Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy
Playdays Nursery is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This policy is written in accordance with the Norfolk Safeguarding Children’s Board (NSCB), Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017), Children’s Act (1989 and 2004), Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings (2018)and Children and Social Work Act (2017) requirements and is reviewed and updated regularly, in line with any new guidance and legislation from Norfolk County Council.
We aim to promote children’s rights to be strong, resilient and listened to. We do this by creating an environment which will develop a positive self-image, a sense of independence and enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate advances.
We ensure that every child that attends the setting feels safe and protected within the nursery, we treat the children with dignity and respect at all times, and take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and well-being. We as staff provide good role models, and demonstrate integrity, fairness and understanding at all times.
We aim to promote satisfying relationships within families, between peers and other adults. We aim to build parents’ understanding of their commitment and legal responsibility relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our children, through information like ensuring availability of policies, (copies of Safeguarding/Child Protection and other important polices will be emailed to new Parents/Carers when their child starts at Playdays Nursery) regular newsletters, Parent’s notice board and Ofsted parent’s poster. Parent’s also are made aware that information needs to be shared between home and setting about accidents and injuries that take place, ensuring that parents are clear before their child starts that they need to inform staff at Playdays about injuries at home, which are recorded by the Nursery and Staff are vigilant to any consistent or repeated patterns and Playdays Nursery has a responsibility to inform Parent’s if an accident happens in the setting, and get a signed accident form.
If a child starts Playdays Nursery having left another setting, contact will be made to the previous setting to ensure there were no Safeguarding concerns.
Our designated Child Protection coordinator/ SLP is Angie Ward and the Deputy SLP is Sophie Ward who take Lead responsibility for Safeguarding and co-ordinate child protection and welfare issues. It is their duty to have regular Safeguarding training, be aware of any changes or updates regarding Safeguarding, to work closely with external agencies like Social Services, (if required to) and to keep other Staff members up to date of all Safeguarding information they need. We maintain an environment where all adults are well trained and knowledgeable about safeguarding issues and are encouraged to share any concerns they may have, and are fully aware of whistleblowing procedures and contact numbers.
We operate a setting where all staff members and volunteers have Enhanced DBS checks, Applicants for posts are informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation Act 1974, we give staff members and students regular opportunities to inform the manager of any changes to their circumstances (medical or criminal) that may affect their suitability to work with children through half term supervisions, and are registered with the DBS update service. We ensure no volunteers are left with unsupervised access to the children.
We work alongside all relevant agencies and within the latest guidelines, in respect of any person who is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal, for reasons of protection concerns.
We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the setting, and have security steps to ensure that no unauthorised person has unauthorised access to the children.
Parent’s are made aware that no child will be allowed to leave at home time, with any adult not known to the staff at Playdays or authorised to do so on the enrolment form. If in case of an emergency that someone else has to pick up, we need written/ verbal notification from the Parent/Carer and we operate a collection Password system.
Parents should please inform the nursery of holidays or days off, and all sickness should be called into the nursery on the day, so the nursery management are able to account for a child’s absence.
No mobile phones / smart phones or other similar recording devices are allowed in the Nursery, (apart from occasionally when there are special events like the Christmas Performance), for these we ask Parent’s / Carers to sign a form to confirm they are happy for all families to take photos, and the Parent’s /Carers are advised by Playdays Nursery that these photos are for private viewing and must not be shared on social media under any circumstances. Staff phones and devices must be stored in the mobile phone box outside of the main rooms, and Staff will not have access to them during working hours.
Private arrangements between Staff and Parent’s to babysit children that attend the setting are discouraged, except in very exceptional circumstances and ONLY with the Manager’s consent.
Types of abuse and Indicators of abuse
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse a child by neglecting or harming them, or by failing to act to prevent harm, Children may be abused within a family, institution or community, by those known to them or a stranger. This could be by an adult or adults, or a child or children.
We acknowledge that abuse can take different forms:
Physical – This could include hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding. It also includes cultural rituals like Female Genital Mutilation.
Emotional- This may include conveying to the child they are unloved, worthless, inadequate, or by deliberately silencing them and not allowing them to express their own ideas etc
Sexual – To force a child into a sexual act, either penetrative or non- penetrative e.g. masturbation, kissing or rubbing etc
Neglect – This may include failing to provide adequate clothing, food, medical care, and neglecting children’s basic needs.
Indicators to look out for: (These signs are not necessarily an indicator that abuse is happening but just a guide something may be wrong.)
