Safe Guarding Children Policy
This policy represents the agreed principles for Safeguarding Children throughout the Nursery.
The health, safety and welfare of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in our Nursery. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture, background or disability. They have a right to be safe in our Nursery. This policy is in line with LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children Boards) local guidance and procedures.
Aims and objectives
Our aims are:
- to provide a safe environment for children to learn in; to establish what actions the Nursery can take to ensure that children remain safe, at home as well as at nursery;
- to raise the awareness of all staff to these issues, and to define their roles and responsibilities in reporting possible cases of abuse;
- to identify children who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm;
- to ensure effective communication between all staff on child protection issues;
- to set down the correct procedures for those who encounter any issue of safeguarding.
- To identify inappropriate behaviour displayed by staff.
This policy is formulated using the DfES documents ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2006), Section 175. This policy takes account of the requests set out in the Children Act 2004 (‘Every Child Matters’).
A nursery are expected to ensure that they have appropriate procedures in place for responding to situations in which they believe that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse – these procedures should also cover circumstances in which a member of staff is accused of, or suspected of, abuse.
The Designated Senior Person (DSP) for Safeguarding is Melanie Henshaw (Director)
The DSPs’ role is to:-
- ensure that the Safeguarding Procedures are followed in the Nursery
- ensure that all staff are aware of these procedures
- ensure that appropriate training and support is provided to all staff
- develop effective working relationships with other agencies and services
- decide whether to take further action about specific cases.
- liaise with Social Work Teams over suspected cases of child abuse
- ensure that accurate records relating to individual children are kept in a secure place and marked ‘Strictly Confidential’
- submit reports to, and attend, Safeguarding Conferences
- ensure that the nursery effectively monitors children who have been identified as ‘at risk’
- provide guidance to parents, children and staff about obtaining suitable support.
- Keep up to date with all relevant procedures and legislations
- Attend TAC (Team Around the Child) and CAF (Common Assessment Framework) meetings
- if any member of staff is concerned about a child he or she must inform the DSPs’
- Information regarding the concerns must be recorded by the member of staff on the same day on a ‘cause for concern’ sheet (which has an outline of a body on it – staff must accurately record their concerns). The recording must be a clear, precise, factual account of the observations and must be dated. These sheets are kept in the DSP’s ‘Children Causing Concern’ file, which is kept securely in the managers locked cupboard.
- The DSP will decide whether the concerns should be referred. If it is decided to make a referral this may be done without prior discussion with parents.
- If a referral is made to Children’s Social Care (ART)(01782 235100) or Emergency duty team (01782 234234) if out of hours, the DSP will ensure that a written confirmation of the concerns is sent within 24 hours when requested
- Particular attention will be paid to the attendance and development of any child who the nursery believes to be ‘at risk’ or who has been placed on the Safeguarding children Register.
- Records relating to Safeguarding children will be kept in a secure locked place, separate from the child’s general file.
- If a child who is known to be on the Safeguarding children Register changes nursery, the DSP will inform the social worker responsible for the case and transfer the appropriate records to the receiving Nursery/Nursery, in a secure manner, to a named person, and separate from the child’s general file.
Prevent Abuse by means of good practice
- Adults will never be left alone for long periods of time, with individual children or with small groups
- Adults that have no DBS certificate will never be left alone with a child and their name recorded on the notice in the staff room.
- Children will have regular circle time and discussions on appropriate behaviour
- All staff are aware of where to access the response phone number. It is clearly displayed on notice boards within the nursery.
- Staff are aware to look out for the following behaviours in their colleagues or any other person working with children:
- Inappropriate sexual comments;
- excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities;
- inappropriate sharing of images.
A clear training matrix is in place for all staff and clear policies are in room files. All adults in the Nursery receive regular training to raise their awareness of abuse, and to improve their knowledge of Safeguarding procedures that have been agreed locally. The maximum period of time before refresher training must take place is one year. All staff have a CPD file monitoring training and support requirements and appraisals which are informed by peer on peer observations.
