General Info

General Info

Find out more about our opening hours, fees and all our policies on this page.

Our Opening Hours

Opening Hours

The nursery is open Monday to Friday with three sessions:

  • Full Day: 8.30am - 5.30pm
  • Morning Session: 8.30am - 1pm
  • Afternoon Session: 1pm - 5.30pm

It helps if children can arrive near to the start of the session as possible. It makes it easier for the staff to plan the day's programme for the benefit of the children.

  • Two weeks in winter (close on Friday the 22rd of December 2023 (time to be confirmed) and reopen 8.30am on Monday the 8th January 2024)
  • One week around Spring time (8th to the 12th April 2024)
  • Two days in July (Aberdeen holiday) 8th July 2024 and a staff training day (9th July 2024)


2023/24 Fees

Please note that these fees are applicable to July 2024 and subject to annual revision.

Student Parents will receive a 15% discount on fees. 

Staff Fees as of 1st August 2023

Children under 3 (to 3rd Birthday)
Full Day: £67.65
Morning or Afternoon session: £42.42 

Children over 3 (from 3rd Birthday)
Full Day: £64.21
Morning or Afternoon session: £40.13

Fees are payable monthly in advance. There are no reductions for sickness or any other days off for family reasons. One month's notice of withdrawal of children is required or fees will be charged. In the event that fees fall into arrears for more than one term the child’s place will be discontinued. The Nursery Manager shall refer the case to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for consideration. A nursery place will not normally be available for those with outstanding debt to the Nursery.

Staff Salary Sacrifice Scheme

The University of Aberdeen operates a Salary Sacrifice scheme which members of University Staff can join. More information on this scheme can be obtained from the Manager or Human Resources.

Student Fees

Student parents will be charged for a 34 week term but can request extra if required.

Full year commitment

49 weeks have to be paid (3 weeks holiday when nursery is closed for Easter and Christmas).

Extra sessions

Extra sessions can not be guaranteed as availability depends on staffing levels.

Local Authority Funding

Please contact the nursery directly for information on how the Early Years funding is offered at Rocking Horse Nursery.

Our Policies

Rocking Horse Nursery policies and procedures can be accessed at the nursery and paper copies can be requested from the Nursery Manager.

Administration of Medicine

Guidelines On Administration of Medicines

  • All medicine is to be stored in individual boxes labelled with the child’s name, department and DOB.
  • All medicines are stored out of reach of children in cabinets or in the fridge depending on storage instructions.
  • The information leaflet should accompany the medication and be kept in the labelled box.  Staff will always read the medication leaflet prior to dispensing the medicine.
  • A medicine sheet will be maintained for the purpose of detailing medicine administration.
  • Medicine should be handed to a member of staff on the child’s arrival at nursery. The parent will be asked to complete the medicine form and sign to confirm consent for the medication to be given.
  • The nursery policy requires the following information from parents on the administration of medication -
  • On the child’s arrival at nursery parents will be asked what medication is to be administered, why and when the last dose was received.
  • Instructions on how, when and how much medication should be administered.
  • Staff will ask if unsure regarding the medication instructions and will also check the dosage to be given against the information label and with the parent.
  • Parents may provide medication such as Paracetamol to the nursery for use by their child only.  This will only be kept for the duration of the illness and then time reviewed if the medication needs to be kept at the nursery. The date will be written on the medication as to when nursery received the medication.
  • The nursery asks that parents only supply medication and give staff consent to administer to the child when there is a genuine need for the child to have them.
  • Written consent will be required from the parent prior to medication being given by nursery staff to their child.
  • Medication requested to be given on an as and when basis will require staff to record their judgement on why they administered the medication and this will be recorded on a medicine form.
  • The date will be written on medication container to show when it was started or opened.
  • A record will be kept of when medication was administered and of how much and by which member of staff. 
  • Medication should be administered with two staff members present to help ensure the correct administration.
  • A record will be kept to ensure parents are informed of when the last dosage was given and parents asked to sign to acknowledge this information has been given.
  • Expiry dates on medication will also be monitored and medication disposed of or given home when they reach expiry date and parents informed.
  • Course expired medication will be sent home
  • If a child is given too much medication then the parents will be informed immediately and medical attention sought.
  • If a child refuses medication or spits the medication out then the parents will be informed immediately.
  • For new medication parents must give their child the first dose to ensure that the child does not have an adverse reaction to the medicine.
  • If necessary the child will be offered a drink with the medication.
  • A prescribed medicine will be accepted only if it is in the container dispensed by the pharmacist and has the child’s name and dosage on the label. 
  • A non-prescribed medicine will be accepted only if it is in the original labelled container with an English translation.  The child’s name must be written on the container.  We prefer sachet forms of medication where possible.
  • If a child has long term health care needs these will be discussed with the parents on how to address their needs.
  • In a situation where the child is on long term medication thenursery will request a doctor’s letter or a form from the parent/carer to support the long-term administration of medicine and this will be reviewed every 8 weeks.
  • The medicine file must be checked before administration and signed after administration of the medication.
  • On collection of the child, the medicine will be handed back to the parent who will also be required to sign medicine file as evidence they have received information of the medicine administered throughout the day and they have received the medicine home again
  • Staff may be required to have guidance and  training appropriate to the administration of certain prescribed medication eg epi-pens
  • If children self-medicate then staff will ensure this is done under supervision
  • No un-pre-scribed medication is to be offered by the management to members of staff.
  • Following NHS Guidance a fever is classed as a temperature of 37.5 degrees centigrade and above.  Should a child develop a fever then the parents will be contacted.
Admissions Policy


Statement on staff use of Rocking Horse Nursery:

The Rocking Horse Nursery is open to parents, at least one of who has the University of Aberdeen as the main employer.

A full time place is available only to those whose employment is over 25 hours per week. Thereafter, priority is calculated in proportion to the number of hours employed by the University. 

Statement on student use of Rocking Horse Nursery:

The Rocking Horse Nursery is open to parents, at least one of who is a registered student at the University of Aberdeen.

A full time place is normally available only to those who are registered as full time students. Part time students will normally be allocated places pro rata on the basis of University Course Registration.

If the nursery facilities are not fully utilised then children (aged 3-5s years) of staff or students of any other academic institution of further learning with in the Aberdeen area may be accepted. 

Admission to the Nursery is through the list of prospective users on a “first come, first served” basis, taking into account the mix of ages in the Nursery and a balance of staff and student parents.  The Managers reserve the right, in consultation with the Trustees, to allocate priority places to children in exceptional circumstances. 

Anyone interested in applying for a place should contact the Management team in the first instance for an application form or download one from the nursery website.  We cannot guarantee that a place will be available when you want it, but the earlier you apply the better.  Places will be allocated in May for the following September and there are very few places available during the year after that time.  We can only contact you if your name is already on the list of prospective users and if you inform us of any change of address or contact details.

Places will not normally be held open for sabbatical, research or any other leave of absence.

Stages of Admission

  1. First approach - usually by telephone or email
  2. Application form completed and returned to Management.
  3. Name on list of prospective users.
  4. Requirements matched to availability of places.
  5. Places allocated.
  6. Invitation for parents to have a telephone induction and then the child to visit for an initial visit (30-60 mins). 
  7. Completion of admission and consent forms (with details on diet, health, cultural and religious issues, permission for outings and to administer appropriate medical aid).
  8. Programme of visits arranged (4 visits free of charge) These visits are flexible, depending on age, and how well your child adapts and settles into the nursery.
  • 30 minutes- parent leaves the child for 30 minutes.
  • 1 hour – parent leaves the child for 1 hour
  • 2 hours -   parent leaves the child for 2 hours

        9. Parent may be asked to stay for longer or more sessions.

At this stage your child may be ready for a 4-hour session (free of charge).  During this visit parents are encouraged to telephone for information on how the child is coping and for reassurance.

      10. Full Admission

Settling in

Our aim is for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all staff. We aim to support parents and carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by considering the individual needs and circumstances of every child and their families.

All our staff are aware of the importance of building strong attachments with children and use knowledge from training to support children and families settling into the nursery.

We feel it is beneficial for your child if you can support settling him/her into the nursery and visits before the actual starting date are actively encouraged. 

The staff want to ensure that your child feels at home as quickly as possible and to help with that, we ask you to share some information with us about your child’s health, temperament, diet and usual routine.

Children often like to take a favourite toy or blanket or article of clothing to Nursery so please do tell the staff about the ‘special object’ - and about any special names for things!  Please inform staff if your preference is for child to have their comforter as and when they ask for it.


All children will need

  • Individual drinking cup
  • Wellington boots
  • A change of clothing
  • Outdoor wear appropriate to the weather including hats
  • For babies and toddlers, please bring formula milk/breast milk and nappies.  Please note formula must be in its original, unopened and sealed container.



