Intimate Care and Physical Contact

Intimate care is defined as care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, body products & personal hygiene.

This policy is designed to act as a guideline for anyone with responsibility for the intimate care of the children at Footsteps Day Nursery. It outlines the guidelines for best practice.

Only footsteps staff with a full and current DBS check is able to carry out this sort of care

Children who are not yet toilet trained will not be excluded from any activity in the nursery.

Intimate care is discussed with all employees during their induction. Staff receive regular supervision & appraisals, which are used to identify any areas for development or further training.

All staff receive safeguarding training. Which is updated every 3 years. The safeguarding lead pracitioner updates training every 2 years.

All staff wear protective gloves & aprons for nappy changes, administering first aid or cleaning a child who has soiled themselves.

  • Every child is to be treated with dignity & respect. Privacy is ensured appropriate to the child’s age and situation. We have separate toilets for the children to use with doors. We stick to the requirement to have 1 toilet per 10 children.
  • Nappies are changed in the nursery bathroom on a designated change mat. This is enclosed enough to give the child privacy, yet are not out of sight of other staff.
  • The child should be involved as much as possible in his or her intimate care. Allow the child to be as independent as possible. This can be for tasks such as removing clothing or washing private parts of a child’s body. Support the children in doing everything that they can for themselves.
  • If a child is fully dependant on you then talk to him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible.
  • An adult who is not familiar to them will never support a child in intimate care.
  • Be responsive to a child’s reactions.
  • Encourage the child to have a positive body image of his/her own body. Confident, assertive children who feel their body belongs to them are less venerable to abuse.
  • Make sure the practice of intimate care is as consistent as possible.
  • The parent should be consulted about the intimate care that is given to their child. I.e. real nappies, water only.
  • Children are encouraged to wash their hands after messy play, after using the toilet, before & after eating.
  • Footsteps understands its legal obligation to meet the needs of children with any delays in any area of their development. We work in partnership with parents on an individual basis to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of each child.
  • We seek to find out religious & cultural views around intimate care.
  • Report any incident as soon as possible to the nursery manager. If you are concerned that during the intimate care of a child;
    • You accidently hurt a child
    • The child seems sore or unusually tender in the genital area
    • The child misunderstands or misinterprets something
    • The child has a very strong emotional reaction without apparent cause (sudden shouting or crying)

All staff must ensure that they protect themselves by following these guidelines.

  • Always tell another member of staff when you are doing a change or accompanying a child to the toilet
  • Always ensure that a child’s privacy is protected
  • Always ensure that you are visible to other members of staff.
  • In some instances it may be appropriate for 2 members of staff to change a child. If a child gets very distressed when being changed.
  • Always wear protective gloves & aprons and dispose of the nappies in yellow sacks
  • Always wash hands thoroughly after supporting a child with intimate care.
  • Follow the nappy changing risk assessment. If you have any additions or comments then let a member of the management team know.

Physical contact.

At Footsteps we care for very young children. There will be times when staff are required to have close physical contact with a child. It is also important for the children to feel safe, secure and loved in their environment. We understand that children can react differently to physical contact and we respect this. Staff have received training in safeguarding & child protection.

It should always be the child who instigates any sort of physical contact such as cuddles. If a child is very upset then the adult must ask the child if they want a cuddle. Children should not be kissed by the nursery staff under any circumstances.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the settings other policies including Safeguarding, health & safety, SEND, Equality of opportunity, whistle blowing, parents as partners.