McMillan Children’s Centre
Policy for the personal care of children
Happy and healthy, living and learning.
To work together to create a happy community where all children, parents and staff do their best
and achieve great things.
This policy contains information about the following;
- Nappy changing
- Toilet support for older children
Under the ‘Personal, social and emotional development’ section in the EYFS learning and
development requirements it states that children must:
‘Be provided with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive
sense of themselves and of others; respect for other; social skills; and a positive
disposition to learn. Providers must ensure support for children’s emotional well-being to
help them know themselves and what they can do.’ (EYFS 2.7).
At McMillan Children’s Centre we believe that all children have the right to receive personal care
appropriate to their individual needs in a way that is fully inclusive for the child. We ensure that
no child is precluded under The Disability Discrimination Acts (1995 and 2001) from accessing
normal nursery activities.
McMillan Children’s Centre practitioners give particular attention to planning for the
development of independence skills, particularly for children who are highly dependent upon
adult support for personal care.
Some children achieve independence relatively easily while others may never achieve full
independence. Whilst we encourage parents to promote independence before their child
arrives at the nursery school, children are not excluded from everyday educational activities
solely because of a manageable condition.
Children are treated with dignity and respect by carers who are aware of the importance of
helping them to develop as far as possible towards independence in personal care.
Nappy changing is a big part of babies and young children’s daily routine. Staff at McMillan
Children’s Centre recognise the importance and value of this time and ensure that all children
receive a pleasant experience.
All staff working in rooms are responsible for changing nappies. When supply staff are present,
it is the responsibility of the room leader (or in their absence the daycare manager) to ensure
that they are aware of the procedures to be followed.
Each room has its own bathroom with designated space for changing nappies. Where older
children in the nursery school require nappy changing, an individual plan will be drawn up by
staff in conjunction with parents and support from outside agencies (eg, Health, ESPD) where
appropriate. This plan will include information about where the child’s nappy changing will take
When changing a nappy, staff always wear an apron and disposable gloves. Clean gloves are
used each time a child is changed. Aprons are either disposable or washed on a daily basis.
Clean nappies and cream are kept nearby and should be within reach before the child is lifted
onto the changing unit. Parents are asked to provide nappies and cream. Staff will only use
nappies and cream that have been specifically provided for a child. Parents are also responsible
for providing baby wipes which are used to clean the child. The Centre does purchase additional
Nappies are changed as and when needed and as well as at set times during the day if
necessary. In order to make the experience meaningful, relaxed and educational, staff talk to
the children about what they are doing, eg, explaining that it is time to change their nappy,
talking them through the routine, praising them for their help. Staff ensure that they do not rush
All used nappies are folded inwards to cover faecal material. They are then placed in a plastic
bag which is put into a lined dustbin operated by a foot pedal. This bin is emptied on a daily
The changing mat is sprayed with disinfectant cleaner after every nappy change in order to
prevent the spread of infection. Staff wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after
every nappy change regardless of whether or not gloves have been used.
Staff make other members of staff in the room aware when they are taking a child to the
bathroom. After the child has been changed, the member of staff is responsible for recording the
time and result of the nappy change in order to provide information for parents.
Should a child become unduly distressed during the nappy changing process, the member of
staff will attempt to soothe them by singing, or talking softly in a calm voice. Should this fail to
work, the member of staff may need to call for help. Such events should be discussed with the
room leader and recorded if the circumstances deem it appropriate (eg, if this was an unusual
reaction from the child).
Should a member of staff notice any marks or injuries on the child whilst changing their nappy,
they should inform the room leader. The room leader will then follow the Child Protection Policy
Toilet support for older children
Children who are no longer wearing nappies may still require support with their toileting.
Each class / base room has access to its own bathroom / changing area. When a member of
staff takes a child to the changing area / bathroom, they ensure that they have firstly informed
another member of staff from that room.
Staff wear an apron and disposable gloves throughout the process to prevent the spread of
infection. The Centre provides wipes to clean the child, and bags in which to dispose of the
Soiled clothing is placed inside a plastic bag which is secured at the top before placing with the
child’s belongings. Heavily soiled clothing may need to be washed first. Plastic bags containing
soiled clothes are given a sticky label which warns the parent / carer of the contents. Soiled
wipes are disposed off in a sealed dustbin in the daycare nursery, and are secured in a bag and
taken to an outside bin in the nursery school.
Children and staff both wash their hands at the end of the changing process using soap and
water. The member of staff may also need to clean areas of the room where faecal matter may
have spilt / dropped. A suitable disinfectant spray is used for this purpose. This spray is
otherwise stored out of reach of children.
Staff are supportive of children throughout the changing process, whilst at the same time
encouraging them to develop their skills for independence. Staff are careful to protect the dignity
of the child and are aware that younger children, by virtue of their immaturity, are likely to have
occasional accidents. Children are always reassured when they have an accident and staff talk
them through the process of getting changed / clean.
As part of our admissions procedure, we talk to parents about their child’s toileting needs and
routine. We aim to be as supportive as possible in developing a child’s independence, and
where necessary, will develop a plan alongside parents for encouraging the child to become
continent. Parents are requested to provide a change of clothes for their child (this should be
kept in a named bag on the child’s peg).
Should a child become unduly distressed during the toileting / changing process, the member of
staff will attempt to soothe them, talking softly in a calm voice. Should this fail to work, the
member of staff may need to call for help. Such events should be discussed with the room
leader / teacher and recorded if the circumstances deem it appropriate (eg, if this was an
unusual reaction from the child).
Should a member of staff notice any marks or injuries on the child whilst supporting them with
toileting, they should inform the room leader. The room leader will then follow the Child
Protection Policy as appropriate.
High standards of hygiene are of the upmost importance at all times. Staff are vigilant in their
observation of children to ensure that hands are washed as appropriate. Signs and posters are
displayed around the Centre to encourage good hand-washing techniques by children, parents
and staff. Hand gel is available in rooms as a back-up procedure.
All base and classrooms are cleaned on a daily basis. Children’s changing / toilet areas are also
cleaned at midday to ensure high levels of cleanliness at all times. At other times base /
classroom staff have access to cleaning materials and products. When not in use these are kept
out of the reach of children.
The Centre has a named Health and Safety Coordinator who is responsible for regular checks
across the Centre. The findings of these checks are shared with staff in order to ensure that
issues are addressed.
Please consult a member of the Centre Leadership Team if you have any questions or concerns
regarding the personal care of children.
Please also refer to the following policies;
- Child Protection Policy
- Sickness Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- LA Policy on Supporting Personal Development in Early Years (Continence, Nappy Changing &