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At Sheffield Hallam University Nursery our policy is to give priority for admissions to Sheffield Hallam students and staff. We then allocate a number of vacant sessions to members of the community.

The nursery is a non profit making organisation and has to meet its budget, therefore we must take into account the need to maximise occupancy when allocating sessions. If we have vacant sessions we are happy to allocate these on a short term or emergency basis.

We aim to promote an inclusive environment where all children, parents and visitors feel welcome. We will provide a happy, caring and educational environment where all children can learn and develop and enjoy their time at the nursery.

In order to include all children and to provide the best possible care, we collect information about each child prior to entry. Prior to a child attending nursery, parents or carers must complete and sign a contract and registration form. These forms provide the nursery with personal details relating to the child. For example, name, date of birth, address, emergency contact details, dietary requirements, collection arrangements, fees and sessions, contact details for parents/carers, doctor's and health visitor's contact details. We also collect information to tell us whether we'll need to make any special arrangements for your child before he or she can be admitted, for example special diet or medical plan.

Sheffield Hallam University Nursery is registered for 74 children including up to 28 children aged under two years. We are registered to take children from birth but we normally take children from three months minimum and limit the number of children under six months.

When deciding which child can be offered a place in the nursery we consider

  • whether parents are working at or students at Sheffield Hallam University
  • availability of spaces, taking into account the staff to child ratios, the age of the child and the registration requirements
  • when the application is received (extra weight is given to those who have been on the waiting list the longest)
  • the nursery's ability to provide the facilities for the welfare of the child
  • a child requiring a full-time place may have preference over one requiring a part-time place – this is dependent upon occupancy and room availability
  • children who have siblings who are already with us

We operate an inclusion and equality policy and ensure that children have access to nursery places and services irrespective of regardless of gender, race, religion or disability.

We are registered to receive nursery education funding for children aged three to five and provide a minimum of four children with free places for 15 hours a week (see Free Entitlement Information). These places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis according to availability.

Equal opportunities

The nursery will encourage recognition of the value of each individual and will not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or ability. All children will be given the opportunity to develop their full potential and a positive identity.

The nursery will foster positive attitudes and provide resources which reflect human diversity. We will acknowledge a range of festivals and special events and will create opportunities to allow children to value the differences between people and families.


It is our aim to include all children in the nursery, and to meet their individual needs. Some children have specific medical or educational needs, or disabilities which mean they need additional support to be included. We will make all reasonable adaptations to the environment to help include children.

With the support of parents we will make every effort to provide the additional support children need in order to include them in the setting. This includes the support offered by the local authority and any professionals working with the child. We will ensure staff working with the child can undertake training required to meet the needs of children in their care.

We aim to include all children in the normal everyday activities. This may mean adapting the activity for the individual, for example, by using different resources or providing the child with additional adult support. We may also need to provide alternative or additional activities to meet children's individual needs.

Special educational needs (SEN)

We aim to promote an inclusive environment where all children, whatever their needs, can learn and develop in a happy, caring and educational environment.

Children with special educational needs (SEN) have difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. They may need extra help in areas of their development such as communication, physical skills, learning or behaviour. Many children will have SEN of some kind at some time. Early identification is essential in order to support the child and help them to achieve within the nursery.

We aim to adapt our routine, activities and environment to allow all children to participate and reach their full potential. Through detailed curriculum planning and organisation of resources, we aim to make all activities available to all children throughout the nursery at a level appropriate to their developmental need.

While in the majority of cases adaptations can be made which will enable children with SEN to be admitted, it is possible that the nursery may not have the resources to admit a particular child. This can only be determined by an assessment prior to entry, involving parents, the nursery special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)* and other professionals involved with the child.

Staff working with a child with SEN are supported by the SENCO, who liaises with parents, professionals and the team leader in planning activities and adaptations.

The SENCO has additional training to enable her to carry out her responsibilities. Where there are children with special needs in their group, we seek to provide the staff with appropriate training and support. The full staff team have training in basic Makaton signing which they use with all children to assist communication.

