Voucher payments

Some parents are able to access childcare vouchers from their place of work.

We participate in most Childcare Voucher Schemes and would register to a new scheme if a parent requested this and we were eligible.

  • Please note we charge a £25 set up administration fee for each set of vouchers, and also for any changes of scheme provider, while your child is at the nursery
  • Please be aware that the fees payable from these scheme are also liable for a £5.00 a day late fee, if the company does not pay the money into our account by the 1st of each month (in advance) or the last banking day of the previous month if the 1st falls at a weekend/Bank Holiday

Most parents voucher contribution covers part of their monthly fees with the balance remaining to be pay by themselves. Amounts may vary each month.

Staff will ensure they record all different payments separately, even if they are for the same month payment, on the children’s individual fees sheets. Staff will check with head office that we have indeed received the expected payments.

Vouchers can be redeemed in a variety of ways e.g:

  • Parents/carers set up so that the scheme they are registered with pay direct to our account with a reference that will let us know whom the payment is for
  • Parents/carers set up an account with the voucher scheme and transfer the funds direct to our account from their each month
  • Abacus receives emails informing us when payments, from some schemes, are due to be paid to us

Each scheme we are registered with should provide all the details we need to ensure we receive payments.

Parents need to be aware that voucher payment must clear in our account by the 1st of each month in advance or a late payment fee will be charged. Ensuring these payments are set up and managed correctly is their responsibility.

Violence and aggression policy and procedure

The safety of our staff is of the up most importance here at Abacus Childcare Providers and as such makes safety its number one priority for all involved with the company. Staff are entitled to carry out their work without threat of verbal abuse or physical violence.

Any displays of aggression to our staff by a parent or carer, or child will be taken seriously and will be investigated fully, to establish the appropriate action to take. Violence or abuse of any description will not be tolerated.

If an act of aggression or violence occurs staff must follow the steps below:

PARENTS TO STAFF

  1. Remain calm and non-confrontational
  2. Raise the alarm so that another member of staff so they can be with you at all times
  3. Be aware if you hear raised voices, investigate what is going on
  4. By having two people there it will lend support to the staff member and will give the parent the message that we will not tolerate such behaviour. This also provides a witness in case the police are called
  5. If the situation becomes worse you must ask the parent to leave the building to calm down
  6. If they refuse to leave explain that it is a nursery and as such you cannot allow the children or other staff to witness any aggressive behaviour
  7. If after asking they do not leave & you feel the situation warrants it ask a member of staff who is away from the situation to call the police, 999
  8. When the parent has gone the incident must be written down. All witnesses should sign and date the bottom of the report
  9. Always inform a senior member of staff, and the Manager of the setting
  10. Depending on the extent of the incident the police can be called in to liaise between the parent and staff involved or to simply be made aware of the situation, in case of any further incidents
  11. The parent must be made aware of the implications’ they have brought against themselves for behaving in such a way
  12. A meeting will be called with the parent, a senior member of staff and the staff who were involved in the situation
  13. All meeting notes will be typed up and a copy kept in the nursery and one copy given to the parent
  14. If the situation cannot be resolved in this meeting another will be made at a later date when the situation has calmed down
  15. The parent must then be informed if they have lost their nursery place or not
  16. All staff involved will have the opportunity to talk to a senior member of staff about any concerns, worries or thoughts they have on the incident
  17. If counselling is needed for the people involved, the company will ensure staff are able to talk to a trained professional

