filed against them. If we feel that we need advise on any concern or how we should be dealing with a situation then we can call the Local authority designated officer on: 01473 263128

·                     If the investigation indicates that the individual has engaged in an activity which poses a threat to the safeguarding of children, a referral form will be filled out along with information and/or evidence and will be sent to the Independent Safeguarding Authority for further investigation.

·                     Ofsted would be notified immediately should this occur.

·                     For protection of staff and children even if it is within ratio to have one member of staff, there will always be a minimum of two staff working together, even if children need to move rooms to allow this to happen.

·                     Birch Farm has an effective co-key person system so that two members of staff are jointly responsible for each child, which should help cover any abuse not detected by the first member of staff.  This should also help protect staff from allegations.


Birch Farm is committed to working in partnership with parents. This includes capturing and sharing their child’s experiences through photographs as well as observations for the child’s learning journey. All staff will:-


·                     Ensure parents have read and understood the terms and conditions upon admission, as photographs may also be used for the Birch Farm website, information packs and any information boards.

·                     Ensure photographs are taken with the nursery cameras only. Any other cameras seen including camera phones may result in a staff spot check and/or disciplinary action

·                     Ensure photographs of the children are uploaded on to the secure nursery computer.

·                     The nursery cameras are not taken off site.

·                     Ensure all learning journeys are updated on a regular basis for parents to see their child’s progress and photographs.

·                     Staff/volunteers may be required to take part in a random staff spot check for cameras/camera phones or indecent photographs, if deemed necessary. Spot checks will include checking pockets, bags and any other belongings. Any cameras or camera phones found may be checked.

·                     Mobile phones should be locked away in working hours in the lockers provided or left in a draw on reception. They should only be seen if staff are on a break. Staff should report to Mini, or Hannah if they wish to make a call or are expecting a call. The nursery number maybe given if needed.


What to do if you are concerned about a child:

All staff will observe and listen to the children and where there is cause for concern regarding a child’s safety all staff will follow the correct procedure. Information on safeguarding children is kept up to date by regularly checking the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board website


·                     Any concerns will be recorded, signed and dated on our in house report form.

·                     Nominated person will speak to Customer First and or Police.

·                     Parents will be advised unless this might put the child at risk,

·                     Verbal referrals need to be followed up by written referral within 24 hours. 

·                     In accordance with a MARF form (Multi Agency Referral Form).

·                     All staff will provide any other information as required.

·                     Should this situation arise we would immediately inform Suffolk Safeguarding Children’s Board, Customer first: on 0808 800 4005 or in an emergency dial 999.

·                     A flowchart containing all of this information is displayed in all sections and on reception.

·                     All the above should be recorded signed and dated with the time of the concern.


The child’s safety at Birch Farm is paramount.  To help ensure this:-


·                     A known person must always collect a child.  If circumstances prevent this from happening, a letter or telephone call to implement a password comes into effect.

·                     Estranged parents must notify the supervisor of their relevant section if a court order is in force regarding the care of a child and must provide a copy of the court order.  All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.

·                     If a child is being collected by someone then a form would need to be filled in with details and password of the collector.


At Birch Farm we have a duty of care for all children while they are in our charge, and we will do everything we can to provide a safe and caring environment. All staff will abide by our code of conduct. Failure to follow this will result in disciplinary procedures and possibly dismissal.  All staff will:-


·                     Value and respect all children as individuals, planning to their strengths, interests and needs to help them to develop and grow.

·                     Make each child feel safe and secure by encouraging and praising them.  They will always make time to listen to each child.

·                     Will promote right and wrong. Will not treat any child too harshly, physical and corporal punishments, or threat of them, are never used.

·                     Encourage children to be confident, independent and develop their self-esteem, as well as giving them a feeling of security.

·                     Any incident occurring will be recorded and reported to parent/carer at end of day.

·                     There is no punishment area, however a child may be removed from main body of group to calm down and, if possible, talk through the situation.  Staff/volunteers will not use physical intervention unless it is necessary to prevent injury to the child, other children, and an adult or serious damage to property, in line with the Children’s Act 2004.

·                     Aggressive behaviour and discriminatory remarks will not be tolerated. 

All staff/volunteers will:

·                     Model appropriate behaviour and language at all times.

·                     Ensure they are free from drugs and alcohol in working hours.

·                     Dress in appropriate and practical clothing. All staff are provided with a tunic which can be worn with a cardigan and black straight trousers, with flat heeled shoes.

Birch Farm will endeavour to ensure that all staff have basic knowledge of the four main forms of child abuse and will be alert and vigilant to the signs of possible abuse.  Some signs of abuse may be:-



·                     Running away

·                     Constant hunger, loss of weight, stealing food from other children

·                     Poor personal hygiene

·                     Inappropriate dress for conditions

·                     Untreated medical conditions

·                     Complaining of being tired all the time

·                     Unable to make friends or engage in social activities

·                     Low self esteem

·                     Mentioning being left alone or unsupervised

·                     Tired

·                     Unkempt

·                     Over eats when food available

·                     Obesity

·                     Poor growth

·                     Under stimulated

·                     Isolation

·                     Poor toileting routine

·                     Poor feeding


Physical abuse:

·                     Unexplained bruising marks or injuries

·                     Bruises which reflect hand marks or fingertips

·                     Cigarette burns

·                     Bite marks

·                     Broken bones

·                     Scalds

·                     Running away

·                     Fear of parents being approached for explanation

·                     Aggressive behaviour or severe temper outbursts

·                     Reluctance to get changed, wearing long sleeves in hot weather

