The following policies are explicitly required by welfare and safeguarding requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (2014), or are implicitly required by the framework, or are required by other legislation.
- Equalities policy
- EYFS policy
- Safeguarding policy
- Emergency evacuation procedure
- Uncollected child policy
- Missing child policy
- Complaints procedure
- Health and safety policy
- Administering medication policy
- Visitor policy
A number of examples and information you could include in your policies are available on this page.
- Child registration forms, which include: name, address, parents details, emergency contact number, consent for emergency medical treatment, dietary needs
- Record of staff / other people on premises
- Daily/sessional register
- Accident and first aid treatment record
- Records of medicines administered
- Record of visitors
- List of drivers
- Record of complaints
Others required for good practice
Policies such as health and safety, confidentiality and employment, roles and responsibilities of volunteers and committee members, records of gas and electrical safety checks.
Admissions policy SHOW
An admissions policy is useful when places begin to fill up, as it will state who has priority. The policy may be any of the following priorities or a combination of them:
- Children will be admitted in the date order that their application was made
- Children who attend five days a week
- Children who have siblings attending the club
- Children who are referred by social services
For a scheme that collects from more than one school, it may be necessary to put limits on how many children can be collected from each school. There may be spaces available at the club, but it may not be logistically or legally possible to collect more than a certain number from any particular school.
Behaviour management policy SHOW
Positive discipline means:
- Rewarding good behaviour – because rewards are constructive, they encourage further effort. Punishment is destructive; it humiliates children and makes them feel powerless
- Encouraging self-discipline and respect for others – because children need to grow into people who behave well even when there's no-one to tell them what to do
- Setting realistic limits according to age and stage of development – because as children grow and develop, our expectations of them change
- Setting a good example – because children take more notice of how we are and what we do than what we say
- Encouragement, not orders or instructions – because 'Do as you're told' teaches nothing for next time; positive discipline means explaining why
- Being consistent – saying no and meaning no, because children need to know where they stand and it helps if they know that we mean what we say
- Praise, appreciation and attention – because when children are used to getting attention with good behaviour, they won't need to seek it by misbehaving
- Building children's self-esteem – shaming, scolding, hurting and humiliating children can lead to even worse behaviour. Attention, approval and praise build self-esteem and a child who feels valued is more likely to behave well
Adults and children flourish best in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them. The aim is to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.
In order to achieve this:
- Rules governing the conduct of the club and the behaviour of the children will be discussed and agreed within the club. Rules will be discussed with the children to ensure their understanding of them and feelings can be taken into account
- All adults in the club will ensure that the rules are applied consistently, so that children have the security of knowing what to expect
- All will try to provide a positive role model for the children
- Adults will praise good behaviour such as kindness, and willingness to share
When children behave in unacceptable ways:
- Physical punishment will never be used or threatened
- Children will not be sent out without a worker
- Never use humiliation
- The behaviour will be discussed with the child to see how they could improve in future (where appropriate, this may be achieved by a period of time out with an adult)
- In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or physical abuse, the unacceptability of the attitudes and the behaviour will be made clear immediately, by means of explanation rather than personal blame
- In any case of inappropriate behaviour, it will always be made clear to the child that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unwelcome
- Adults will not raise their voices in a threatening way
- Any behaviour problems will respect the individual child's level of understanding and maturity
- The whole group, in partnership, will tackle recurring problems with the parents/carers to establish an understanding of the cause
- Adults will be aware that some kinds of behaviour may be a result of certain specific needs/individual circumstances
Child protection policy SHOW
The needs of the child are always paramount. This principal is contained within the Children Act 1989.
- It is important that all workers and volunteers are aware of their role regarding child protection issues
- The After School Club policy should be used in conjunction with Southampton Child Protection Procedures agreed through the Southampton Child Protection Committee and following procedures in 'What to do if you think a child is being abused' DfE guidance
Identification and Referral
Volunteers with concerns should discuss them with the club leader as soon as possible.
All concerns should be discussed even if they seem minor.
- Playworkers noting an obvious injury when a child enters the club should ask about its cause in a non-threatening, non-judgemental way
- Any concerns about an injury or a child's behaviour should be discussed with the club leader before the end of the session
- Playworkers/volunteers are not permitted to look for bruises or injuries on areas of the body that are normally covered by clothing
- If injuries are revealed during play e.g. water play, this should be passed to the club leader immediately
The Club Leader's Responsibility
When the facts and beliefs are clear, if there is evidence to suspect abuse, the leader should contact social services by phone immediately.