Visits before the actual starting date are actively encouraged. The staff want to ensure that your child feels at home as quickly as possible.  To help with that, we ask you to share some information with us about your child’s health, temperament, diet and usual routine.



Retainer Fee

It is nursery policy that when you are offered a place, a retainer fee is payable. This is non-returnable but will be deducted from your first full month fees.

However, if you

  • cancel your acceptance before uptake
  • reduce your sessions before uptake or within one month of attendnance
  • change your start date to a later date
  • fail to give at least one months notice of any of the above the fee will be forfeited.


Childrens Transitions


At Rocking Horse Nursery, we are aware of the importance of transitions. Parents are given prior notice (either verbally or vai emai) of their child moving to the next age group (department) and encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have. Visits are arranged for the child the week before the intended move and are flexible to meet the needs of the child. Parents are offered an induction tour of the new department and a chance to talk with the staff. In most cases children will move to the Pink room around their 2nd birthday and to the Green room around their 3rd birthday but the needs of the child will be prioritised.

Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy

Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy

At Rocking Horse Nursery, we endeavour to take positive steps to ensure that all children, parents and staff are treated fairly, with dignity, respect and within a climate of confidentiality.

We believe that children and parents have a right to expect that confidentiality will be respected and maintained.

We recognise that we hold sensitive/confidential information about children and their families and the staff we employ. This information is used to meet children’s needs, for registers, invoices and emergency contacts. We store all records in locked cabinets or on password protected computer accounts in line with data protection registration and any information shared with the staff team is done on a ‘need to know’ basis and treated in confidence. This policy will work alongside the Privacy Notice to ensure compliance under General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR).

Legal requirements

  • We follow the legal requirements set out in the Health and Social Care Standards and accompanying regulations about the information we must hold about registered children and their families and the staff working at the nursery
  • We follow the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 with regard to the storage of data and access to it.


It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their families and we do so by:

  • Storing confidential records in a locked filing cabinet or on password protected computer accounts.
  • Ensuring staff, student and volunteer inductions include an awareness of the importance of confidentiality and that information about the child and family is not shared outside of the nursery other than with relevant professionals who need to know that information. It is not shared with friends and family, discussions on the bus or elsewhere. If staff breach any confidentiality provisions, this may result in disciplinary action and, in serious cases, dismissal. Students on placement in the nursery are advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it
  • Ensuring that all staff, volunteers and students are aware that this information is confidential and only for use within the nursery and to support the child’s best interests with parental permission
  • Ensuring that parents have access to files and records of their own children but not to those of any other child, other than where relevant professionals such as the police or local authority children’s social care team decide this is not in the child’s best interest
  • Ensuring all staff are aware that this information is confidential and only for use within the nursery setting. If any of this information is requested for whatever reason, the parent’s permission will always be sought other than in the circumstances above
  • Ensuring staff do not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child's needs
  • Ensuring staff, students and volunteers are aware of and follow our social networking policy in relation to confidentiality
  • Ensuring issues concerning the employment of staff remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions
  • Ensuring any concerns/evidence relating to a child's personal safety are kept in a secure, confidential file and are shared with as few people as possible on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. If, however, a child is considered at risk, our child protection policy will override confidentiality.

    All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the nursery, which is to the safety and well-being of the child.

    Staff work to a professional code of conduct set by the Social Services Council, which respects the varied needs, and characteristics of the children in their care.  It is important that staff and parents share with each other significant events and developments and the nursery has a range of effective methods (such as parents meetings and e-mails using a mailing list), which it uses to communicate with parents.   If you have any ideas to aid effective communication please inform staff.

    Communication between home and nursery needs to be two-way with staff informing parents about expectations but also listening carefully to parents’ concerns and hopes for their children. 

Specialist Agencies

Parents wishing to discuss a confidential matter, and who feel more privacy is needed, are welcome to make an appointment with a member of staff.  An arrangement will then be made for a mutually agreed time.Sometimes nursery staff will advise parents that involvement of a specialist agency would benefit the child.  Preparatory discussion with parents takes place before the nursery approaches an agency on behalf of the child and family.  This may include sharing information about a child’s progress with a specialist agency.Parents will always receive a copy of any report written by nursery staff for specialist agencies.  Parents will also receive invitations to attend progress meetings held in nursery.  Parents receive progress reports from specialist agencies.  Some agencies send a copy of the report to the nursery.  This is placed in the child’s confidential file.

General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) compliance

In order to meet our requirements under GDPR we will also undertake the following:

We will ensure our terms & conditions, privacy and consent notices are easily accessed/made available in accurate and easy to understand language and only contact you with information regarding your child. We will not share or use your data for other purposes.

Everyone in our nursery understands that people have the right to access their records or have their records amended or deleted (subject to other laws and regulations).

We will use your data only for administration purposes and to ensure that we provide the best possible service for each child.

Child Protection

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Statement

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy


The Nursery is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation. We actively work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure this.

 Staff and volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.

The Nursery aims to:

  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all children and keep the child at the centre of all we do.
  • Provide positive role models who always listen to children.
  • Ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral obligations to safeguard and protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation
  • Ensure practice supports the national GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) approach for the wellbeing of children
  • Develop best practice in relation to the recruitment of all workers, including obtaining references prior to employment. 
  • Ensure all employees, students and volunteers have a PVG Enhanced Disclosure Scotland check carried out prior to commencing employment.  RHN will not allow an adult who has not received their Disclosure Scotland clearance check to be left alone with a child. PVG checks will be renewed every three years.
  • Ensure volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised
  • Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse, understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behavior.
  • Ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards and procedures detailed in the Nursery’s Code of Conduct, the Scottish Social services Council Code of Practice, Health and Social Care Standards, and The Safe and Well Framework for Standards.
  • Ensure that all procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner.
  • Ensure that all workers understand their obligations to report care or protection concerns about a child/young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person to the Nursery’s child protection co-ordinator. At RHN this is the manager. 
  • Ensure that the child protection co-ordinator understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the relevant  child protection agencies (i.e. Police, Social Work or Medical Officers). 
  • Endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments and guidelines relating to the care and protection of children and young people.
  • Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection issues and procedures
  • Ensure all staff attend regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss child protection training and any needs for further support
  • Provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the care and protection of children and young people to ensure they are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns.
  • Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to share information and seek the help that the child may need
  • Ensure staff are aware of the increased vulnerability of children with disabilities and additional support needs and other vulnerable or isolated families and children.
  • Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
  • Ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the Nursery and have access to all guidelines and procedures.
  • Ensure the deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support.
  • Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, safeguards will be put into action to ensure the safety of the child and the adult.
  • Provide learning opportunities for children to encourage themselves to be safe and well
  • Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, and monitoring access at all times
  • Maintain our procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and monitoring who comes into the nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children
  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff and to identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the staff behaviour policy
  • Ensure staff have access to and comply with the whistleblowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner
  • We have a Staff Behaviour Policy in place that supports us to monitor staff

Monitoring children’s attendance

Parents should please inform the nursery prior to their children taking holidays or days off, and all sickness should be called into the nursery on the day so the nursery management are able to account for a child’s absence. This enables children’s attendance to be logged so we know the child and family is safe.

If a child has not arrived at nursery within twenty hours of their normal start time the parents will be called to ensure the child is safe and healthy. If the parents are not contactable then the further emergency contacts will be used to ensure all parties are safe.

Child protection

The named contact (Child Protection Co-ordinator) for the nursery is Mrs Sarah Walker (Manager) and in her absence, the Assistant Manager acting on duty.  Should you have any concerns or queries about the safety and wellbeing of children then please contact the above named person by telephone, e-mail or in person by visiting the nursery.

The co-ordinator is responsible for the action the nursery will take during a child protection issue.

 The nursery is aware that abuse can occur and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our staff have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and suspicions of abuse.

 Staff may pass information / report their concerns direct to the Joint Child Protection Team, the NSPCC  or the Police if for any reason they do not wish to pass information to the CP co-ordinator.

 Staff may often be the first people to identify that there is a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse.

We have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention.

Reporting concerns procedures

All staff have a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and suspicions of abuse. These concerns will be discussed with the Child Protection Coordinator as soon as possible.

