How to protect yourself and your nursery
Most childcare providers have processes in place to reduce the likelihood that a serious incident could happen in their setting. We all hope that nothing goes wrong at our nurseries. But are processes and hope enough?
We spoke to Jackie Hyde, insurance expert and Director of dot2dot Nursery Insurance, to get her 5 top tips on how to better protect yourself if an incident happens.
Jackie has been working with nurseries for over 20 years and has a huge amount of experience helping them deal with different types of incidents.
- Get all of the facts. And evidence them.
Sherlock Holmes once said, “It is a capital mistake to theorise in advance of the facts” and it’s likely your insurers and any involved authorities would agree. So in the face of any incident, it’s time to put on your investigator’s hat.
Do your own internal investigation to find out exactly what happened and collect as much evidence as possible. Take statements, collate and keep all documentation and take photographs where appropriate.
- You can’t argue with CCTV
More and more nurseries are installing CCTV in their settings and it’s easy to see why. CCTV increases the security of your setting and helps to provide vital evidence if an incident does occur. It’s also a really useful tool to highlight things that might need to change. In some cases, having CCTV can even make your insurance premiums go down.
- Don’t bin the offending equipment
If a piece of equipment in your nursery causes an accident or harms a child or staff member, your first reaction may be to get rid of it. But in the case of a claim, it’s important that you hold onto it. Try take a picture of it in situ and if you have concerns about its safety move it elsewhere. But, if a claim is made against you and you can prove that the item itself was at fault, then it might be possible for the claim to be passed on.
- Get guidance from the pros – It’s what we’re here for
If there is a safeguarding incident at your setting, you may have to handle investigations from Ofsted, the Local Authorities and the Police, as well as adhering to HR law and dealing with any negative press coverage.
You don’t have to do this all on your own.
A good nursery insurance provider can help you to manage the different aspects of a claim and can support you to make sure the impact on your business is as low as possible.
- Protect yourself
The best way to avoid any serious incidents is to have the right culture in your setting.
Make sure risk assessment is embedded into all aspects of the organisation and that your staff feel comfortable highlighting anything that causes concern.
Accidents will happen, but claims are not inevitable. By making sure you do your utmost to protect everyone in your setting. Checking that your documentation is correct and up-to-date and creating a risk aware culture, you will have a much better chance at defending claims if they do arise.
Find out more about Jackie, and the great service that dot2dot offer their nurseries here:
or email firstname.lastname@example.org