This referral must be followed up in writing within 24 hours.
- When making the referral, the leader should seek advice about what information should be shared with the parent and child
- The leader should collate the necessary information: name, date of birth, address of child, details of actual/suspected abuse, parents' whereabouts, GP's name
- Social Services will then try to find out as much as possible about the child and family before deciding what action to take
- Staff may be asked to provide more information if you come into regular contact with the child and you will usually be asked to provide a written report
This report needs to include information on the child, parental details, what you observed, together with date and time of telephone referral and keep a copy for yourself.
- Parents should know that staff regularly liaise to discuss concerns/progress of the children in their care
- Parents can be assured that any situation will be dealt with sensitively
- All matters relating to child abuse are confidential and should only be discussed with those who have a legitimate need to know
- However, the leader must make it clear to those providing information that confidentiality may not be maintained if the withholding of information prejudices the welfare of the child
- Information would only be faxed when the recipient has confirmed by phone that they are there to receive it
A safe club environment
We intend to create in our club an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. In order to achieve this we will:
Exclude known abusers
It will be made clear to applicants for posts within the club that the position is exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
All applicants for work within the club, whether voluntary or paid, will be interviewed before an appointment is made and will be asked to provide at least one reference. All such references will be followed up.
All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the club is confident and that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children.
Seek and supply training
We will seek out training opportunities for all adults involved in the group to ensure that they recognise the symptoms of possible physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.
Prevent abuse by means of good practice
Adult will not be left alone for long periods with individual children or small groups. An adult who needs to take a child aside will leave the door ajar.
The layout of the room will permit constant supervision of all children.
Respond appropriately to suspicions of abuse
Changes in children's behaviour/appearance will be monitored.
Parents will normally be the first points of reference, though suspicions will also be referred as appropriate to the Child Protection Team.
All such suspicions will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know.
Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child's behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up.
Liaise with other bodies
The club operates in accordance with local authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children will be shared with the Child Protection Team if the club feels that adequate explanation for changes in the child's wellbeing have not been provided.
If a report is made to the authorities, the child's parents will be informed at the same time as a report is made.
The club will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families and staff in the club. With the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the club does all in its power to support and work with the child's family.
The club's work with children may bring us into contact with confidential information.
To ensure that all those using the club can do so in confidence, we will respect the confidentiality in the following ways:
- Information about the child will not be passed on to other adults without permission
- Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, will remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel issues
Day trips SHOW
Whether it's a trip to the local swimming pool or a day at a special activity park, it's a good idea to get the planning just right. A good deal of pre-planning and well thought out organisation is essential to ensure a fun-filled trip for everyone. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Before you go
Where and when
- Give children and parents plenty of advance notice of the date of the trip and detailed information about the outing
- Get written permission from the parents and guardians
- Make sure the venue will suit all abilities, needs and age ranges
- What are the opening times?
- What is the travelling time?
- When do you have to be back?
- Do you have a contingency plan for any delays such as late return home or breakdown/emergency?
