Policy and Procedure for Critical Incident
At St Peter’s Nursery, we understand we need to plan for all eventualities to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all the children we care for. With this in mind we have a Policy and Procedure for Critical Incident in place, to ensure our nursery is able to operate effectively in the case of a critical incident. These include:
- Abduction or threatened abduction of a child
- Bomb threat/terrorism attack
- Any other incident that may affect the care of the children in the nursery.
If any of these incidents impact on the ability of the nursery to operate, we will contact parents via phone and/or email at the earliest opportunity, eg, before the start of the nursery day.
There is always a danger of flooding from adverse weather conditions or through the water system. We cannot anticipate adverse weather; however, we can ensure that we take care of our water system through regular maintenance and checks to reduce the option of flooding in this way.
If flooding occurs during the nursery day, the Head will make a decision based on the severity and location of this flooding, and it may be deemed necessary to follow the fire evacuation procedure. In this instance children will be kept safe and parents will be notified in the same way as the fire procedure. Our place of safety is St Peter’s Church, Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
Should the nursery be assessed as unsafe through flooding, fire or any other incident we will close the nursery until repairs are complete. We will keep our parents informed of progress and of expected re-opening time.
Cut Water Supply
Should our water supply be cut, all children must be sent home as we will not be able to flush lavatories; wash hands or drink water. We keep a limited supply of bottled water for use in an emergency.
Please refer to the Policy and Procedure for Fire Safety
The management of the nursery follow a lock up procedure which ensures all doors and windows are closed and locked before vacating the premises. The Head completes this every evening except Friday, when staff from the Highland Store are on the premises to set up shop for the next day and the responsibility lies with them to lock-up.
The Head will always check the premises as she arrives in the morning. Should she discover that the nursery has been broken into, she will follow the procedure below:
- Dial 999 with as many details as possible, i.e. name and location, details of what has been found and emphasise this is a nursery and children will be arriving soon
- Contain the area to ensure no-one enters until the police arrive. The staff will direct parents and children to a separate area as they arrive. If all areas have been disturbed staff will follow police advice, including following the relocation procedure under Flood wherever necessary to ensure the safety of the children
- The Head will help the police with enquiries, e.g. by identifying items missing, areas of entry etc.
- The Deputy will be available at all times during this time to speak to parents, reassure children and direct enquires
- The Head will assess the situation following a theft and ensure parents are kept up to date with developments relating to the operation of the nursery.
Abduction or threatened abduction of a child
We have secure safety procedures in place to ensure children are safe while in our care, including safety from abduction. Staff must be vigilant at all times and report any persons lingering near nursery property immediately. The front gate is operated by a hand bolt; front door with chubb lock, chain and bolt; side door with three bolts; back door with key operated locks on the outside. These doors are kept locked at all times. Only full time permanent members of staff can allow entry and exit to visitors who must identify themselves. Parents must ask a member of staff to let them leave the premises, so the door is securely closed when they leave. They are also reminded on a regular basis not to allow anyone into the building whether they are known to them or not. Visitors and general security are covered in more detail in Policy and Procedure for Visitors.
Children will only be released into the care of a designated adult; see the Policy and Procedure for Arrivals and Departures for more details. Parents are requested to inform the nursery of any potential custody battles or family concerns as soon as they arise so the nursery is able to support the child. The nursery will not take sides in relation to any custody battle and will remain neutral for the child. If an absent parent arrives to collect their child, the nursery will not restrict access unless a court order is in place. Parents are requested to issue the nursery with a copy of these documents should they be in place. We will consult our solicitors with regards to any concerns over custody and relay any information back to the parties involved.
If a member of staff witnesses an actual or potential abduction from nursery we have the following procedures which are followed immediately:
- The police must be called immediately
- The staff member will notify the Head immediately and she will take control
- The parent(s) will be contacted
- All other children will be kept safe and secure and calmed down where necessary
- The police will be given as many details as possible including details of the child, description of the abductor, car registration number if used, time and direction of travel if seen and any family situations that may impact on this abduction.
Bomb threat/terrorism attack
If a bomb threat is received at the nursery, the person taking the call will record all details given over the phone as soon as possible and raise the alarm as soon as the phone call has ended. The management will follow the fire evacuation procedure to ensure the safety of all on the premises and will provide as much detail to the emergency services as possible.
Should there be a terrorism attack in the near neighbourhood we will inform the parents by email that we will keep the children at nursery. Children will be shepherded into the staff kitchen which is situated in the middle of the building and has no windows facing the street. Once we have been informed by the relevant authorities that danger has passed, we will email and phone parents to come and collect their children. All staff will remain in the nursery until the last child has been collected. Should we need to remain in the nursery overnight, we can rely on the Farm Girl Café next door to supply us with fresh food. We have a limited supply of blankets to keep the children warm.
All incidents will be managed by the Head and all staff will co-operate with any emergency services on the scene. Any other incident that requires evacuation will follow the fire evacuation plan. Other incidents will be dealt with on an individual basis, taking into account the effect on the safety, health and welfare of the children and staff in the nursery.
The Head will notify Ofsted in the event of a critical incident.