The SEN code of practice is available to read at the nursery.

* (SENCO) The nursery SENCO is Rachael Hinchcliffe, deputy nursery manager


The nursery follows the policies of Sheffield Hallam University. This policy refers to issues that are specific to the nursery. All staff, students and volunteers are made aware of this policy and are required to follow it. We comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

Note: The duty of care to protect a child from significant harm always overrides the requirement for confidentiality. In such cases information may be passed to the relevant authorities without permission.

We sometimes learn sensitive information about children and families. We will not pass this information on to any third party without permission. Within the nursery, we make staff aware of sensitive information only if they need it. Staff made aware of such information will not discuss it with others. Staff and students will not discuss information about parents and children outside the nursery.

Staff and parents need regular access to children's developmental records, their registration form and their health and welfare form, so these will be kept in the group. Any sensitive information will be kept in a secure place outside the group. You may ask to see your own children's records at any time.

Personal details on nursery contracts will be passed to other University departments as appropriate. These departments will use these details appropriately in compliance with the Data Protection Act. The nursery will not pass on details of parents or children to any other organization without permission.

Safeguarding children

We will work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.

We will

  • create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image
  • encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
  • provide a safe and secure environment for all children
  • always listen to children

We have a clear commitment to safeguarding children and promoting welfare. If you do not think this policy is being upheld, it is your duty to report the matter to the attention of the nursery manager or deputy (or follow the complaints procedure) at the earliest opportunity.

The legal framework for this policy is based on the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006).

Childcare practitioners have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Staff will often be the first people to sense that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide about abuse. Our prime responsibility is the welfare and wellbeing of all children in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents or carers and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. All staff will work as part of a multi-agency team where needed in the best interests of the child.

The child protection lead officer in the nursery is Esther Jones.

You can find out more about the government's safeguarding agenda on their website.

Duty of care

All registered nurseries and their staff have a duty to report any significant concern about a child to the appropriate authority. Therefore, members of staff must report to the nursery manager or deputy any injury or series of injuries, change in behaviour or treatment of a child which gives them concern that a child is at risk.

It is our policy to share all information with parents, and parents will be informed and consulted except where informing parents would increase the risk to the child.

The manager or deputy will take appropriate action, following the procedures of the South Yorkshire Area Child Protection Committee (SYACPC). If the manager and deputy are unavailable, the member of staff has the duty to act according to the SYACPC procedures.

Record keeping

See also confidentiality policy

This policy relates to children's records only.

It is a requirement of our registration that we collect a range of information about children in our care. We also collect information to improve our care of the child, or which is required by other organisations such as the local authority. In these cases we will seek your permission before passing on the information. You will be informed of any record keeping forms being used in relation to your child.

Nursery staff will keep written records of all aspects of children's development, accidents, and health and welfare records. We will share development records with parents every few weeks. You have the right to see the record and add to it on request. The health and welfare form will be used to note any health matters, changes of behaviour or injuries, including injuries received outside the nursery. We ask you to sign each entry in the form to show that we have passed this information on to you. If nursery staff have any concerns about a child, they will inform the manager or deputy and parents/guardians by writing a statement of concern.

With your permission, we will take photographs of children to add to records.

Photographs are also displayed throughout the nursery. These will not be passed to any other person or used outside the nursery without your permission.

Any part of the records that is considered highly confidential or sensitive will be kept in a secure place outside the group and its existence will be noted in the child's record.

The child's developmental record will be given to you when your child leaves the nursery. The transition document is a brief record which parents and children contribute to. We are required to pass this to your child's school. We keep a copy of this and all other records for two years except in cases of special educational needs or child protection.

Parents are responsible for keeping the information they give us up-to-date. Sheffield Hallam University Nursery is part of the Student and Learning Services at Sheffield Hallam University and is subject to the policies of the University and the centre. All nursery policies are subject to regular review.

Health and safety

We operate in accordance with the health and safety policy of Sheffield Hallam University.

