Safeguarding Policy

 

Safeguarding Policy

Hearts Day Nursery

Version 3: 8th March 2021

 

(Please request the full Safeguarding Policy from the office if you wish to find out more about how we keep everyone safe in our setting)

Our Safeguarding policy of 8th March 2021 applies to all staff, including paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, one-off visitors, students or anyone working on behalf of the setting.

The aim of our safeguarding and child protection policy at Prime family Choice is to provide all staff, proprietors, parents, visitors and volunteers with a framework that will enable them to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in the setting.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this policy as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment

  • Preventing impairment of children’s mental and physical health or development

  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

  • Taking action to enable children to have the best outcomes

 

Child protection is the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm.

Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility. At PFC all staff, students, bank staff and visitors are made aware of and adhere to, the policy.

 

This policy works alongside these other specific policies to cover all aspects of child protection:

  • Online safety

  • Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

  • Prevent Duty and Radicalisation

  • Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Abuse (HBA) and Forced Marriage

  • Looked After Children

  • Monitoring staff behaviour

  • Social networking

  • Mobile phone and electronic device use

  • Safe recruitment of staff

  • Disciplinary

  • Grievance

  • Promoting positive behaviour

Legal framework and definition of safeguarding

  • Children Act 1989 and 2004

  • Childcare Act 2006 (amended 2018)

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

  • Children and Social Work Act 2017

  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2020

  • Data Protection Act 2018

  • What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015

  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

  • Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills settings 2019

  • Prevent Duty 2015

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, in relation to this policy is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment

  • Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development

  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018).

 

Policy Intention

To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:

  • Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image

  • Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct

  • Ensure all staff are able to identify the signs and indicators of abuse, including the softer signs of abuse, and know what action to take

  • Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development

  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all children

  • Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities

  • Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling

  • Always listen to children

  • Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need

  • Share information with other agencies as appropriate.

The nursery is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Staff working on the frontline with children and families are often the first people to identify a concern, observe changes in a child’s behaviour or receive information relating to indicators of abuse. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse.

Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for Children’s Social Care, family support, health professionals including health visitors or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team, where needed.

 

Our nursery aims to:

  • Keep the child at the centre of all we do, providing sensitive interactions that build children’s well-being, confidence and resilience. We will support children to develop an awareness of how to keep themselves safe, healthy and develop positive relationships.

  • Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse (including the signs known as softer signs of abuse), understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children (peer on peer) through bullying or discriminatory behaviour

  • Be aware of the increased vulnerability of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), isolated families and vulnerabilities in families; including the impact of toxic trio on children and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s).

  • Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child; maintaining professional curiosity around the welfare of children and share information, and seek the help that the child may need at the earliest opportunity.

  • Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures, including thorough annual safeguarding newsletters and updates

  • Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by our council.

  • Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest

  • Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times and maintaining safeguards around the use of technology by staff, parents and visitors in the setting.

  • Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff

  • Identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the Staff Behaviour Policy

  • Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or living or working on the nursery premises including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities including the local authority.

  • Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur 

  • Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by our Council.

Obligatory practice for ALL staff

At Prime Family Choice, we recognise that we, as individuals:

  • Are responsible for safeguarding

  • Must be able to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse

  • Must be able to identify concerns (Early Help / Child in Need / Child Protection / Allegations Against professionals

  • Aware that children’s poor behaviour may be a sign that they are suffering harm or that they have been traumatised by abuse.

  • Understand that children who have a social worker may be educationally disadvantaged and face barriers to attendance, learning, behaviour and positive mental health.

  • Understand that mental health issues for children may be an indicator of harm or abuse, or where it is known that a child has suffered harm or abuse this may impact their mental health, behaviour and education.

  • Understand that safeguarding incidents and/or behaviours can be associated with factors outside the setting and/or can occur between children outside of these environments.

