Welcome to West Wycombe Preschool

    Child Supervision Policy

    Child Supervision Policy

    Statement of Intent

    The aim of this policy is to outline for staff, visitors and parents the practice and method used to ensure safe supervision of the children when they are at pre-school including transitions around the building and when using the outside areas. 


    Room Based Supervision

    • At West Wycombe Pre-school we operate on a ratio of:

    1:3 for children 2 years of age

    1:6 for children 3-5 years of age

    Unless in the event of low staff numbers when we will revert to the government guidelines of a minimum of 1:8 for 3-5 years and 1:4 for 2-3 year olds.

    • Children are allowed to free-flow around the pre-school provided there are enough staff to cover the four rooms. If a room is not in operation due to a staff member not being in there the children must remain in the room that they are being supervised in. 
    • Children must remain within sight or sound at all times as per the EYFS Welfare Standards.
    • Pre-school is registered with OFSTED to provide care to a maximum of 30 children each day. With the exception of mat times the children must be allowed to free-flow around the 4 rooms to enable them to have enough space to move freely and safely. 
    • When using the kitchen for an activity a staff member must be present within this area at all times.
    • When using knives, scissors and nails staff must ensure they are sat at the table with the children. If they need to move away from the table to support another child or answer the telephone the knives, scissors or nails must be put out of the children’s reach until they return. 
    • Antibacterial spray and wipes must be kept out of children reach at all times including when in a supervised room. 
    • Before moving to another room children must tidy away their toys and leave the room ready for the next group of children. This will also ensure the children understand that they must look after the pre-school equipment. 
    • Floors and landings must be kept clear in case of a fire drill or lockdown. Children must be taught to keep rooms tidy and organised. If they want to get out a new activity they will need to tidy one away first. 
    • If a room has more than 8 children in a room and a mat time is not in progress then another room must be opened and the children can free-flow between the two areas.  

    Using the pre-school stairs 

    • There is a maximum of six children allowed on the stairs at any one time to avoid congestion and over crowding. Staff must enforce this when opening and closing gates.
    • Before moving the children upstairs or downstairs staff must use the intercoms to communicate with colleagues and ensure that a staff member is ready to take supervision of the children on the next floor. 
    • Staff must never allow children to use the stairs without ensuring that a colleague knows they are moving either up or down and is at the gate ready to takeover supervision of the child/ren. 
    • Staff must never shout up or down the stairs to notify staff that children will be moving around the pre-school, the intercoms must be used at all times. 
    • When sending children upstairs with a staff member, and knowing that there is no staff member to unlock the gate and receive the children, the staff member must go up first, unlock the gate and return down to avoid congestion at the top or bottom of the stairs and to relock the bottom gate. 
    • Children who are less confident or less able on the stairs must be supported individually by an adult as needed.
    • Children must be encouraged to walk to one side of the stairs, holding on to the hand rail that follows the coloured hand prints. 
    • Children must be verbally taught that they are not to walk on the yellow and black stripped area where the steps bend around the corner. This area is to narrow and dangerous for anyone to use. 
    • Once the children have finished on the stairs the gates must be locked using all available locks. 
    • Children must not be allowed to open or close the gates at any time. 
    • Children must never be carried on the stairs, except in the event of an emergency. 
    • Dressing up clothes will need to be removed before children use the stairs.
    • Children should be wearing secure fitting shoes/slippers when using the stairs. Long skirts must be picked up and held to one side. 
    • When children are using the stairs there must be no items left on the stairs, they must remain clear.