When to be concerned
Staff should be concerned about a child if he or she:-
- has any injury which is not typical of the bumps and scrapes normally associated with children’s injuries
- regularly has unexplained injuries
- frequently has injuries (even when apparently reasonable explanations are given)
- gives confused or conflicting explanations on how injuries were sustained
- exhibits significant changes in behaviour, performance or attitude
- indulges in sexual behaviour which is unusually explicit and/or inappropriate to his or her age
- discloses an experience in which he or she may have been harmed
- gives other cause to believe that he or she may be suffering significant harm
- If you have any of these concerns follow your policy and complete a record of concern.
Dealing with a disclosure
If a child discloses that he or she has been abused in some way, the member of staff should:-
- listen to what is being said without displaying shock or disbelief
- accept what is being said
- allow the child to talk freely
- reassure the child but not make promises which it might not be possible to keep
- not promise confidentiality – it might be necessary to refer to Children Nursery’s and Families
- reassure him or her that what has happened is not his or her fault
- stress that it was the right thing to tell
- listen, rather than ask direct questions
- if necessary, ask open questions, not leading questions
- not criticise the alleged perpetrator
- explain what has to be done next and who has to be told.
Record keeping and monitoring
When a child has made a disclosure, the member of staff should:-
- make brief notes during and as soon as possible after the conversation
- do not destroy the original notes in case they are needed by a court
- record the date, time, place and any noticeable non-verbal behaviour and the words used by the child
- complete the diagram with an outline of a body shape, to indicate the position of any bruising or other injury
- record statements and observations rather than interpretations or assumptions on the incident report form.
- the DSP is required to undertake an annual Safeguarding Checklist
Dealing with a disclosure from a child, and a Safeguarding case in general, is likely to be a stressful experience. The member of staff should, therefore, consider seeking support for him/herself and discuss this with the DSP.
Allegations against staff
If an allegation is made against a member of the nursery staff (or a volunteer helper), advise would be taken from LADO who will be contacted immediately. If it is felt, after these initial investigations, that a further enquiry is needed, then the member of staff will be suspended. Suspension is a neutral act, and in no way implies that the person is guilty of any wrongdoing. However, it is acknowledged that this would be distressing for the person concerned, and the Nursery will do all it can to balance the interests of any individual with that of the need to keep children safe. The Nursery will seek advice from OfSTED on these matters, and comply with national and locally agreed guidance. (full details (appendix 9)
There may be times when adults, in the course of their duties, have to intervene physically in order to restrain children and prevent them from coming to harm. Such intervention will always be the minimum necessary to resolve the situation. The managers will require the adult(s) involved in any such incident to report the matter to him or her immediately, and record the incident. This should include why the intervention was necessary, who held the child, where the intervention took place, the method used, the length of time and any techniques needed to reduce the future need for restrictive physical interventions of therapeutic holding (Jeffrey, 2008).
Safe Employment and recruitment
Our nursery ensures that people looking after children are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles. We have effective systems in place to ensure that practitioners and any other person who is likely to have regular contact with children are suitable.
Practitioners must tell managers if they 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 during their employment at the setting). We do not allow people, whose suitability has not been checked, including through a criminal records check, to have unsupervised contact with children being cared for. Managers record information about staff qualifications and the identity checks and vetting processes that have been completed (including the criminal records disclosure, reference number, the date a disclosure was obtained and details of who obtained it).
We ensure that all staff has sufficient understanding and use of English to ensure the wellbeing of children in our care.
Procedures in place to ensure children are protected.
- Two written references will be obtained by the managers. These will not include those presented by the member of staff.
- All staff will undertake an enhanced DBS check.
- Photocopies of Certificates will not be accepted as proof of qualification, originals must be submitted.
- Gaps in employment will be discussed and investigated.