  • Must be familiar with internal reporting procedures and processes (reporting safeguarding concerns to DSLs, and allegations only to Proprietor/similar)

  • Must refer concerns to children’s social care in the absence of Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL)

  • Must ensure that all safeguarding concerns are shared promptly with DSLs

  • Must be able to challenge professional safeguarding decisions internally/ externally with other agencies

  • Must refer/ escalate a case if we disagree with the DSL not to refer, with respect and transparency

  • Must be able to whistleblow when required

  • We are also aware as individuals regardless of where we work within our setting that we are     responsible for reading and reviewing the safeguarding policies of (insert DfE/Ofsted registered setting name)

 

Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

The role of the DSL and Deputy DSL will be made explicit in both post holders job descriptions. The Managing Directors with Lead responsibility for Safeguarding will ensure that both persons appointed as DSL and Deputy DSL are trained to the same standard. Both the DSL & Deputy DSL will be given the appropriate authority, time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters.

The lead DSL’s ultimate responsibility which is safeguarding and child protection including online safety will not be delegated.

At Prime Family Choice, the Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) are Letitia Ciritel and Mabel Danquah, who have specific operational responsibility for implementing the organisations safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures. If they are unavailable, to ensure safeguarding matters are dealt with promptly, Christine Osborne, our Deputy DSL will be available to cover theDSL duties.

To safeguard children our Designated Safeguarding Lead Letitia & Mabel and our deputy DSL Christine will undertake formal DSL training at a minimum every two years. This will be to equip and provide them both with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role of the DSL and support staff.  In addition, the DSL and the Deputy DSL will attend regular DSL forums at a minimum of four times a year and will access safeguarding updates into developments and training relevant to the role of the DSL including managing allegations and managing thresholds.

The names of the DSLs will be clearly advertised on the settings notice board along with a statement explaining the role of the setting in referring and monitoring welfare and safeguarding concerns.

 

Working in partnership

We will work in partnership with all agencies i.e. LBWF Safeguarding in Education & Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) service, Early Help, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Social Care, Health and the Police to ensure the children’s safety and welfare is always paramount. We will also seek to establish effective working relationships with both parents, carers and other colleagues so that we can develop and provide activities and opportunities that will enable and equip the children in our care with the necessary skills that they will need to develop protective behaviours and life skills to keep themselves safe from harm.

 

All Staff are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children-whether received before, or at the point of recruitment.

For staff including volunteers who work in our childcare provision or who are directly concerned with the management of such provision, we will ensure that appropriate checks are carried out to ensure that individuals are not disqualified under the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009”.

Staff, volunteers, student induction, training & development

The DSL will ensure that all new members of staff, volunteers and students are given an induction into the setting that will include the following:

  • Issue and explain the safeguarding and child protection policy

  • Issue and explain the behaviour policy of the setting

  • Issue and explain the staff behaviour policy/code of conduct

  • Explain the role of the DSL and share the identities of the DSL and all DDSLs   

  • Child protection and safeguarding training (including online safety) (within 1 month of starting)

  • All new members of staff, volunteers and students are expected to read the above-mentioned documents and to sign an acknowledgement of this.

 

Staff code of conduct

All staff, volunteers and students are responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with the children. These adults who work with children are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any type of conduct that would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions. At Prime family Choice, all staff will work and be seen to work, in an open and transparent way. We will ensure that this professional standard is applied to all children and families regardless of culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.

At Prime Family Choice our staff will:

  • Be approachable and friendly, while still being objective and professional and not blurring relationship boundaries.

  • Offer advice and support to parents in a respectful way, including initiating possibly difficult discussions, directing parents to other relevant services and making appropriate referrals.

  • Share the safeguarding policy with parents and how the information will be shared with professionals.

  • Focus on the care and development of each individual child, not making comparisons with other children or breaching confidentiality.

Allegations against staff, volunteers and supply staff

Should an allegation be made that an adult in a position of trust within our setting (member of staff, supply staff or volunteer) have behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates that they may be unsuitable to work with children,  this will be brought to the immediate attention of the DSL who will advise the registered person.

 

All Early Years providers must report to Ofsted that they are registered with ‘any significant event which is likely to affect the suitability of the Early Years provider or any person who cares for or is in regular contact with children on the premises to look after children

EYFS 2017 3.77 changes that must be notified to Ofsted

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is when someone raises a concern about dangerous or illegal activity or any wrongdoing within their organisation. Raising a concern is known as "blowing the whistle" and is a vital process for identifying risks to people's safety. Sharing information or talking through a concern can be the first step to helping an organisation identify problems and improve their practices. The wrongdoing you disclose must be in the public interest. This means it must affect others, for example, the general public.

