Lost Child Policy

This policy was adopted on 30 August 2022 and is reviewed annually

Policy statement

This policy aims to ensure that on the rare occasion a child were to go missing during the course of a session at Natural Nurture Nursery, appropriate action is taken to locate the child and the relevant people notified.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children on the premises, we only release children into the care of individuals who have been notified us by the parent and have safety systems in place (child locks on all farm gates, automated main gate, CCTV, etc) to ensure that children do not leave the premises unsupervised

Who is Responsible?

All members of staff have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the children in the setting and to ensure that they have accurate information regarding who is attending the setting on any given day and who is to be collected. It is the responsibility of the Nursery Manager to ensure that all children on the register are accounted for.

In the unlikely event of a child going missing within/from the nursery, we have the following procedure which will be implemented immediately:

  • All staff will be aware of the procedure when a child goes missing and supply information to support the search, e.g. a recent photograph and a detailed description of clothing, when the child was last seen and where
  • The nursery manager will be informed immediately and all staff present will be informed via the Walkie Talkie's. Some staff will be deployed to start an immediate thorough search of the nursery, followed by a search of the surrounding area, whilst ensuring that some staff remain with the other children so they remain supervised, calm and supported throughout
  • The manager will call the police as soon as they believe the child is missing and follow police guidance. The parents of the missing child will also be contacted
  • A second search of the area will be carried out, opening up the area, keeping in touch with mobile phone or radio. Staff are responsible for searching different sections of the farm so that ground is covered quickly.
  • During this period, available staff will be continually searching for the missing child, whilst other staff maintain as near to normal routine as possible for the rest of the children in the nursery
  • The manager will meet the police and parents
  • The manager will then await instructions from the police
  • In the unlikely event that the child is not found the nursery will follow the local authority and police procedure
  • Any incidents must be recorded in writing as soon as practicably possible including the outcome, who was lost, time identified, notification to police and findings
  • Ofsted will be contacted and informed of the incidents
  • With incidents of this nature parents, carers, children and staff may require support and reassurance following the traumatic experience. Management will provide this or seek further support where necessary
  • In any cases with media attention staff will not speak to any media representatives
  • Post-incident risk assessments will be conducted following any incident of this nature to enable the chance of this reoccurring being reduced

Procedures to prevent children being lost from the setting

  • Registers are kept up to date and arrangements are in place for the immediate recording of the arrivals and departures of children.
  • Children are taken out in small groups and each adult has the responsibility for their close supervision.
  • Agreed boundaries are set out and often demarcated.
  • Children are reminded of the boundaries and are constantly checked and counted to ensure they are not straying beyond.
  • Staff have procedures for calling all the children to them straight away and practice this regularly.
  • Children are encouraged to look after each other and notify adults if they think a child is not close enough to the rest of the group.
  • An agreed policy is in place to ensure that no unauthorised adult is able to collect a child (Arrival and Departure Policy) even if the child recognises and is happy to go with the adult that arrives for him or her.
  • Visitors to the site are closely monitored with a sign in/sign out system and in the case of users of the public footpath, CCTV.

Procedures when there is a Parent Event on the Farm

  • Electric Gates to be manned throughout the event with a designated person in attendance at all times
  • Parents register to be in place to sign over responsibility for their children. Safety briefing to be given to all parents - this will also be included once they have registered to attend to reiterate they are in charge of their child
  • A small number of children without parents to be left with nursery staff, teachers to be allocated their children and responsible for them until their official pick up time when parents collect them
  • A logistics officer to ensure if any events happen unexpectedly that the ratios and systems are kept in place
  • All cars to be parked up at the top of the drive and the middle gate securely locked, allowing two systems of shut gates.