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in light of recent news reports of a child being left home alone for 2 weeks after his mother died, before the nursery he attended suspected anything, we have discussed the matter of how we stand as a setting.


in your settings;


does anyone contact the parent if a child does not attend their usual session?

if so, how long would you leave it before you do?


do you ask parents to contact you if their child is off ill or for any other reason? (we do but sometimes they dont bother)


is there a policy out their for this kind of procedure?


its not really something i had thought about before, but as one of my staff asked me today what we would do, i said i would find out and knew this would be the place to come.


would we be right to contact parents? is it an invasion of privacy? do we wait and see if they come back into the setting? is it really our business to follow up cases of non attending children? do we leave it? or could this be to late?


please help thanks, ruthie

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Guest MaryEMac

We don't have a policy for this Ruthie but I must admit that it wasn't something that I had considered. Most of our parents contact the group if their child is ill or if they are going away. As we are a smallish village playgroup on the school site and five members of my staff have children at the school we tend to know if someone hasn't been seen or if there was illness in the family. Saying that I think that if a child hadn't been seen by anybody for a week then I would most probably try and contact the family by phone.

These days you have to be so careful as some families might think that you are overstepping the mark. What do other groups do?



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Hi there

We dont have a policy on it as such if a child misses a session or two then a keyworker would give a ring home just to check how things are, often the child is ill and parents are glad that you called.


If it is longer and there was no reply I would certainly be concerened and would try and do some following up though not sure what since it hasnt happened. It is an interesting point though especially if it meant having to contact other agencies, especially if the children invovled had some kind of history, child protection issues.

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Must admit we do contact after a week if the parent had not informed us of non attendance.

Majority of our parents do phone when the child will be away, and since buying a Mobile phone for pre-school find more will text with the information. In this way they can contact us when they think about it rather than have to wait until we are open. i often recieve messages at 7.30 am when they could not ring and some staff have recieved calls late evening when a child is ill, I do not always have the phone, we take it in turns to have the emergency contact phone for pre-school.


As to follow up, who to call...not sure but as we have a health visitor allocated to the setting she could be a contact as well as the social services route.



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did ring one child's parent today because she hadnt been in yet this week, as soon as mum heard my voice she said " oh i ment to ring you" but it did put the other staffs minds at rest.


never thought of giving a mobile number so we could be texted, i text all the time and think this would be a great idea.


i am going to put a note out to parents asking them to call or text, just in case any had forgoten


thanks again

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Guest tinkerbell


I work in a primary school and we have asked parents to ring in if children are not going to atend school.I do the register at 8.50 and tell the office when i give it in at9.00 if child is not in school.We check siblings are in or not and ask for reason.Even if sibling has reason we phone home by 9.30 to ask what is happening.We are a small school of 110 pupils so cantrack this , the parents also know we will do this....we started this a few years ago when 2 little girls went missing up north somewhere and had not been to school all day ther parents went to pick them up from school and all hell broke loose..



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