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Policies & Procedures

Critical Incident

At Buttercups Nursery School we understand we need to plan for all eventualities to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all the children we care for.  With this in mind we have a critical incident policy in place to ensure our nursery is able to operate effectively in the case of a critical incident.  These include:

Abduction or threatened abduction of a child
Bomb threat/terrorism attack
Any other incident that may affect the care of the children in the nursery.

If any of these incidents impact on the ability for the nursery to operate, we will contact parents via *phone/*parent mail.


There is always a danger of flooding from adverse weather conditions or through the water/central heating systems.  We cannot anticipate weather; however we can ensure that we take care of all our water and heating systems through regular maintenance and checks to reduce the option of flooding in this way.  The Whiteley Community Association management team are responsible for ensuring our central heating systems are checked and serviced annually by a registered gas engineer and they conform to all appropriate guidelines and legislation.

If flooding occurs during the nursery day, the nursery manager will make a decision based on the severity and location of this flooding, and it may be deemed necessary to follow the fire evacuation procedure.  In this instance children will be kept safe and parents will be notified in the same way as the fire procedure.

Should the nursery be assessed as unsafe through flooding, fire or any other incident we will follow our operational plan and provide care in another location.


Please refer to the fire safety policy.


The managers of the community centre follow a lock up procedure, which ensures all doors and windows are closed and locked before vacating the premises.  Alarm systems are used and in operation during all hours the community centre is closed.

The manager of the nursery, alongside the duty manager of the community centre will always check the premises as they arrive in the morning.  Should they discover that the nursery has been broken into they will follow the procedure below:

Dial 999 with as many details as possible, i.e. name and location, details of what you have found and emphasise this is a nursery and children will be arriving soon.
Contain the area to ensure none enters until the police arrive.  The staff will direct parents and children to a separate area as they arrive.  If all areas have been disturbed staff will follow police advice, including following the relocation procedure under flood wherever necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
The manager/s will help police with the enquiries, e.g. by identifying items missing, areas of entry etc.,
The manager/s will be available at all times during this time to speak to parents, reassure children and direct enquiries.
Management will assess the situation following a theft and ensure parents are kept up-to-date with developments relating to the operation of the nursery.

Abduction or threatened abduction of a child

At Buttercups Nursery School we take the safety and welfare of the children in our care extremely seriously.  As such we have secure safety procedures in place to ensure children are safe whilst within our care, this includes safety from abduction.  Staff must be vigilant at all times and report any persons lingering on nursery property immediately.  All doors and gates to the nursery are locked and unable to be accessed unless staff members allow individuals in.  Parents are not permitted to allow anyone into the building whether they are known to them or not.  

Children will only be released into the care of a designated adult, see the arrivals and departures policy for more details.  Parents are requested to inform the nursery of any potential custody battles or family concerns as soon as they arise so the nursery is able to support the child.  The nursery will not take sides in relation to any custody battle and will remain neutral for the child.  If an absent parent arrives to collect their child, the nursery will not restrict access unless a court order is in place.  Parents are requested to issue the nursery with a copy of these documents should they be in place.  We will consult our solicitors with regards any concerns over custody and relay any information back to the parties involved.

If a member of staff witnesses an actual or potential abduction from nursery the following procedure will be followed:

The police must be called immediately.
The staff member will notify management immediately and the manager will take control.
The parents(s) will be contacted.
All other children will be kept safe and secure and calmed down where necessary.
The police will be given as many details as possible including details of the child; description of the abductor, car registration number if used, time and direction of travel if seen and any familiar situations that may impact on this abduction.

Bomb threat/terrorism attack

In the unlikely event of a bomb alert at the Whiteley Community Centre if the telephone call is received by Buttercups then the person taking the call must remain calm and write down as many details as possible during the conversation.  When the caller rings off the telephone should not be replaced.

The police should be informed by using a different telephone by dialling 999 and saying we have received a bomb alert at Buttercups Nursery School, Whiteley Community Centre, Gull Coppice, Whitley PO15 7LA.

Other people in the building should be alerted.  Do not use the fire alarm button (as this will immediately make people evacuate the building and if the bomb is outside this would be the wrong place for them to congregate).

If the bomb is said to be placed within the community centre the children should be evacuated in line with the fire procedures.

If the bomb is said to be outside, then all windows should be closed, curtains/blinds drawn and all children placed beneath tables.

Once the area has been declared safe you will be contacted immediately and asked to collect your child.

Other incidents

All incidents will be managed by the manager on duty and all staff will co-operate with any emergency services on the scene.  Any other incident that requires evacuation will follow the fire plan.  Other incidents will be dealt with on an individual basis taking into account the effect on the safety, health and welfare of the children and staff in the nursery.

NB Managers from Buttercups, Whiteley Pre-school, Whiteley Community Centre; Whiteley Primary School and Kiddi Caru have joined forces with Hampshire County Council Emergency Planning Unit to produce an evacuation plan that will enable us to relocate children in the event of a major emergency to a place of safety.  This joint working between the sites will strengthen resilience, with minimal disruption and shared use of facilities if necessary – should one of our buildings be affected by an emergency.  Examples of these types of emergencies could include loss of electricity / heating; flooding; gas leaks; suspect packages reported or fire.  Whilst Hampshire County Council has a statutory duty to provide care and support during these kind of emergencies, these arrangements will enable the staff and children to act quickly, without delay whilst waiting for support to arrive.

Parents should be aware that in the event of an evacuation we will be walking the children of Buttercups Nursery School to the Solent Hotel.  From this location parents will be contacted and notified as to where their children are.  Be assured that the welfare and safety of your children will remain a priority and staff will retain responsibility for their care until parents have collected them.

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