Statement of Intent
Polstead Preschool is committed to ensuring the safety of children in our care. We recognise the importance of a mobile phone for communication purposes, but are aware that casual or inappropriate use of mobile phones in the setting could pose a risk to children.
This policy applies to all staff and volunteers, and covers both indoor and outdoor areas. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in disciplinary action.
Polstead Preschool has its own phone, and its number is given to parents/carers and others who may need to contact the Preschool. It is also the publicly advertised number for the Preschool. It has an answering machine and is kept in the staff cupboard and another handset in the office.
The supervisor’s mobile phone is taken on whole-group outings, in accordance with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which says: ‘Providers should take essential records and equipment on outings, for example... a mobile phone’.
Staff personal mobile phones
Staff will not carry personal mobile phones while working. This protects staff from being distracted from their work, and from allegations of inappropriate use. Their phones will be kept in an agreed area in the setting.
If staff have a break time during their working hours, they may use their mobile phones during these times, in an agreed area not used by children or away from the setting.
Where it is essential for staff to make a personal call during a session, they should, with the agreement of the supervisor, make this in the agreed area not used by children.
Staff must give the Preschool telephone number to their next of kin, in case it is necessary for the staff member to be contacted in an emergency during session hours.
Children are not allowed to bring mobile phones into the Preschool.
Visitors and parents/carers
Polstead Preschool will display a notice advising visitors and parents/carers that mobile phones are not to be used in the setting. If a visitor or parent/carer is seen using their mobile phone, they will be asked to use it away from the setting. However, visitors are allowed to use mobile phones at Preschool events like plays and sports days.
Polstead Preschool notes the following Ofsted advice
&lsqu;If inspectors observe, or become aware of, staff using a mobile phone for non-essential purposes they will consider drawing this to the attention of the manager, supervisor or registered provider. They will also consider if the staff member was meeting the needs of the children, when using the telephone, and consider the impact on inspection judgements, including setting an action.’
It is recognised that one of the key ways to support children’s development, and engage parents in children’s learning, is through photographs that record their children’s activities and achievements.
We will seek permission from parents/carers to take photographs of their children for this purpose, using authorised Preschool equipment.
Sometimes it may be necessary to have more than one phone available for use in the setting. For example, where staff care for disabled children or young people and may need ready access to a phone to summon assistance in a crisis/emergency, or a small number of children are taken to another area of the site. If the setting is unable to cater for this, its managing body will agree procedures on use of personal mobile phones for this purpose.
- Message to early years leads – good practice in early years settings and children’s centres - DCSF, Nov 2009
- Mobile phones Ofsted, ref 110003, Feb 2011