We aim to provide a safe environment for all children, staff and visitors. This includes prevention of injury and the provision of a secure, healthy and hygienic environment.

Any person who has a concern about any aspect of health and safety should speak to staff and or report their concern to the manager.


Qualified first aiders will deal with minor accidents appropriately. If a child appears to need medical advice or attention we shall obtain it immediately, if necessary by taking the child to the hospital, while seeking to contact you or your emergency contact urgently. When a child needs to be taken to hospital an ambulance will be called.

Accident/incident reports are kept in each group. The person who collects the child will be asked to sign to say they have read the report. If you are concerned about the circumstances of any accident or incident, you should bring your concerns to the attention of the childcare services manager. The manager will then carry out an investigation, involving appropriate officers, and will report to the director of Student and Learning Services and the University safety or security officer as appropriate.

Sick children

We do not aim to exclude children from the nursery unnecessarily.

The decision of the nursery manager is final when requesting the exclusion of a child for illness or infection. Decisions will take into account the needs of the child and of the group.

Children with infectious or contagious diseases will be excluded for the periods laid down in nursery regulations (where these are given). Should staff suspect that a child has an infectious or contagious disease, they will request that parents consult a doctor before returning the child to the nursery.

Sick children cannot be admitted to the nursery. If a child becomes ill at nursery, staff will inform you or your emergency contact. While awaiting their arrival, the staff will ensure the comfort of the child, taking appropriate action which would include seeking medical advice if necessary. If the child is in danger, the staff will seek medical advice immediately.

In the case of infestations such as head lice, staff will inform you of the problem and advise you how to proceed. Children will be excluded pending treatment.

Staff will report any worries about a child's health to you immediately and will add a note to the child's health and welfare record. You are responsible for keeping the nursery informed if you become aware of any changes in your child's health.

See also administration of medicines policy.

Administration of medicine

Currently being updated.

Recruitment of and checks on staff

The recruitment of staff will include a careful scrutiny of their previous employment pattern. A minimum of two references will be taken up. All nursery staff will be required to work under supervision until we are sure of their competence and suitability. OFSTED will carry out police, health, and social services checks on all newnursery staff.

Staff supervision

No member of staff will be left unsupervised until their competence and suitability has been established through a period of close supervision. Following this period, staff will work without direct supervision at some times. All staff are under general supervision.

Volunteers and students all work under supervision, except where they have police and health checks in place, have satisfactory references, and have worked through a period of supervision. School children on community service or work experience always work under supervision.

See also nursery staff.

Staff training and development

Staff are required to undertake certain training which is considered necessary to the efficient operation of the service, and such training will be given with the minimum of delay. This includes a range of health and safety training.

Sheffield Hallam University staff are also encouraged to undertake any other training or activities which aid their personal or professional development.

All nursery staff will have regular supervision meetings and appraisals to review their practice and training needs.

Fire safety

The University has put in place appropriate measures for fire prevention and precaution. All staff, students, and volunteers receive instruction on fire evacuation.

All staff receive University fire training which is refreshed every two years. A fire drill will be held each term under the supervision of the University fire officer.

The University carries out regular checks to ensure compliance with relevant fire safety legislation and recognised good practice.

We maintain records of fire drills and checks on equipment.


The nursery will provide a nutritious and sustaining daily diet for the children. A vegetarian choice will be available each day, and vegan meals can be provided. An alternative menu can also be provided for medical reasons.

It is our policy to have regular mealtimes, however if a child is hungry between meals we will give them a snack. Drinking water and fresh fruit will be available to children at all times.

You are welcome to bring breakfast for your child to eat at nursery. However staff will not be able to leave the room or prepare food.

You may opt to bring a packed lunch, which must consist of a variety of foods suitable to provide a balanced diet. We are unable to heat or otherwise prepare food brought from home.

All children will be supplied with water and crockery at lunchtime. Children will not be separated at meal times according to the type of meal they have. Children will be encouraged to eat and to sample foods but will not be forced. If a child will not eat the meal provided, staff will give the child an alternative and inform parents.

