Health and Safety


Overall statement of policy

Acorns Nursery school believes that the health and safety of the children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents and carers, staff and volunteers.

  • Acorns Nursery school operates a NO SMOKING policy in and around the premises.



We aim to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for everyone, especially children. We aim to make everyone at Acorns Nursery school aware of the need to be healthy and safe and to co-operate to ensure that our environment is maintained in this way.


All members of staff take responsibility for carrying out health and safety checks daily on the premises. A different member of staff is responsible each day. The health and safety poster is displayed on the back of the office door.

Any accidents are recorded.


  • All staff are involved in checking the whole premises for health and safety on a termly basis to ensure that the condition of the premises and equipment has not changed or deteriorated.
  • The premises are secure and access is carefully monitored.
  • All spaces, including outdoor spaces, furniture, equipment and toys are regularly checked for safety. Equipment is also regularly steam-cleaned /washed.
  • The children are made aware of the rules introduced for their own safety; (Golden Rules in nursery) e.g. remember to walk not run indoors, no throwing of sand or toys, correct shoes to be worn on the climbing frame, etc. The children are also made aware of health and safety issues through discussions (in the event of an unsafe incident), planned activities and routines (e.g. fire drill).
  • An action plan for health and safety has been developed which specifies the action required and checks that this has been completed in the timescale indicated.
  • Health and safety is regularly discussed at weekly staff meetings and as required.


  • Parents /carers are asked to observe safety rules when entering or leaving the premises to bring or collect the children and ALL carers MUST make sure that the children they bring to nursery have gone through the cloakroom doorway into the hall before they leave nursery.
  • Nursery uses a password scheme for collection of children by adults other than the recognised carers. If the child is to be collected by another adult, the Head Teacher MUST refer to the child register to check the password and insist that this password is given by the adult collecting the child. Failure to do so means that the child’s parent or guardian must be contacted before the child is released.


  • All children are supervised by adults at all times and are within sight and hearing of an adult.


  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.


  • We comply with all statutory requirements regarding staff to child ratios.


  • We have procedures to monitor any visitors to the premises. (see Safeguarding Policy)


  • The times of the children’s arrival and departures are recorded in the register daily.


  • People not known by staff should be challenged by the officer in charge.


  • No child will be released to an adult who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


  • We ensure that all staff employed have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.


  • We also ask staff to complete a declaration on a termly basis, to confirm that:


  • They have had no police convictions in the past or recently.
  • They are not living with anyone who has or has had any allegations of serious harm or abuse or who has been disqualified from working with children.
  • They have not had their own children removed from their care by Social Services.


  • All equipment, materials and resources are stored and stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling, or collapsing.
  • All spillages to be cleared up immediately.


We have public liability and employer’s liability insurance in place. The details of the insurance policy are displayed in the cloakroom on the staff notice board.


  • Basic hygiene rules are observed.
  • All nursery staff and children wash their hands after using the toilet facilities and before handling food and drink.
  • All bodily fluids are disposed of using gloves and recommended solutions and this process is followed for all children.
  • Parents are responsible for providing sun-hats for their children in hot weather.
  • Sun cream must be applied to children PRIOR to the nursery session.
  • Fresh water is available at all times.
  • The nursery promotes good health and children are encouraged to bring nutritious and healthy lunches and snacks.
  • All staff responsible for handling food have an up to date Level 1 Food Hygiene Certificate.
  • Our outdoor sand pit is covered when not in use and is cleaned regularly.
  • All nappies are disposed of separately in the nappy bin.


  • All cleaning items and other dangerous materials are stored out of children/s reach.
  • Nursery has obtained COSHH documentation for all cleaning solutions used on the premises.
  • All materials, including paint and glue, are non-toxic.


  • All electrical and gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is PAT tested annually.
  • The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
  • Fires, heaters, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.


  • Fire drills are carried out each term and the details are recorded in the register and on the Fire Evacuation records (information is also kept on the computer). The building is evacuated and the staff and children’s names are checked against the register. The procedure is displayed in each room and all staff are familiar with it. Fire-fighting apparatus is checked annually and is kept in the office.
  • There are fire alarms and safety lighting in every room and the fire alarms are checked every week.
  • Smoke detectors, alarms and fire-fighting appliances conform to BSEN standards, are fitted in appropriate high-risk areas of the building and are checked as specified by the manufacturer.


