1. Introduction 
  2. Aims 
  3. Definition of intimate care 
  4. Definition of personal care 
  5. Principles of intimate and personal care 
  6. Working with parents and other agencies 
  7. Health and Hygiene 
  8. Safeguarding 
  9. Toilet Training 
  10. Equipment and Resources 
  1. Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidelines and procedures for providing the intimate care of all children, including procedures for staff changing or supporting the changing of children in these circumstances.

These guidelines and procedures apply to changing a child in a range of circumstances, for example:

  • When a child has a soiled nappy
  • When a child has wet or soiled themselves due to having not reached continence as part of a specific medical condition or global developmental delay, or because they simply didn’t reach the toilet in time
  • When a child has vomited or been vomited on
  • When a child has become very wet from involvement in play activities, eg. water play
  • When a child requires support and assistance to change for selected activities eg. Forest School

These guidelines are designed to promote good practice and safeguard children and practitioners. These apply to everyone involved with the intimate and personal care of children within The Crown Nursery.

  1. Aims:
  • To include all children in activities regardless of their ability to manage their own personal care
  • To safeguard the rights and promote the welfare of children
  • To provide guidance and reassurance to staff whose roles include intimate care
  • To assure parents that staff are knowledgeable about personal care and that their individual concerns are respected and considered
  • That no child is discriminated against.
  1. Definition of Intimate Care

Care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, bodily products and personal hygiene, which demands direct or indirect contact with, or exposure of, the sexual parts of the body’

Intimate care tasks specifically identified as relevant at The Crown Nursery include:

  • cleaning intimate parts of the body and changing nappies
  • dressing and undressing (underwear)
  • helping someone use a toilet
  • application of medical treatment, other than to arms, face and legs below the knee
  1. Definition of Personal Care

Although it may involve touching another person, it is less intimate and usually has the function of helping with personal presentation.

At The Crown Nursery personal care tasks include:

  • feeding
  • administering medication
  • hair care
  • dressing and undressing (clothing)
  • washing non-intimate body parts
  • prompting to go to the toilet
  • promoting good oral health
  • providing comfort through hand holding or cuddling
  • treatment following an accident or injury

All children have the right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect. Staff involved with intimate and personal care of pupils must be sensitive to individual needs.

Children’s intimate care needs cannot be seen in isolation, or separated from other aspects of their lives. Encouraging them to participate in their own intimate or personal care should therefore be part of a general approach towards facilitating participation in daily life and supporting independence.

  1. Principles of Intimate Care and Personal Care

Where possible a child's key-person is responsible for undertaking the intimate and personal care of an individual child. When this is not possible a staff member who is known to the child will take on that responsibility. The staff member who is involved will always ask the child for permission to assist them.

The following are the fundamental principles of intimate and personal care upon which the policy guidelines are based:

  • Every child has the right to be safe
  • Every child has the right to personal privacy
  • Every child has the right to be valued as an individual
  • Every child has the right to be treated with dignity and respect
  1. Working with parents and other agencies

Establishing effective working relationships with parents/carers is crucial to establish a smooth transition between home and nursery care. A key priority at The Crown Nursery is to work with parents/carers to ensure their child needs are properly identified, understood and met.

Parents/carers are asked to provide relevant intimate and personal care information and preferences at registration.   Provision and arrangements for intimate and personal care are recorded, monitored and reviewed and staff are required to communicate regularly with parents, sharing information.

Children with special care needs or disabilities may be known to a range of other agencies. It is important that positive links are made with all those involved in the care or welfare of individual children as this will enable staff to take account of the knowledge, skills and expertise of other professionals and to ensure the child’s well-being and development remains the focus of concern.

  1. Health and Hygiene

At The Crown Nursery we provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees and a safe environment in which children learn and are cared for.  

Infection prevention

Infection prevention is concerned with the control and management of avoidable risks and unavoidable risks to those administering and receiving intimate and personal care. We will manage infection risks related to the setting, equipment, staff working practices and clinical practices arising from the intimate and personal care of children.

Intimate and personal care requirements include:

  • staff to wear disposable gloves whilst changing a child
  • soiled nappies should be double wrapped and disposed of in the domestic waste. This process is recommended for up to three children, more than three children nappies or pads should be placed in a hygienic disposal unit
  • soiled clothing or underwear to be stored sealed bags and returned home with the child for washing
  • toilet and changing areas to be left clean and professionally cleaned on a regular basis
  • hot water and antibacterial soap available to wash hands as soon as changing is done
  • paper towels are available to dry hands
  • foot pedal bins are provided for waste
  • regular emptying of bins
  1. Safeguarding

At The Crown Nursery safeguarding children is our key priority.  We make all the necessary steps to keep children safe and well, providing a high quality setting which is welcoming, safe and stimulating.  Staff need to be aware however, that some adults may use intimate and/or personal care as an opportunity to abuse children.  Providing intimate or personal care may also present issues or raise safeguarding concerns that must be communicated.  They must be vigilant and report any concerns to the Safeguarding Designated Lead immediately.