Drinking water is available at all times. Children are encouraged to drink milk or water at snack time and no other drinks (such as juice or flavoured milk) may be brought.

You are responsible for keeping us informed about any food allergies your child may have.

Children cannot be brought to the nursery during the lunch period, between 12.15–1.30pm for older groups, or between 12–1.30pm for children in baby groups.

No smoking

Sheffield Hallam University does not allow smoking on the premises. This includes outside spaces. No-one may smoke on nursery premises. Nursery staff are not permitted to smoke whilst in charge of children.

Complaints procedure

We consider any issues you raise to be important, and will try to work with you to resolve them in whatever way you raise them. We have procedures for addressing complaints at both an informal and formal level, but this is not intended to replace the daily contact and discussions we have with you as part of our routine contact with you as parents and carers using our services.

Please raise any concerns about our service as soon as possible. We believe that in most cases we can deal with complaints swiftly, with satisfactory results for all concerned. We will make initial investigations within two working days and try to rectify any problems. If you are not satisfied with our response, you may then go on to make a formal complaint.

Informal complaints

In the first instance, a direct approach to the member of staff to whom the complaint relates may be the best way forward. All our staff are aware of our policy of treating all your concerns seriously. However, if you do not wish to approach the person involved or you are not satisfied with the response to your concern, you should contact Jackie Rhodes, Rachael Hinchcliffe, Esther Jones, Laura Robshaw or Caroline Brooks.

Jackie Rhodes – Childcare Services Manager with Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
Phone 0114 225 6274

Rachael Hinchcliffe – Deputy Childcare Services Manager with SENCO, ENCO and Deputy DSL
0114 225 4245

Esther Jones - Deputy Childcare Services Manager with EYT and Deputy DSL
Phone 0114 225 2513

Laura Robshaw - Deputy Childcare Services Manager with EYT (on maternity leave)
Phone 0114 225 3093

Caroline Brooks - Deputy Childcare Services Manager with EYT
Phone 0114 225 3011

If the complaint concerns the nursery manager, or if you do not wish to make your initial complaint within the nursery, you should contact Richard McGloin.

Richard McGloin
Assistant Director, Commercial Services and nominated person for Ofsted
Facilities Directorate
0114 225 4575

Formal complaints


If you are a student, and feel that your grievance has not been resolved through informal means, you retain the right to follow the formal complaints procedure as described on the University's student intranet.

Serious concerns

Some concerns will be serious enough to merit a formal approach from the start. In this case, if you are a Sheffield Hallam student, please refer to the section on student complaints outlined in the above paragraph and ask a member of staff in the nursery for a copy of the student complaints form (SC1). Please see below for the role of Ofsted in dealing with parents' concerns.

Other sources of information and support

Students' Union

An important source of advice and/or support may be the Students' Union Advice Centre, particularly where issues may be of a more serious or sensitive nature. Contact by phone on 0114 225 4148.

Other Sheffield Hallam services

If the matter of concern relates to a University service not organised through the Student Services Centre, it may be helpful to contact Facilities helpdesk by phone on 0114 225 4444.

In dealing with complaints we will follow these principles

  • ensure that staff are accessible and responsive when a parent or carer raises concerns, however these are raised
  • respond to concerns and complaints promptly and with respect for privacy and confidentiality
  • ensure that parents and carers are not disadvantaged as a result of raising a matter of concern, or of making a complaint, provided it is in good faith
  • investigate and report outcomes of complaints in an appropriate manner
  • deal with all issues with fairness and consistency

Your responsibilities are

  • to raise issues and concerns at an early stage to enable problems to be dealt with straight away
  • to ensure that complaints are in good faith and not of a frivolous or malicious nature

The regulatory role of Ofsted

Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education) is responsible for making sure daycare settings reach the right standards. If you have serious concerns or complaints you can make your complaint direct to Ofsted

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Phone: 0300 123 1231

Ofsted advise that if you are seriously concerned about your child's safety you should remove your child immediately, and contact the Child Protection Team (at Social Services). You should also report your concern to Ofsted as above.

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