- Rigorous supervision and training will take place during the trial period.
- At the end of the trial period, or sooner if deemed necessary, the managers will have the final decision as to whether a contract of employment is given.
- Staff will only be appointed if they meet the above criteria.
- Staff should not be left unaccompanied with children until we have a DBS certificate. All staff that can not be left will be identified on a poster in the staff room.
The Nursery will take every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relationships between families, staff and volunteers in the group. Where abuse at home is suspected, the Nursery will continue to welcome the child and family while investigations proceed.
Fire drill policy
- Each day when you arrive you should enter your time into the signing in book and as you leave the building you should sign out, so that we are aware of who is in the building.
- If leaving the building on a break, you must leave via the front door and sign in and out on you allocated sheet in the signing in book.
- In the event of locating a fire do not tackle the blaze, proceed directly to the nearest break glass point (kitchen or down stairs entrance) and break glass, alerting staff as you make your way to the break glass point.
- Collect the phone and the out of room bag hanging on the hook by the door in each room, this contains the register and the contact cards for that group.
- Each group leader must guide their group to the nearest fire exit located at the front of the building. If it is not possible to reach a front exit leave via the closest door. All groups and staff are to meet at the Back car park (staff car park).
- Lead the group out of the building in an orderly manner
- Encourage children to hold hands and help each other. Keep a firm control over your group.
- Senior member of staff to check sleep room and proceed to Back car park to take the register.
- Any member of staff not in charge of a group should assist with the evacuation of the Babies and any other spare staff to assist with the evacuation of the tots and pre school.
- Manager in Charge should be the last person to leave the building checking toilets and calling the fire brigade.
- All staff must stay calm, do not allow the children to run or scream.
- Do not re-enter the building until the all clear has been given by an authorized person.
- Students may assist the group leader with children but are only responsible for their own evacuation.
- Date and evacuation time to be recorded.
- Smoke alarms and emergency lighting to be tested weekly and recorded on the Hazard checklist and stored in the office.
- A senior member of staff should alert staff in the garden. When in the garden, children and staff may exit via the garden and meet on the front car park.
- If in the event of a real fire the assembly point is a neighbours house across the road on Penkhull new road.
Sickness and Illness Policy
Children should not be left at nursery if they are unwell. If a child is unwell then they will prefer to be at home with their parent(s) rather than at nursery with their peers. We will follow these procedures to ensure the welfare of all children within the nursery:
- If a child becomes ill during the nursery day, their parent(s) will be contacted and asked to pick their child up as soon as possible. During this time the child will be cared for in a quiet, calm area with their key person
- Should a child have an infectious disease, such as an eye/ear infection then we will check the Health Protection Authority for exclusion periods.
- For sickness and diarrhoea, they should not return to nursery until they have been clear for at least 48 hours
- It is vital that we follow the advice given to us by our registering authority and exclude specific contagious conditions, e.g. sickness and diarrhea and chicken pox to protect other children in the nursery. Illnesses of this nature are very contagious and it is exceedingly unfair to expose other children to the risk of an infection
- If a contagious infection is identified in the nursery, parents will be informed to enable them to spot the early signs of this illness. All equipment and resources that may have come into contact with a contagious child will be cleaned and sterilized thoroughly to reduce the spread of infection
- It is important that children are not subjected to the rigors of the nursery day, which requires socialising with other children and being part of a group setting, when they have first become ill and require a course of antibiotics.
- The nursery has the right to refuse admission to a child who is unwell. This decision will be taken by the manager on duty and is non-negotiable
- Information/posters about head lice are readily available and all parents are requested to regularly check their children’s hair. If a parent finds that their child has head lice we would be grateful if they could inform the nursery so that other parents can be alerted to check their child’s hair.
Guidance on infection control in childcare settings.
The guidance that we follow for treatments and exclusion periods for common childhood illnesses can be found on the Health Protection Agency website by following the link below