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Managing Behaviour

Rabbit Patch Day Nursery will endeavour to create an atmosphere that encourages good and positive behaviour, we believe that the children flourish best when they know how they are expected to behave and gain respect through interaction with caring adults who show them respect and value their individual personalities.

Children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own and others safety. Within the nursery we aim to set these boundaries in a way which helps the child to develop a sense of the significance of their own behaviour, both on their own environment and those around them.

This policy will identify to staff a whole nursery approach to the management of children’s behaviour, including development strategies to be used in response to negative behaviour, and to involving parents and carers where needed. We expect all member of our setting – children, parents, staff, volunteers and students – to keep to the guidelines, requiring these to be applied consistently. New staff and volunteers are familiarised with our behaviour management policy and its guidelines. We also work in partnership with children’s parents and carers who are regularly informed about their child’s behaviour.

The Behaviour Management Policy will provide staff with the guidance required to ensure a consistent and positive approach to children’s behaviour. Within the nursery, staff will aim to provide positive role models for the children through their interactions with each other and the other children, and will maintain a happy caring, structured ethos, conducive to appropriate behaviour. Staff’s expectations for children’s behaviour should always be high and they should lead by example.

Staff should aim for children to learn to:

  • Leave their parents/carers happily and with confidence.
  • Participate in group activities and develop the skills of sharing and taking turns in their play.
  • Ask for and be willing to receive help or advice from others.
  • Follow simple instructions appropriate to their individual stage of development.
  • Enjoy and respond to praise.
  • Develop skills of concentration when involved in both self-initiated and adult directed activities.
  • Demonstrate good manners at all times.
  • Show consideration and respect for the nursery equipment and resources and for other’s belongings.
  • Establish consistency in behavioural responses between home and nursery and when spending time with different adults.

Staff should:

  • Recognise the individuality of all our children.
  • Support each child in developing self-esteem, confidence and feelings of competence.
  • Provide a key worker system enabling staff to build strong and positive relationships with children and their families.
  • Work in partnership with parents and carers by communicating openly.
  • Praise children and acknowledge their positive actions and attitudes therefore ensuring that children see that we value and respect them.

By having a Behaviour Management Policy, staff working at Rabbit Patch Day nursery recognise that most children, at certain stages in their development, demonstrate behaviour that is generally considered negative. On occasion, children may demonstrate negative behaviour through physical responses such as biting or kicking or may vocalise their displeasure, for example by swearing. Regardless of their behaviour, all staff are required to respond to children in a calm and positive manner.

When children behave in unacceptable ways:

  • They should not be singled out or humiliated in any way. The staff within the nursery will redirect the children towards alternative activities and a discussion will take place respecting that child’s level of understanding.
  • Staff will not raise their voices in a threatening way.
  • Physical punishment such as smacking, or shaking is not used of threatened.
  • Children should not be physically restrained, unless to prevent physical injury to children or adults and/or serious damage to property.
  • Parents will be informed if their child in unkind to others or if their child has been upset.
  • Parents may be asked to meet with staff to discuss their child’s behaviour. Confidential records of negative behaviour should be kept, parents will be asked to read and sign any entries concerning behaviour.

The staff within the nursery recognise that on occasion, young children may be victim or perpetrator of bullying. Although it is hoped that such situations will occur infrequently children do need their own time and space, and it is not always appropriate to expect a child to share and it is also important to acknowledge children’s feelings and to help them understand how others might be feeling. However, children must be encouraged to recognise that bullying, fighting, hurting and discriminatory comments are not acceptable behaviour. Bullying takes many forms, it may be physical, verbal or emotional, but it is always a repeated behaviour that makes other people feel uncomfortable or threatened.

Staff should ensure sensitivity in their management of any child who bullies another. They should ensure that the inappropriateness of the behaviour and that of the consequences are made clear, taking account of the child’s maturity and level of understanding.

Staff will receive support in developing positive strategies for responding to and managing children’s behaviour. Opportunities to develop staff knowledge of effective behaviour management through staff meetings and attending relevant training will be identifies and used.


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