  • Staff first response will be to report any suspicion (any form) of child abuse (any form) to the Child Protection Coordinator as soon as possible (in the absence of the Officer they will be reported to the Deputy Child Protection Coordinator)
  • Any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given will be recorded and stored securely
  • If appropriate, the incident will be discussed with the parent/carer, such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to these records on request. If there are queries/concerns regarding the injury/information given then the co-ordinator  will call a meeting with the relevant staff to decide what is in the best interests of the child.
  • Staff will Identify if the matter needs to be raised with the Joint Child Protection Team and the Care Inspectorate.
  • The Co-ordinator will be the appointed person to report concerns and seek the advice of the Joint Child Protection Team. (if it is believed a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police)
  • The Co-ordinator will inform the parent of the allegation or suspicion of abuse (unless advised not do so by Child Protection Team)

How the nursery responds to concerns

  • All staff will co-operate  and work with other agencies, including as part of a multi-agency team where needed, in the best interests of the child in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the child.
  • The nursery will work to the GIRFEC Guidelines, taking a multi-agency approach to any required investigation and future steps.
  • Where evidence suggests that a co-ordinated plan involving two or more agencies will be necessary, a Child’s Plan should also be drawn up.
  • The Child’s plan will be made by the Lead Professional after an initial meeting with partners.
  • The nursery must respond appropriately to information on the plan.
  • The Child Protection Coordinator will follow up action taken by Child Protection Team if they have not contacted the setting within the statutory timeframe
  • The co-ordinator will keep record to ensure the nursery can account for its actions.
  • Suspicion and allegation of child abuse will be handled in the strictest confidence at all times consistent with the nursery adhering to its statutory obligations regarding such matters.
  • Staff will not comment either publicly or in private about a parent’s or staff’s alleged or actual behaviour.
  • The Child Protection Coordinator will record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised and ensure an action plan and risk assessment has been added to the Care plan
  • Where a child is part of a child protection plan, or during a referral process, any absences will immediately be reported to the Child Protection Team to ensure the child remains safeguarded.
  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Child Protection Team

Informing Parents and Carers

Parents and carers are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parent/carers are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the Joint Child Protection Team does not allow this.  This will usually be the case where the parent/carer or family member is the likely abuser, or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure.  In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents/carers.

As a nursery we will always ensure that you are kept up to date and are able to participate in any action, which we may initiate regarding your child.  In extreme circumstances where we feel the child could be at immediate risk we can contact the Joint Child Protection Team without informing the parents.  The Scottish Executive has provided a handbook titled ‘Safe and Well, Framework for Standards’ to enable the nursery to meet all the requirements regarding children’s well being.

Support to families

The nursery endeavours to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers within the nursery

The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst investigations are carried out in the best interests of the child

Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate under the guidance of the Child Protection Team.

We will do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

Staff involved will be asked to supply details of any information they have concerns about with regard to a child.

The Child Protection Coordinator will record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised and ensure an action plan and risk assessment has been added to the Care plan.

 Staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure (supported by the nursery manager). This record should include:

  • Child's name, age and date of birth
  • Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
  • Exact words spoken by the child
  • Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen
  • Exact observation of any incident including any other witnesses
  • Name of the person to whom any concern was reported, with date and time and the names of any other person present at the time
  • Any discussion held with parent.

These records (including any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given) should be signed by the person reporting this and the manager or supervisor, dated and kept in a separate confidential file.

 If a child or other person starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important they do not make judgements or promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. Listen carefully and let the child know that he/she is believed and will be supported. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. It is important to remember this because any subsequent investigation by the relevant authorities must not be compromised by staff putting words in the child’s mouth.

 Staff will tell the child what they are going to do with the information. As soon as possible after the disclosure, details must be logged accurately.

 Staff will support children by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions.

Allegations against those working or volunteering with children

Any allegation of child abuse made against a member of staff, student or volunteer  will be treated seriously and will be dealt with.

The incident will be dealt with by the manager with support from the Child Protection Team.

A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals to determine how this will be handled.

The nursery will support the staff member while the investigation takes place.

In order to protect the member of staff we may move them to a different department or suspend them from duties during the investigation period.

All investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities.

If there is no evidence of abuse the staff member will continue in their role without consequence.

Substantiated allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisation (police) and will result in the termination of employment. The Care Inspectorate will be notified immediately of this decision.

Support will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by an allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.

Types of abuse

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm.

This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.

Staff may observe changes or behaviours in a child that may indicate that a child needs help.

  • The child appearance suggests a lack of care
  • The mood of the child has changed
  • The behaviour of the child has changed
  • The attendance of the child has changed
  • There are signs of bruises, cuts or other injuries
  • A child uses sexual language or behaviour that is inappropriate for their age
  • Something a child says or chooses to confide

This document is used alongside other nursery policies and procedures.

We also follow guidance from documents such as

  • The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2007
  • Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) approach
  • National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014
  • The Early Years Framework
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The Children’s Charter

Contact telephone numbers

  • Care Inspectorate 0345 600 9527
  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) 0345 60 30 891
  • Child Protection Team 01224 306 877
  • Non-emergency police 101.

Our nursery has a clear commitment to protecting children and promoting welfare. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the nursery manager/Child Protection Coordinator at the earliest opportunity.

Should you wish to talk further about Child Protection and the safety of children, please feel free to contact the Nursery Management.

RHN management will regularly review and update this policy where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by the Child Protection Board.

Collecting a Child from Nursery

Collecting a Child from Nursery

Always approach a member of staff before taking your child home from the room or the garden.

Please ensure that the door is closed on entering and leaving the building/garden. Please arrive in plenty time if you require detailed feedback on your child’s day.

It is essential that we are informed if a different person is collecting your child.

Although it is acknowledged that it is not always possible a prior introduction of this person to the staff is appreciated. A photograph or a detailed description is acceptable especially if the arrangement is short-noted.

When adults (even known to staff) turn up unannounced then the regular (named) person will be phoned before the child is allowed to leave.

It is helpful for us to know if you are planning an early pick up or if you are running late for any reason. When picking up your child at closing time please ensure you inform a member of staff if you require to re- enter the building or a department.

If a member of staff is taking your child home on a one-off occasion, please give written permission stating the child’s name and date of birth, staff name, parent name, signature and date. The Nursery will not be held responsible once the member of staff and the child has left the Nursery premises. Staff are not permitted to take children to the staff member’s house.


Complaints Procedure

Complaints will be accepted orally or in writing. Issues raised will be dealt with as indicated below using whichever of the three given frameworks is appropriate to the complaint made.

1. Individual Child

If a parent/carer wishes to raise an issue, he/she should raise it with either the child’s key-worker, department's Lead Practitioner or the Management by arranging an appointment. Should the matter not be resolved, it will be brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees, one of whom will meet with all parties involved.

2. General or Policy Issue

Should an issue be raised by an individual parent/carer, or via the Parents Plus Support Group, it will be explored and dealt with appropriately by the Management, who will approach the relevant bodies for advice and support. The Board of Trustees will be informed as necessary. The outcome will be reported to all parties.

3. Staff member

Should you have an issue with a member of staff then the management will deal with this issue directly. The member of staff will be required to follow the Nursery Grievance procedure. The Board of Trustees will be informed as necessary. The outcome will be reported to all parties.

Complaints can also be made directly to the Care Inspectorate

Care Inspectorate

Compass House

11 Riverside Drive



Telephone – 0845 600 9527

E-mail –

At all points throughout these processes the parent/carer/member of staff raising the issue will be kept informed of progress. All complaints will be dealt with within two weeks and resolved as soon after this time as practicable. A written record will be kept of the complaint and the process involved and will remain in a complaints register for up to three years after the child has left the nursery.

We strongly encourage people to follow the complaints procedure correctly in order for complaints to be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity Policy

Rocking Horse Nursery is committed to ensuring equality and diversity for all staff and service users and providing an environment where all are respected, and which is free from discrimination, prejudice, harassment, bullying or intimidation. This policy is intended to create a culture where all forms of discriminatory behaviour are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

RHN will apply the Equality and Diversity Policy to all areas of employment including:

recruitment and selection of staff, promotion opportunities, training and development opportunities, discipline and grievance procedures, redundancy procedures and dismissalsStaff are selected on the basis of occupational skills requirements and irrespective of colour, race, nationality, disability, religion or belief, family circumstances, gender, pregnancy or maternity status, age or any other circumstances. The Rocking Horse Nursery welcomes applications for children’s places from any background and will treat all children with respect and dignity.

At Rocking Horse Nursery, we believe that discrimination is unacceptable towards the treatment of children or staff or in the provision of any service the nursery offers.

The management has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Policy and to monitor the policy on a regular basis to ensure its continuing effectiveness. This includes informing staff, students and service users where the Equality and Diversity Policy can be found.

Management expect all staff and nursery personnel to behave in accordance with this policy, and commitment to implementing this policy will form part of each employee’s job description. It is the responsibility of all Nursery personnel to behave courteously and respectfully towards each other and to ensure that their behaviour does not cause unnecessary offence or upset. The Nursery will take all possible steps to protect Nursery personnel from discriminatory behaviour by any individual or group.

