Policy: Staff Dress Code & Behaviour

In this article we review the policies relevant to how we expect staff to dress, carry themselves, present themselves externally and how they can work together professionally. We talk smoking, how we feel about it and our policy on substance misuse

Dress Code

ALL staff working within the Nursery should present a professional image.  Dress should be of a professional manner and follow the rules around infection control, and, particularly health and safety - for both yourselves and for the safety of the children.  This policy relates to all staff, students and volunteers within the Day Nursery.




Polo Shirt 



Staff Aprons



Key Fob




Staff will be issued the below materials during induction and agree to warrant the company against loss or damage - any items lost or damaged with be charged against the staffer’s salary in line with the cost schedule adjacent

The uniform regulations for nursery staff are:

  • Each nursery staff member will be allocated 2 polo shirts at the beginning of their employment with us as part of their induction pack. Nursery Staff are expected to follow the uniform policy at all times.
  • The employer will supply all Room Leaders with 2 Royal Blue  polo shirts.
  • The employer will supply all other nursery team members  with 2 Light Blue polo shirts.
  • The employer will supply 1 light blue polo shirt to bank staff.
  • Staff are to wear sensible black non slip flat shoes at all times. Trainers may be worn providing they are black. Heels on shoes are not allowed over 1 inch and no backless shoes. Boots are permitted if considered sensible by the Manager.  Sandals with backs are permitted. Slippers may be worn in the rooms with your manager's permission (this does not include any boot style slippers)
  • Smart casual dress is required consisting of plain black  trousers, skirts or tailored shorts.  No jeans are to be worn.Staff are prohibited from wearing short skirts, see through clothes or clothes that reveal intimate body areas
  • Standard Hatching Dragons aprons will be issued and should be worn at all times
  • No heavy make-up or heavy jewellery, which could harm the children, is to be worn
  • Hair must be tied back where possible.  No outrageous hair colours are allowed
  • Fingernails should be kept short and unpainted whilst at work for the safety of the children
  • No smoking in uniform
  • Mobile phones are not to be used during working hours and should be switched off. In matters of emergency, staff may be contacted on the main nursery telephone number
  • Personal hygiene is essential and must be maintained at all times.  You are expected to maintain a high standard of dress and hygiene at all times whilst engaged on company business.  The overall image of a uniform is to look smart and look part of a team
  • Whilst any item of uniform is being worn which identifies yourself with the nursery then all uniform regulations come into effect even if you are off duty
  • As some items may fit the above criteria but may not be suitable for this working environment, the Management reserves the right to decide whether an item of clothing is suitable to wear for work or not
  • You are responsible for the cleaning ,care and maintenance of the nursery issued uniform.  Any loss / damage or discoloration of a garment will need to be replaced at a cost to you
  • If you are suffering from an infectious or contagious disease or illness, or have a bowel disorder, boils, skin or mouth infection, you must not report for work without clearance from your own doctor.
  • Contact with any person suffering from an infectious or contagious disease must be reported to Management before commencing work.

On the termination of your employment either by you or the company you must return any issued uniform or items belonging to the nursery. Failure to do so will result in the replacement costs of the issued uniform being deducted from your final pay


  • We will provide staff with name badges showing their name and title. This is a welfare requirement and should be worn at all times and kept clean and clear. 


  • The minimum amount of jewellery is permitted.  Flat rings only to be worn.  Stud earrings are acceptable, no hoops.  Other visible body piercing must be of a “reasonable” size or covered in order to prevent a hazard to the wearer and children. 
  • Belts worn must not have large buckles as these can be hazardous when handling children. 


  • Should be kept short and clean.  No nail piercing rings are permitted as these can be a hazard and source of infection. 


  • Hair should be worn in a “tidy” manner.  Long hair should be secured with a hair band etc. 

Health & Safety:

  • Plastic aprons are provided for use when serving meals and cleaning.  
  • Plastic food gloves should be worn when handling and serving food to the children. 

Unacceptable Items:

The following items of dress are considered unacceptable and advice should be sought from the nursery management if the wearer has no alternative.

