Practitioners have a responsibility to provide a safe and caring environment for all children in their care and for all adults involved in the care of those children. Behaviour management is a major factor in the socialisation of all children. Positive behaviour should always be rewarded with lots of praise. Behaviour which is not accepted in the group should be monitored, actioned and recorded accordingly.
- The Nursery believes in promoting positive behaviour.
- We aim to encourage self-discipline, consideration for each other, our surroundings and property.
- By praising children and acknowledging their positive actions and attitudes we hope to ensure that children see that we value and respect them.
- Nursery rules are concerned with safety and care and respect for each other. Children who behave inappropriately, whether by physically abusing another child or adult, e.g. by kicking or biting, or by verbal bullying, may be given ‘time out’ from the group. The child who has been upset will be comforted. It is important to acknowledge that a child is feeling angry or upset and that it is the behaviour we are rejecting, not the child.
- How a particular type of behaviour is handled will depend on the child and the circumstances. It may involve the child being asked to talk and think about what he or she has done.
- The child will also be asked to see if the person who was upset and if they mean it, to say or show that they are sorry.
- In extreme cases the child will be removed from the situation until he or she has calmed down and had time to reflect on his or her behaviour. Practitioners will be with the child at all times.
- We need to give children non-aggressive strategies to enable them to stand up for themselves so that adults and children listen to them. They need to be given opportunities to release their feelings creatively.
- In some cases we may request additional advice and support from other professionals such as the Educational Psychologist, if and where appropriate.
- Children do need their own time and space. It is not always appropriate to expect a child to share and it is important to acknowledge children’s feelings and to help them understand how others might be feeling.
- Children must be encouraged to recognise that bullying, fighting, hurting and racist comments are not acceptable behaviour. We want children to recognise that certain actions are right and that others are wrong.
- By positively promoting good behaviour, valuing co-operation and a caring attitude we hope to ensure that children will develop as responsible members of society.
- Practitioners will always treat children with respect.
- Nursery staff are expected to model behaviour that they would expect from children. Furniture should be moved quietly when setting up activities/lunch etc. Careful consideration will always be given to the way that materials and furniture are arranged, ensuring that the layout is one that encourages appropriate behaviour. One example of this is to make sure that the water is located away from the books.
- We are aware that limits be set in order to help children control their own behaviour. But limits set will only be those that are truly necessary, because too many rules for children are confusing and easily forgotten. The limits imposed by the Nursery will always be clear and a reason for the rule will always be stated. One example of a rule is not to be allowed to hurt themselves, others or things; it will be made clear that a child can hurt physically or emotionally.
- Our approach will always be one that helps children to see the consequences of their actions. We will provide opportunities for them to learn how to interpret feeling, by listening to them and offering the necessary support that will enable them to verbalise their own frustrations, hurts and disappointments.
- Children will know that they all have equal rights and that those rights will be protected, i.e. if a child is playing with a toy and another child grabs it, an adult will help them preserve the right to finish using it; the other child will be assured that he or she will get a turn after.
Our ultimate aim is that we will work in partnership with parents/carers to lay foundations from which children will grow into happy, self-confident, well-adjusted individuals.
It is the responsibility of every member of staff to ensure that no child is ever emotionally threatened or physically punished, e.g. smacking, hand tapping, arm grabbing or physically forced to perform any task, whatever the circumstances.
The policy within our Nursery will be ‘Time Out’
- Remove the child from the immediate situation.
- If another child has been hurt or upset, comfort that child and try to involve the other children in the comforting/conciliatory process.
- During ‘Time Out’, maximum of 5 minutes, talk to the child, explaining why their behaviour is unacceptable.
5 minutes will be sufficient to withdraw the child from all activities. Emphasis must be placed on the behaviour being unacceptable, not the child being ‘naughty’.
Under no circumstances will practitioners identify a ‘naughty chair’ or for the children to be excluded from play activities for long periods of time.
Any ‘Time Out’ or changes in behaviour must be recorded appropriately.
A basic outline of practice guidelines
- Appropriate limits should be set for children and maintained consistently by all staff members. Children need structure within which they can be free to choose and experiment. Unlimited freedom puts too much responsibility on children.
- Nursery practitioners should never say “No” to a child without offering a reason or alternative. Children appreciate explanations of and suggestions for alternative ways to act, even if they appear to be ignoring them. For example, an adult might say, “Don’t climb on the shelves, because they could break or tip over, maybe, you could climb on the climbing frame”.
- Direction and commands given to children must always be followed up with actions. Children will only begin to trust adults around them if those adults do what they say. If a member of staff reminds a child that her or she can cut with the scissors but not throw them, and if they are thrown, they will be taken away, this “promise” must be kept. Consistent follow-through will eventually make a child realise that practitioners will keep promises and commands.
Staff should never shout at children, raising the intonation of the voice would generally make a child take notice.
Updated April 2019