EARLY YEARS PRACTITIONERS – Nursery, children’s centre and childminders.
Your safeguarding responsibilities derive from two main sources; Working Together 2015 states that Early years providers have a duty under section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to comply with the welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. In summary Early years providers should ensure that:
•staff complete safeguarding training that enables them to recognise signs of potential abuse and neglect; and
•they have a practitioner who is designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children within each early years setting and who should liaise with local statutory children’s services agencies as appropriate. This lead should also complete child protection training.
Download the pdf here.
Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage : Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five states;
Providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy and procedures, to safeguard children. These should be in line with the guidance and procedures of the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and must include an explanation of the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, as well as covering the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.
A practitioner must be designated to take lead responsibility for safeguarding children in every setting. (Childminders must take the lead responsibility themselves). The lead practitioner is responsible for liaison with local statutory children’s services agencies, and with the LSCB. They must provide support, advice and guidance to any other staff on an ongoing basis, and on any specific safeguarding issue as required. They must attend a child protection training course that enables them to identify, understand and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect.
Providers must train all staff to understand their safeguarding policy and procedures, and ensure that all staff have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. Training must enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. These may include:
• significant changes in children’s behaviour;
• deterioration in children’s general well-being;
• unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect;
• children’s comments which give cause for concern;
• any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home; and/or
• inappropriate behaviour displayed by other members of staff, or any other person working with the children.
Providers must have regard to the Government’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015’. If providers have concerns about children’s safety or welfare, they must notify agencies with statutory responsibilities without delay. This means the local children’s social care services and, in emergencies, the police.
Registered providers must inform Ofsted or their childminder agency of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Registered providers must also notify Ofsted or their childminder agency of the action taken in respect of the allegations. These notifications must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made. A registered provider who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence.
Additionally it also provides detailed information on;
•Staff qualifications, training, support and skills
•Staff: child ratios
•Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment
•Special educational needs
•Information and records
Download the pdf here.