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Hi,

 

Just wondered how other provisions went about taking the 3+ children to the toilet. At our nursery we have had a toilet in each room except one. If the chldren were in the room without the toilet and needed to go they would go to the next room whilst being watched by a member of staff. We are near completing a bathroom at the end of thecoridor with 2 new toilets in it. I have never personally worked in a nursery where children take themselves to the toilet in another room, but i know it does happen Is this allowed? What does everbody else do? Is it written down anywhere that children need to be supervised at all time? Sorry for the amount of questions but I would appreciate any advice, opinions.

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In our DNs the toilets are all outside the rooms. No child is allowed to go unsupervised, and this must be by a vetted , qualified (at least to level 2) staff member. This can cause ructions with the few after-school children we have, but it's policy, so we have to stick with it! Actually, mostly they've been with us since babies or toddlers, so they are used to it really, just flexing their muscles. To be truthful, they ought to be in a proper after-school club with their peers, but the parents trust us. (we must be doing something right!!) And the Boss would shoot me for saying that - :o

 

Sue

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All of our children take themselves to the toilet just as soon as they are confident to-they start at 2 years 9 months. I have never heard that children have to be supervised when going to the toilet. We would have to have a member of staff permanently in there if that was the case. They don't have access to hot water and they have to tell us when they are going, so we know if they have been in there a long time and may be getting up to no good! There is always a member of staff near by if needed.

Linda

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All of our children take themselves to the toilet just as soon as they are confident to-they start at 2 years 9 months. I have never heard that children have to be supervised when going to the toilet. We would have to have a member of staff permanently in there if that was the case. They don't have access to hot water and they have to tell us when they are going, so we know if they have been in there a long time and may be getting up to no good! There is always a member of staff near by if needed.

Linda

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Thanks for your reply Is your toilet in your room or near to your room?

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In our DNs the toilets are all outside the rooms. No child is allowed to go unsupervised, and this must be by a vetted , qualified (at least to level 2) staff member. This can cause ructions with the few after-school children we have, but it's policy, so we have to stick with it! Actually, mostly they've been with us since babies or toddlers, so they are used to it really, just flexing their muscles. To be truthful, they ought to be in a proper after-school club with their peers, but the parents trust us. (we must be doing something right!!) And the Boss would shoot me for saying that -  :o

 

Sue

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Thanks Sue. This is the practise that I am used to but I know alot of nurseries don't do it so just wanted feedback from other peope

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Hi Rapunzel

It is close to the room where the children have snack, and there is nearly always somebody in there for most of the morning.

Linda

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Actually, in clarification, because it sounds terribly restrictive on the children, I have to say that it really only applies to the pre-school children (2.6 - 5 years), and is more because they are based upstairs, and although we have stairgates (which we are constantly shutting after parents etc.), these children are often big and clever enough to unfasten them independently and we don't want a compensation case because they've decided to visit downstairs and come a cropper!!

 

Sue

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our children go to the toilet themselvers, same as Linda the toilet is next to the main play room and doors are open so we can hear them in there.

 

they have to tell someone they are going but do not always remember if they are in a hurry!

 

Our children are 3-5 yrs and while some need support when they start quickly enjoy the independence.

 

Inge

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We're the same as Inge - in our Foundation unit the children go independently to the toilet. I really had to fight to have the doors kept open to allow the children to have this independence as I was told that the doors shouldn't be wedged open. They have to go a short distance out of the room and the door into the room with the toilets is opposite the door they have to go out of so you can keep an eye on them from a distance. Having worked in a room where we had to accompany children every time they wanted to go (because it wasn't safe to have them go out of the doors and along the corridor on their own as we were near the doors to the playground for school where the year six children went out!!) I didn't ever want to be in that situation again! :o

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Our children go by themselves too. The toilets are just off the main hall and they have to tell us if they are going so we know who is out there! From the last Ofsted, I got the impression that she wasn't entirely happy with this arrangement (eyebrows were raised!), but as previously said, you would have to have someone permanenty in the loo, which isn't practical! It's always been done this way - we'll go out with those that need help, but the others go by themselves - I've always thought that this was building independence as they feel very grown up by going out on their own (out- I mean just through the door, along the corridor).

It would be nice just to have the rules clarified!

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just to add my two pennies worth - we were recently investigated by Ofsted for allowing 3-5 year old children to visit the toilet unsupervised.

 

Despite the fact that staff were always very vigilant (i.e. checking that children were not away for too long, children asking permission before going to the toilet etc.), we were instructed by Ofsted to supervise children at all times. In other words, they forced us to have a staff member accompany every child to the toilet every single time.

 

Food for thought...

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Children in school nurseries, although the environment is often very different, usually have free access to the toilets and if staff are involved at all in helping out, sometimes 2 are needed--- One to help and one to observe! Its a sad world really.

