Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy

This policy demonstrates my commitment to child protection and compliance with underpinning safeguarding legislation. The main pieces of legislation and guidance underpinning this policy include:

  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2021).
  • The Childcare Register.
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children.
  • What to do if you are worried a Child is Being Abused.
  • Ofsted’s guidance to inspecting safeguarding in the early years.
  • Information sharing.
  • Keeping children safe in education.
  • Prevent Duty guidance for England and Wales.
  • The Equality Act 2010.
  • Disqualification under the Childcare Act.
  • General Data Protection Regulation and UK data protection legislation.
  • United Nations Right of the Child.

Further legislation and non-statutory safeguarding and child protection guidance may also be accessed. 

Definitions of safeguarding/child protection.

Safeguarding means protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of adults at risk, enabling them to live safely, free from abuse and neglect.

Child Protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. 

Safeguarding/Child Protection statement 

EYFS requirement 3.2 states: ‘Providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well’. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone is contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding. My role as a childminder is to comply with the statutory requirements in the early years foundation stage (EYFS 2021) and the childcare registers and to protect the children in my care. Some of the ways are fulfil this responsibility are to keep this policy updated, stay up-to-date with changes to child protection threats and complete regular safeguarding training. I work closely with the Local Authority Safeguarding partners and follow their advice in relation to child protection and safeguarding concerns. I am to ensure that all children, regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, religion or sexual identity are treated with equal respect and have equal rights to protection. 

Thresholds of need

I have linked the thresholds of need from my Local Safeguarding Partners to this policy https://cornwallchservices.proceduresonline.com/chapters/p_threshold.html If a child lives in a different Local Authority, I will retain reporting information for and follow the procedures provided by that Local Authority.

Signs and symptoms of abuse

I am aware of the four main types of abuse – physical, emotional, neglect and sexual. I have linked the latest information about the four types of abuse, defined in the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2 I have also included a link to the NSPCC which may be useful https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/spotting-signs-child-abuse/

Ofsted reporting requirements 

I have attached a link to the reporting guidelines from the Ofsted document ‘Early Years Providers: non-compliance action’ to this policy. I am aware of the requirement to report changes to Ofsted in relation to disqualification (all providers) and disqualification by association (childminders only).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-provider-non-compliance-action-by-ofsted 

Action to be taken if there is a safeguarding concern about a child. 

Children need to feel secure in a safe environment. I am alert to the safeguarding concerns in the setting or at home. For example, I will record if a child arrived at the setting with injuries and notify the Local Authority Safeguarding Partners if the injuries are unexplained; I am aware that marks on a non-mobile baby or child are unlikely to be accidental and must be reported; I recognise the risks to children from sexual abuse such as female genital mutilation which is illegal and must be reported to the police (non-emergency number). I will document all accidents and incidents that happen whilst a child is in my care. 

If I suspect there is a child protection issue, I will take appropriate steps to support the child and record concerns, following advice from my Local Authority, using appropriate documentation when required. Concerns will be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Children’s Partners.

Action to be taken if a child makes a safeguarding disclosure.

If a child makes a disclosure related to safeguarding, I will record exactly what was said and report the disclosure to parents and, if relevant, to the relevant agency.

I recognise that where a child’s behaviour changes suddenly or over a period of time and/or a child displays behaviour that worries me, this might be a sign of possible abuse or trauma.

I have received training on how to receive a child’s disclosure. I would normally speak to the parents about disclosures – however, I must not speak to the parents if I think the discussion might make home life worse for the child or if the disclosure related to suspected sexual abuse, induced/fabricated illness or FGM.

Any allegation of historical abuse would be responded to in the same way as any other concern. 

I recognise that children and young people are capable of abusing their peers and the situations relating to peer on peer abuse. I want all children to feel safe here and as part of my commitment to keep them safe, I regularly observe children’s interactions and aim to be approachable so they will speak to me about any aspect of their relationship with others. Parents can contact me at any mutual convenient time to discuss concerns children might raise at home. 

 

Action to be taken if a safeguarding allegation is made against me or a family member. 

If a child or parent makes an allegation against me, my family or visitors in the setting, their comments will be recorded and a report will be made to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who will take over the investigation. Ofsted and other agencies will also be informed and may conduct their own investigation. 