    Garden Supervision

    • Ideally when taking children in to the garden there must be two staff members present at any one time. If there is only one staff member outside the staff inside must be aware they are lone working and ensure the intercom is accessible.
    • Staff must ensure the garden register is taken out in to the garden and a tick placed by their name to ensure they are accounted for.  
    • No children must go in or out of the shed as the storage is currently unsafe for the children to access. 
    • When maneuvering around the back door children must go into the bathroom to ensure the door can be opened and closed without causing an accident. There must be no more than 6 children in the bathroom waiting to go outside at any one time. 
    • Only staff can open and close the backdoor as the children cannot see if there is another child behind the door.
    • When using the steps in to the garden a staff member must be present to support the children as required. The children must be encouraged to come down one at a time and hold the picket fence if required. 
    • When using the garden staff must assess the areas which require a staff member close by to enable its safe use i.e. the Wendy house, sand area, slides, large climbing frame, water area. Staff must deploy themselves around the garden to ensure equipment is safely supervised. If an area cannot be supervised properly it must be shut off by placing red cones on top of it so the children know they cannot use it at that time. 
    • If the garden is wet staff must ensure children have waterproof trousers and wellies on to keep them clean when outside and wet equipment must be dried or assessed to see if it is too slippery and dangerous for the children to use. If it is deemed to be too dangerous then a red cone must be placed on top or the area cordoned off.
    • Ratios must be maintained when using the garden.
    • If another staff member is required staff must use the garden intercom to alert another staff member that they require assistance. 
    • In an emergency situation staff can use the garden doorbell to alert their colleagues for help. 
    • If using the driveway for outside play a staff member must stand at the black gates and ensure they remain closed at all times. The driveway must only ever be used for play if there are no cars parked on it. The area must be thoroughly checked before use to ensure there is no rubbish or dangerous objects. 
    • As children free-flow between the inside and outside areas the garden register must be updated to ensure staff are fully aware of the children they are responsible for outside and so ratios can be maintained. 
    • When staff send children out to the garden they must verbally inform staff in the garden that another child has joined them and ensure the staff have heard them clearly. The garden intercom can be used. 
    • When leaving the garden all equipment must be packed away or tided sufficiently so the garden is safe for the next group of children. This also ensure children have a sound understanding that they must care for their pre-school equipment. 
    • Children must be counted back in to preschool using the garden register. Once all children are back inside and the door locked staff can check that all children are back inside and delete from the garden register. 

    Café and lunch time

    • When children are eating at café or lunch staff must ensure they are close by and monitoring all children closely to ensure the children’s safety.
    • When using the kitchen, Blue Room and Green Room for lunch time they must be treated as individual areas and have a minimum of one staff member present in each area. 
    • After children have finished eating they must be encouraged to pack away their lunch and place their lunch box in the lunch bag and their drinks bottle in the bottle box. Children will then be given reading books while they wait for their friends to finish. 

    Sleeping or unwell children

    • Pre-school does not have facilities for children to sleep and as a rule children who have fallen asleep must be collected to nap at home, at the discretion of the management staff. 
    • However in the event that a child does fall asleep or becomes unwell staff must place them on the cushions to ensure they are comfortable and stay with them to ensure they are closely monitored until their parents/carers arrive. 

    Toileting and nappy changing

    • Whilst we encourage children to become independent, ready for school, we recognise that our children are still learning to use the toilet and clean themselves sufficiently. 
    • When children ask to use the toilet staff must access if they are able to do so independently or still require support with clothing and cleaning of themselves. 
    • When children are using the toilet staff must remain close by so children are either within sight or sound at all times. 
    • Staff must always ensure that the main bathroom doors stay open when changing nappies or children are using the toilet. 
    • When an adult needs to use the toilet the main bathroom door must be closed and locked. When coming out of the toilet the lock must be turned fully round so it sticks out from the door frame to ensure the main door cannot accidentally close when a child is in the bathroom. 

    Walks around the village

    • When going out for walks around the village there must be two staff present at any time. 
    • A record of which children and staff have left the building must be logged on a walks and crafts list and attached to the register clipboard. 
    • The outings policy must be followed at all times. 


    This policy was adopted by West Wycombe Pre-school Playgroup in January 2020. Policies are updated when necessary and reviewed on a yearly basis.

    Annual review: August 2023