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Our toilets are accessible from our main hall, so this is not a problem for us. We don't go into the toilets with the children, unless we know they need support.

 

I would hope that Ofsted would use commen sense and judge each setting according to the fact that each environment is different, and the ability / independent skills of different groups of children would affect the decisions on how much supervision is required. This is why it would be difficult to have a "blanket" rule.

 

I would suggest that you write a risk assessment, which would change depending on which children are attending. This would show Ofsted that you have considered the supervision requirements for the safety and care of individual children, balanced with our role as practitioners to enable children to develop autonomy and independent skills.

 

I would also ask parents what their practice is at home, do they accompany their children to the toilet?

 

If a child, say aged 4 yrs, is sensible and has developed awareness of appropriatte behaviour in different contexts ie: going to the loo independently, then surely to "supervise" this child in this way could undermine the childs self esteem, confidence and further development of autonomy.

 

Food for thought, and as usual in these scenario's, no simple answer. :o

 

We have over the last few years been challenged by government to train, develop policy, practice and accountability to define our professionalism. With this, I think, Inspectors should have regard for our professional judgement.

 

( sorry, got on my sop box again!!)

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We operated from a church hall and have access to the tolilets via a small hall. We always have a member of staff accopany children to the toilet. We take children from 2 years upwards. We assist the children who need assistance but if we take children who are independent we stand outside the toilet within earshot should they need any asisstance.

At my previous setting again a church hall. The toilet were within the main hall specifically for young children. The children were able to access them but still be in sight and have assistance if need be.

I was under the impression that children needed to be supervised at all times?

 

 

Sue

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We are in a big hall and our toilets are up 4 stairs and round a corner so no way could the children go on their own. we have to rota one member of staff every day to do toilet runs. some mornings they feel as though they are always in the toilet. as the church also has mass and uses the toilets at the same time again they need to be supervised. Our kids are so used to being in the loos on mass that they don't think about it. we tend to use the ladies most of the time and only use the mens when we do have to as its not the nicest of places to be and some of the elderly men from the church don't always wait to see if we are in there so you can imagine there surprise to find a crowd of children and women in their toilets. :DxD Ofsted has always said that as long as they are supervised its like being in public toilets. :o oh to have our own building!!!!!!!

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Our setting sounds much the same as Stephs. The children are always supervised when going to the toilet as we are in a shared building and the toilets are down a corrider outside the main hall which we use.

 

And we always use the womens toilet, as they generally tend to smell nicer than the mens.

 

We only help the children with their needs when it is obviously that they need it or when they ask. If we know they are perfectly capable we verbally encourage them to help themselves.

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hi

 

Our children are not supervised when going to the toilet, unless of course we know that the child needs supervision, ie there liable to flood the bathroom, wee up the walls or squirt soap everywhere (yep we have one child that does this).

we basically initially 'assess' the individual child's capabilities, ie can they wipe themselves, can they wee in the toilet and not up the walls (usually boys!)... once we know who can can't be trusted (for lack of a better word) we then decide who we do and don't need to supervise.

Our toilet is across the hallway from us, but we can generally hear the children in there (and definatly hear them when there up to mischief, as they don't tend to do mischevious quietly lol) our children tell us when they need to go to the toilet and often need us to open the nursery room door to let them out, so we are always fully aware of who is in the toilet and how long they have been in there for.

 

Dawn

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hi

 

Our children are not supervised when going to the toilet, unless of course we know that the child needs supervision, ie there liable to flood the bathroom, wee up the walls or squirt soap everywhere (yep we have one child that does this).

we basically initially 'assess' the individual child's capabilities, ie can they  wipe themselves, can they wee in the toilet and not up the walls (usually boys!)... once we know who can can't be trusted (for lack of a better word) we then decide who we do and don't need to supervise.

Our toilet is across the hallway from us, but we can generally hear the children in there (and definatly hear them when there up to mischief, as they don't tend to do mischevious quietly lol) our children tell us when they need to go to the toilet and often need us to open the nursery room door to let them out, so we are always fully aware of who is in the toilet and how long they have been in there for.

 

Dawn

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but can they open the nursery door to let themselves back in again?? :o:( or is that your ploy for a quiet morning. xD

 

Peggy

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but can they open the nursery door to let themselves back in again??  or is that your ploy for a quiet morning. 

 

Oh that made me laugh, before a hectic day at work :o fortunatly for the kids we elave it open whilst there in the bathroom, they then return and promptly slam it loudly, making there presence known... lol.....

 

oh, but the tempting idea of shutting it and 'forgetting' about the children is so nice <<<<hee hee. evil grin spreads across face!!>>>>> xD

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