 

LADO & Safeguarding Team

020 8496 3646 (9-5pm Monday to Friday)

Email: Safeguardingineducation@walthamforest.gov.uk

Ofsted telephone number call our whistleblowing hotline on 0300 1233155 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk

Write to: WBHL, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

NSPCC Contact the Whistleblowing Advice Line
Call 0800 028 0285 or Email help@nspcc.org.uk

Ratios

To ensure the safety and the wellbeing of the children in our setting we will ensure we follow the current recommended ratios and qualifications for the safe care of children as set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage in the setting, as of April 2017 these were as follows:

For Early Years providers other than childminders:

  • For children under two: one member of staff to every three children

  • At least one member of staff within the group will hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and will have suitable experience of working with children under two

  • For children aged two: one member of staff for every four children.

  • At least one member of staff will hold a relevant level 3 qualification. At least half of all other staff in the group will hold a relevant level 2 qualification

  • For children aged three where there is a suitably qualified level 6 or persons with qualified teacher status working directly with the children, the ratio can be one member of staff for every thirteen children.

  • For children aged three where there is no suitably qualified level 6 or persons with qualified, there will be one member of staff for every eight children. At least one member of staff will hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half will hold a relevant level 2 qualification

  • Only those aged 17 or over will be included in the child/staff ratios. Where there are staff under 17 years of age, they will always be supervised by a level 3 qualified member of staff

  • Students and volunteers on long-term placement aged 17 years or over and staff working as apprentices in early education aged 16 or over may only be included in the ratios if the manager is satisfied that they are competent and responsible

  • At least one person who has a current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) will always be on the premises and available when children are present, and will accompany children when they go on outings.

To check qualifications are full and relevant, we use https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder

Mobile phones, Smartwatches, Photography and technology in the nursery

 

To ensure the safety of the children in the setting, we operate a no mobile phone usage in the setting for both parents’ visitors and staff. To enforce this policy staff phones and smartwatches are kept in the office and are signed in and out of the office. In terms of visitors to the setting, they will be asked to leave their mobile phone/ smartwatches in the office whilst on the premises. Should they need to make a phone call, this they can do either in the Nursery Office or another area where there are no children as directed by the manager or DSL.

Visitors

To ensure the safety of the children in the setting we have procedures in place for recording the details of visitors and the purpose of their visit to our setting. The setting’s security procedures ensure that the possibility of unauthorised persons having access to the children is minimised.  Under no circumstances will visitors/contractors be allowed unsupervised access to the children. Visitors/ contractors will always be supervised whilst on the nursery premises, especially when in the areas the children use. In addition to these arrangements, we ask that parents do not open or hold the door for other persons to gain access to the building without being vetted by staff.

 

Defining Abuse – Signs & Symptoms

Defining Abuse – Signs & Symptoms

There are four categories of abuse:

  • Physical abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Emotional abuse

  • Neglect

 

These four categories of abuse and the possible indicators are detailed in the Department of Health ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ document 2010. It should be noted that those listed are not a definitive list, though children’s poor behaviour may be a sign that they are suffering harm or that they have been traumatised by abuse, some children may present these behaviours for reasons other than abuse.

It is important that all staff working at (DfE/Ofsted registered setting name) are aware of the indicators of abuse and that they should always consult when concerned.

Information Sharing

We at Prime Family Choiceview information sharing as an essential part of our arrangements to safeguard the children in our care. The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe.  Any information shared will be done on a need to know basis to aid the effective assessment and identifying of children at risk. As practitioners we are clear about when we should share information and be alert to the signs and triggers of child abuse, should there be suspicion enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information shared will be in line with guidance from the local authority and police.

 

Information sharing Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/721581/Information_sharing_advice_practitioners_safeguarding_services.pdf

Referrals

MASH is Waltham Forest’s single point of referral to social care for concerns regarding children, young people and vulnerable adults:

  • Early Help (parental consent needed)

  • Child in Need

  • Child Protection

  • Adult Safeguarding

 

Referrals to the MASH will be made immediately when there is a concern that the child is suffering significant harm or is likely to do so.

 

(Please request the full Safeguarding Policy from the office if you wish to find out more about how we keep everyone safe in our setting)