·                     Depression

·                     Withdrawn behaviour

·                     Injuries on certain parts

·                     Injuries in various stages of healing

·                     Crying

·                     Fear of home

·                     Over medicated (fabricated illness)

·                     Apathy



Sexual abuse:

·                     Pain or itching in genital/anal area

·                     Bruising or bleeding in genital/anal area

·                     Sexually transmitted diseases

·                     Vaginal discharge or infection

·                     Stomach pains

·                     Fear of being left with a specific person or group of people

·                     Sexual knowledge beyond their age or developmental level

·                     Sexual drawings or language

·                     Self-harm or mutilation

·                     Not being allowed to have friends

·                     Having nightmares

·                     Sudden or unexplained changes in behaviour

·                     Failure to thrive or grow

·                     Sudden speech disorders

·                     Developmental delay, either in terms of physical or emotional progress

·                     Neurotic behaviour, eg.  hair twisting, rocking

·                     Being unable to play

·                     Fear of making mistakes

·                     Self harm

·                     Age inappropriate sexual behaviour or knowledge

·                     Promiscuity

·                     Weary of adults

·                     Running away

·                     Eating disorder

·                     Depression

·                     Unexplained  gifts/money

·                     Constant inappropriate masturbation

·                     Simulating sex with adults or peers

·                     Emotional abuse

·                     Injuries to lower body



·                     Be frightened or unwilling to attend the setting, feeling ill in the mornings.

·                     Become withdrawn, start stammering, and lack confidence.

·                     Cry themselves to sleep, have nightmares.

·                     Refuse to talk about what’s wrong.

·                     Have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches.

·                     Begin to bully other children, siblings.

·                     Become aggressive and unreasonable.

·                     Clingy

·                     Attention seeking

·                     Over ready to relate to others

·                     Low esteem

·                     Apathy/depression

·                     Fearful/withdrawn

·                     Self harm

·                     Solvent abuse

·                     Sleeping disorder

·                     Showing extremes in behaviour


Care must be taken not to make false accusations.  Any child suffering abuse will show many of the signs, not just one or two.  Some signs may just be due to the child’s age or stage of development apart from certain signs of sexual abuse.


A statement of intent is displayed in each section and in Reception to let parents/carers know that we are here to listen to them and will support them, but if necessary we will inform the appropriate agencies if we are concerned about a child.


Intruder/suspicious persons


Staff are to challenge anyone entering the Birch Farm Complex to verify their reason for being on site. Should they be unwilling to give a name or satisfactory reason for their presence, they are taken to Directors office to talk with Mini or Darren Shakespeare.  If not available then speak with Nikki or Hannah.  Should they still be unwilling to co-operate – DO NOT CHALLENGE FURTHER:  retreat back into the building, make staff aware, lock all doors/windows and call for the police.


Each section is aware of their own responsibilities in the event of an Intruder on site.  There are the following:


Rabbits – lock the conservatory doors and retreat back into the sleep rooms shutting the door and remaining out of sight.


Foxes – lock the two doors with external handles and retreat back into the cot/sleep room and remain out of sight.


Owls pre-chool room – lock the first initial door into Owls room from the slope and if not already done so shut the large barn doors of the indoor/outdoor barn and lock them.


Management - will lock the door leading to Pre-school, leave the main entrance unlocked using the telecom entrance system to allow access through the main entrance door by management or owners.  Telephone 999 and wait for support where possible contact parents/ carers of children for collection if required.


Deployment Zones

To ensure children's safety and security when attending Birch Farm each section has a deployment map. These maps show where staff should be positioned if children are using all areas of the room. Senior staff should discuss staff deployment with staff daily ensuring staff are aware of what areas need to be covered, staff should negotiate with each other throughout the day when working with the children to ensure that all areas of the nursery being used at that time can be seen by at least 1 member of staff. Deployment zones have also been developed for the garden. Deployment zones ensure children can be seen at all times but also ensure no unauthorized person can access the any area without being seen.

The deployment zones also identify any risks within the room in relation to the children’s safety and any equipment/resources that may be of danger.  This system is reviewed every six months and it is displayed in each section to allow staff to refer to it regularly and forms part of the room induction for new staff students or volunteers. The deployment maps help staff to access and evaluate their own practice and draw their attention to the most important areas of safety within the room.   A deployment zone map is carried out by the staff in the pre-school section for the indoor/outdoor barn and the outside playground.

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Severe weather:

Aim: To ensure the safety of all users during severe weather.

On the rare occasion that adverse weather conditions arise, Birch Farm management will make a decision by 7.15am based on the current weather condition and forecast for the day in our region.

This decision will reflect the welfare of our staff and children for their journey to and from nursery.

We will endeavour to notify Heart FM, Town 102 and BBC Radio Suffolk if we are closed.

Due to acts of nature beyond Birch Farms control your child’s session will be lost and refunds and swops will no longer be given.

If bad weather arrives during a day parents/ carers will be contacted to update them on the weather in our area if required we may close early.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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Aim: To ensure that any incidents of swine flu are managed for the safety of all site users.

Objective: To ensure staff and parents understand how to manage swine flu should a child contract it. The help reduce further incidents of cases within the nursery where possible. To do this the nursery will undertake the following:

  • Ensure all children are monitored for signs of swine flu - 

The typical symptoms are:

Sudden fever (a high body temperature of 38C/100.4F or above), and

Sudden cough.

