Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff In Sole Charge Of Child(ren)


 Share

Recommended Posts

In another thread I read that a setting has a policy of always having two staff present to change a nappy. Do other people follow this procedure or have it as a policy too?

 

One of the recommendations for our PLA accreditation is that no member of staff should ever be in sole charge of a child or children. I understand the reasons behind this (protecting staff from accusation of abuse), it's just that we have 3 staff for 17 children aged 2 years 9 months to 5. If 2 go off to change a nappy I wouldn't want to be the other one...... :oxD:(

 

Also it would mean we'd have to stay as a whole group for the entire session, unless we have a parent helper in. :(

 

Carolyn

Manager small sessional preschool

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carolyn,

I have often wondered what "hidden" message this ( 2 adults 1 child nappy changing) policy would give. To me it says"we do not trust", If we look at the term "Sole" charge of a child, what does this mean exactley?

 

In my setting the changing room / toilets are accessed from the main hall, when staff are changing nappies they do so on their own, with the door open, any other member of staff can "pop" into this area at any time whilst the child is being changed. ( therefore not "sole" charge). Staff procedures are that if they notice anything about the child they are changing ie: severe nappy rash, marks etc they are to call the "person in charge" to witness this and appropriatte reports are written. Each time a child is changed the date, time and indication of wet or soiled is recorded.

 

Would this not also be the case for everyday toileting, washing of hands, support we give to children "in the confines of the toilet area", should these times have a 2-1 ratio, of course not.

 

As the manager I am aware of the deployment of my staff throughout the session, if I feel they have been "a long time" changing nappies, helping with dressing etc in the toilets I will go in to investigate, what support does that staff member need?, not "what is she getting up to in there".

 

We all have rigorous systems to define "suitable persons" by requiring impractical procedures (2-1 ratio's) we are undermining these systems and defining them as a waste of time. And as you quite clearly state, the deployment of 2 staff in a changing area will unnacceptably reduce the ratio's within the main play area.

 

Rant over now.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carolyn

If you have 2 members of staff changing a child that means that you have only one member of staff with the rest of the children which, obviously compromises your ratios, but also means that they are in sole charge!! So you are in a no win situation there.

We have one member of staff supervising snack who takes a group of 8 children to the toilet. Does this mean that I need to have 2 which means again taking a member of staff away from working with the children. And if I do who will it be? The person who is supervising the water play, supervising children using scissors, keeping an eye on the children on the climbing farme? As Peggy says it is a matter of knowing your staff and trusting them. I know many people feel that police checks are a waste of time and not really effective but why have them done if they don't give you some sort of reassurance, apart from the fact that they are required by OFSTED.

We have small group sessions too during the morning with one member of staff taking about 6 children into another room. They leave the door ajar so that they are not, strictly speaking, on their own.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we did our accreditation we were fine by one member of staff changing nappies etc but have the door always open so that the child has privacy but is within ear/eye contact of other members of staff. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your comments are fairly reassuring, although we may need to change our working practices.

 

We have one small child-sized toilet and washbasin adjacent to our main room for the children to use, but we change nappies in the ladies loos down the corridor where there is more space. If we were to change nappies in the (very cramped) adjacent children's toilet with the door ajar, it would place the whole "hand-washing/going to the loo" facility out of action for the other 16 children while we were doing it. Aaargh!

 

Hali, do you think we can ignore this for now and see what they say when they come to visit us? Is there flexibillity in the standards for Accreditation taking into account the best we can do in the circumstances?

 

Carolyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our children use the loo thats designated for disabled use because thats the only one just off the main hall. The door is kept open with a screen for privacy. We have to change nappies in there too and although it's a bit of a squeeze we can make a little more space by repositioning the screen. Not ideal, but Ofsted and PLA have seen how we do it and havent saidto change anything. :D If there is a queue for the toilet a member of staff takes those in need down the corridor to the ladies, but instead of two adults it's always more than one child. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I echo everything previously said: we have a duty to protect the children in our care, and to protect our staff from allegations. However, we have to be realistic in our procedures so that our ratios are not compromised in the way Carolyn describes.

 

The answer to this is to take every realistic precaution, ensure all staff have training in child protection procedures, and to look out for each other (especially when we've all had days when it seems we've spent the whole session in the "smallest room" dealing with one personal hygiene mishap after the other!).

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)