We adopt a “Zero tolerance” approach to discrimination of any kind. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report this matter to the attention of the manager at the earliest opportunity. Management will investigate alleged breaches of the Policy and report to the Board of Trustees.  Any staff involved in behaviour which will be considered as gross misconduct under the Nursery’s disciplinary procedures, and the person concerned will be subject to disciplinary action under the relevant procedures.

Children are made aware that different race, culture, physical abilitiesexist and are encouraged to respect those differences. The curriculum offered in the nursery encourages children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from them. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

This is the emergency evacuation procedure which all personnel will follow. We have a detailed emergency plan that all management are aware of. The evacuation procedure is the same in each emergency situation.

  • In the event of a FIRE the premises will be evacuated.  There is a procedure, which is already in place in the event of a Fire.  This will be adhered to at all times. 

All personnel will locate at signposted muster point by Kings Hall.  Should entry back into the building not be permitted then all personnel will re-locate in Crombie Hall Television Lounge where all parents/carers will be contacted and asked to collect their child immediately.

  • In the event of WHERE THE STRUCTURAL INTERGRITY OF THE BUILDING IS COMPRIMISED the building will be evacuated immediately.  The Estates Department x3333 will be contacted immediately and all personnel will locate in the Crombie Hall Television Lounge where all parents/carers will be contacted and asked to collect their child immediately. 
  • In the event of a FLOOD then the Estates Department will be contacted immediately.  Should it be required then all personnel will relocate to the Crombie Halls Television Lounge until it is safe to return to the premises.
  • In the event of a POWER FAILURE or LOSS of WATER then the Estates Department will be contacted immediately (if the power/water does not return after a period of 2 hours or if there is a breach of health and safety for example it is too dark to see) then all parents/carers will be asked to collect their children immediately.
  • In the event of an EPIDEMIC OF A CONTANGIOUS DISEASE then advice will be sought immediately from the Health Protection Team and the Care Inspectorate.  Parents/carers will be informed immediately and the University of Aberdeen Health and Safety Adviser.

In all circumstances the Board of Trustees will be informed should such an event as the above occur.

Entering and Leaving the Building

Entering and Leaving the Building

  • The Management have overall responsibility for safety and security but every parent, carer and staff member plays a vital role.  Constant vigilance and supervision are essential.
  • The Nursery has an intercom entry system at the front door.  Parents and visitors must ring the buzzer for a reply, if staff recognise the person then access will be granted, if not staff will come to main door to assist.  Please be patient, staff know that you are waiting and will let you in as soon as possible.
  • When collecting or dropping off your child, please ensure that they are with you at all times.
  • Do not presume that the person following behind you has the right to enter the building.  Please do not allow strangers to enter into the building.
  • No parent or carer should take offence if challenged by another parent or member of the nursery personnel as they approach and or enter the building.  This vigilance should be welcomed.
  • Staff are instructed in guidelines to be followed should an “intruder” enter the building.
  • Please do not allow your child to release the lock on the front door by pushing the green button.
  • No child will be allowed to leave the building if staff suspect or have a concern that the parent/carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Daily Routine

Please come into the playroom with your children when you arrive.  We like to see you each time and feel that we are sharing the settling-in process at the drop off time on a daily basis.

The staff will try to inform you of the day’s activities at the end of each session and the child’s eating and sleeping habits. You are welcome to meet with the staff at a mutually agreed time to discuss your child’s progress, or any other relevant issue. 

It is helpful if parents communicate information about their child at the start of each session, e.g. disrupted sleep, no breakfast and any concerns about health.


Due to the heavy demand for places, we have had to establish a policy that parents who leave the University can retain the child’s place in the Nursery only until the end of that academic term. Nursery places will not normally be held open for sabbatical, research or any other leave of absence. In the event of unforeseen difficulties, the management have the power to advise a parent to remove a child from the Nursery either temporarily or permanently.

A final decision on removal will only be made in consultation with the Trustees.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Health and Safety Statement

Health and safety matters are a priority for the Nursery.  We will endeavour at all times to ensure that the health and safety of staff at the nursery, the children for whom we care and any visitors to our premises are cared for in a safe environment.

We will:

  • Identify and control health and safety risks arising from our activities with a view to preventing accidents and ill health.
  • Consult with our staff on matters affecting their health and safety
  • Provide staff with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure that they are competent to undertake the work they are asked to do.
  • Ensure we have arrangements in place to respond to an emergency in the Nursery.

The co-operation and active involvement of everyone is essential if we are to provide a safety and healthy environment in the Nursery.

Our Systems and procedures can always be improved.  A formal review of the health and safety arrangements will be undertaken at least every 12 months and at other times as required.  Anyone who has suggestions for making our arrangements more effective should contact the management.

Health and Safety Responsibilities

The Manager (Sarah Walker) has overall responsibility (in her absence the Assistant Manager- Donna Wilkie, Laura Stuart and Dawn Holmes) for the implementation of the health and safety policy.  The Manager reports to the Board of Trustees about any problems or decisions that have to be made regarding health and safety.

Advice on Health and safety matters

The Nursery is provided with advice on health and safety matters by the Safety Adviser from the University of Aberdeen and by The Local Authority Environmental Health Department


Health and safety monitoring is carried out to help us evaluate whether the Department’s health and safety arrangements are working the manner intended.  While we are always on the look out for health and safety problems, formal monitoring checks using a check list will take place annually at the very least, and will be carried out by a group led by the Management.  All staff will be informed of the findings.

New Staff

Staff new to the Nursery will receive training in our health and safety procedures.  The Manager will keep records of training.  The Manager will determine what health and safety training is required by other members of the staff and ensures that it is provided. Health and safety issues are discussed at staff meetings.

First Aid

First aid materials are kept in the changing area, staffroom and office. A burns first aid kit is located in the kitchen. All staff will receive basic first aid training. There are at least two members of staff in the Nursery who hold a formal First Aid certificate. First aid boxes are monitored, maintained and checked on a regular basis, staff inform management if supplies are low so more can be purchased.

Fire safety arrangements

Arrangements for responding to a fire are given on the white FIRE notices posted around the building.  All staff will be trained in the particular arrangements evacuating children from the building and their role in those arrangements.  Fire Drills are held at least once a term while there are children in the building to test our procedures. All fire escape routes are clear of obstructions. Fire risk assessment is updated annually.


Staff should report all accidents immediately to the Management. The following must be reported

  • Any incident in which anyone is hurt (regardless of how minor the injury might appear at the time and regardless of whether they need medical treatment)

There are several reasons for reporting accidents.  The most important is to enable us to take action to prevent a similar accident happening in the future (perhaps with more severe consequences).

Records of accidents and the results of the investigation will be kept by the Management in the office who will also ensure that, where necessary, accidents are reported to, The Health and Safety Executive and to the University Safety Advisor.

Accidents involving children will be reported to parents or carers who will be asked to acknowledge receipt of information about accidents by signing a record to be kept in the office. 

Adverse weather conditions

During adverse weather conditions, on occasion it may be necessary to close the nursery early for children and staff for safety reasons. During bad weather we take guidance daily on travelling conditions and weather forecasts from local resources and it is the management’s decision on when to close the nursery early to ensure the safety of children, parents and staff.

Risk Assessments

The Manager will ensure that risk assessments are carried out for all activities in the Nursery and the findings will be recorded.  Records of the findings will include details of the steps we take to ensure that risks are adequately controlled.  Copies of the record of the findings are available in the staff room or can be obtained from the Manager.  Copies will be made available to parents on request.


Guidelines on Absence Due to Illness 

Please telephone or e-mail the nursery to inform us if your child is going to be off ill or for advice on whether your child can attend nursery.

If your child is absent and we have not heard from you after one day we will contact you to check on the well being of your family.

If your child has SICKNESS and/or DIARRHOEA -  you must exclude them from nursery for 48 hours after the last bout of vomiting or diarrhoea.

Infection in a nursery spreads rapidly, not only among children but also among staff. Co-operation in following these guidelines is ESSENTIAL.

If your child is feeling unwell for any reason we would encourage you to keep them at home. If your child is on antibiotics they can attend nursery as long as they are feeling well. If a child becomes unwell at nursery parents will be contacted to collect the child.

In regards to all illnesses and infections we follow the exclusion guidelines set by NHS Scotland. We will display information regarding each illness/infection as they occur. It is important that you read these notices for information on the signs/symptoms and exclusion periods. In conjunction with the NHS Health Protection Team and the nursery requirements we ask that you adhere to these guidelines at all times. 