Other symptoms may include:




Aching muscles,

Limb or joint pain,

Diarrhea or stomach upset,

Sore throat,

Runny nose,

Sneezing, and 

Loss of appetite.

·         Parents / carers will be regularly updated of swine flu advice or any cases through the email warning system.

·         Take extra care when cleaning by undertaking the following:

Spray all boxes of toys every night with Klenzite Anti BAC Spray

Wipe all door handles, toilet doors, sinks, work surfaces, tables and chairs weekly.

Ensure children are catching, coughs and sneezes in tissues.

Put used tissues in nappy bins and wipe hands with anti bacterial spray every time.

If any child is diagnosed with Swine Flu ensure a full clean down including walls is undertaken immediately.

·         Any child who staff suspect to have swine flu symptoms, parents will be contacted immediately and children will not be allowed to return until doctors have been contacted.

·         Any child diagnosed with swine flu will be excluded for 7 days from the first symptoms.

·         The nursery will not be closed if a child is diagnosed with swine flu in line with Suffolk County Council guidelines.  

Date reviewed: September 2016

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 Aim: To help make the necessary transitions between rooms and settings as easy and stress free as possible for the child and parents/ carers and to ensure that each child is made to feel welcome and wanted, therefore encouraging them to feel settled and happy. Every child and family that joins Birch Farm is unique and we aim to treat them accordingly, offering support and help whenever needed.  We offer an ‘open door’ policy where by parents may visit at any time to see their child and parents are at liberty to view their progress folders at any time.  We listen and act, when necessary, to any comments or concerns raised by parents and operate a parents comments form system should you wish to make written comments either named or anonymously. We are happy to work with parents where appropriate to resolve any concern they have with regard to ensuring the happiness of their child at nursery.

 When joining the setting:

·         Arranging visits for the child and parents/carers to see the site and meet the staff they will get to know.

·         Giving welcome packs for them to take home and read to help them make their decision.

·         Being welcoming, friendly and approachable.

·         Having names on pegs, trays etc. before starting.

·         Assigning a key person before the child starts who arranges trial sessions to take place either with or without parent / carers, to ease the child in gently and to meet the key person and begin to develop their relationship prior to starting.

·         Prior to starting at Birch Farm parents/carers are encouraged to complete 'All about me' booklets these are designed to help the staff to have a comprehensive starting point from which to build on with each child and their family and support and acknowledge each child's individuality.

·         Any child starting Birch Farm is offered two trial sessions prior to their first day.  These are usually in the week preceding their start date. At this point children and their families will be introduced to a member of the team who will be their key person. These sessions are designed to give the child a short experience of nursery life and enable them to get to know the staff briefly, before being left for a whole session.   It also allows parents/ carers the opportunity to discuss their child with staff and ease the concern parents may have about leaving their child for a whole session.  Parents / carers receive comprehensive ‘Welcome Packs’ for each section, to make sure they have a clear picture of how the section operates Parents/ carers are welcome to start their children on our 2 x 3hour short sessions and gradually build up to longer days.

·         Children if old enough are given the opportunity to talk to the key person and ask questions as they require.

·         A child’s key person can be changed if the child is not settling with the chosen person and the child has made a bond with another member of the nursery team.

·         We will collect all information about a child that will be needed to ensure that all their needs are met including allergies, preferences, culture and religion. Family details, any additional needs / requirements, other languages. Parents / carers will be informed that all information will be treated confidentially.

·         Encourage the parents/ carers to bring a photo book of special people/ things, which the children can access any time, in addition to comforters, which may be accessed as needed.

·         As far as possible follow the baby / child’s home routine.

·         Always welcome the parent/ carer at the beginning and end of each session. Foxes and Rabbits have daily diaries for the parents / carers to use as an additional way to send and receive information.

·         Respect the wishes of parents/ carers.

·         Children attending the holiday club are sent an All about me booklet to complete with their parents/ carers enabling us to gain an insight into their interests before they attend.

 Throughout their time at the setting:

 ·         Where possible we will contact children’s other settings or those attended previously to liase regarding developmental progress and interests.

·         Termly reports are sent to other settings / childminders attended by children.

·         Visits from and to other settings are encouraged, these will be attended by the transitions officer (Abi B).

 When moving rooms in the setting:

 When staff or a parent/carer feels a child is ready to move onto a new room they must ensure they:

  • Approach the parents about having a meeting to discuss the idea of their child moving to the next room by means of a parents Evening.
  • During the parents meeting the staff will discuss with them why they think their child should move up to the next section and listen to their opinions.
  • If the parent would like to see the next section then the staff should show them around the room so they can see what it is like.
  • If it is agreed that the child will move on a new key person should be established as soon as possible and be introduced.
  • Staff must fill in three pieces of paperwork in the form of Jigsaw and Learning & Development Summary (LDS) and an internal all about me.  The jigsaw and LDS will contain as much information on the child's development and schemas as possible and the internal all about me information such as sleep, comforters, parent’s names, On the LDS staff need to tick the appropriate box if needed which states if there is any need for concern relating to the child.
  • A series of trial sessions will be organised and the parent’s informed of these dates.  The current key person will attend these with the child to help them get used to the new surroundings and staff/other children.  The new key person will also visit in the existing room as much as possible.
  • Inform parents officially in writing via a welcome pack of the trial dates, start date and key person.  This pack will outline the routine of the room and state who the staff will be.