STAFF TO OTHER STAFF

  1. Remain calm and non-confrontational
  2. Raise the alarm so that another member of staff so they can be with you at all times
  3. Be aware if you hear raised voices, investigate what is going on
  4. Ensure this is not happening in the rooms or in front of any children
  5. Ensure the rooms are covered by the ratios, if not call head office to explain the situation so it can resolved as soon as possible
  6. The situation should be taken to the office to calm down and be discussed fully
  7. If the situation becomes worse you must ask the staff member to leave the building to calm down
  8. If they refuse to leave explain that it is a nursery and as such you cannot allow the children or other staff to witness any aggressive behaviour
  9. If after asking they do not leave ask a member of staff who is away from the situation to call the police, 999
  10. When the staff member has gone or calmed down the incident must be written down. All witnesses should sign and date the bottom of the report
  11. Always inform a senior member of staff and the nursery Manager
  12. Depending on the extent of the incident the police can be called in to liaise between the staff and management involved or to simply be made aware of the situation, in case of any further incidents
  13. The staff member must be made aware of the implications’ they have brought against themselves for behaving in such a way
  14. A meeting will be called with the staff member, a senior member of staff and the staff who were involved in the situation
  15. All meeting notes will be typed up and a copy kept in the nursery and one copy given to the member of staff
  16. If the situation cannot be resolved in this meeting another will be made at a later date when the situation has calmed down
  17. The member of staff will then be placed on the disciplinary procedure and must then be informed if they have lost their job

CHILDREN TO STAFF

  1. Remain calm and non-confrontational
  2. Ensure you get down to the children’s level
  3. Tell them to stop the unwanted behaviour and, where age appropriate, explain why
  4. Ensure another staff member is aware of what happened/is happening
  5. Deal with the child and then go back to what you are doing, if the child is calm
  6. If the child is lashing out ensure no other children or staff are in harm’s way
  7. Move any objects that could harm the child
  8. Try to calm the child down
  9. If persistent attempts to calm the child down, does not work, take them out of the room with another member of staff and continue to try and calm the child down
  10. Where necessary, i.e. if a child is posing a threat to themselves or others the holding technique can be applied, but only if necessary and for the shortest amount of time possible
  11. Once the child has calmed down and the room returns to normal ensure you record the incident in writing including any actions you took, which you and ensure any witness sign this
  12. Inform the senior member of staff and Manager
  13. When the child’s parents/carer’s collect, explain the situation to them
  14. If the child carries on with such behaviour follow the above procedure and call a meeting with the child’s parents/carer’s to discuss a way of dealing with the unwanted behaviour consistently at home and at nursery. Discuss an action plan to agree upon and take
  15. Where appropriate speak to the parents about gaining help and advice from the Early Years team. If parents/carer’s agree, contact the early years team to arrange a meeting with them
  16. Advise staff who work with the child of the outcomes and the agreed action plan
  17. If parents/carers do not give permission for outside professionals to help us we will have to set up another meeting in the future to discuss any future the child has with us. The staff team will agree an action plan and set it in place
  18. Always give regular feedback to the parents and gain their feedback
  19. Record everything and keep it confidential in the child’s file
  20. If the parents/carer’s still will not allow us to get extra help in, and the child’s behaviour remains the same, despite our best efforts then the child may be excluded from nursery

STAFF TO PARENTS OR CHILD

  • If a member of staff displays aggressive behaviour or uses violence against a child or parent, the staff member will be removed from the situation immediately
  • An account of the incident will be taken from everyone involved or witnessed to the incident
  • The member of staff will be immediately suspended
  • The child or parent must be seen to by a member of staff who is first aid trained as appropriate
  • If a child has been subject to aggression or violence the parents/carer’s must be informed immediately
  • Ofsted should be informed
  • All discussions on this matter will be investigated, recorded and kept confidential
  • A meeting will be set up for the suspended member of staff. The meeting will take place and all discussion recorded
  • All senior staff involved will discuss the issue and decide on the next course of action. This may be to start the disciplinary procedure or for immediate dismissal
  • Ofsted/Early Years Team will also give us guidelines, which we must follow
  • If the parent wishes to contact the police the staff member must remain in the building under supervision until they arrive. All discussions must be recorded and kept confidential
  • Sun protection policy

    It is our policy that all children who attend the nursery are advised to wear sun cream regardless of skin colouring during the summer months. We will also be recommend that they wear hats to help prevent damage to the skin from the sun.

