Equal opportunities policy

Mission statement

Abacus Childcare Settings is committed to equal opportunities as a provider of a service for the local community. Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment, which encourages children to develop to their full potential, whilst recognising and reflecting the children’s racial, religious and cultural needs. We are opposed to any forms of discriminatory practice or attitude on the grounds of colour, race, ethnic and national origin, marital status, sex, domestic circumstances, disability, sexual orientation, class and religious, ethnic or political beliefs, we will challenge any inappropriate attitudes or practices.

We welcome any child with special or specific needs.

Definition of discrimination

Direct or indirect discrimination including victimisation and harassment is when a person is bias towards or against any particular group or individual.

Aims and objectives

We will liaise with other professionals, parents, and carer’s to ensure we are promoting equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory good practice within each setting.

The manager of each setting will have the responsibility for:

  • Ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of promoting equality of opportunity for all children
  • Advising and supporting other practioners in the setting
  • Ensuring the physical environment is suitable
  • Ensuring a balanced curriculum is in place
  • Ensuring that relevant background information about individual children is collected, recorded and updated
  • Ensuring that direct or indirect discrimination including victimisation and harassment is challenged
  • Ensure children and staff are encouraged to value and respect one another, through daily practices, activities and experiences
  • Ensuring the equal opportunities policy is reviewed and updated periodically
  • All staff, volunteers and parents are informed of the policy. All staff and volunteers should ensure that they are familiar with, understand and implement this policy

How we meet individual children’s needs

Our trained staff team, ensure all children are monitored on a daily basis, by observing them, recording these observation and using them to plan future activities and experiences and completing progress reports as necessary. We also ensure that there is constant good communication between parents/carer’s, and ourselves as well as with the children and other outside professionals.

If we have an initial concern we make sure that we discuss this with the child’s parent or carer first. Following this we decide a course of action we will all take to help the child. All conversations are recorded in the child’s file. If appropriate an Individual Education Plan would be created, followed and updated as needed.

Building a positive relationship with parents/carer’s from first introduction makes the whole process of caring for the children more sucessfull and is of benefit to the child, their parents/carers and us. Parents/Carers will be asked to observe their child at home, how they respond at key times during the day and evening when at home, for example meal times, bed times etc. and to share this information wit us. It is by swapping information on a regular basis between the parents/carer’s and us we can provide good consistency of care.

Staff will discuss any concerns with appropriate colleagues so that all relevant carer’s know what the concern is and how we can ensure the child has the best support possible for their development.

All observations of the children are taken at various times of the day, in various situations so that a good picture of how the child learns and develops can be made. This way we can plan activities through the child’s interests.

These observations are evidence and statements of what the child can do. It is important to be positive when talking about development.

By using these observations we can look for patterns in their learning and how they react in different situations. For example: how do they respond in a large group compared with a one to one activity?

The staff team and their manager have daily opportunities to talk about and discuss any worries, concerns etc about the children. Regular staff meetings, supervisions and appraisals also take place. This way the whole staff team, are involved and supported and can problem solve together. Informal chats are always available. Staff can decide what the best course of action is, who will be responsible for supporting the child and how the staff team can help as a whole.

If needed routines can be altered, rooms can be rearranged, resources can be rearranged, children are encouraged to move resources to different areas of the nursery, so that more experiences can be gained. Equipment is mixed together, for example: sand and water, blocks and home area, sand and blocks etc. The routine can be adjusted daily as needed. For example if children are really involved in a messy activity and it is time for the garden, we leave the children to finish their activity when they are ready and go in the garden later or for longer later in the day.

Staff encourage children to communicate and interact with other children, which will help with their development, self-confidence, self-esteem and many other areas.

By observing how children interact with one another staff can look at their behaviour and use this to boost their development or identify problems to support them with.

The Early Years support teams are an invaluable resource for us as practioners as they will come to the nursery and advise us, talk over the phone, pull other resources to help us and provide reassurance and suport.

Ofsted are also at the end of a phone with advice and support.

How we encourage children and staff to value and respect one another

All staff must lead by example and ensure they provide an environment which shows that we value and respect every body no matter what their age, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, appearance, race, culture or sexuality.

Ways in which we do this can be found in our anti bias statement and policy.

