Policy: Bereavement


At Hatching Dragons we recognise that children and their families may experience grief and loss of close family members or friends or their family pets whilst with us in the nursery. We understand that this is not only a difficult time for families, but it may also be a confusing time for young children, especially if they have little or no understanding of why their parents are upset and why this person/pet is no longer around.

We aim to support both the child and their family and will adapt the following procedure to suit their individual needs and family preferences:

  • We ask that if there is a loss of a family member or close friend that the parents inform the nursery as soon as they feel able to. This will enable us to support both the child and the family wherever we can and helps us to understand any potential changes in behaviour of a child who may be grieving themselves
  • The key person and/or the manager will talk with the family to ascertain what support is needed or wanted from the nursery. This may be an informal discussion or a meeting away from the child to help calm a potentially upsetting situation
  • The child may need extra support or one-to-one care during this difficult time. We will adapt our staffing arrangements so the child is fully supported by the most appropriate member of staff on duty, where possible the child’s key person
  • We will be as flexible as possible to adapt the sessions the child and family may need during this time.

We will adapt the above procedure as appropriate when a family pet dies to help the child to understand their loss and support their emotions through this time.

We also recognise that there may also be rare occasions when the nursery team is affected by a death of a child or member of staff. This will be a difficult time for the staff team, children and families. Below are some agencies that may be able to offer further support and counselling if this occurs.

The Samaritans: www.samaritans.org  116 123

Priory: www.priorygroup.com  0800 691 1481

Child Bereavement UK: www.childbereavementuk.org 01494 568 900

Cruse Bereavement Care: www.crusebereavementcare.org.uk 0844 477 9400 helpline@cruse.org.uk

British Association of Counselling: www.bacp.co.uk 

SANDS: www.sands.org.uk