 Staff should consider the following points when thinking about moving a child to a new room these basic guidelines help to establish if a child is going to cope with the change in room.

·         Children move from Rabbits into Foxes at approximately 20 months. This move is generally determined by the physical mobility and emotional development of the child.  They need to be walking confidently on their own before the transition can occur unless a special need has been identified or is being considered. 

·         Children move from Foxes into Owls pre-school from around 30-36months.  Parents/ carers receive information about our pre-school the month before they are due to start.   The children have ‘taster’ sessions, firstly with their key person or other familiar staff member and then on their own.  Parents /carers are informed of these sessions. If at this stage both staff and parents/carers are happy with the progress of their child, the transition will occur.  Parents/ carers will be issued with a welcome pack for Owls so they may become familiar with the different set up of this section. We offer a ‘parents evening’ once a term, so that parents may see and discuss their child’s progress.

We endeavour to make any transition a child makes as easy and enjoyable as possible.  Children’s learning journeys are transferred at each move along with a new Jigsaw and LDS, so that the next section has a picture of where the child is and the areas that may need further development.

Other ways of supporting the children with their transitions include the following:

·         Crossover outdoor play sessions so that younger children are used to seeing the other staff and being near to bigger/older children.

  • Trials are flexible and are depended on the individual child with regard to length and frequency.
  • Children move to the next room with another child where possible.
  • Parents are reassured that their child will only move to the next room when they are emotionally and physically ready to do so not when they reach a certain age and parents are involved in discussions with regard to this.

 When moving items in the playroom:

·         Children are encouraged to participate with any changes to the role play areas as part of the daily routines within the room. These changes are discussed with older children before they are undertaken.

·         If a room is moved around for any reason children are introduced slowly. Where possible staff discuss the changes. Each child’s key person will show the child around the new room layout and support children to adapt to the changes.

 When moving to a new setting / school:

·         The key person talking to the child about the move to make it familiar to them and less scary.

·         Being available to talk to parents / carers and their child about any worries they may have.

·         The transitions officer will contact all schools children will be moving to in order to collect photos of the new school, including uniform and the environment. These will then be developed into booklets which will be explored with key persons.

·         Trying to arrange visits by the child’s new teacher to visit the nursery and where not possible try to visit the school to gain first hand experiences of the school environment to support the children.

·         Doing all we can to connect with the many schools we feed into.

·         Send a written report to the new setting, detailing children’s present stage of development.

·         Encourage parents / carers to give the new setting the child’s learning journey.

·         Attend meetings arranged by Suffolk County Council Early Education Support Team to liase and share information with teachers and practitioners from settings within the local pyramids.

 We will work with each family as an individual through the transition process and will do all we can to support all persons involved, making settling into their new room or setting an easy and stress free as possible.

 Reviewed Date: September 2016

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 Aim: To support the health and well being of all persons in the nursery

 Objective:      The parent of any child who has head lice will be informed and posters will be displayed throughout the nursery to inform others.

 We encourage the parents to check their children’s hair regularly and supply them with posters and leaflets with advice on what to look for.

A preventative measure is to brush and comb children’s hair vigorously in the morning and before going to bed as this will injure the lice and they will quickly die.

The following aromatherapy solution may offer a natural alternative to chemicals:

2 drops Rosemary oil

2 drops Lavender oil

2 drop Eucalyptus oil

2 drops Geranium oil

 These should be mixed in a jug of warm water and used as a final rinse after normal shampoo.

 Reviewed Date­: September 2016

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Social Network Policy

AIM: To protect the personal information relating to all staff, Parents and Children attending Birch Farm

 OBJECTIVE: To enforce the Data Protection Act

  • All personal data relating to staff, Parents or Children must remain within the confines of Birch Farm
  • Matters relating to the day to day running of Birch Farm or personal details must not be discussed with anyone outside the Business or on any Social Network site. These include Face Book, My Space, Twitter, What’s App, Snap chat, Quack, Instagram.
  • Staff must not interact with any parents on Social Network Sites and delete any existing parental contacts.
  • Any member of Staff found to be ignoring these guidelines will face immediate disciplinary action.

Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Recruitment & Employment Policy

 Aim: To ensure that recruitment and the selection process gives equal opportunity to all applicants and that we employ staff ensuring the safety of the children within our care.


