Why have Policies and Procedures?
It is always said that policies and procedures are a cornerstone of nursery life and of good practice. While policies & procedures are used everyday, it is worth taking a moment to review exactly what they are and how we will utilise these. So, here we go…
A policy is a collectively agreed statement of beliefs. It is a course of action recommended or adopted by an organisation. Policies inform procedures.
A procedure is a way of doing something; a written method or course of action to be taken in particular circumstances.
At Lemongrove, we believe that a comprehensive set of policies and procedures should demonstrate a professional approach to processes and practice as well as, where applicable, compliance with the requirements of law. It is essential to have robust and clear policies and procedures in place which staff can understand, follow and implement to ensure high-quality provision.
Policies and procedures enables our nursery to plan and provide evidence that sound practice is taking place. For example, a policy on parental partnership formulated by staff and parents demonstrates the nursery’s commitment to working with parents for the benefit of the children’s care, welfare and early learning.
Procedures should state clearly the course of action to be taken in a given situation. This will ensure that childcare practice and management are consistent throughout the nursery and that clear standards of practice are upheld. Any deviation from the normal procedure will be investigated.
There is clear guidance when staff do not follow procedures (The Staff Handbook), either through follow-up training and support or in certain circumstances, disciplinary action.
We believe that procedures give parents a clear understanding and confidence in the service we provide. If parents know exactly what will happen in a given situation, we hope they will be comfortable leaving their child in our care. Furthermore, carefully planned procedures ensure that children benefit from a consistent approach that gives them the comfort of an established routine.
Policies and procedures set a baseline underpinning decisions made every day and act as reference points for all practice in our nursery. As such, policies and procedures are living documents, therefore, we review all policies on a rolling, annual basis. The Business Manager and Childcare Manager have overall responsibility for this task, and will delegate to other members of the team to review documents, research and monitor practice. At Lemongrove we believe this can empower individuals to take an active part in the nursery and can serve as a focus for staff development.
All policies and procedures are shared with staff, parents and volunteers. It is the role of the Childcare Manager, Room Leaders & Senior Practitioners to ensure the policies and procedures are fully understood and implemented consistently within our nursery.