Infection Control

  • All nursery personnel must be extra vigilant with hand hygiene.
  • Staff are given induction training on how to practice good hygiene.
  • Signs are located in suitable areas encouraging good hand hygiene.
  • Children are also encouraged to maintain good hygiene skills.
  • Children’s hands are cleaned before snack and lunch.
  • Toilets and sinks are cleaned thoroughly daily with the appropriate materials.
  • All linen is washed weekly or whenever required.
  • All staff wear disposable aprons and gloves during change time or whenever required. These are changed after each child.
  • During nappy changes staff will use a new disposable mat liner for each child. The mat is then wiped after each individual child is changed.
  • During toilet training all soiled clothes will be placed into a plastic bag and placed on the child’s peg to be taken home for washing. The nursery will not wash any soiled clothes (this is in conjunction with guidance from the NHS Health Protection Team).
  • Aprons are provided for feeding purposes/cleaning and creative work for staff and children.
Information, Communication and Technology

Information, Communication and Technology /Internet Use Policy

  • ICT is a tool for learning and the key to raising standards in numeracy and literacy. 
  • The children will use these tools to communicate and handle information, for problem solving, recording and controlling activities.
  •  They learn to control a variety of electronic devices and develop an understanding of their use in everyday life. 
  • They use computers to develop all areas of the curriculum.
  • Children’s screen time is monitored to ensure they remain safe online and have access to material that promotes their development.
  • We will ensure that their screen time is within an acceptable level and is integrated within their programme of learning.
  • Staff monitor and evaluate the contents of all new software.
  • There is internet access in the office and 3-5s department. 
  • The children are allowed to use tablets and computers to gain information on the internet but these are supervised by a member of staff at all times.
  • No social media or messaging apps will be downloaded on equipment used by the children.
  •  Children have individual limited use of the computer to 10 minutes per session.
  • The children will occasionally be allowed to watch a DVD on the computer or smart board and only for short periods of time.
  • The Smart Board will be used mainly for educational purposes.

Benefits of ICT

  • To provide opportunities for children to use ICT with purpose and enjoyment
  • To enable children to develop the necessary skills to explore ICT
  • To enable children to become autonomous users of ICT
  • To create the atmosphere and levels of resources to encourage all children to learn with ICT
  • To reinforce the importance of electronic equipment and how to respect it and use it safely
  • Ensure that ICT in incorporated into aspects of the curriculum. Including Literacy and Numeracy.
  • All children will have equal access to all ICT equipment in order to foster a confident approach and an understanding of the tools.

List of Equipment

  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • iPod
Outdoor Play

Outdoor Play

Fresh air and exercise are paramount and staff realise the importance of regular exercise. The Rocking Horse Nursery prides itself on its large garden area which is checked daily for undesirable objects and a risk assessment form is completed.  All plants in the garden are safe.

We encourage children to have their own wellies and outdoor clothing, the nursery does have outdoor wetsuits available to protect clothing.

When outdoors with the children we try to cover the 4 capacities of the curriculum and prefer to think of the garden as an extension to the classroom.

When outdoors we have the opportunity to become:

aSuccessful learner by

  • Exploring our world around us and the excitement of discovering new materials and contexts.  
  • Talking and learning with our friends and discussing our ideas and plans for play.
  • Gaining enjoyment and satisfaction from our play and developing an awareness of the world around us.
  • Communication and interaction with small and large groups and with adults, sharing and turn-taking, problem solving, working as a team.
  • Using our skills to be creative, and our knowledge of tools to build and express ourselves.

Confident individuals

  • Enjoying physical play and developing our sense of wellbeing. 
  • Being aware of risks, experimenting possible solutions and how to be safe and help others.
  • Trying new challenges, working our possible solutions and being supported by others in these difficult situations.
  • Learning to make own choices and following through with the decisions.

Responsible citizens

  • Learning to look after our outdoor environment and the resources we have. 
  • Learning to dress appropriately for the weather and being aware of our own health and well being
  • Being aware of respecting own strengths as well as understanding limitations and developing skills to persevere in challenging tasks.
  • Respecting the abilities of others
  •  Putting forward ideas and opinions

Effective contributors

  • Developing social skills, sharing turn taking, co-operating and collaborating with others.
  • Working with others including children from a variety of age groups. 
  • Supporting the younger children in their play. 
  • Using their own initiative but also following plans and instructions when necessary. 
  • Learning to work together and how to support each other in their play.

All areas of a child’s development are catered for through a range of activities such as:

running, jumping, hopping, skipping, balancing, climbing, marching, ring-games, football, ball skills, imaginative play, role-play, listening to and carrying out instruction, planning and discussion about the outdoor area and what we can do each day.

Learning about weather, growing cycles, the changing seasons, respect for living things, - animals, insects, plants, and trees, bushes, and flowers, vegetables and literacy and numeracy.

The children are always supervised in the garden. Staff will intervene when, where and as required giving the children freedom to choose and explore and interact with friends. There are times when the garden is used for specific exercises and activities, promoting teamwork amongst the age groups.


Outings Policy

At Rocking Horse Nursery we aim to develop and promote a deeper understanding of the wider community by taking the children out of nursery for activities, which provide adventure, exploration, challenge and enjoyment.


  • To broaden children’s knowledge of people and places in their community by taking them on walks or bus outings.
  • To encourage them to observe people and places during community visits and to talk about the routines and jobs of the people they encounter.
  • To take the children on visits into the wider community as part of theme-linked activities. (E.g. To the beach, to the park, to the garden centre.)
  • Through these visits to extend children’s experience beyond home, family and nursery.
  • To promote curiosity and inquiry in the local community.

The children go for walks around the University campus, the playing fields, the Botanical Gardens, SeatonPark and the local shops.  Occasionally we will go into town or to other places of interest.

Safety is of paramount importance.

  • All excursions beyond the nursery grounds must be discussed with the nursery management.  This allows the management to ensure that the staff member in charge of the outing has carried out a full risk assessment.
  • Staff will fill in an excursion/outings risk assessment form before leaving the premises. A full risk assessment will always be carried out to assess the risks or hazards which may arise for the children, and identify steps to be taken to remove, minimise and manage those risks and hazards.
  • The safety of footpaths and walkways(Including route from parking area) will be checked. The risk assessment will be based on the usual route and an alternative route will be used if the usual route is inaccessible.
  • Staff will carry a/nursery mobile phone so always in contact with the nursery.
  • All parents must give written permission before a child is taken outside the nursery grounds – usually on induction forms.
  • The children are supervised at all times and are encouraged to walk in lines of twos (holding hands with a friend or a member of staff).  Groups walk in safe areas.
  • There will always be appropriate staffing levels for outings and this will be based on the individual needs of the children. The risk assessment will list the staff and children on the outing.
  • Regular head counts will be carried out throughout the outing.
  • At least one member of staff will hold a valid and current first aid certificate.
  • A first aid kit and a list of emergency contacts are taken on all outings and any necessary medication which is required.
  • Access to toilet facilities will be taken into account.
  • In the event of an accident, staff will assess the situation. In the event of a serious accident an ambulance will be called to the scene, and nursery/parents will be contacted. One member of staff will accompany the child to the hospital, and the rest of the group will return to the nursery. Any incidents or accidents will be recorded in writing.

Risk assessment

The risk assessment will include details of:

  • The name of the designated person in charge
  • The estimated time of departure and arrival
  • The names of children and staff, age range, ratio of staff to children, children’s individual needs
  • Reason for the outing ie look for numbers
  • The equipment being taken, i.e. first aid kit, mobile phone
  • Staff contact numbers
  • The planned route
  • The name of the designated first aider and the first aid provision.

Use of vehicles for outings

  • Parents will be informed in advance and consent required for any visits or outings involving transportation of children away from the nursery.
  • The arrangements for transporting children will always be carefully planned and where necessary additional people (parents) will be asked to assist with the outing.
  • Drivers of vehicles are adequately insured
  • Seat belts and child seats will be used
  • The maximum seating will not be exceeded
  • When children are being transported, we will maintain ratios
  • No child will be left in a vehicle unattended
  • Extra care will be taken when getting into or out of a vehicle

In the event of a child being lost, the Lost Child Procedure will be followed.

  • Management will be informed immediately and all staff present will be informed and deployed to start an immediate search of the area, ensuring that all other children remain supervised, calm and supported throughout.
  • The nursery will contact the child’s parents giving details of what has happened.
  • If appropriate on site security will be informed and a description of the child given.  In the event that the child cannot be found then the designated person will inform the police and then inform the nursery of events. 
  • Staff from the nursery will be sent to assist the safe return of the children on the outing.  Staff will continue to search for the child and at least one member of staff will stay on the scene and search for the child.  This member of staff will meet with the police and parents once they arrive on the scene. 
  • The Care Inspectorate will be informed immediately and a report written on the events as soon as possible.
  • Post incidents risk assessments will be conducted to ensure incidents of this kind do not occur again.

