Preparing for and responding to Critical Incidents- Early Years

Updated: 25/08/16

Early Years Settings working with children are strongly recommended to prepare plans for a possible critical incident, and to use the Red Book structure with this in mind. Please ensure that your committee is fully aware of your plans. The Red Book needs to be revised every year, please log-in to download the latest version below.

A Critical Incident may be defined as:

An event or events, usually sudden, which involve the experience of significant personal distress to a level which potentially overwhelms normal responses, procedures, and coping strategies and which is likely to have emotional and organisational consequences.

What it’s for:

The Critical Incident Support Line should be used to inform and request support from the Local Authority when a traumatic or tragic event has occurred. A critical incident may be the unexpected death of a child or an adult closely associated with the school/setting. Equally, it may be an event causing injuries which results in temporary or long-term disablement, for example road traffic accidents involving pupils or staff. We can also offer support in relation to some incidents where the LADO is involved, as well as when you are expecting the death of a child or member of staff due to illness. If you need an urgent response, please call the pager, otherwise use the non-urgent numbers (CI Lead Officer: 07887 832413 or 01263 739064 or email This is not an exhaustive list, so please do get in touch if you need support in a Critical Incident.



If you would like to access the Early Years Critical Incident Red Book, please register and then log in, the documents will appear below.

Any issues, please contact EPSS Business Support on 01603 307550

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