  • To ensure that everybody has an opportunity to apply for a position within Birch Farm no matter of race, religion, backgrounds, beliefs etc.
  • Curriculum Vitae’s are received and kept in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Within this we also need to take into consideration full employment history, all qualifications, identity checks and their medical suitability.
  • All short listed applicants are considered, and all of these are given a full interview and a show round of the site.
  • Applicants that are unsuccessful are always informed via letter
  • Those who are successful would receive a full staff pack which includes: A letter explaining the job offered, rate of pay, start day, and weekly hours of work, Policies and procedures, Staff self sickness form, Staff personal information form, Reference form. All new staff must also sign a form to show they have read and understood the pack they received.
  • All new members of the team will have to supply 2 references in which can be contacted to gain information about the suitability of the applicant.
  • An enhanced DBS disclosure will be applied for with all new staff and supervision of these staff will be paramount until this is received. This will also be completed for any persons living onsite of the childcare premises over the age of 16 years.
  • Records are kept within a staff file to show that all processes have been followed and checks have been made.
  • Staff notify the management team if they have any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children and the management team will deal with this accordingly.
  • Staff will initially be on a 3 months probation period, which the manager will extend if feels necessary. After the 3 months the member of staff will have a meeting which will then determine whether they have a position full time, therefore signing a contract of employment, if they are unsuccessful then their employment will be terminated.
  • Staff are given a full induction to all competences, policies and procedures. To ensure staff fully understands the induction process it is broken down into 4 sections introduced, developed, competent and consistently competent. During the 3 month probation it is expected that staff will complete the majority of items within the induction to the consistently competent level. Management meet with new staff monthly and review the progress of this induction pack ensuring staff fully understand and continue to make progress by asking open ended questions about policies and procedures within the nursery. All meetings are recorded to ensure full traceability.
  • Each year staff have a full annual appraisal and a short midterm appraisal in which they are able to discuss any issues and for the management to discuss the member of staffs progress. Staff also have regular 1:1 meeting with their seniors or management
  • We have regular staff meetings to ensure all staff have the opportunity to feed back from training, to discuss issues and develop and comment on policies and procedures as required. 

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Early Education Policy

Aim:  To provide free funded sessions to children over the age of 3years following the guidelines laid out by Suffolk County Council, or to offer funding for those 2 yrs old eligible in line with government guidelines.


  • Funding is to be offered to children the term after their third birthday for all children and term after their second birthday for those eligible.
  • Children are entitled to 15 hours per week 38 weeks per year
  • Children are entitled to use up to 10hrs in any 1 day. (Early Education funding does not cover the cost of meals)
  • Additional hours and meals will be invoiced for on a termly basis.
  • Funding can be shared between 2 settings and we reserve the right to contact other named settings to confirm how many hours are being used.
  • Evidence of your child’s date of birth will be required in order to process your Early Education Grant application. Evidence of eligibility for 2yr old funding will be required based on gov guidelines at the time.
  •  Early Education Funding is applied for on a termly basis and new forms must be completed and signed for each term in order for us to process your application.
  • All information given on your funding form will be shared with Suffolk County Council and any associated companies managing the Early Education Funding scheme.

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Maternity & Paternity Policy

Aim: To give support to employees throughout pregnancy.


  • To ensure that they are given the correct entitlements whether it be mother or father of the child
  • To cooperate under the statutory maternity pay and leave

 Paternity leave and Paternity Pay:

 A male employee is entitled to take paternity leave and claim paternity pay if:

·         He has worked continuously for the employer for at least 26weeks at the end of the 15th week before the expected week of the child’s birth and remains employed up to the date of birth.

·         He has provided the information required by the employer for those employees wishing to take paternity.

·         He is the biological father of the child and he has, or expects to have, responsibility for the upbringing of the child in conjunction with the child’s mother or

·         He is married to or is the partner of the child’s mother and he is, or expects to have, the main responsibility for the upbringing of the child.


The following information must be notified to the employer by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or, if that deadline is for some reason not reasonably practicable, then as soon as reasonably practicable:

·         Confirmation that the employee is the biological father of the child and will have responsibility for the upbringing of the child in conjunction with the mother or if he is married to the child’s mother or he is living with her in an enduring relationship and has or expects to have the main responsibility for the upbringing of the child.

·         Confirmation of the expected week of childbirth.

·         Confirmation of the date on which he intends to commence paternity leave. (this confirmation must be given in writing)

·         Confirmation on whether he intends to take one or two full week’s paternity leave.

·         If so required by the employer, a certificate from a registered medical practitioner or a registered midwife stating the expected week of childbirth.

·         Confirmation when the baby was actually born, as soon as reasonably practicable after the birth.

If a male employee fails to provide the above information by the deadline specified, and without a good reason for any delay in doing so, he may forfeit his right to paternity leave.

The employer will require the employee to complete a self certificate form as evidence of his entitlement to claim paternity leave and/ or paternity pay.

 Length of Paternity Leave:

If the male employee satisfies the qualifying conditions and complies with the action required by the employer he will be entitled to choose to take either 1 week or 2 consecutive week’s paternity leave.

 Paternity leave must be taken in blocks of not less than one or two full weeks. Any lesser period of paternity leave taken will be deemed to constitute a full block of entitlement. Only one period of leave will be permitted irrespective of whether more than one child is born as a result of the same pregnancy.

 When Paternity Leave May Be Taken:

A male employee may choose to start his paternity leave:

  • From the date of the child’s birth
  • From a chosen number of days or weeks after the date of the child’s birth
  • From a chosen date

 Paternity leave must be taken within 56days of the actual date of birth of the child, or if the child is born early, within 56 days after the end of the expected week of child birth.

 Additional Paternity Leave:

Additional paternity leave is for a maximum of 26 weeks. If your partner has returned to work, the leave can be taken between 20 weeks and one year after your child has been born.

 Statutory Paternity Pay:

If your average weekly earnings are £109 or more (before tax), Statutory Paternity pay is paid for one or two consecutive weeks at £136.78 or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is less.

 Additional Statutory Paternity Pay:

Additional statutory paternity pay is only payable to you during the period of your partners 39 weeks maternity allowance.

 How it is paid:

Your employer will pay Statutory Paternity Pay to you in the same way and at the same time as your normal wages. Statutory Paternity Pay is treated as normal pay and so they’ll also deduct tax and national insurance.