  • All members of staff hold current Paediatric first aid training certificates which are kept updated in line with regulations.
  • At the time of admission to the setting, parents’ permission for emergency medical advice or treatment is sought. Parents sign and date their written approval.
  • Our First Aid kit is regularly checked and restocked as necessary.
  • The first aid kit is kept out of the reach of the children.
  • A list of children’s allergies is documented on a list in the office and in the kitchen.


  • Drugs and medicines cannot be administered by the nursery staff unless there are exceptional circumstances and treatment is prescribed by a medical practitioner. In this case, written permission and instructions must be provided by the parent /carer.
  • A medication register must be maintained, documenting details of the medicine received from the parent and the date, time and quantity of the dose to be given. Any entry must be countersigned by the parent.
  • All medicine must be kept out of reach of the children.


  • In the event of an outbreak of serious infectious diseases in the group, the LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY is to be informed.
  • Parents are informed of any infectious diseases.
  • Any dangerous occurrence is recorded.
  • In the event of serious injury, disease or dangerous occurrence, refer to RIDDOR.
  • The nursery has the right to refuse any child with an infectious disease and/or where diarrhoea  or vomiting has occurred in the family with 48 hours.
  • The nursery follows the guidelines on infectious diseases issued by West Berkshire.
  • Following an accident in nursery, an accident form must be completed, signed by staff and countersigned by the parent/carer.
  • Accidents are reviewed at least half-termly to identify potential or actual hazards.


  • Risk assessments are in place.
  • Parents/carers sign a permission slip on registration.
  • There is a high staff ratio on local outings.
  • All children use walking buses.
  • Details of the outing are posted on the patio door with the nursery mobile number.
  • The register, nursery mobile phone, first aid kit and appropriate medication are taken on the outing.
  • Children are assigned to individual staff.
  • Records are kept of the vehicles used to transport the children, with named drivers and appropriate insurance cover.
  • In an emergency, 2 members of staff will be responsible for dealing with the incident (call parent/carer/emergency services as appropriate) and the rest of the staff will return with the children to nursery by the most direct route.


Review date: September 2020








At Acorns Nursery School we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and expect all staff to share the commitment through:


The designated persons for Safeguarding at nursery are Emma Deacon and Jenny Whitfield.

Safer recruitment

The Acorns Nursery School operates a Safer Recruitment Policy. We abide by Ofsted requirements in respect of references and DBS checks for suitability of staff. New staff will be required to prove their identity, have evidence of their qualifications, give full details of all previous employment, explain (with proof) any gaps in their employment record, be interviewed by an interview panel and references will be rigorously followed up. They will also be DBS checked. All existing staff are regularly reviewed, DBS and health checked.

We record information about staff qualifications, identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed including:

The DBS reference number

The date disclosure was obtained

Child welfare

The Acorns Nursery School recognises the unique status of children, and seeks to ensure that they are respectfully treated as individuals. All staff accept that the welfare of the child is paramount at all times. The highest standards towards children will be maintained in all circumstances. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

We have a procedure for recording the details of visitors to the setting . Visitors must sign in and out and are never left alone with the nursery children.

Training All members of staff have attended a Safeguarding Children course (and new staff are recommended to attend the Universal safeguarding course within 12 weeks of the commencement of their employment) and are aware of the local authority procedures. All existing staff will be under taking refresher courses regularly to ensure that their safeguarding knowledge is kept up to date.

Staff complete training which enables them to recognise signs of potential abuse and neglect (sexually, physically, emotionally and neglect). Staff under take safeguarding training every 3 years in accordance with regulations.


It is the duty of all staff to prevent abuse and unsafe situations occurring. All staff are also required to report any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected to Mrs Deacon who is the designated Child Protection/ Safeguarding Children officer or Mrs Wilson, her safeguarding deputy. The designated Safeguarding Officer received training in accordance with the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) The designated officer must ensure that all staff know the procedures for reporting and recording any concerns of abuse/neglect. The designated officer attends a refresher course every two years and is also responsible for liaising, and information sharing, with the LSCB and other agencies. They also support and guide staff when needed. They can also contact Ofsted or the Local Authority Designated Officer.