    Parents/carers will be asked to provide these items and give written permission for staff to apply sun cream.

    If your child has a medical reason, which prevents them from wearing sun cream, the nursery will ask the parent/carer to provide a suitable alternative and a written letter explaining the situation.

    If after considering our advice parent choose not to provide these sun safety measures they will be asked to sign a disclaimer and all staff will be advised of this.

    For hygiene reasons each child must have their own sun cream. All creams must be labelled.

    Staff will receive training in how to keep children safe in the sun and must adhere to all relevant policies and procedures at all times.

    Teaching and Play Policy

    Abacus Childcare Settings provide a stimulating and supportive environment for all children in our care. We value the essential support and contributions that parents/carers and the wider community provide, and feel this all helps towards enabling children to developing to their full potential.

    We promote respect for cultural diversity and include all aspects of anti bias and equal opportunities into our planning, activities and attitudes to learning and play.

    Our aims:

    • To provide an inclusive, wide and balanced curriculum and encourage progression for all children in every area of their development
    • To plan a stimulating environment using the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
    • To provide opportunities for each child to acquire the self esteem, skills, knowledge and confidence to enable them to eagerly embark on their journey to the next stage of play and learning, whether that that is to go onto another early years setting or school
    • To build children’s self esteem and confidence as independent learners
    • To be aware of equal opportunities, inclusion and anti bias practice in our planning and implementation of the activities and experiences we offer the children in our care
    • To work closely with parents/carers working in partnership with them to ensure consistency of care and education for every child

    PLAY

    Play is an appropriate medium of learning for young children. Children need first hand experiences so that they can experiment, gain knowledge, grasp concepts and master new skills.

    Children are encouraged in their learning by the equipment, experiences and activities we offer them and most importantly the adults who support them.

    Careful planning, observations and record keeping enables staff to consider individual children’s interests and needs and to plan future activities and experiences that are appropriate for each of them. Staff can look at these records with parents/carers helping them to gain knowledge of their children’s time at nursery and share ideas and information. It is important that plans are flexible and are changed as needed to ensure spontaneous learning opportunities and the children’s particular interests are explored as these are most valuable learning experiences.

    Good self esteem is vital in order for children to be able to learn and therefore lots of play opportunities are offered that help to develop each child confidence and ability to express his or her own needs, wants, likes, dislikes and feelings. We ensure these experiences will show every child that we value and respect them, their family, race, culture, religion, language, gender and background.

    TEACHING

    As nursery nurses our main focus for every aspect of the nursery day is around the children. Our staff team is caring and actively promotes learning through play.

    Our expectation of staff is that they have a professional, patient and caring attitude. They must be willing to explore every avenue of development in order to appropriately support the children they care for. Staff encouragement and being positive is essential for helping children in every area of their development.

    The staff team regularly attend training in order for them to develop professionally so they are best equipped to aid all children in their care.

    We have a key worker system in place which helps to provide a suitable environment for the children to build relationships and learn in and for staff to truly focus on the individual child’s needs.

    All staff are responsible for providing a positive and stimulating learning environment. This includes a safe and clean space in which to explore, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and activities, decoration and displays that spark interest and opportunities for learning.

    Planning is based around the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and in order to accurately reflect this we encourage all staff to take part in relevant training.

    Our long term plan is that our support and the activities and experiences we provide guides the children in our care to develop to their full potential during their time with us and prepares them for further learning as they change settings

    Our medium term plan looks at activities and experiences linked to children’s individual interests and needs.

    Our short term plan is flexible and created for one week planned learning aims with lots of space to allow for children’s interests and unplanned events. It incorporates ‘next step’ activities planned according to individual children’s interests and needs.

    All our planning is simply in place as a guide and is completely flexible and can be changed as and when needed to allow for spontaneous learning and the individual ideas, interests and needs of the children as we recognise that exploring these opportunities is vital to their all round development.

    Room leaders will support their team and review their observation and planning on a daily and weekly basis as necessary. The nursery manager, or deputy in the managers’ absence, will review these regularly and as a minimum once a month.