 Right to Return:

If an employee takes paternity leave for a period of 1 or 2 weeks he is entitled to return to the same job which he carried out prior to his absence.

 Maternity Leave & Maternity Pay:

 Pregnant employees have four key rights:

  • Paid time off for antenatal care
  • Maternity Leave
  • Maternity pay benefits
  • Protection against unfair treatment or dismissal

Employers also have a certain obligations to ensure the health and safety of pregnant employees

 Telling us when you are pregnant:

You must tell us that you are pregnant at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week when your baby is due. If this isn’t possible, for example because you didn’t realize you were pregnant, you must tell us as soon as possible. You should also tell us when you want to start your maternity leave and receive maternity pay.

However the earlier you are able to tell us the more time we will have to be able to plan around your maternity leave.

 Time Off For Antenatal Care:

All pregnant employees, however long they have been in their jobs, are entitled to reasonable time off work for antenatal care. Any time off must be paid at your normal rate of pay. It is unlawful for us to refuse to give you reasonable time off for antenatal care or to pay you at your normal rate of pay.

We can ask for evidence of antenatal appointments from the second appointment onwards. If asked you should show us a medical certificate showing you’re pregnant and an appointment card or some other written evidence of your appointment.

Antenatal care may include relaxation or parent craft classes as well as medical examinations, if these are recommended by your doctor. If you can, try to avoid taking time off work when you can reasonably arrange classes or examinations outside working hours.

 Fathers to be and time off for antenatal appointments:

Fathers do not have a legal right to time off to accompany their partners to antenatal appointments as the right to paid time off only applies to pregnant employees.

 Having a Child through IVF:

It is unlawful sex discrimination for us to treat a woman less favorable because she is undergoing IVF treatment or intends to become pregnant. You will also be entitled to paid time off for antenatal care only after the fertilized embryo has been implanted.

 Health & Safety for Pregnant Employees:

It is our duty to ensure that any pregnant employee is supported and all hazards and risks are assessed and a plan is drawn up to support them through their pregnancy. The pregnant employee will sit down and draw up a risk assessment with the management team and this will be continuously reviewed throughout the pregnancy.

 Maternity Leave

Statutory Maternity Leave is for 52 weeks. You are entitled to receive statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks of the leave.

 Taking Your Maternity Leave:

You can start you maternity leave any time from 11 weeks before the beginning of the week when your baby is due. If you’re off work because of your pregnancy in the four weeks before the expected date of birth, your employer can start your maternity leave.

 Returning To Work:

When you return to work after ordinary maternity leave, you have the right to the same job and the same terms and conditions as you if you hadn’t been absent.

This also applies when you come back after additional maternity leave, unless your employer shows that it is not reasonably practicable for us to take you back in your original job (for example, it no longer exists).

 Giving Notice of Your Return to Work:

If you take your full leave, you don’t need to give notice that you’re coming back, but it’s a good idea to do so. If you decided not to come back to work at all you must give us notice in the normal way.

 Taking Parental Leave after Maternity Leave:

If you need more time off to look after your child you may take parental leave. You can take up to four weeks parental leave at the end of your maternity leave without affecting your right to return.

 Maternity Pay:

To qualify for SMP you must:

You can’t get SMP if you go into police custody during your maternity pay period. It won’t restart when you’re discharged.

To claim Statutory Maternity Pay you must tell us at least 28 weeks before the date you want to start your Statutory Maternity Pay. We will need you to put this in writing.

 How Much Statutory Maternity Pay Will You Get?

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (eg monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

 You will still pay tax and national insurance on this amount.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Mobile Phone Usage


We take steps to ensure that there are effective procedures in place to protect children.


  • To provide the children with a safe environment.
  • To ensure that we keep to ratio’s and are giving the children our full attention.
  • To adhere to the safeguarding children policies that we have in place.
  • For parents reassurance.

Staff are to adhere to the policies in place regarding the safeguarding of children and are asked at the start of their shift to put their mobile phones onto silent and into their lockers. All staff are offered lockers or asked to leave bags and phones in cars. Staff are not to check these during work hours and are asked to see Mini/ Darren / Nikki or Hannah if need to make a call in an emergency. They are also advised that if someone needs to contact them then the nursery number is to be given and calls transferred through. This again is only in an emergency.

Any member of staff seen to not be adhering to this policy will result in disciplinary action being taken against them.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Uniform Policy For Parents Working In High Risk Employment


To ensure the safety of the children in our care and to reduce the risk of cross contamination that may lead to the spread of infection from customers entering and leaving the premises.

 Areas Of High Risk Employment:

  • Doctors/ Nurses/ Dentists/ People working in a hospital environment
  • Vets/ Animal service e.g. dogs kennel, horse stables
  • Elderly Persons centre
  • Environments working with chemicals
  • Food preparation
  • Plus any potentially high risk employment


  • Ensure parents/ Carers do not enter the nursery premise in their work uniform on arrival at Birch Farm
  • To ensure they comply with regulations set by many employers with regard to their uniform policy.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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The Early Years Foundation Stage

Aim: The aim of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to give the Early Years Practitioner the help and guidance to support children to have the best possible start to life.

A child's ‘all about me’ is a starting point for all staff to begin to develop a relationship with children and their families and to support them throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage.



We offer play bases curriculum that is in line with the latest research into children’s development.