  • Mini skirts 
  • Skin tight clothing
  • Low cut T- shirts 
  • Jeans
  • Jogging bottoms
  • Thonged underwear should not be showing above the top of trousers
  • Jewellery other than that permitted

Cultural Identity/Special Situations: 

  • Members of staff and students from an ethnic minority group should be permitted to wear such items as appropriate to maintain their cultural identity or religious beliefs.  
  • However these should be in line with nursery health and safety regulations and be of a professional standard.  
  • These and any other special situations relating to maintaining the dress code should be discussed and agreed with management.

further insights can be found at https://www.citation.co.uk/insights/dress-code-policy 

Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy

At Hatching Dragons  we are committed to providing a safe environment that helps to ensure the welfare of the children in our care. This includes making sure that children are not exposed to adults who may be under the influence of alcohol or other substances that may affect their ability to care for children.


Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, companies have a legal requirement to provide a safe working environment for all of their employees. Anyone who arrives at the nursery clearly under the influence of alcohol will be asked to leave.

If they are a member of staff, the nursery will investigate the matter and will initiate the disciplinary process as a result of which action may be taken, including dismissal. If they are a parent the nursery will judge if the parent is suitable to care for the child. The nursery may call the second contact on the child’s registration form to collect them.

If a child is thought to be at risk the nursery will follow the safeguarding children/child protection procedure and the police/children’s social services may be called.  If anyone arrives at the nursery in a car under the influence of alcohol the police will be contacted. Staff, students, parents, carers, visitors, contractors etc. are asked not to bring alcohol on to the nursery premises. 

Substance misuse

Anyone who arrives at the nursery under the influence of illegal drugs, or any other substance including medication, that affects their ability to care for children, will be asked to leave the premises immediately.

If they are a member of staff, an investigation will follow which may lead to consideration of disciplinary action, as a result of which dismissal could follow.

If they are a parent the nursery will judge if the parent is suitable to care for the child. The nursery may call the second contact on the child’s registration form to collect them.

If a child is thought to be at risk the nursery will follow the safeguarding children/child protection procedure and the police may be called. 

The nursery will contact the police if anyone (including staff, students, volunteers, contractors and visitors) is suspected of being in possession of illegal drugs or if they are driving or may drive when under the influence of illegal drugs. If they are a member of staff serious disciplinary procedures will be followed.

If a member of staff is taking prescription medication that may affect their ability to work, they must inform the nursery manager as soon as possible to arrange for a risk assessment to take place.

Safeguarding/child protection

If a parent or carer is clearly over the alcohol limit, or under the influence of illegal drugs and it is believed the child is at risk we will follow our safeguarding/child protection procedures, contact Local Authority children’s social care team and the police. Staff will do their utmost to prevent a child from travelling in a vehicle driven by them and if necessary the police will be called. Where an illegal act is suspected to have taken place, the police will be called.

No Smoking Policy

At Hatching Dragons we are committed to promoting children’s health and well-being. This is of the upmost importance for the nursery. Smoking has proved to be a health risk and therefore in accordance with legislation, the nursery operates a strict no smoking policy within its buildings and grounds. It is illegal to smoke in enclosed places. All persons must abstain from smoking while on the premises. This applies to staff, students, parents, carers, contractors and any other visitors to the premises.

Staff accompanying children outside the nursery, are not permitted to smoke. We also request that parents accompanying nursery children on outings refrain from smoking while caring for the children.

Staff must return to work not smelling of smoke. They must change their clothes and smoke in a location not associated with or near to the nursery and not within sight of any clients of the nursery. Anyone found to be smelling of smoke on return from their break will be asked to leave and their pay will be deducted for the rest of the day. The nursery manager is responsible for evaluating this and will liaise with the Operations Coordinator in central office on those in breach, issue a verbal warning and modify EY Man to ensure that their timesheets are adjusted accordingly.

We respect that smoking is a personal choice, although as an organisation we support healthy lifestyles. We aim to help staff and parents to stop smoking by:

  • Providing factsheets and leaflets
  • Providing information of local help groups
  • Providing details of the NHS quit smoking helpline - www.smokefree.nhs.uk
  • Offering information regarding products that are available to help stop smoking
  • Offering in-house support. 

This policy also applies to electronic cigarettes.

Staff Food & Eating

Staff are reminded of the Nursery’s Health & Safety policy, which explicitly forbids any non-Nursery purchased, produced or procured food stuffs from being used / eaten / made available within the nursery play space. Should staff bring packed lunch to work, they must ensure that their food is kept within the staff room and eaten within the staff room only. No personal snacks, biscuits or food may be eaten at any time during their working shift and certainly never on outings or on the floor.

If the staff are invited to join the children for lunch, prepared by the chef or purchased by food suppliers, they must wait until all children are served in the whole nursery before serving themselves and must ensure that they have spoken with both their Room Leaders and the chef to ensure that there is adequate food for the children first.