- Book in advance if possible – it saves queuing at the pay point
- Ask for discounts on the charges – if your club has charitable objectives or is a charity
- Make sure that the venue has been visited before the trip to ensure that it is suitable
- If going to somewhere like the park, plan an alternative in case of bad weather
- Make sure you have a high staff ratio of at least 1:8, and preferably 1:5
- If possible, take extra adults as volunteers
- Put the members of staff with the age groups they work best with
- Prepare an extensive register including details of emergency numbers, parents' numbers, doctors' numbers, and special needs of children
- Nominate a person at home to be a point of contact, with a master contact list
- If preparing a packed lunch, do as you would with any meal and make sure that it is balanced and meets all dietary needs. Avoid foodstuffs that can go off and keep everything in cool boxes
- Ask the parents to prepare a packed lunch
- Remind them that there will very possibly be no refrigeration
- Take water and plastic cups as well
- Kitchen roll and wet wipes are a good idea to take along
- Remind children and parents about suitable clothing i.e. wellington boots, if the outing is going to be on a farm, or swimsuits, if going to the local pool
- Ask parents to apply sun cream in advance and give the bottle/tube to the children, so it can be applied when necessary
- Remind the children to bring hats
- Unless you are absolutely sure that it is not going to rain, coats are needed as well
- Book your transport well in advance
- Double-check the travelling arrangements the day before you go. If you are using a bus company, make sure they know where to pick up the children and the destination
- Check that the coach/bus has seatbelts
- In case of travel sickness, carry a large supply of carrier bags and a plastic box with a lid
On the day
- Provide labels with the club name and contact telephone number – for the sake of child protection, do not disclose the child's name
- Take a first aid box
- Before you get on the coach give a briefing to all of the children – preferably by a figure of authority. This is an opportunity to remind the kids of the rules and guidelines
- Arrange a meeting point for lost children or adults
- Find out where the toilets are
- Take regular head counts. Grouping the children helps, with a member of staff for each group. Then each member of staff may only have five children to quickly headcount, rather than the leader having to count twenty
- Agree a time when everyone has to be back at the bus. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to chase up stragglers
This isn't a comprehensive list. There's a lot more you can do to make your day trip run more easily. For example, rather than using a number of bus or coach companies, you might want to build up a relationship with just one to obtain a quality and reliable service. Also, even though you might have a non-eating-on-the-bus rule, in the hot weather it's essential to allow the children to drink.
Diet and policy and practice SHOW
The sharing of refreshments can play an important part in the social life of the club as well as reinforcing children's understanding of the importance of healthy eating. The club will ensure that:
- All meals and snacks provided are nutritious
- Children's medical, personal, religious and cultural dietary requirements are respected
- Menus are planned in advance and food offered is fresh, wholesome and balanced
- Multi-cultural diet is offered to ensure that children from all backgrounds encounter familiar tastes and that all children have the opportunity to try unfamiliar foods
Equal opportunities policy SHOW
We aim to ensure that our attitudes, behaviour and equipment promote equality of opportunity for all.
We want to achieve an environment where all have equality of opportunity regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender, social circumstances, disability or emotional wellbeing.
We aim to do this in three main ways. All workers and volunteers have a responsibility to:
- Provide a role model to show that everyone should be treated with equal respect
- Challenge discrimination by adults and children
- Pro-actively intervene in situations of bias
In order to do this we must:
- Recognise and value individuals' different life experiences
- Use knowledge and awareness as a starting point
- Be aware of barriers to learning
Some practical things we can do to help this:
- Assess toys and equipment to ensure they reflect diversity seen within our society
- Encourage children to use all types of toys and equipment
- Give opportunities for children and adults to experience a variety of cultures and lifestyles
- Workers and volunteers need to know how to use all pieces of equipment
- To be aware how we interact with individuals; treating everyone with equal respect and a non-judgemental attitude
- By meeting dietary needs
When employing staff we will appoint the best person for the job and will treat all applicants fairly. The job will be advertised as widely as possible. Commitment to implementing the club's equal opportunities policy will form part of the job descriptions for all workers.
We believe that the club's activities should be open to all children and families, and to all adults committed to their welfare. We aim to ensure that all those who wish to work in, volunteer or help with, our club have an equal chance to do so.
The club is open to every family in the community, subject to sufficient places being available.
Families that join the club are made aware of the equal opportunities policy.
The club will treat all applicants fairly, and will appoint the best person for each job.
Commitment to implementing the club's equal opportunities policy will form part of the job description for all workers.
Our aim is to show respectful awareness of all the major events in the lives of the children and families in the club, and our society as a whole, and we welcome the diversity of life.
All children will be respected and their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured. Activities and the use of play equipment offer children opportunities to develop in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.
These will be chosen to give a balanced view of the world and an appreciation of the rich diversity of our multi-racial society.
The club recognises the wide range of special needs in the community, and will consider what part it can play in meeting these needs.
These are unacceptable in the club.
Medical, cultural and dietary needs will be met.
The time, place and conduct of meetings will ensure that all families have an equal opportunity to be involved in the running of the club.
Guidelines for playworkers – collecting children from schools SHOW
Agree a meeting point with the school and the children
The meeting point must be constantly used and easy for the children to get to. It can be inside or outside the school, although due to British weather, inside is probably a better option for the winter.
