Most effective way to keep early years policies and procedure documents
Early years policies and procedures are crucial to any childcare setting or organisation. They underpin all the practice that happens within the setting as well as it ensures that all the necessary legislation is met. Depending on the setting you are will determine whether you have to create your early year’s policies and procedures. Nurseries that are attached to a chain will more than likely be given to them from head office.Either way, it is vital that any of these documents are kept up to date, contain all the correct information and are stored in the correct way.
Some top tips on creating and keeping early years policies
- Ownership – Ensure there is a named person within the building who is responsible for checking policies, making corrections and keeping them up to date with legislation changes.
- Date – Date all policies and state when they are to be reviewed. This ensures that no policies are left for months or years without being checked, amended and updated. Early years legislation and requirements such as safeguarding are regularly changing so for the safety of the children it is important that all documents are updated.
- List – It may be useful to create a list of when each policy was created or amended, this can then be easily checked and signed by the person who has ownership of these to ensure they are all up to date. This saves trawling through large folders of policies
- Links – You may find it useful along with adding amendment dates also to create links at the top, bottom or throughout as to which piece of legislation your policy is linked to. This again ensures policies are kept up to date with the most recent changes as it may not always be obvious which legislation the policy is adhering to.
- Master files – Keep master files both electronically and in paper form, keep these master copies for authorised people only. This prevents any changes being made by unauthorised people without leaving a clear audit trail of responsibility. It is important to keep both paper and online versions in case online documents get deleted, lost, or internet connection are lost, and policies become inaccessible or for example paper copies get damaged by fire or water.
Keeping early years policies up to date containing all the correct information is crucial to the health and wellbeing of children. Every practitioner should have read and signed all policies even when they have been amended.