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1.4 Uncollected child


Policy statement


If a parent/carer informs us that they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for.

If a child is not collected by closing time, or the end of the session and there has been no contact from the parent, or there are concerns about the child’s welfare then this procedure is followed.

  • The designated person is informed of the uncollected child as soon as possible and attempts to contact the parents by phone.

  • If the parents cannot be contacted, the designated person uses the emergency contacts to inform a known carer of the situation and arrange collection of the child.

  • After 30 minutes, the designated person contacts the local social care out-of-hours duty officer if the parents or other known carer cannot be contacted and there are concerns about the child’s welfare or the welfare of the parents.

  • The designated person should arrange for the collection of the child by social care.

  • Where appropriate the designated person should also notify police.

Members of staff do not:

  • go off the premises to look for the parents

  • leave the premises to take the child home or to a carer

  • offer to take the child home with them to care for them in their own home until contact with the parent is made

  • Staff make a record of the incident in the child’s file. A record of conversations with parents should be made, with parents being asked to sign and date the recording.

  • This is logged on the child’s personal file along with the actions taken.

  • If there are recurring incidents of late collection, a meeting is arranged with the parents to agree a plan to improve time-keeping and identify any further support that may be required.


  • Parents are informed that if they are not able to collect the child as planned, they must inform us so that we can begin to take back-up measures. Our contact telephone number is 0759 1750224.

  • If no-one collects the child within 30 minutes of their expected collection time and there is no-one who can be contacted to collect the child, we apply the procedures for uncollected children.

  • We contact the West Berkshire Contact, Advice and Assessment Service: 01635 503190 or  01189 373641 (Reading)
    If the children’s social care team is unavailable [or as our local authority advise] we will contact the local police]

Reading Police Station – 0845 850 5505

  • Or the out of hours duty officer:

01344 786543


  • After an additional 15 minutes if the child has not been collected, we will contact the above statutory agencies again.

  • The child stays at the setting in the care of two qualified members of staff, one of whom will be our manager or deputy manager until the child is safely collected either by the parents or by a social care worker.

  • Social care will aim to find the parent or relative. If they are unable to do so, the child will become looked after by the local authority.

  • We ensure that the child is not anxious and we do not discuss our concerns in front of them.

  • A full written report of the incident is recorded in the child’s file

  • Depending on circumstances, we reserve the right to charge parents for the additional hours worked.

  • Ofsted may be informed:

0300 123 1231



  • The local Pre-school Learning Alliance office/Development Worker may also be informed:

0207 697 2500

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