 The Early Years Foundation Stage was introduced in 2008 and updated in 2014 it is a curriculum for children from birth to the end of reception year. Staff will support children to develop and learn through 3 prime areas and as they become older adding in the four specific areas of learning.


 1.             Personal, social and emotional development, involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings to understand appropriate behavior in groups, and to have confidence in their own abilities.

 2.            Communication, language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

3.            Physical development Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


  1. Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shape, space and measures.
  1. Understanding of the world – Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. 
  1. Literacy – Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials.)
  1. Expressive arts and design – involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thought, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

We build on the children’s existing skills and interests, develop their play activities to help them progress.  All children learn best from experiences that are suitable for their stage of development.  Play is key to the way young children learn.  Through play your child can develop, for example: the confidence needed for learning; the social skills needed for personal development; and the skills needed for writing.  In that way your child will become more independent and will be able to tackle simple problems. 

Children’s work is displayed and valued.

To support the development of individual children to ensure best progression through the EYFS a learning journey plotting the child's life and learning within the nursery is kept for each child. Parents are welcome to view the learning journeys at any time but we ask they remain on site at all times to ensure staff are able to maintain.  These are updated regularly as follows:

·         Each child is to be given a new front cover for each new key person

·         Learning and Development Summery (LDS) to be completed every half term – it is important to use the appropriate summery for the age of each child.   

·         Once a child is working within the 22-36 months age band you may begin to use the Learning and development specifics summery.

·         2 year old check is to be completed at 2 years or as close to if a child has just started with us.  You must provide a copy signed by the Manager and the child’s parents/carers and a copy for the learning journey (2 copies altogether). 

·         A Plod (Possible lines of direction) needs to be completed with every LDS.

·         A progress tracker should be completed every half term, items should only be highlighted if evidence has been gained that can show this achievement.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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Accident/Incident/Existing Injury forms

Any acciednts/incidents or existing injuries are recorded on the approriate form which is countersigned by the Management team and then signed by the parent/carer of the child in question.  Staff then go to the parent/carer signing in/out area on recepetion and put the initials A.F (accident form), I.F (incident form), EIF (existing injury form) then highlight there name, to make them aware that thier child has had an accident, incident or exisiting injury form.

 There is a key printed next to the signing in/out tray which gives parents the identity of the initials.

Date reviewed: Septemeber 2016

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Non - Smoking Policy

Birch Farm Day Nursery is a non-smoking site.  The only designated area for this is out of site of the nursery at the back of the staff car park. 

Staff do not have smoking breaks and if they wish to do so they must do it within their permitted half hour lunch break in the correct area.  Staff must ensure they do not smell of smoke upon reentering the nursery.

Parents/carers or visitors  are not allowed to smoke on site at all and if this does happen parents/carers will be asked politely to stop and reminded of the reasons why it is not acceptable to smoke in front of children. 

Staff must ensure they do not smell of smoke upon reentering the nursery.

Any staff member found smoking other than in the designated smoking area will be disciplined following the disciplinary and grievance procedure laid out in the staff pack. This is in line with legislation.

Further information on health of the children and staff can be found in our Policy entitled Healthy Lifestyles.

 Date reviewed: September 2016                      

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Checking the identity of Visitors Policy

 Upon arriving at Birch Farm the only access into the building is via the front nursery door which is installed with a Telecom entry system.  Only parents/carers whose children are registered with the Nursery are allowed to use the entry system and also staff have access to it. 


 In the event that somebody wants to gain access to reception they will have to ring the bell or knock on the door.  A member of staff (usually management) will open the door and ask to see identification if appropriate.  If it is someone who has an appointment they will be asked to sign in on reception and will be escorted around the site at all times.  If they do not have an appointment they will be asked the reason why they are here and be asked for I.D.

 If it is a parent show round management will conduct a site tour and will stay with the parent/carers unless they would like to stay for a trial in which case suitable staff will be asked to stay with them within which ever section they request to have the trial. 

 Password collection

 In the event that a parent/carer is unable to pick up their child the password system will be used.  Parents/carers are asked to provide a password and this is what we ask if an alternative person has to be called.  This is documented further in our safeguarding children policy. 

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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Administering and storage of Medicine

Should any child require medicine via a request from a parent whilst in our care the following procedure will be carried out:

 A medical form will be completed in the presence of Mini, Darren, Nikki or Hannah or any one of the three staff in Rabbits.

 The medicine will be stored in the locked cabinet in Rabbits kitchen or in the fridge if so required.

 The name of the child , the name of the medicne and the dosage will be recored on both the medicine form and on the Medicine white board out on reception.  

 When the correct time comes for the child to receive the medicine a member of staff will bring the child to Rabbits where they will then be given the correct dosage of medicine. 

 Should a child require medication whilst attending nursery or they fall ill during the day senior staff will contact parents/carers via phone to ask permission for calpol to be given.  

 If a parent or carer cannot be contacted staff will try emailing and if this fails to receive a response the child’s registration form will be looked at to see if they have given permission. 

Date reviewed: September 2016

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 Intruder/suspicious persons

 Staff are to challenge anyone entering the Birch Farm Complex to verify their reason for being on site.  Should they be unwilling to give a name or satisfactory reason for their presence, they are taken to the Directors office to talk with Mini or Darren Shakespeare.  If not available then speak with Nikki or Hannah.  Should they still be unwilling to co-operate – DO NOT CHALLENGE FURTHER:  retreat back into the building, make staff aware, lock all doors/windows and call for the police.