Children with Special Educational needs

All children, including those with special needs will be included, valued and supported and where needed reasonable adjustments will be made for them. This will be worked out before a child starts with us and will be looked at with the child’s parents/carers and any relevant professionals, so that we can provide consistency of care and provide a positive and stimulating experience for every child.

We always refer to the SEN code of practice when forming policies and procedures and all staff adhere to this in their everyday practice within the childcare settings.

Working with parents, carer’s and outside agencies

We are committed to meeting the needs of individual children and their families. We welcome parents, relatives, carer’s or friends who wish to share any skills, knowledge or experience with us. This may be bringing in an unusual pet such as a spider, snake or lizard; playing a musical instrument; discussing health issues, festivals and celebrations, to name just a few ideas.

If a parent or carer has an issue with the settings provision for equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory good practice, they in the first instance should talk to the staff or manager of that setting, who will make every effort to resolve the matter within the setting.

If however the matter is not resolved the parent/carer can approach head office. Contact number – 0208 665 0595.

If the matter is not satisfactorily dealt with at this point the next people to call for assistance is the Early Years team on 020 8726 7423.

Should the matter still not remain unresolved the parent/carer can then approach Ofsted on 08456 404040.

Other agencies may include Ofsted, Early Years and any agencies related to equal opportunities.

Provision and resources

Our provision and resources aim to reflect positive images to promote equality of opportunity, avoiding stereotypes and anti-discriminatory good practice by:

  • Displaying pictures, photographs, books, puzzles and objects that reflect non-stereotypical roles, racial, cultural and religious diversity and disability
  • Providing role-play items, musical instruments, books, tapes and equipment that reflect diversity
  • Ensuring that all children are encouraged to take part in activities such as role-play, cooking, ball games, sewing/lacing/threading and large apparatus play
  • Ensuring that staff are good role models and give their time and attention equally to all children
  • Providing opportunities for children to share their experiences and discuss their views with each other and the staff
  • Planning for each child’s individual learning needs
  • Providing every child the opportunity to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others
  • The nursery has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator, SENCO, and an Equal Opportunities representative appointed within the staff team. These people are usually the Manager, Deputy Manager or Room Leader, for a full list please refer to the settings staff team list

Discriminating behaviour, attitude or practice

Any discriminatory incident will be reported to the Manager, Head Office and to the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership – EYDCP, where their procedures will be followed. These procedures are applicable for both children and adults. The company does not accept any discriminating behaviour, attitude or practice from their staff, volunteers, children or parents/carers. All matters of this nature will be dealt with immediately and investigated thoroughly.

Staff recruitment and development

Abacus Childcare settings will consider any applicants fairly. Applicants will be considered only on the basis of their ability to fore fill the position. The applicant’s age, gender, sexuality, class, means, status, disability, colour, ethnic origin or belief will have no effect on their success as an applicant. If the applicant is successful any needs they may have will be dealt with under the guidance of the applicant.

All staff will attend relevant training courses organised via the Early Years Team or other recognised training provider. All training is shared within the team to promote good practice within the setting as a whole.

Regular staff meetings will be held to discuss the needs of the children and staff.

Each setting has a dedicated equal opportunities representative. Please see the staff board or speak to a member of staff, to know who is the settings representative.

Arrangements for reviewing, monitoring and evaluating effective practice

The ways in which we review, monitor and evaluate our practice is through the following which we try and involve all staff, parents and children in as many of these processes as possible:

  • Staff training, which we review and change anything needed from the course notes and feedback given by the staff member taking part in the training
  • Activity plans and reviews of how affective it was for the children and how it can adapted next time to increase learning for every child
  • Staff meetings
  • Room meetings
  • Parents evenings
  • Ofsted self assessment form
  • Ofsted inspection reports are used to improve practice and make any changes necessary
  • Early years feedback and reports
  • Review of risk assessments
  • Review of all policies and procedures on a yearly basis or as needed
  • Any new legislation coming in is used to reflect in these areas for any changes needed
  • Any information given to us by outside agencies
  • Parent questionnaires
  • Parent feedback book / box
  • Any matters which occur in the settings

Reviewing this policy

The person responsible for reviewing and updating this policy is the setting manager. All settings must share the same policies and procedures where possible, to ensure continuity or care and standards.

This policy will be reviewed once a year unless new legislation or guidance is published.

The practices of each nursery is assessed on a daily basis by the Manager’s of the settings and will change anything needed to gain a high standard of care and education for every child in the nursery.