Let the school and children know how to identify the playworker
It may be possible to have a brightly coloured t-shirt/jumper for the walkers to wear. Or maybe a bright badge with their name and picture. If you meet in the playground, you could have a sign on a large stick so that the children know where to find you.
Always be on time
Being a little early allows you to deal with any issues that may arise unexpectedly.
Set up a system with the school to find out if anyone is off sick
This can save a lot of time. Parents/carers should let you know if the child is not attending the club on days they are booked in, but be on the safe side.
Tick children's names off on a list as they arrived at the collection point
Agree with the children and school a time by which they must be at the meeting point
Allow the children time to collect equipment and for unplanned delays! But you must have a plan to find children who are not at the meeting point when they should be.
Developing links with the children's teachers is invaluable
Especially if the children are coming to the club regularly. Play workers are acting as the child's carer so need to know about any problems/issues or concerns that have arisen in the school day.
Health and Safety policies SHOW
Your health and safety policy needs to be tailored to the individual setting and will need to be reviewed regularly. This is especially important when writing a policy for a club that has not opened yet, as it will need to be reviewed and rewritten in light of actual operation. The policy should also be linked to a daily checklist.
Your health and safety policy should include:
- Intention to provide safe working conditions
- Person responsible for ensuring the policy is implemented
- Person responsible for health and safety issues and brief description of their duties e.g. first aider
- List of identified health and safety hazards
- Procedure for dealing with accidents
- Details of evacuation of premises
- Procedure for informing staff of health and safety issues
Any plans or policy should cover the information below (please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be specific issues concerned with your setting):
- All flooring and ceilings adequately maintained so as not to present a hazard
- All doors and windows should fit well and be opened easily
- All rooms well lit, preferably with natural light and properly ventilated
- All rooms adequately heated, capable of maintaining at least 16C after the first hour's work
- Keep fire doors closed but not locked, clear from obstacles and in good working order
- All fire exits should be clearly signed and all staff and children aware of them and where to assemble outside the building
- There should be at least two fire exits in your building
- All electrical items checked and maintained annually, they will need to have a current P.A.T (Portable Appliance Testing) certificate, and are unplugged after use
- All staircases should have substantial handrails and be well lit
- Smash free glass to be used in doors that interlock rooms or safety film placed over the glass in the door/window
- Anything attached to the wall must be securely fastened
- Any outside steps to be made of non-slip materials
- Paths and corridors to be kept clear
- Where necessary, intercom systems fitted to prevent unwanted visitors and all aspects of the building to be well maintained
- Toilets should be checked, cleaned and flushed regularly; there should be an adequate supply of toilet paper, paper towels and soap
- Fire procedures effectively displayed for all to see
- To have fully working smoke detectors in every room
Equipment, tools and toys
- You should ensure that all equipment, tools and toys are checked regularly
- Follow manufacturers instructions strictly
- Tools and equipment are to be locked away after use
- Use materials for the jobs they are intended for
- Check chairs, tables and soft furnishings conform to firm standards
- Any sharp edges on cabinets, tables or bookcases etc. are to be padded or rounded off
- Children are to be made aware that they should not handle or use equipment or tools unless with an adult present
- Toys are to be in good working order and not broken, if they are and cannot be mended safely, throw them away
- Ensure toys have a CE label or certificate
The preparation of food, its storage and handling is subject to the Food Hygiene Act 1970 and the Food Safety Act 1990 which requires food to be stored at even temperatures, in separate areas. If you are providing food make sure that you have staff with appropriate food handling certificates. Some general tips are:
- Staff and children to wash hands before touching food
- Anyone preparing food to wear an apron
- All surfaces to be kept clean and clear
- Refrigerators and cookers to be used as guidelines suggest
- Food to be kept at recommended temperature; never store uncooked and cooked food together in the refrigerator
- Rubbish bins to be emptied every day and good, strong bags used
- Cleaning materials to be kept in a secure place
- Never mix cleaning chemicals as a chemical reaction may occur.
- Cleaning materials are subject to COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations
Write up accidents and incidents as soon as possible. You are required by law to do this. You are also required to report to the HSE or Social Services any major accidents involving children or staff needing hospital treatment or infected with a dangerous disease. This comes under RIDDOR - the reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985, further advice can be found in the YMCA Health and Safety Manual, or from the Health and Safety Executive.
