Policies and Procedures
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.
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.
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:
- Child protection
Providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.
- Suitable People (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 year’s settings and the overall quality of the provision depends on all practitioners having appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
- Key Person
Each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to 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, before/afterschool care and holiday provision)
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.
- Managing Behaviour
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.