This policy was adopted on 5 January 2022 and will be reviewed annually
At Natural Nurture we aim to ensure that no member of the team is left alone within the nursery or within the hub at any time. However there may be occasions when this isn’t always possible due to:
Comforting a child that may be unwell in a quiet area
Following a child’s interest, as this may lead staff away with a child to explore an area
Supporting children in the toilet area that may have had an accident
The duties some team members have, e.g. management, opening and closing the setting, carrying out cleaning or maintenance at the settings and staff operating outside operating hours.
Some other examples of when lone working is deemed as acceptable are below:
A group of children have finished getting ready in their outdoor clothing and are ready to go outside with a member of staff whilst other children are still getting ready. 1 staff member can supervise this group to access the outdoor area as it will be for a very short period of time and the staff member has full contact with all staff through our walkie-talkie system.
A small group of children would like to explore a different part of the farm (eg visit the pigs, or feed the chickens) whilst a larger group of children are engaged in activities elsewhere on the farm. 1 staff member can supervise a small group of children to access this alternative area as they have full contact with all staff through our walkie-talkie system.
If numbers are below ratio in one area of the farm then an existing member of that area can cover in another area if needed which may leave a lone person.
We always ensure that our staff: child ratios are maintained.
Lone working will only occur if:
Other members of staff are within calling distance (or contactable via the walkie-talkie system) if the staff member requires assistance.
The numbers of children are within ratio and appropriate
That each member of staff required to work alone has the required qualification/training and/or skills for the role; e.g. holds a level 3 qualification, paediatric first aid, safeguarding and child protection training and basic food hygiene
That staff members working alone are competent in their role and confident to carry our any safety procedures
Any lone workers will be checked on regularly by managers/senior staff and other staff will regularly check in with lone workers through the walkie talkies.
Our Walkie Talkie communication system ensures that even when lone working, staff are able to communicate at all times.
Lone working should only ever happen for short periods of time.
All lone working situations will be assessed on an individual basis and risk assessed based on the staff and children involved, ensuring that legal ratios across the farm are maintained at all times.
It is the responsibility of both the employee and their manager to
Identify the hazards and minimise the risks of working alone.
Ensure ratios are maintained
Ensure there is someone to call on in an emergency if required
To ensure the lone workers radio is turned on and tested prior to working alone
Report any concerns working alone to the management as soon as practicably possible.
It is the nursery owner’s responsibility
To ensure that there is always another member of staff on site (nursery or farm staff) at all times so that no member of staff is left alone on the farm whilst caring for children at any time.
That farm staff are to have radios on until 5pm and be ready to respond to a call from nursery staff until that time.
If a member of staff is not comfortable working alone with the children they need to let the manager or office manager know so that alternative arrangements can be made ensuring that they never work alone with children.