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Do you allow siblings to collect brothers or sisters from your setting? Does your policy say anything about this? In the past we have allowed a child to be collected by their 14 year old brother following a telephone call to say the mum was parking the car. Today this Mum telephoned to say their 10/11 year old would be collecting whilst she parked the car. We felt uncomfortable about this on discussion and decided to escort the child to the gate ourselves (not always possible with staffing).


If a parent says this is OK, is that sufficient or are there any rules on the age of persons to whom we can hand over to? What about an aged Granny? We


On the child protection course I went on some years ago, there was no legal limit as to when a child could babysit/ be left in charge of a child, they had to be capable of making an adult decision. So perhaps in this case, the 10/11 year old was not, but is that our decision or the parents?


Hope you can help us clarify this?


Many thanks


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We do not let anyone younger than 16 take a child. We have a mum who persists in sending her 12 year old for the younger child while she waits in Reception (we are upstairs), we go down to Reception with them to make sure mum is actually there.


Don't quote me, but I believe it's Early Years policy in this area, certainly it's been the practice wherever I've worked.



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I would go with the 16 age limit. if any one younger comes I would fall back on your policy for collecting children and maybe updateit to say no one under the age of 16. if you start having to escort one child you will make a precedent for others, and as you have said it is a member of staff that has to be released to do it. Policies are great when they are used to safe guard you from a routine that you don't really want to start.

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Why not give Ofsted a call and see what they say, also I would insist permission is in writing, not via a telephone call just to cover your backs should something happen and Mum denies giving permission. :o


We follow the 16 yr old rule, but I would be interested in what ofsted say if you do ring them.



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we state in our policies that anyone collecting a child must be 18 or over, therefore an adult.

i dont know what the legal limit is, but we have always stated that we only let children out with a responsible adult.


as long as you agree, then document it in your policies, then at least you will be covered.

Edited by Guest
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We have had a problem within our FS unit of a small number of parents sending 12+ to collect their own children and sometimes other young children. We have made it very clear that we will only hand over children to known adults (listed on forms or introduced to us by parents/ carers) One particular parent very rarely collects her child and sends an assortment of people known and not known to us. We do the usual checks- does the child now the ault/ young adult and whilst one adult works this out we also infrom that adult/ young adult that we needverbal consent. We then telephone the absent parent to gain consent and always reiterate our policy with them. From time to time if we have been unable to contact the parent and I have to say that we are not willing to hand children over no matter how well the child knows the adult!!!!!!! In these occassions I have to say that I hand it over to our head who then decides on a course of action. There was an occassion when the head refused toallow a 14yr old (yup should have been in school) to take a reception child who was not a sibling. On other occassions she will let the child go and send a letter home to the parent informing them that those collecting children need to be known to the school and on the list of adults who can collect. A big concern with some of the backgrounds of the children in our school


Lisa E

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Thank you all for your replies. I phoned Ofsted today, as suspected the guidelines do not give a minimum age for a person authorised by the parent to collect their child.


The very nice young man at Ofsted said that we should have a written policy as to what age we deem a person to be a responsible 'adult' initially although he went on to say if we thought an 8 year old was responsible it would be OK if it were written in our policy, which on reflection was an odd age for him to say.


He suggested that each case could be looked at individually, as of course individuals vary. If someone was slightly under the age limit we set but we deemed them responsible, we could hand the child over. He said that we would be within our legal remit to refuse to hand over a child to anybody we did not feel was responsible as our first responsibility is the safety of the child. He also said we could get parents to sign a consent form to cover ourselves.


So I think, as a group, we need to:


A) decide what age we deem a person capable of making an adult decision (as per a babysitter).


:o have this written in a policy as a guide


c) inform parents of this age & policy


d) obtain written permission from the parent


e) use our best judgement (no pressure then!) on an individual basis.


Do you think that's OK?



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