Adult to Child Ratio for outings

0-2’s     1 adult - 2 children walking with reins.

             1 adult - 1 child walking with reins + 1 buggy

2-3’s     1 adult - 2 children walking with reins

             1 adult - 2 children walking with reins + 1 buggy

3-5’s     1 adult - 2 children walking

             2 adults - 6 children walking with an adult and 2 children front and back and 2 children in the middle.

             3 adults - 12 children walk as above with third adult in the middle of the line

Legal Implications

The following extract is taken from a Local Authority statement:

‘The general obligation on the teacher is to take reasonable care.  The response of a teacher to any given situation therefore has to be that of a reasonable parent.’

In conclusion taking the children out into the local and wider community as part of a group, or whole class experience, presents many opportunities for widening their knowledge and understanding of the world, extending personal and social development.

The Rocking Horse nursery policy provides a framework for ensuring safety and good practice whenever children are taken beyond the nursery grounds’

Positive Behaviour

Policy on Promoting Positive Behaviour

We believe that children flourish best when they know how they and others are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who act as good role models, show them respect and value their individual personalities. The nursery encourages and praises positive, caring and polite behaviour at all times and provides an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.

Children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own safety and the safety of their peers. Within the nursery we aim to set these boundaries in a way which helps the child to develop a sense of the significance of their own behaviour, both in their own environment and those around them. Restrictions on the child's natural desire to explore and develop their own ideas and concepts are kept to a minimum. 

Some Tactics for staff to try

  • With younger children it is sometimes possible to intervene by diverting and distracting their attention away from potentially negative situations.
  • Be selective and effective by choosing only the most important things to correct and focus on.
  • Set clear limits and follow them through even if a lot of encouragement and adult help is required. (E.g. helping to tidy away toys or jigsaws.) 
  • Explain briefly the reasons why a child is being told to do (or not do) something.
  • Keep instructions short and clear.
  • Use your face and voice (e.g. smiles, words of praise) to convey how pleased you are when reinforcing positive behaviour.
  • Catch them behaving well and use lots of praise!
  • Try to understand why a child has behaved in a particular way or refused to carry out an instruction.  It may be lack of understanding rather than disobedience.
  • Use Circle Time Activities, or story-time discussions, to explore feelings and emotions.  (N.B.  Within contexts that are age, stage appropriate.)
  • Build self-esteem by displaying examples of work and encourage children to share this positive event with parents or other staff members.
  • Be generous by sharing your good ideas with other colleagues and parents!
  • Keep calm and be consistent!

In some instances a reward system, such as using stickers or certificates may help. It may be useful to ignore unwanted behaviour (as far as possible) and to concentrate on the positive using praise to reinforce good behaviour. It is important to build a positive image with both child and parent.

Children can expect to be valued and respected as unique individuals through acknowledgement of positive actions and attitudes.

The following are examples on ways the Nursery promote positive behaviour:

  • Children are encouraged to develop a positive self-image.
  • All adults take responsibility to act as positive role models, and setting appropriate boundaries for children, acknowledging that children all have unique individual personalities.
  • Adults show respect to the child and determine the rules to enable the child to develop in positive ways.     
  • Ground rules are realistic and developmentally appropriate. They are applied consistently and fairly.
  • Rules are explained to the children and parents.
  • Staff remind the children of these rules and the reasons for them. Clearly defined and consistently applied rules give a child a sense of security, enable the group to function effectively and allow the staff and parents to be consistent in handling behaviour.
  • Staff attend training on promoting positive behaviour.

Guidelines for Promoting Positive Behaviour

  • There is no physical discipline.
  • Staff assess the situation and explores the underlying reasons.
  • Staff praise positive actions and attitudes.
  • Staff react calmly to negative behaviour.
  • Staff will discuss the situation with the children to enable them to see the consequences of their actions.
  • Staff will ensure that the children have structure and routine within which they can be free to choose and experiment.
  • Staff encourage children to problem solve and come to a positive solution.
  • Individuality is acknowledged amongst the children.  Staff recognise and incorporate their interests and strengths into the daily programme.
  • Staff help the children to adopt strategies to enable them to deal with any situations that may occur.
  • Staff acknowledge feelings from children and gather information through careful listening and encourage them to problem solve their own solutions.
  • Staff respect the children’s need for their own time and space.
  • Spontaneity is allowed for in the daily curriculums.
  • Children are offered time to reflect.
  • Staff ensure their expectations of the children are not unreasonable.

Implementation of the procedure

The nursery team will employ strategies to avoid situations where children receive adult attention only in return for undesirable or unacceptable behaviour. The staff will also look for opportunities to use praise as a means of reinforcing examples of desirable positive behaviour such as turn taking, kindness, helpfulness and willingness to share toys, games and equipment.

Adults in nursery will not shout or raise their voices in a threatening way and physical punishment, such as smacking, shaking (or the threat of these) will not be permitted.  The nursery does not use sanctions such as the naughty chair or sending out of room as these can be humiliating to the child.

Children who are not behaving within the expected boundaries of the department will be given one-to-one adult support in working towards an understanding of what went wrong and establishing a better outcome. In some circumstances this may involve having ‘time out’ with an adult to ‘talk through’ the situation.

Occasionally when unacceptable behaviour has occurred, staff may need to take action for the child’s own safety, or the safety of others. In all instances behaviour problems will be handled sensitively and in a way that is appropriate to the child’s age, developmental stage and level of understanding. 

The nursery team will discuss recurring problems.  The team will be aware that some kinds of behaviour may be indicative of, or arise from, a child’s special needs. Targeted observations may establish a pattern or signal the cause.

The nursery team will work in partnership with the parents and try to gain their co-operation in promoting and reinforcing positive behaviour. Findings, tactics and strategies to overcome or modify the behaviour will be shared and discussed. 

Each child is encouraged to respect all nursery materials and equipment

Each child is encouraged to respect other children and adults

Seriously Disruptive Behaviour

In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour will be made clear promptly through means of explanation.  In all cases of unwelcome behaviour it will be made clear to the child that it is the behaviour and not the child that is unacceptable.

Each case will be assessed on its own merit.  The parents will be informed of the problem and, in discussion with the Nursery Management and staff involved, a decision will be made on whether there is a need for guidance from professionals.

Parents are informed and consulted on all behavioural issues involving their child.

Staff recognise the importance for parental co-operation and consultation in dealing with these issues.

Staff will work in partnership with parents to lay foundations from which the children will grow into happy, independent thinking and self-confident individuals.

We understand that children may use certain behaviours such as biting as part of their development. Biting is a common behaviour that some young children go through and can be triggered when they do not yet have the words to communicate their anger, frustration or need.

Our procedures

The nursery uses the following strategies to prevent biting: sensory activities, adequate resources and staff who recognise when children need more stimulation or quiet times. However, in the event of a child being bitten we use the following procedures. The most relevant staff member(s) will:

  • Comfort any child who has been bitten and check for any visual injury. Administer any first aid where necessary. Complete an accident form and inform the parents via telephone if deemed appropriate. Continue to observe the bitten area for signs of infection. For confidentiality purposes and to avoid possible conflict, we do not disclose the name of the child who has caused the bite to the parents
  • Tell the child who has caused the bite in terms that they understand that biting (the behaviour and not the child) is unkind and show the child that it makes staff and the child who has been bitten sad. The child will be asked to say sorry if developmentally appropriate or helped to develop their empathy skills by giving the child who has been bitten a favourite book or comforter. Complete an incident form to share with the parents at the end of the child’s session
  • If a child continues to bite, carry out observations to try to distinguish a cause, e.g. tiredness or frustration
  • Arrange for a meeting with the child’s parents to develop strategies to prevent the biting behaviour. Parents will be reassured that it is part of a child’s development and not made to feel that it is their fault
  • In the event of a bite breaking the skin and to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria, give prompt treatment to both the child who has bitten and the child who had been bitten
  • If a child or member of staff sustains a bite wound where the skin has been severely broken arrange for urgent medical attention after initial first aid has been carried out.

In cases where a child may repeatedly bite and/or if they have a particular special educational need or disability that lends itself to increased biting the nursery management will carry out a risk assessment.

If your child has been bitten do have empathy for the parent/carer of the child who is the biter.  Biting is a difficult anti social habit and it is often a learning process that children go through when learning about socially appropriate behaviour. 

Positive relations

Encouraging Positive Relations Between Staff, Parents and Caregivers

1. The staff endeavour to build positive relationships with Parents/Caregivers and children.

2. The staff are trained to assess each child’s individual strengths and needs and work together to create a warm and caring environment.

