Bullying Policy

Rationale

Bullying is always viewed and treated as unacceptable behaviour. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional, racist or cyber-bullying. Very young children are unable to regulate their emotions and this can result in undesirable behaviour which is developmentally appropriate to their levels of understanding. These behaviours will be addressed according to our behaviour management policy. Bullying is carried out by individuals or groups over a period of time to intentionally hurt others and is different and more severe than misbehaviour that happens with all children as they learn the rules expected from them. By providing a supportive environment where children learn to recognise their own feelings and the impact of their behaviour on others, they will learn to be kind to each other and respect differences which will help to prevent incidents of bullying.

Procedure

We understand that there are many reasons a child will bully others and that some children become temporary bullies after a traumatic event in their lives and others become chronic bullies. We also understand that some children perceive events as teasing while others perceive the same event as bullying depending on their experiences or sensitivity. All actions that are perceived as bullying by the person receiving the behaviour will be treated as bullying.

We will ensure all children have the chance to talk to their key person about their worries about bullying. We will give children enough time to discuss their concerns with their key person and will endeavour to help them to feel safe while in our care. We will make it clear that the child was right to discuss their worries with their key person and reassure them that the bullying is not their fault and that we will take actions to prevent it from happening again.

We will work with parents/carers and the child who has been bullied to help develop strategies to help prevent further incidents. These may include saying ‘no’ loudly and walking away, ignoring the bully or helping to increase their confidence by giving them praise and responsibility to help them feel valued.

In order to help prevent cyber-bullying children are only permitted to access the internet in the main areas of our setting where they can be supervised and there are limits on the amount of time children spend online. Parental controls are in place to prevent access to unsuitable sites and children are not permitted to visit chat rooms whilst in our care. Children will not have access to mobile phones whilst in our care without our permission. This is in line with our Safeguarding Children policy.

Children who bully will be treated with understanding while being given a clear message that the behaviour is not permissible and the reasons why. Bullies often need to feel some success to make them feel good about themselves, so we will work with parents/carers to find ways of the child being able to achieve this without resorting to bullying others. This may involve asking the child for suggestions of how they can make amends for their behaviour and supporting them to achieve this.

We will work with parents/carers of a child who bullies to set firm realistic boundaries for the child’s future behaviour. We would expect these to be implemented at home and in the childminding setting to ensure consistency and help the child learn the wanted behaviour more easily and quickly. If in extreme cases, it isn’t possible to change the behaviour of a child who bullies after working with parents/carers and the child, then in consideration of other children in the setting the childminding agreement may be terminated.

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