How to develop policies and procedures

It is important to involve all those who participate in care giving within the childcare setting for example, staff, parents and children when developing new policies and procedures because their experience and opinions will often be invaluable. This would apply for all types of childcare, community and privately run childcare settings, child-minders and parent and toddler groups.

Although it is useful to look at policies from other services when first developing new policies and procedures, it is important to write you own and tailor them to the needs of your individual service.

Who to involve?

  • Include parents/carers, staff members, management, a representative from County Childcare Committee and local community organisations.
  • You should always also check with the children what their thought are and how they feel for example the behaviour policy is impacting them.

General principles to consider

  • What is the overall goal of the policy?
  • What are the external requirements (legislation, best practice guidelines etc.)?
  • What are you requirements for children, parents, staff or for management?
  • Ensure that your ethos is translated into practice
  • Ensure the policies cover every eventuality
  • Do they comply with legal and best practice requirements?
  • Are they reasonable and practical?
  • Do they give guidance and tools for implementation as well as rules?
  • Ensure they are in a format that is easy to update and are accessible

Policy Development Process


Development steps


Willoughby, M. “ A Practical Guide to Developing Childcare Policies”. Barnardos, 2008.

Willoughby, M. “ A Practical Guide to Developing Childcare Policies”. Barnardos, 2010.

Area Development Management Ltd. “A Guide to Developing policies & Procedures in a childcare setting” 2003.