Children’s safety is maintained as the highest priority at all times both on and off the premises. Every attempt is made through carrying out the outings procedure and the exit/entrance procedure alongside regular safety and security checks, to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our missing child procedure is followed.
A register is taken at every session of children attending the session. The number of children is then written onto a white board in the playroom so staff are always aware of how many children are in attendance. If children arrive or leave the setting the register and board is checked to reflect the changes. Staff regularly count the children throughout sessions particularly if we are away from the setting itself. After tidy up time in the garden, the children are always counted in the playroom and then the children are counted in from the garden to ensure no child is left outside.
Child Missing On The Premises
- As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing the staff member alerts the settings management/person in charge.
- Staff will then bring all the children into the building and do another count of the children against the register, to ensure no children have been picked up early and not marked off the board and register correctly.
- All doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.
- Two staff members will then stay inside with all the children whilst other staff are then deployed to the outside are, school, park, and nearby surrounding areas to conduct a thorough search.
- If the child is not found, the police will be called and the child’s parent contacted and spoken to.
- The settings management will talk to staff to find out when and where the child was last seen and records this.
- All events will be recorded accurately by the settings management with staff input as necessary.
- The settings management will contact the chairperson and report the incident. The chairperson, with the management and committee will carry out an investigation and will need to come into the setting immediately.
- Our staff will need to keep calm throughout the process and not let the other children become anxious or worried.
- The settings management, chairperson, or representative from the committee will speak with the parents.
- The chairperson and committee along with the management will carry out a full investigation taking written statements from all staff who were in attendance at the outing.
- The management will write an incident report which will detail:
- The date and time of the report
- Which staff and children were in the group
- When the child had been last seen in the group
- A log of what has happened and the procedure which has been taken since the child went missing.
- The estimated time the child went missing
- A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security or procedure has happened.
- If the incident warrants a police investigation, all staff will co-operate fully. In this case the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing staff. Children’s Social Care may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.
- The incident is reported under RIDDOR procedure. The Health and Safety Officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.
- In the event of a disciplinary action needing to be taken, OFSTED will be informed.
Child Missing On An Outing
This describes our procedure when staff have taken a small group of children on an outing, (short walk in the village etc), or on the Pre-School annual trip.
- As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, staff on the outing will group the children together and carry out a head count to ensure no other children have gone astray. This will be checked against the register which accompanies all outings. One staff member will carry out a search of the immediate area whilst other staff stay with the group of children.
- In the event of a child going missing on the annual trip procedure may change as parents usually attend the trip with their child. In the event of a child going missing from a staff member who has been designated the particular child the procedure will remain the same.
- If a member of the management is not present on the outing, they will then be contacted immediately using the settings mobile phone which always accompanies all outings.( this will be on a very rare occasion).
- The management will then contact the police and report the child as missing.
- The settings management will then contact the parent who will be asked to attend the setting or outings venue as soon as possible as agreed. The setting will usually be the agreed venue if it is locally, as the child may have been found by the time the parent arrives.
- Staff will take the remaining children back to the setting.
- If the outing is at an indoor venue, farm or other attraction then staff will contact the venue’s security who will handle the search in conjunction with staff, and contact the police if the child is not found.
- The settings management will contact the chairperson and report the incident The chairperson with the committee will need to carry out an investigation, and attend the setting immediately.
- The settings management or designated staff member may be advised by the police to stay at the venue until they arrive.