This would be a very frightening situation for all concerned, so the first thing to say is that it is essential to remain calm and focussed, and involve as many colleagues as possible in the search.

This situation could potentially occur if a child wanders off on a nursery outing (see policy on trips out of the nursery), where a child escapes from the nursery premises or garden, or if a child were to be taken from the nursery by an unauthorised person.

It is our practice that on every occasion on which children move from one location to another, eg from their home room to the dining room, or from the garden to the building, etc, that they are counted and checked by two members of staff.  Therefore it should never be possible for a child to be left behind in a room or in the garden.  Please bear in mind that children can deliberately hide, thinking it a game.

If a child should become lost for any reason, the following action should be taken:

  • Alert the manager or owner immediately who will make enquiries of relevant staff as to when the child was last seen and where.
  • A thorough search of the building, garden and car park and the immediate vicinity of the nursery will be undertaken.
  • Remember to safeguard other children whilst a search is undertaken for the missing child.
  • If the child cannot be found within fifteen minutes then the police and the parents will be informed.
  • During this procedure, staff will continue the search and widen the area of the search, keeping in touch by mobile phone.

When the situation has been resolved all members of staff will review the reasons for the breach in security and ensure measures are taken to prevent its reoccurrence. A written report will be prepared. Ofsted must be informed of the event.

Revised May 2022
By: Jacquelin Curtis
Adopted as the policy of the nursery
By: Jacquelin Curtis Director,
Activeplay Nurseries Ltd