As an owner or manager of an Early Years Setting, you need to ensure you have a Code of Conduct in place to clearly lay out your expectations for your nursery and principles for acceptable workplace behaviour. A well written Code of Conduct will ensure a high standard of action by employees which will only enhance your business reputation and work environment.
A Code of Conduct is essential to assist staff by offering guidance on reasonable conduct with children. For obvious reasons, staff must always be mindful of the fact that they hold a position of trust, and that their behavior towards children should always be exemplary.
The Nursery HR People receive many enquiries regarding the correct content and structure for a Code of Conduct Policy or an Employee Handbook. We always advise that a Code of Conduct shouldn’t be read in isolation; it should be used in conjunction with an employee’s job description, employment contract and your employee handbook which includes all the core details on how you expect employees to behave and conduct themselves relevant to your setting.
Furthermore, the key elements of an outstanding Code of Conduct policy should: –
- identify boundaries and responsibilities; this can also include providing examples of prohibited actions / behavior that would be regarded as misconduct
- explain what is expected of employees; by providing guidelines for acceptable behaviours this should ensure your staff avoid putting themselves at risk of allegations of unprofessional conduct
- agree communication and accountability; by ensuring all employees understand all required compliance and legislation
- ensure staff demonstrate high standards of conduct in order to encourage children (and parents) to do the same.
Your code of conduct should be designed to suit the needs and expectations of your unique and specific environment. Once you have a code of conduct in place, it is essential to communicate it clearly to your staff at regular intervals, always emphasizing the use of good judgment. Awareness and implementation are key to a successful Code of Conduct culture.
By having a concise, detailed and up to date code of conduct that is tailored to your sector and company needs, it can significantly aid the smooth running of your Nursery and could also ensure you are not left open to any potentially time consuming and costly employment issues.
We really do hope that this helps you with your Code of Conduct Policy but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help with this or other content that you would like to include within it.
It’s such a crucial element of your Nursery and one that we thoroughly enjoy assisting nurseries with. You never know, it could even save you a costly tribunal!
The Nursery HR People
Less HR More Learning!