3. The staff are there to offer support and advice if required.

4. The nursery has a policy on the admission process which is distributed to parents.

5. Parents are given access to an online Information Booklet to allow them to familiarize them of the nursery’s policies and procedures.

6. Parents are invited to arrange a meeting with the Nursery Management/Key workers/Lead Practitioners to discuss any concerns about their child. If staff have a concern about a child, the parent will be approached after a reasonable period of observation.

7. Decisions on nursery policy will be determined and annually reviewed by Nursery personnel. Consultation with parents will take place to provide opportunities for their views.

8. The nursery staff welcome any relevant information given by parents. Information will be displayed in notices (on department notice boards) or sent via e-mail to all parents.

9. Parents are invited to become actively involved in the support group for the nursery ‘Parents Plus’, to enjoy social activities and help with raising funds for equipment.

Exchange of Information

The notice boards will contain information on:

  • Nursery hours
  • Costs
  • Holidays
  • Staff family tree and Qualifications
  • Other issues, which need to be relayed to parents.
  • Details of registration
  • First aiders
  • Parents Plus updates information on its activities

Zero Tolerance Policy

The staff and management of the nursery are very aware that there is nothing more important to parents than their children. We understand that when concerns and issues arise concerning children emotions can run high. We will however not tolerate parents/ prospective parents acting in a hostile manner towards staff. We will always approach and respond to issues calmly and politely and expect parents/ prospective parents to do the same. If you are found to breach this policy your child’s place at the nursery may be at risk.

Promoting Learning

Policy on Promoting Learning

  1. We believe that learning through play through a range of activities makes a powerful contribution to development and learning.
  2. Each child is treated as a unique individual.  Staff respect that children develop skills at different stages and celebrate all achievements. 
  3. Opportunities are present for the children to build, expand and enjoy learning through their senses, observations, participation and a full range of experiences.  This allows them to progress in the different aspects of their development and understanding.
  4. A wide range of resources is available to teach, stimulate interest, develop and practice skills, and extend the children’s thinking.
  5. Staff access and then record progress through frequent observations, identifying particular needs, strengths, and interests and giving appropriate guidance and support.
  6. Staff encourage the children to think and communicate, develop self-control, self-respect and respect for others and independence.

Children as Learners

It has often been said that the first five years of a Childs life can influence their love of learning, and can help to develop their own personal self worth, and how positively they perceive themselves in the world that they live in.  Rocking Horse Nursery staff want to promote a positive exciting learning environment where children are acknowledged as special unique individuals, with their own interests and needs.

Staff use lots of praise, and support children as they take part in their curriculum activities to promote children’s self esteem, and to encourage children to ask questions and extend on their knowledge further.

Staff are flexible to ensure that moments are not missed when a child shows interest in something in their learning environment or the world around them.  Children’s curiosity is encouraged and supported.

Play provides opportunities for children to:

  • Make sense of real-life situations

  • Develop awareness of themselves and others

  • Explore, investigate and experiment

  • Be actively involved in learning

  • Draw and test their conclusions

  • Develop self-confidence

  • Express their ideas and feelings in many different ways

  • Reenact previous past events through the use of imagination

  • Act out and come to terms with experiences at home or with friends

  • Be solitary, quiet and reflective

  • Collaborate with others

  • Take the initiative on their own terms

  • Develop relationships

  • Practice skills

  • Consolidate previous learning

  • Be challenged in new learning.

Taking Account of Younger Children

In taking account of younger children it must be remembered that they need:

  • Lots of support and encouragement

  • Ongoing praise and reassurance

  • Opportunities to build independence

  • Time to build relationships

  • Familiar routines

  • Time to engage in new experiences

  • Small and secure spaces

  • Time to be quiet and to rest.

In order to meet these needs adults should:        

  • Listen to what children say

  • Make time for one-to-one activities and discussions

  • Be flexible in planning

  • Be consistent in responses and praise

  • Know when to intervene

  • Give more direction when teaching new skills

  • Allow time for “settling in”

  • Introduce new routines gradually

  • Provide appropriate behaviour boundaries where children feel secure knowing the expectations that adults have of them.

‘Pre -Birth to Three: Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and families, was introduced in Scotland in 2010 by the Scottish Government. This document acts as a foundation for a child’s future learning and development which is taken forward in “A Curriculum Framework for 3-5’s”, and is based on the same concept that care and learning are inseparable.

There is increased recognition that a child’s earliest years are vital.

The 4 Key features of the Pre-Birth to Three document, through which effective support and learning opportunities for young children can be developed, are the Rights of the child , Relationships, Responsive care and Respect. To develop in these areasadults should

Preserve the Rights of the Child

  • Children have a right to be valued and respected
  • Children’s views and preferences should be taken into account when making decisions
  • Children have a right to play

Establish Effective Relationships

  • Provide opportunities for children to establish bonds with others
  • Provide opportunities for children to interact with others
  • Build and develop relationships with all those involved with the child
  • Develop a secure and consistent environment that also promotes trust and understanding.

Establish Responsive Care

  • Build a profile of each individual child
  • use personalized and flexible approaches
  • know and understand the needs of each individual child
  • Ensure adults are involved, interested and show affection

Establish Respect

  • Respect each child’s variety of experiences
  • Value diversity – child’s language, faith, ethnic and family background
  • Ensure fairness, equality and opportunity

Learning Teaching Scotland 2010

Yellow and Pink Room

Staff will observe the children and this information is used in planning for the next stages for the individual child. We gather our observations to assess their strengths, interests and development needs.

Plans are displayed in the departments.  The activities are implemented over the week and evaluated.

Each individual child in the departments are assigned a member of staff who will be their key person.

The key worker has a variety of roles and is responsible for the following:

  • Carrying out the child’s induction and settling the child and parents in to the department.
  • Monitoring the child’s development and progress.  This is recorded in the child’s profile book. And discussed with parents either on a daily basis or at parent meetings.
  • Compiling a Learning Journey (which will follow the child right throughout the nursery) for each individual child.  This book will contain photos of the child participating in activities and details of the child’s developmental progress.

The staff follow guidance from the Building the Ambition document (2014) which offers support in all areas of early learning and childcare. The main aims of the guidance are as follows

  • Build confidence and capability for those who work with young children from birth to starting school.
  • Make links between practice, theory and policy guidance to reinforce aspects of high quality provision and the critical role played by early years practitioners.
  • Clarify some aspects of current practice and provide a reference which practitioners can easily use.
  • Support improvement and quality by encouraging discussion and reflective questioning about practice relevant in each setting.
  • Provide advice on achieving the highest quality ELCC possible to allow our youngest children to play their part in the Scottish Government’s ambition of Scotland being the best place in the world.

Building the Ambition (2014)
Scottish Government

0-3’s Early Learning and Childcare


Security Policy 

If a member staff does not approach you at the table in front of the nursery please use the buzzer security system in place and buzz the office buzzer.  Staff are aware not to let anyone they do not know enter the building. The office is situated next to entrance vestibule so any visitors to the building are approached by the office staff. Nursery staff only can gain access to the building using their staff ID swipe cards on a swipe entry system.

There are CCTV cameras in the garden area, the car park and in front vestibule. There is an intruder alarm system in place which is set each night and motion sensors which would activate the alarm to notify security of any intruders. 

All windows are only opened at the top so entry/exit to the building cannot be gained this way.

The nursery garden is a secure area surrounded by high fences and wall.


Policy on Whistleblowing

At RHN we expect all our colleagues to act professionally and promote the highest standards at all times, however there may be occasions where individuals feel we do not meet these standards and are therefore encouraged to use this policy and procedure to draw our attention to any perceived malpractice or wrongdoing, and will be supported in so doing.

This policy is designed to allow nursery personnel to report certain types of wrongdoing, raise concerns or to disclose information that shows malpractice. The wrongdoing you disclose should be in the interest of the public. It is reasonable to expect people to use it, rather than to air concerns or disclose information outside the nursery. Employees will suffer no detriment of any sort for making such a disclosure.

You can raise your concern at any time to the management team about an incident that happened in the past, is happening now, or you believe will happen in the near future. We encourage colleagues to talk through any concerns at the earliest opportunity to enable any problems to be resolved as soon as they arise.

Such concerns might include the following: financial malpractice, failure to comply with legal obligations (including SSSC code of conduct), dangers to Health and Safety and the environment, that criminal activity has been, is being or is likely to be committed, professional malpractice, improper or unethical behaviour. It is not necessary for the employee to have proof that such an act is being, has been, or is likely to be committed; a reasonable belief is sufficient.

Personal grievances (eg bullying, harassment, discrimination) are not covered by whistleblowing but would be reported under our grievances policy. If however you are witness to any of these grievances but not the direct recipient you would report using the whistleblowing policy.