Anybody who lives in the premises will have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check carried out to ensure they are suitable and fit to care for young children. Details of all DBS checks including issue date, numbers, date completed and by what company are available upon request. The suitability of people living on the premises will be on going and Ofsted will be informed of any change of circumstances.  

During working hours no member of the household will be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any medication that may affect their work. Any medications will be stored securely and out of children’s reach.

No visitors will be left alone with any of the children, they will also be asked to sign in and out and ID will be checked.

Mobile phone and camera policy

I have a strict policy regarding the use of cameras and video equipment whilst children are in my care. Please see my ICT policy for details.

I am aware that safeguarding legislation has made upskirting (taking photos up skirts) a reportable offence. 

Supporting vulnerable children

I am aware that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are especially vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Where appropriate, I aim to work closely with parents and other agencies/professionals involved in the child’s care. 

Whistleblowing

This is taken to mean the reporting of malpractice, including illegal activity or negligence. Whistleblowing can involve sharing potentially vital information about health and safety risks, environmental factors, harm of children, or

covering up for someone. In my role I have a duty to report any unacceptable behaviour by other childminders, other professionals working with children.

This action will be necessary when the behaviour witnessed is detrimental to children, or has placed children at risk, i.e. Health and Safety or has caused actual harm to the child, or the behaviour is illegal. I will notify Ofsted and the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership / police immediately.

Attendance monitoring and non-collection 

While attendance in early years settings is not statutory, I encourage regular attendance to ensure children gain the most benefit from their time here. If a child was expected and not brought by parents, I must consider the absence may be linked to safeguarding reasons – for example, a parent has had an accident or died at home, or a child has an injury which parents are hiding from me. The requirement to monitor children’s attendance is also linked to FGM and Prevent Duty. 

If a child is absent from the setting and I have not had any contact with the parents to explain the absence then I will contact the emergency contacts, if I have no success I will contact the school if they or a sibling attends. If I still do not get a reasonable response then I will call the police. 

If a child is not collected from the setting by their parent or carer at the pre-arranged time, we shall wait a reasonable length of time before calling the parent or carer. If they are unavailable we shall call the emergency contacts on their registration forms. If we are unable to contact either of these people we shall wait two hours before calling the local Safeguarding Children Partnership and Ofsted will be informed within 14 days. 

 

Prevent Duty 

I am aware of the risk of children being radicalised or exposed to extremism in their family or online. If I am concerned a children is being radicalised or exposed to extremism, I will raise it with the relevant agency within the Local Authority Safeguarding Partners. 

To comply with the Prevent Duty requirements, I am required to actively promote British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance and share information with parents. 

Online safety

There are many benefits to children using technology in the setting. However, the internet can be a dangerous place. I aim to keep children safe online by monitoring online use and encouraging children to be open about what they are doing online. Children are taught how to stay safe online in age appropriate ways and any computers, tablets or other internet accessible resources are secure. Information about online safety is shared with parents. I am aware of the latest cyber-crime guidance in the EYFS 2021. 

Record keeping and ICO registration

The Local Authority requires me to pass safeguarding/child protection records on to the next setting and complete a record transfer letter. Until this time, records (paper and online) are stored as securely as possible and confidentially. I have a clear desk policy when there are visitors in the setting. I am registered with the Information Commissioner Office which is renewed annually.  

Ratios 

I will care for no more than six children at a time under the age of eight, of these no more than three in the Early Years age group, of these three no more than one under one year. This may be subject to variation under the guidance of Ofsted. I will have a written risk assessment in place for these varying ratios and parents will be informed.  

Sharing this policy with parents 

Parents are partners in the setting and the policy is shared to help them understand my obligations regarding child protection and safeguarding. External sources of guidance are also signposted for parents and I am available in the setting to answer parent questions. 

This policy must be provided in writing and shared with parents to comply with the Childcare Register requirements. An Ofsted parents poster is displayed in the setting (above the children’s pegs) to share Ofsted contact details.

If you have any concerns regarding this policy please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Useful contacts:
Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) 0300 123 1116
Social Care Out of hours 01208 251300
Morton Michel 0845 2570 900
NSPCC Child Protection Line 0808 800 5000
South West Child Protection Procedure www.swcpp.org.uk
Social Services 0300 123101
Local Authority Designated Officer 01872 326536
Ofsted 0300 123 1231
Police 999

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