Policies and procedures are essential to help you provide good quality provision that is compliant with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They do this by explaining to staff and parents about the type of childcare you offer and what actions you take in practice to achieve this. The EYFS requires providers, other than childminders, to have written policies and procedures; and to provide staff with training at induction to ensure that they fully understand, and know how to implement, the policies and procedures and to ensure that they are accessible and clearly explained to parents. Childminders must be able to explain their policies and procedures to parents, carers, and others and ensure that any assistants follow them; therefore, it may be beneficial to have them in written form.
The EYFS outlines the learning and development, assessment, and safeguarding and welfare requirements that all early years providers on the Early Years Register must meet to ensure children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Ofsted defines the different types of early years and childcare providers as:
Childcare on domestic premises: a group of four or more people working with children in someone’s home.
Childcare on non-domestic premises: a person or organisation providing care on premises that are not someone’s home, such as a purpose-built nursery or a village hall. This covers private and voluntary nurseries, pre-schools, out-of-school clubs and holiday play schemes.
Childminder: childminders on the Early Years Register provide care for one or more children aged between birth and five, to whom they are not related, for reward in someone other than the child’s home – usually their own.
Throughout this guide, we refer to all types of early years and childcare providers as ‘settings’; to distinguish providers of childcare on domestic/non-domestic premises from childminders, we refer to the former as ‘groups’.
There are ten overarching Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements within the EYFS, some of which are broken down into further headings, as follows:
Providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.
Suitable People (also covering Disqualification and Staff Taking Medication/Other Substances)
Providers must ensure that people looking after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles.
Staff Qualifications, Training, Support and Skills
The daily experience of children in early years settings and the overall quality of the provision depends on all practitioners having appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Each child must be assigned a key person. The childminder will be the key person for the children they care for in the case of childminding settings. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents.
Staff:Child Ratios (also covering early years providers (other than childminders), before/afterschool care and holiday provision and childminders)
Staffing arrangements must meet the needs of children and ensure their safety.
Health (also covering Medicines, Food and Drink and Accident or Injury)
The provider must promote the good health of children attending the setting. They must have a procedure, discussed with parents and/or carers, for responding to children who are ill or infectious, take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and take appropriate action if children are ill.
Providers are responsible for managing children’s behaviour in an appropriate way.
Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment (also covering Safety, Smoking, Premises, Risk Assessment and Outings)
Providers must ensure that their premises, including outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose. Providers must have, and implement a health and safety policy, and procedures, which cover identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.
Special educational needs
Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. Providers who are funded by the local authority to deliver early education places must have regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice.
Information and Records (also covering Information About the Child, Information for Parents and Carers, Complaints, Information About the Provider and Changes that Must be Notified to Ofsted or the relevant childminder agency)
Providers must maintain records and obtain and share information (with parents and carers, other professionals working with the child, and the police, social services and Ofsted as appropriate) to ensure the safe and efficient management of the setting, and to help ensure the needs of all children are met.
Providers must meet all the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. Each of the policies and procedures that providers are required to have in place to do this are provided in this publication and organised under each of the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage as they appear above. Also included are policies or procedures that the Alliance recommends as good practice.
Providers are required to assess risks to children’s safety and review risk assessments regularly; making written risk assessments in relation to specific issues where they determine it will be helpful. Therefore template risk assessments have been included, as in some cases these stand alongside procedures, especially, for example, health and safety procedures.
In this book, the overarching policy statement is set out at the start of each section, followed by the relevant procedure describing how the policy will be fulfilled in a consistent and standardised way. References to relevant legislation or guidance are then included at the end of each policy. All staff and parents should be included in adopting, implementing and reviewing policies so that all adults involved can influence the way the setting is run.
Copies of the policies and procedures to be adopted should be made available to all parents and staff.
A meeting to discuss and adopt the policies and procedures should be held. This will give everyone the opportunity to discuss and fully understand each policy statement and procedure.
All new parents, employees and volunteers should be introduced to the setting’s policies and procedures.
It should be explained to parents, employees and volunteers that the policies contain the rules required for running the setting in a way which complies with the requirements of the EYFS and Ofsted registration and must be adhered to.
All employees and volunteers should be aware of the content of the policies and procedures, and their role and responsibility in implementing them.
Each policy and procedure should be continually monitored by collecting evidence about the results of its implementation.
The evidence should be used to make any necessary changes to the policy and procedure and/or the way it is implemented.
All staff and parents should contribute to the evidence collected and share in decisions about any necessary changes.
The enclosed policies are those required by the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements and the Learning and Development Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. If you decide to make any adaptations to any policy, you should ensure it still meets the requirements of the relevant regulations.
Some providers may also decide to develop further policies, which are not required by regulations, but which would enable a clear direction for any specific issue pertaining to the setting. For example, some providers may require a policy on sharing premises with another facility. Or in some cases a local authority or a funding body may require a policy or procedure that is not included in this publication. We have enclosed a template to enable providers to compose their own where staff and parents agree something is needed.