Each section is aware of their own responsibilities in the event of an Intruder on site.  These are the following:


Rabbits – lock the conservatory doors and retreat back into the sleep rooms shutting the door and remaining out of sight.


Foxes – lock the two doors with external handles and retreat back into the cot/sleep room and remain out of sight.


Owls Pre-School – lock the first initial door into Owls from the slope and if not already done so shut the large barn doors of the indoor/outdoor barn and lock them.  Remain out of sight. 


Management - will lock the door leading to Pre-school, leave the main entrance unlocked using the telecom entrance system to allow access through the main entrance door by management or owners.  Telephone 999 and wait for support where possible contact parents/ carers of children for collection if required.

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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 Student placements

 Policy statement

Birch Farm recognises 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 year’s 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 fulfill 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.

§  We ensure that trainees and students placed with us are engaged in bona fide early years training, which provides the necessary background understanding of children's development and activities.

 Date reviewed: September 2016

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The role of the key person and settling-in

Policy statement

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 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.


§  The key person is responsible for:

-        Providing an induction for the family and for settling the child into our setting.

-        Completing relevant forms with parents, including consent forms.

-        Explaining our policies and procedures to parents with particular focus on policies such as safeguarding and our responsibilities under the Prevent Duty.

         Offering unconditional regard for the child and being non-judgemental.

         Working with the parents to plan and deliver a personalised plan for the childs 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 childs 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 childs 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 childs 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 and policies), displays about activities available within the setting, information days and evenings and individual meetings with parents.

§  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 use pre-start visits and the first session at which a child attends to explain and complete, with his/her parents, the child's registration records.

§  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.

§  We recognise that some children will settle more readily than others, but that some children who appear to settle rapidly are not ready to be left. We expect that the parent will honour the commitment to stay for at least the first week, or possibly longer, until their child can stay happily without them.

§  We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child's distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from the setting.

§  We reserve the right not to accept a child into the setting without a parent or carer if the child finds it distressing to be left. This is especially the case with very young children.

§  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.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Animals in the setting

Policy statement

Children learn about the natural world, its animals and other living creatures, as part of the Learning and Development Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This may include contact with animals, or other living creatures, either in the setting or on visits. We aim to ensure that this is in accordance with sensible hygiene and safety controls.


Animals in the setting as pets

§  We take account of the views of parents and children when selecting an animal or creature to keep as a pet in the setting, as well as any allergies or issues that individual children may have any animals or creatures.

§  We carry out a risk assessment with a knowledgeable person accounting for any hygiene or safety risks posed by the animal or creature.

§  We provide suitable housing for the animal or creature and ensure this is cleaned out regularly and is kept safely.

§  Our staff are knowledgeable of the pet’s welfare and dietary needs and ensure that the correct food is offered, at the right times.

§  We make arrangements for weekend and holiday care for the animal or creature.

§  We register with the local vet and take out appropriate pet care health insurance.

§  We make sure all vaccinations and other regular health measures, such as de-worming, are up-to-date and recorded.

§  We teach children the correct handling and care of the animal or creature and supervise them at all times.

§  We ensure that children wash their hands after handling the animal or creature and do not have contact with animal soil or soiled bedding.

§  We wear disposable gloves when cleaning housing or handling soiled bedding.

§  If animals or creatures are brought in by visitors to show the children, they are the responsibility of their owner.

§  The owner carries out a risk assessment, detailing how the animal or creature is to be handled and how any safety or hygiene issues will be addressed.

 Date reviewed: September 2016.

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Children’s rights and entitlements

Policy statement

§  We promote children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.

§  We promote children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence.

§  We promote children's right to be strong, resilient and listened to by enabling children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

§  We help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults.

§  We work with parents to build their understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.

What it means to promote children’s rights and entitlements to be ‘strong, resilient and listened to’.

To be strong means to be:

§  secure in their foremost attachment relationships, where they are loved and cared for by at least one person who is able to offer consistent, positive and unconditional regard and who can be relied on;

§  safe and valued as individuals in their families and in relationships beyond the family, such as day care or school;

§  self-assured and form a positive sense of themselves – including all aspects of their identity and heritage;

§  included equally and belong in our setting and in community life;

§  confident in their own abilities and proud of their achievements;

§  progressing optimally in all aspects of their development and learning;

§  part of a peer group in which they learn to negotiate, develop social skills and an identity as global citizens, respecting the rights of others in a diverse world; and

§  able to represent themselves and participate in aspects of service delivery that affects them, as well as aspects of key decisions that affect their lives.

To be resilient means to:

§  be sure of their self-worth and dignity;

§  be able to be assertive and state their needs effectively;

§  be able to overcome difficulties and problems;

§  be positive in their outlook on life;

§  be able to cope with challenge and change;

§  have a sense of justice towards themselves and others;

§  develop a sense of responsibility towards themselves and others; and

§  be able to represent themselves and others in key decision making processes.

To be listened to means:

§  adults who are close to children recognise their need and right to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas;

§  adults who are close to children are able to tune in to their verbal, sign and body language in order to understand and interpret what is being expressed and communicated;

§  adults who are close to children are able to respond appropriately and, when required, act upon their understanding of what children express and communicate; and

§  adults respect children’s rights and facilitate children’s participation and representation in imaginative and child centered ways in all aspects of core services.

Date reviewed: September 2016

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