    In order to ensure that the ethos of Abacus Childcare Settings is maintained the manager will carry out regular staff meetings and training sessions and staff supervisions (3 monthly) and appraisals (annually after 1 years service) at which the policy and procedures of the company will be one of the points discussed.

    Special Needs Policy for Abacus Childcare Settings

    Abacus Childcare Settings believes in the principles of Equal Opportunities and therefore welcomes children regardless of ability. Our aim is to provide a stimulating atmosphere and appropriate learning opportunities for all children.

    We also aim to have regard to the Dfes Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of children with Special Educational Needs.

    Children with special needs, like all other children, will be admitted into the group after consultation between parents/carer’s and the childcare manager. If other childcare professionals are already involved with the family, meeting notes and any relevant information will be used, to ensure consistency of care, and so that we have appropriate expectations of each individual child.

    The group recognizes the wide range of children and families with Special Needs, in their community. We are committed to the inclusion of children and parents within our nursery and will seek resources and advice to make the relationships successful. We will therefore:

    • Endeavour to accommodate all children wherever possible, adjusting the Early Years Foundation Stage to individual needs and abilities, to allow children to progress in all areas of development
    • Endeavour to obtain suitable equipment to enable those with physical disabilities to be correctly supported, therefore enabling them to make full use of activities
    • Ensure that all children have full access to the play opportunities offered within the setting
    • Encourage and facilitate discussions about disability, to try to ensure that children and parents within our group develop a positive attitude, which will help combat discrimination against people with disabilities in the wider community.
    • Select resources, for example books, posters, and puzzles etc, which portray positive images of people with disabilities
    • Ensure that each child receives individual adult support and attention through our adult to child ratio. If additional help is considered necessary we will seek funding/support via the Croydon Early Years Inclusion Team. This will always be in consultation with the parents/carer’s
    • Use the support and guidance of the Early Years Inclusion Team as necessary and in consultation with the parents/carers
    • Welcome the opportunity to work and liaise with other professionals, such as Portage workers, paediatricians, speech and physiotherapists and health visitors, in order to meet children’s specific needs
    • Monitor children’s progress on an individual basis. With parents/carer’s consent, we will provide evidence if a child is to be assessed for the purpose of statement of their special needs
    • Ensure staff attend suitable training for Special Educational Needs
    • Ensure this policy is reviewed annually to include parents and staff views and any up to date national and local developments on SEN

    IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT PROCESS, OF A SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED

    We have adopted the Early Years action/Action plus model and the practice of our setting is described through these stages as follows:

    • We use a system of observations and development checks for every child that joins the nursery
    • By using these tools we can identify any Special Educational Needs each child may have
    • Should any staff feel concerned about a child or additional help and advice are needed, she/he will seek the help of the nursery Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
    • If a need arises or has been pointed out by a parent/carer we will add the child’s name and details onto our SEN register
    • At this point the child will then be observed as normal and if appropriate have an Individual Education Plan made and followed by all staff. Attainable goals will be set to enable the child to reach their full potential
    • We welcome and encourage parental involvement with record keeping as we acknowledge the importance of parental input
    • All information is kept confidential and only those involved with the child will be able to access such information

    The group SENCO is: Carole Payne. The SENCO’s role is:

    • To work with parents/carer’s and staff to produce, monitor and review the group’s SEN policy
    • To set up, monitor and review the SEN register
    • To keep up-to-date records for each individual child by providing observations records, development records and IEP’s
    • To contribute to formal assessment and reviews for children who have statements
    • To support staff in making observations, assessments, setting appropriate targets and adapting the curriculum for disabled children and children with SEN as well as pass on any relevant up-to-date information about developments on provision for children with SEN
    • To ensure effective and constructive liaison between staff, parents/carer’s and outside professionals
    • To liaise with external agencies to gain information, advice and support in relation to disability and SEN issues
    • To attend all relevant training that the company provides