Children’s safety is maintained as the highest priority at all times both on and off the premises. Every attempt is made through carrying out the outings procedure and the exit/entrance procedure to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our procedure is as follows:
- As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing staff alert the setting leader.
- The setting leader will carry out a thorough search of the building and garden.
- The register is taken to make sure no other child has gone astray.
- Doors and gates are checked to see if there has been a breach of security whereby a child could wander out.
- If the child is not found, the parent is contacted and the missing child is reported to the police.
- The setting leader talks to staff to find out when and where the child was last seen and records this.
- Management would carry out an investigation.
If a child was to go missing while on an outing procedures would be adjusted accordingly:
- As soon as it was noticed, all children would be asked to stand with their designated person and a headcount would be done to ensure no other children had strayed.
- A member of staff would search the immediate vicinity but not beyond that.
- If the child was not found the parent and police would be contacted.
At all times the staff would stay calm as to not let the other children become anxious.
- A full incident would be written up with a conclusion as to how security was breached.
- If the investigation warrants the police involvement, staff would fully co-operate.
- Children’s social Care may be involved if there is a child protection issue to address and the incident would be reported under RIDDOR arrangements.
- The local Health and Safety Officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.
- In the event of disciplinary action needed to be taken, Ofsted is informed.
- The insurance provider is informed.
A missing child is a very worrying time for all concerned, part of managing the incident is to try and keep everyone as calm as possible. At all times staff will be treated fairly and with support. Understandably parents will be upset and fraught, two members of staff should always be present when speaking with the parents and under no circumstances will aggression or threats be tolerated In such instances, the police will be called. Other children may be sensitive to what is going on around them and the situation will not be discussed in front of them. Children will have their questions answered honestly but also reassured. Depending on the severity of the outcome, staff may need counselling and support. Staff must not discuss any missing child incident with the press without taking advice.
Inline with our Safeguarding policy we will always document and follow up any child absentees from the setting and monitor as a matter of course.
Published: 11th September 2021
Review: September 2022
© Jack in the Box Playgroup Limited trading as Jack in the Box Playgroup.