Missing Child


Policy statement.

Children’s safety is maintained as the highest priority at all times both on and off premises. Every attempt is made through carrying out the outings procedure and the exit/entrance procedure to ensure the security of children is maintained at all times. In the unlikely event of a child going missing, our missing child procedure is followed.


Child going missing on the premises

    > As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, ALL Staff and the person in charge must be alerted.

    > The person in charge and another Staff member should carry out a thorough search of the building and garden, whilst the safety of the other children is maintained by the remaining Staff.

    > The register should be checked and all children within the Setting accounted for.

    > Doors and gates should be checked to ensure that there has been no breach of security, whereby a child could wander out.

    > If the child cannot be found, the Parents/carer's should bve contacted, and the missing child reported to the Police. Remember that as soon as Parents/carer's are informed, they will need advice and support.

    > The person in charge should talk to ALL Staff and adults on te premises to find out when and where the child was last seen and a written record should be made.

    > A Staff member should search within a short walking distance of the Pre-School, especially if the child lives within walking distance of the Pre-School in case they have attempted to walk home.

    > The person in charge will report the incident to Senior Management immediately.

    > The Senior Management, with the Manager, will carry out an investigation as soon as possible.

Child going missing on an outing

    > As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, Staff on the outing should ask children to stand with their designated person and carry out a headcount to ensure that no other child has gone astray. One Staff member should search the immediate vicinity.

    > The person in charge will be contacted immediately and the incident recorded.

    > The person in charge will contact the Police and reports the child as missing.

    > The person in charge will contact the Parent/s, who should make their way to the Setting or outing venue, as agreed with the person in charge. The Pre-School is the best place, as by the time the Parent arrives, the child may have returned.

    > Staff take the remaining children back to the Setting.

    > A Staff member will stay at the site of the incident until the Police arrive.

    > The person in charge will report the incident to the Senior Management immediately.

    > The Senior Management, with the Manager, will carry out an investigation as soon as possible.

The Investigation

    > Staff should remain calm and support the other children to ensure that they do not become anxious or worried.

    > The person in charge, together with the Senior Management will speak with the Parents/Carers.

    > The Senior Management, with the Manager, will carry out a full investigation taking written statements from all the Staff that were in the room or who were on the outing.

    > The person in charge will write an incident report detailing:

                       * The date and time of the report.

                       * What Staff/children were in the group/outing and the name of the Staff designated responsible for the missing child.

                       * When the child was last seen in the group/outing.

                       * What has taken place in the group or outing since the child went missing.

                       * The time it is estimated that the child went missing.

                       * A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened.

      > If the incident warrants a Police investigation, all Staff will be expected to cooperate fully. In this case, the Police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing Staff. Children’s social care may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.

      > The incident will be reported to th elocal authority Health and Safety Officer, who may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution.

      > In the event of disciplinary action needing to be taken, Ofsted will be informed.

      > The insurance provider will be informed.

Managing People

      > Missing child incidents are very worrying for all concerned. Part of managing the incident is to try to keep everyone as calm as possible.

      > The Staff will feel worried about the child, especially the designated carer responsible for the safety of that child for the outing. They may blame themselves and their feelings of anxiety and distress will rise as the length of time the child is missing increases.

      > Staff maybe the understandable target of parental anger and they may be afraid. The person in charge will need to ensure that Staff under investigation are not only fairly treated but receive support while vulnerable.


Ref: 6h