Severe Weather Conditions Policy
As Ofsted Registered Child care providers we are responsible for the health and safety of all children in our care. We therefore reserve the right to make an informed judgment on what action we should take during periods of adverse weather conditions.
‘Adverse weather’ covers conditions such as snow, ice, fog, floods which render extremely hazardous journeys by foot, road, or public transport.
Outings – if we feel a child might be endangered by going out, we will not go; if we feel a child might be endangered by going out on foot, we will not go. If this means a child missing school, we will make every effort to contact the school and the child’s parents for advice.
If we feel that the safety of any child in our care would be compromised by a trip out in adverse weather we will abandon any plans for the journey.
Collecting children – Should such a journey be required to drop off or collect a child from school/preschool, and we feel that we will not be able to safely make the journey to and from the school, or if we feel that in doing so could compromise their safety or the safety of other children in our care, we reserve the right not to make the journey. we will make you aware of my decision as far in advance as possible and we will liaise with you about what the best course of action would be to ensure the safety of your child.
We are sure the school will have a policy in place to cover such an event as a situation such as this would affect a good many children in the school/ preschool and we would work in partnership with you and the school/ preschool in the event that any of the above situations should arise.
School Closures – If we provide care for your child attending a local school which closes due to adverse weather conditions please do not assume we can provide care for the your child, we can only provide cover if having extra children on the premises does not impact on the care of the other children. We also have to ensure we do not breach my Ofsted Ratios.
Heating – if the heating goes off during inclement weather conditions, we will make every effort to contact parents for them to come urgently to collect their children if the indoor temperature drops below a safe level. If parents cannot be contacted we will follow my emergency procedure. We will make sure children are kept safe; we have a rapid response contract with British Gas which means an engineer will call within two hours of my call-out request.
Electricity –Our heating and hot water is powered by gas.
Clothes – if children do not arrive in suitable clothes for outdoor play, they will have to stay inside. This is in direct contravention of the EYFS, which states that we must allow children free access to the outside area every day. Parents need to pack gloves, scarves, hats, wellingtons, waterproof coats and full set of spare clothes;
Footwear – if children’s shoes / boots do not have soles suitable for severe weather conditions, they might fall more than usual during outings, garden play etc. Parents are responsible for ensuring children’s footwear is suitable for the weather conditions. If a child has an accident, we will follow our accident policy
Our garden path/pavement – garden path/pavement might be slippy, which would cause users to fall. we will do everything in my power to keep it safe for use by salting it in the morning. However, we cannot go outside to salt it continually if we are looking after children, so it might get slippy
through the day. We recommend parents wear suitable footwear and take extra care;
School closures (for reasons other than adverse weather condition) – if schools close, we will normally be able to collect children, will contact you in regard to if you wish to collect you child or want them to stay with us for the day (if within spaces/ratio) Parents need to make sure the schools has our contact details and they need to keep us informed;
Weather forecast – if the forecast deteriorates during the day, we will make a decision based on the children’s safety about whether or not they go outside. In some situations, for example if we feel the wind chill factor will hurt their skin, we will stay inside;
Police advice – if the police advise against going outside, or driving, then we will follow what they say. This might mean we cannot take children on pre-organised appointments or drop them at school etc. We will make every effort to keep in touch with parents and other settings as appropriate;
Closing – if advised by police or other bodies, we will have to close our child care setting. We will follow advice and make every effort to keep parents up-to-date at all times;
Late arrival of children - If you are going to be late dropping your child off please let us know as soon as possible. If a child has not arrived within 30 minutes of their normal drop off time we will assume the child will not be attending and we reserve the right to close the setting. There will be no refunds.
Late arrival of parents – if parents are delayed by inclement weather, they must inform us as soon as possible and keep us updated about their journey. Their child will be kept safe and reassured during this time. Bad weather (except in extreme situations) will not be accepted as a late excuse and you will be billed accordingly. Please remember that it is your responsibility to allow ample time to get here to collect your child at the appropriate time. In cases of extreme bad weather a phone call will be expected to let us know that you are on your way. We would not expect for you to put yourself in danger in rushing to my home to arrive here on time.
Payment of Fees – Whilst we can understand that it may seem unfair to have to pay your childcare fees if your child cannot attend due to adverse weather conditions, you must understand that this is a business and if we are available to provide care for your child then we expect to be paid FULL FEE whether your child attends or not. There will be NO exceptions to this – please do not cause embarrassment by asking as the answer will remain the same.
Whilst we will make every effort to contact and liaise with you in the above circumstances it may not be possible for me to make contact with you and therefore in such we hope you will trust us to make the best decision for the welfare of your child and the other children in our care.
Meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirements
Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare – The provider must take necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of children – Safe guarding