At The Crown Nursery we will;

  • ensure that staff are suitably checked (DBS) and that safer recruitment processes have been adhered to
  • ensure all staff have read and understood this policy and follow procedures for managing the intimate and personal care of children
  • ensure all staff have read and understood our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, including the section on allegations against staff
  • immediately report any unusual markings, swelling or discolouration’s on the body or around intimate areas, following Safeguarding and Child Protection policy and procedures
  • ensure all staff are fully aware of the principles upon which intimate and personal care needs are based
  • ensure another member of staff is present at all times during the intimate and/or personal care of a child
  • carry out relevant risk assessments in relation to intimate and personal care and ensure these are read and understood by all staff
  • involve children as far as possible in their own intimate and personal care and take advantage of every learning opportunity related to these
  • always ask permission before providing intimate or personal care (as appropriate) and explain the procedures to children in an appropriate way
  • be aware of any recording requirements in relation to the intimate and personal care of children including logging nappy changes, reporting to parents
  • report and record any unusual emotional or behavioural response by a child
  • written records of concern must be made available to parents

If a child is accidently hurt during the intimate or personal care or misunderstands or misinterprets something staff must comfort and reassure the children.  They must ensure their safety and must report the incident to the nursery manager immediately.

  1. Toilet Training

As with all developmental milestones, there is wide variation in the time span in which children master the skills involved in being able to use a toilet independently.  Children might show signs that they are ready for toilet training from about two years on. Some children show signs as early as 18 months, and some might be older than two years.

At The Crown Nursery we understand that children at nursery may be;

  • fully toilet trained
  • fully toilet trained but regressed a little due to the excitement or stress of starting at the setting
  • fully toilet trained at home but have accidents in the setting, or vice versa
  • nearly trained but needing some reminders and encouragement
  • not toilet trained but respond well to a structured toilet training process
  • fully toilet trained but have a disability which may result in accidents
  • in need of additional support due to development delays.
  • has SEND and requires help with some aspects of their intimate or personal care.

Children might be ready to begin toilet training if they:

  • are walking and can sit for short periods of time
  • are becoming generally more independent, including saying ‘no’ more often
  • are becoming interested in watching others go to the toilet
  • have dry nappies for up to two hours
  • tell you with words or gestures when they do a poo or wee in their nappy
  • begin to dislike wearing a nappy, perhaps trying to pull it off when it’s wet or soiled
  • have regular, soft, formed bowel movements
  • can pull their pants up and down
  • can follow simple instructions like ‘Give the ball to daddy’.

Not all these signs need to be present when to demonstrate that a child is ready, but if a few are shown then it may be time to start.

Preparing children for toilet training

Well before we start toilet training, we can prepare a child for this big step. Here are ways we do this:

  • teach children some words for going to the toilet eg. ‘wee’, ‘poo’ and ‘I need to go’.
  • Suggest that children are allowed to watch parents/carers or other trusted family members using the toilet, and asked the adults to talk about what you’re doing
  • start using training pants as this helps children understand the feeling of wetness
  • ensure children eat plenty of fibre and drink lots of water, so they do not get constipated. Constipation can make toilet training harder.

Getting started with toilet training

The Crown Nursery works closely with parents/carers to support all children and their families and to ensure that there is consistency in practice between home and school.

It’s best to start toilet training when children are settled in nursery and when they don’t have any big changes coming up in their own personal, family life. Changes might include going on holiday, starting day care, having a new baby or moving house.  We asked parents to ensure that children are in comfortable clothes, which are easy to pull up and down and suggest they take their children shopping to allow them to choose some new, exciting underwear!

We make toileting part of a child’s regular daily routine. For example, we encourage children to use the potty or toilet in the morning, and before or after snacks and meals.

We encourage a child to go to the toilet when they show signs like wriggling around, passing wind, going quiet or moving away, but we never force your child to go.

If a child doesn’t do a wee or poo after 3-5 minutes of sitting on the potty or toilet, we congratulate them for trying and suggest they have another go later.  We do not let children sit for too long as they may become frustrated or may feel like they are being punishment.

All children are shown how to wash their hands properly after using the toileting facilities and praise is used to support and encourage.

At The Crown Nursery we understand that children learn to use the toilet at their own pace. It might take days, weeks or months, and it might take longer for poos than wees. We believe in patience, positive reinforcement and praise, until children confidently use the toilet independently.

  1. Equipment and Resources

To provide a high level of intimate and personal The Crown Nursery will ensure the provision of;

  • nappies (disposable and non-disposable if preferred)
  • changing mats and areas
  • wet wipes
  • warm water
  • antibacterial hand wash
  • bowls/buckets
  • nappy bags/sacks
  • toilet rolls
  • paper towels/cloths
  • disposable gloves
  • cleaning equipment
  • foot pedal bins
  • a supply of spare underwear and clothing (parents are also asked to provide one set)

Checks will be made beforehand to ensure that there are suitable facilities for intimate and personal care available on trips and other activities where this will be necessary.