Lost Child

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Child Protection

Providers must have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children.


Statement of intent:

We believe that the safety of children is of paramount importance.


If a child goes missing from the setting:

Necessary precautions have been put in place to ensure that children are supervised at all times and never have the opportunity to leave our pre-school unaccompanied.  However, should an occasion ever arise where we are unable to locate a child, the following procedures will be followed:


  • Two staff members will check all store rooms, cupboards, toilets, the kitchen, play areas and equipment, the outside play area, and any other areas where a child could hide, constantly calling their name
  • The pre-school manager will ensure all other children are kept quietly in the pre-school setting and will recheck the register
  • All doors and gates will be checked to see if there has been a breach of security
  • The pre-school manager will speak individually to all members of staff/parents/carers/visitors in the setting to establish what has happened
  • If the child cannot be located, the pre-school manager will telephone the child’s parents/carers and if necessary the Police and OFSTED
  • If it is possible that the child is making their way back home a member of staff will walk that route in order to intercept the child if possible
  • The remaining staff will ensure that the other children do not become alarmed or frightened


If a child goes missing from an outing:

On the majority of our outings we do insist that parents/carers or a responsible adult accompany each child, however the following procedures will be followed in all instances regardless of whether the child is accompanied or not:


  • Staff will ask all children to stand with their designated adult and carry out a headcount to ensure that no other child is missing
  • One member of staff will search the immediate vicinity only
  • Staff will take the remaining children back to the setting or to a designated meeting point, where they will keep them quietly occupied and recheck the register
  • If the child cannot be located, the pre-school manager will telephone the child’s parents/carers (if they are not present), police and social services.



The investigation

The pre-school manager will carry out a full investigation into what has happened including taking statements from all adults/staff present in the setting or on the outing.  The report must include:


  • The date and time of the incident and that the report was prepared on
  • What staff/adults and children where present
  • How the incident occurred
  • What action has been taken to ensure it does not happen again
  • The incident will be recorded and a full report made to OFSTED, Morten Michel (Insurance) and Southampton Early Years Team.



If the incident warrants a police or OFSTED investigation, all staff will co-operate fully whilst ensuring that confidentiality is not breached. Under no circumstances are staff allowed to talk to any journalists, reporters or other parties – all queries must be referred to the pre-school manager / deputy.



Document ID-


Policy adopted at meeting – Oct 2007

Reviewed by : Ladybirds Directors


Date reviewed




Sept 2017

July 2021


Feb 2018





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