You may become aware of information which you believe indicates that a child is/may be or is likely to be in risk of danger. If this information relates to child protection then the nursery child protection policy should be followed.

Allegations should be made to the Management, or if the allegation concerns the Management, to the Board of Trustees of the nursery. We encourage employees and others with genuine concerns about any person linked with the setting and/or others (e.g. Parents/Carers) to come forward and voice those concerns without fear of reprisals. The Board of Trustees and the Management of Rocking Horse Nursery recognise the duty of the nursery to investigate and support anyone who discloses any information. Any disclosure or concerns raised will be treated seriously, will be dealt with in a consistent and confidential manner.

The person to whom the allegation is made will be responsible for acknowledging it immediately, for making a record of its receipt and of the subsequent action and for reporting the outcome to the person making the allegation. The Board of Trustees will be informed subsequently. Any allegation made will be investigated either by the person to whom the allegation is made or a person appointed by him/her and dealt with as swiftly or sensitively as possible. Any management employee who inappropriately deals with a whistleblowing issue (e.g. failing to react or disclosing confidential information) may be deemed to have engaged in gross misconduct which could lead to dismissal

The person against whom the allegation is made must be told of the allegation and of the evidence supporting it and be allowed to comment before the investigation is concluded and a report made.

Any allegation will be treated as confidential to the receiver, until a formal enquiry is launched. Thereafter, the identification of the person making the complaint may be kept confidential, if requested, unless this is incompatible with a fair investigation or if there is an overriding reason for disclosure. It should be noted that allegations made anonymously are much less powerful, however may be considered depending on the seriousness of the issues raised, the credibility of the allegations and the likelihood of confirming them.

Person’s attempts to conceal misconduct or found to have been deterring other nursery personnel from raising a genuine and serious concern will be investigated and employees treated as having committed a serious disciplinary offence.

Persons found to have knowingly made false or malicious allegations may be treated as having committed a serious disciplinary offence. This also applies to any employee who is involved in victimising employees who make a disclosure.

For further guidance in the use of the disclosure procedure, employees should speak in confidence to the nursery management.

Participation strategy

Participation Strategy

At the Rocking Horse Nursery we aim to involve our children, parents and staff fully in the running and evaluation of the nursery.

We believe in a working partnership with our parents and aim to ensure regular two way communication which will enhance the self-assessment of the nursery.

We share information with the parents and visitors through the use of

  • Regular newsletters sent via e-mail/mailing list
  • Parents meetings to discuss individual children’s development
  • Feedback on a daily basis when children are being collected
  • Interactive Learning Diaries - online account of your childs development
  • Website-  including all policies and procedures
  • Application pack – including enrolment and registration forms
  • Child care plans

We involve the parents in the running and the evaluation of the nursery through

  • Policy review on an annual basis.
  • Suggestion box
  • Questionnaires
  • Asking parents for help and information in celebrating multicultural celebrations
  • Parents Plus (regular meetings) – parents are encouraged to join the parents group which helps with fundraising and with the future strategy of the nursery
  • Nursery website.
  • Parent representative on the Trustee meeting – which is 3 times a year.
  • Staff recruitment – through the use of questionnaires on qualities of staff

At the nursery we implement the following documents when planning for the children’s experiences;

  • The Curriculum for Excellence
  • Realising the Ambition

We involve the children in the running and evaluation of the nursery through the use mind-mapping where children express their views and opinions on different aspects of the nursery.   Children are actively involved in the planning process and can choose what they would like to learn about.  Plans are displayed in the departments for parents to comment on.  Parents in all age groups are offered an informal meeting to discuss their child’s development and needs.

The Board of Trustees can be contacted directly.



Food and nutrition

Food and Nutrition Policy

Information for this document which has been taken from:

Setting The Table (Nutritional Guidance and Food Standards for Early Years Childcare Providers in Scotland 2014) Published by NHS Health Scotland

This guidance celebrates the contribution that childcare providers can have in shaping the future eating patterns of young children in Scotland. Implementing this guidance will:

  • champion the importance of a well-balanced diet and positive choices both with children and their parents
  • assist providers to work with families who face the biggest challenges in providing a healthy diet for their children
  • highlight the importance of food as a tool for social development and learning”

All food is prepared by staff who have training in Food Hygiene.  All Local Authority guidelines are followed in Food Preparation.

Meal times

  • Lunch is served between 11.45 and 12 noon each day. This is flexible according to the needs of the children.
  • Snack times are 9.15am and 2.45pm. Each department will offer a ‘rolling snack’ where a small group of children are having snack at any one time.  Staff will sit with the children while they eat and will promote a good model for healthy eating.
  • Milk or water will be served with morning, lunch and afternoon snack. Parents are encouraged to provide a water cup for each child to allow them to access water throughout the day whenever the child chooses.
  • Children under 2 will be provided with full fat milk and the over 2’s will have either full fat or semi skimmed milk.
  • Good food hygiene practices are observed when food is prepared and served. This includes children and staff washing hands before meals.
  • We encourage parents and children to provide us with any feedback that they may have on the menus, food and nutrition policy or our practices specifically relating to snack and meal times.


  • Parents are asked to inform the nursery staff if their child has any allergies, restrictions or specific dietary requirements which must be noted.
  • Our weekly snacks and lunch menu will be on display in the rooms and the vestibule.
  • These menus are planned by staff who have knowledge on nutritional guidance for children.
  • We have a variety of fruits /or vegetables served at each meal. 
  • Children are always encouraged to try the food on offer and do not have to finish everything on their plate.  They will be offered extra if they are still hungry. 
  • If a child does not like the food they will be offered an acceptable alternative, e.g. a plain cracker, cheese, fruit, vegetable soup or cereal.  
  • For the occasional very special celebration (such as on party day) children may receive chocolate or sweets.  If you would prefer your child did not receive these please let us know.
  • Children are encouraged to eat a reasonable sized meal. Quantities reflect the age, individual preference and variation in appetites of the children.
  • Regular informal contact with parents will let them know how their child has been eating and make them aware of any issues.
  • Children will still receive their dessert if they refuse their main meal.


  • Parents who wish to continue breastfeeding their child once they have started nursery will be supported to do so.
  • When a child is ready for weaning, we will work with the parents in supporting the child through this stage by offering appropriate foods such as pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables.

Allergies and Allergic Reactions

At Rocking Horse Nursery we are aware that children may have or develop an allergy resulting in an allergic reaction. Our aims are to ensure allergic reactions are minimised or, where possible, prevented and that staff are fully aware of how to support a child who may be having an allergic reaction.

Our procedures

  • Our staff are made aware of the signs and symptoms of a possible allergic reaction in case of an unknown or first reaction in a child. These may include a rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea, itchy skin, runny eyes, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the mouth or tongue, swelling to the airways to the lungs, wheezing and anaphylaxis
  • We ask parents to share all information about allergic reactions and allergies on their child’s care plan and to inform staff of any allergies discovered after registration.
  • All food prepared for a child with a specific allergy is prepared in an area where there is no chance of contamination and served on equipment that has not been in contact with this specific food type, e.g. nuts
  • The manager, nursery cook and parents will work together to ensure a child with specific food allergies receives no food at nursery that may harm them.
  • A three point system is used where the kitchen staff complete a slip detailing the food the child is not allowed and an alternative. This is checked by management and by department staff before the food is served to the child.
  • Seating will be monitored for children with allergies. Where deemed appropriate staff will sit with children who have allergies and where age/stage appropriate staff will discuss food allergies and the potential risks
  • If a child has an allergic reaction to food, a bee or wasp sting, plant etc. a first-aid trained member of staff will act quickly and administer the appropriate treatment, if appropriate. We will inform parents and record the information.
  • If an allergic reaction requires specialist treatment, e.g. an EpiPen, then at least two members of staff working directly with the child and the manager will receive specific medical training to be able to administer the treatment to each individual child.

Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2014

From 13 December 2014, we will incorporate additional procedures in line with the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR).

  • We will display our weekly menus on the Parent Information Board and will identify when the 14 allergens are used as ingredients in any of our dishes.

Transporting children to hospital procedures

The nursery manager/staff member must:

  • Call for an ambulance immediately if the allergic reaction is severe. DO NOT attempt to transport the sick child in your own vehicle
  • Whilst waiting for the ambulance, contact the parent(s)
  • Arrange for the most appropriate member of staff to accompany the child taking with them any relevant information such as registration forms, relevant medication sheets, medication and the child’s comforter
  • Redeploy staff if necessary to ensure there is adequate staff deployment to care for the remaining children. This may mean temporarily grouping the children together
  • Inform a member of the management team immediately
  • Remain calm at all times. Children who witness an incident may well be affected by it and may need lots of cuddles and reassurance. Staff may also require additional support following the accident.