The local Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub telephone number is: 0118 937 3641 (Office hours only)

The out of hours contact information for the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub is: 01344 786543 (Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team)


The contact details for Love Your Community’s Safeguarding Officer  is Gareth Owen whose mobile telephone number is: 07834 288436

The Acorns Nursery School will collaborate fully with the statutory and voluntary authorities concerned with investigating abuse. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the local children’s services or the police (not Acorns) to investigate the truth of any allegation of abuse. Ofsted will be informed.

Collection of children

Every parent is asked to provide a password for their child in case an adult who is not known to nursery has to pick up their child. The parent must also inform nursery that a different adult will be collecting their child on that occasion. The collecting adult must then give the password to the member of staff in charge. Failure to do so will mean that the child’s parent or guardian must be contacted before the child is released.

  • People not known by staff should be challenged by the staff member in charge.
  • No child will be released into the care of an adult who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Uncollected children

If a child is not collected within 15 minutes of the end of nursery, the parents are to be contacted or the person listed as responsible on the registration document. Inability to contact anybody within 2 hours will necessitate contacting social services. During this time, two members of staff will stay with the child and continue to attempt to reach the parent/emergency contact person.


Prevent Agenda

There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our Nursery, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff, visiting adults, directors etc. or external sources – nursery community, external agencies or individuals. Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils, staff, visitors or parents will always be challenged and, where appropriate, dealt with. Where misconduct by a member of staff is proven, the matter will be referred to the directors of Love your Community for their consideration. At Acorns we encourage pupils to respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We ensure that partisan political views are not promoted in the teaching of any subject in the nursery and where political issues are brought to the attention of the pupils; reasonably practicable steps are taken to offer a balanced presentation of opposing views to pupils.

Any concerns staff raise regarding the Prevent agenda will be reported via the normal safeguarding procedures. The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and directors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly.


Information about children, whether gained within nursery or from parents/carers/professionals will be treated as highly confidential by all staff.


Nappy/clothes changing

Whenever there is a need for a child to be changed owing to toilet issues or being wet/muddy, the member of staff changing the child’s clothing/nappy will alert another member of staff to witness their actions. This is recorded in the nappy/clothes changing record for the child together with the witness signature and the parent will also countersign the form.


Under Section 39 (Suitable People) of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, we have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. To ensure the suitability in terms of health of people who work in this setting, in any capacity, we ask staff to complete a termly health and suitability declaration. This includes confirmation that the individual has not received any police convictions in the past or recently and neither have they lived with anyone now in the past who has any allegations of serious harm, or abuse or has been disqualified from working with children. It confirms that staff’s own children haven’t been removed from their care by Social Services.




  • The use of mobile phones in nursery is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. No parent is allowed to take any photos of the nursery premises or the nursery children whilst they are on the premises.
  • Cameras are used to photograph the children at play and to record significant steps in each child’s development. Photographs are ONLY taken with the parent/guardian’s signed permission and are printed to use in the child’s ‘Look What I Can Do’ folder. The cameras are used exclusively for nursery purposes and are kept at nursery unless taken out for nursery visits or walks. Although any member of staff (or child) can take photographs of the children at play or their achievements, the supervisor or deputy upload the photographs which are printed but NEVER emailed or used for any purpose other than the child’s records.
  • N.B. There may be rare occasions when a child’s photo is used for training (e.g. ECAT or as an example to follow up a training session) or for advertising purposes. If this is the case, direct permission will be sought from a parent or guardian.
  • All members of staff are required to obey the confidentiality rule when networking with friends and NO information whatsoever about nursery, any of the children or member of staff is permitted to be shared through this or any other facility e.g. facebook, twitter, email, etc.


Allegations of abuse against a member of staff:

Any allegation of abuse made against a member of staff or a volunteer should also be referred to Mrs. Deacon / Mrs. Whitfield or directly to LADO (Local Authority Designated Officers) or Ofsted (in case of allegations against managers). If an allegation of abuse or poor practice is made against a member of staff, the officer in charge/ owner will consider the nature of the allegation before making a decision on action to be taken.


It is nursery policy that no member of staff is allowed to babysit any nursery child on behalf of its parents outside of nursery.


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