- Use plastic gloves for first aid and cleaning body fluids
- Fill in accident book for any accident however slight, and if the accident involves a child make sure that it is countersigned by the parent/carer
- Wear appropriate clothes and shoes
- Lift heavy objects the correct way and ask for help
- Do not be alone with a child without anyone's knowledge – leave doors open etc., if possible
- Follow arrival and departure procedures
- Lead by example
It may also be useful to include:
How to encourage children to be safer
- Ensure children wash their hands after using the toilet (and staff to wash own hands also)
- Show the younger ones how to cross a road (older children should know)
- Talk about strangers and how to say no
- Discuss safe and unsafe places both at your club and in the community
- Talk about the uses of tools and equipment that you have at your scheme
- Get them involved in a fun way practising safety routes
- Talk to them about other safety procedures like safety belts, bike helmets, wearing the right clothes when playing sports or roller-blading etc.
- Advise children of the safest route home – draw a map or walk it with them if they are of an age to understand the reasons for doing this
Late child collection / Non-collection policy SHOW
A policy will be needed in case children are not collected on time.
This will need to include such things as:
- Procedures for parents to follow if they think they are going to be late
- Details of any payment penalty for late collection
- Who and/or how many staff will stay with the child
- When the parents number will be phoned
- When the emergency contact will be phoned
- The procedure to be followed if neither can be contacted – whether the police or social services are phoned, at what time they should be contacted etc.
Lost child policy SHOW
This will vary for each setting. Things to be included are:
- Who and/or how many staff will look for the child
- Who and/or how many will remain caring for the other children
- Any other people or services available to look for the child and how you can access them (e.g. CCTV or caretaker)
- When and how you will inform the parents
- When and how you will inform the police
- Members of the committee or management to be informed
- A site assessment – areas of hazard (e.g. nearby main roads) and areas to be checked (e.g. all connecting corridors)
Payment policy SHOW
After the payment scales have been set it is a good idea to set a policy of how fees are to be paid and guidelines for non-payers. A policy might include:
- Type of payment e.g. cash, cheque, and who cheques should be made payable to
- Procedure for paying for fees. Whether this is to be daily, weekly, monthly or termly, in advance or arrears. Whether it is to be given to a member of staff or whether the treasurer will invoice them. They must be given a receipt for every payment
- The procedure for payment for a child being absent for sickness or holidays. Some clubs give credit for days not attended, others charge full price whether the child is there or not
- The procedure for late payers. This might include whom the parents should talk to if they are experiencing difficulties. It should also give clear instructions as to what will happen if they are late paying
- It may also be useful to signpost parents/carers to information about working families tax credit
Sickness policy SHOW
If your child is ill, we cannot accept them at the club. This is to prevent cross infection. If your child is not well enough for them to attend school then it is not appropriate for them to attend the club.
If your child is not attending the club, please could you let the staff know before 2.30pm on that day.
Transport guidelines SHOW
The club will need to arrange and pay for suitable supervision, usually at a staff ratio of 1:4. Also it is prudent to confirm that the insurance covers this activity.
By a volunteer driver
A volunteer driver is not paid for providing the service and so their comprehensive car insurance should be adequate. For insurance and tax reasons it is prudent to pay mileage at the Inland Revenue rate, which is regarded as 'reimbursement of expenses' only, i.e. not 'hire for reward'. Do not exceed the seating capacity of the vehicle.
By club official or employee
The club should ensure that adequate vehicle insurance is in place, that the driver is aware of good practice regarding parking and getting in and out safely. Do not exceed the seating capacity of the vehicle. The usual private vehicle policy may not cover this activity.
By commercial company
Discussions are likely to hinge on price. Longer-term contracts should attract a lower price. The Club should ensure that the company confirms that its vehicles meet the regulations for children.
These are vehicles, which carry 9 or more people. There are a number of complex rules, so consult carefully the relevant booklets.
Suitable vehicles are available new and second-hand. Repairs can be expensive, so it is wise to be careful and probably buy the best the club can afford. A permit to operate will be needed and this varies according to whether the club is actually a business or a non-profit making Club.
A minibus used to carry children must display two 'Child Aware' signs. These are reflective signs showing two children's silhouette. They are available from sign writers and business stationers.