Repeated injuries or injuries not consistent to the Parents explanation.
Becoming withdrawn or very fearful
Significant behaviour changes/ patterns
Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestone
Excessive clinginess and attention seeking
We remain vigilant for any signs that children are suffering from any of these forms of abuse. This may be demonstrated by the things they say [direct or indirect disclosure] or through changes in their appearance, their behaviour or their play. Where such evidence is apparent, a dated record of the details will be made.
As a result of the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, and the lockdown and restrictions that happened because of it, staff are more vigilant to any signs, (be they physical or emotional) that any child in our care may be displaying, or anxieties that the child may have. All staff are kept up to date and fully informed of any guidance or legislation regarding Covid-19 immediately.
Recording of Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosure
Any concerns will be discussed by the member of staff who first noticed the signs of abuse, to the Manager/SLP Angie Ward and/or the deputy Sophie Ward. The information recorded will include:
Child’s name/ date of birth/address
Date and time of the observation or disclosure
Exact words spoken by the child and/or exact position of any injuries seen
Any other external agencies already working with the child/family
With the referral include what you are worried about from the child’s perspective, and what you would like to see happen next and what outcome you expect. (referring to the Threshold guide to assist, which is published from the Norfolk website March 2019. A copy of this is kept with all important documents)
Also include any subsequent action taken, including discussion with the Parent’s (if appropriate)
All information is recorded, dated, timed and signed by the SLP and stored in a personal file, and kept locked away. The SLP will then seek advice from CADS after they have the Parents/Carers consent. If you do not have Parental consent you have to be really clear why not. i.e you believe the child is at risk of significant harm, which would be increased with Parents knowledge of a referral, this will usually be the case if the Parent is the abuser. After contacting CADS you need to record the name of who you spoke to at CADS, date, time and what was discussed should also be documented and kept with the original referral. The SLP will inform Police/Children’s services in cases where the child could be in immediate risk of significant harm. If the concerns involve ongoing worries, and no immediate risk to the child then the FSP process will be initiated.
Staff in the setting take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children, or by asking questions of the children. And are aware to not offer the child complete confidentiality, as this promise cannot be kept.
Playdays staff will work closely with all external agencies involved subsequently in the case
We have a copy of the flowchart showing the steps to take if anyone in an Early Years setting has a concern about a child, taken from the NSCB Safeguarding folder.
We have a copy of ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused’ (2015) for parents and staff. All staff are familiar with what to do if they have concerns.
We have procedures for contacting the Children’s services on child protection issues. We notify the registered authority OFSTED, of any incident or accident, and any changes in our arrangements which may affect the well-being of children.
Allegations against Staff
- We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff and volunteers within the setting (hopefully they are able to approach the manager directly) if they feel unable to do this, they can put an anonymous complaint in by filling in an available complaint form, or take the complaint to another agency like OFSTED. This may include an allegation of abuse.
- We respond to any disclosure by children or staff that abuse by a member of staff may have taken, or is taking place by first recording the details of any such alleged incidents.
- All such concerns and allegations should be reported to the SLP or the Deputy, who then in turn will report to Children’s services if there are concerns about a child’s immediate safety or LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) if there is no immediate safety concern. Ofsted will also be informed. Fill out a LADO referral/consultation form as soon as possible, and return it to LADO@norfolk.gov.uk or by post to :
LADO service, children’s service.
1 Norwich Business Park
- We would co-operate entirely with any investigation carried out by social services.
- Our Policy is to suspend the member of staff on full pay for the duration of the investigation. This is not an indication of admission that the alleged incident has taken place, but it is to protect the staff, as well as the children, and the family throughout the process.
- If the allegation concern’s the SLP/Manager herself the Deputy will then take charge, and then all the above steps will be taken.
- Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being reinstated for the member of staff, however if after external investigations and an inquiry the allegations are founded, the nursery reserves the right to dismiss any member of staff immediately, and notify the Local Authority, OFSTED and the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Scheme).
The setting continues to welcome the child and family whilst investigations are being made in relation to any alleged abuse. We will carry on providing support to the family in a non- judgmental way, while the investigation is carried out. We follow any procedures set out by the Social Services Department, in relation to the setting’s designated role and tasks in supporting the child and the family subsequent to any investigation.
All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential, and shared only with those who need to know. Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, as they need to be informed and give their consent, unless it is felt this will put the child at risk of significant harm.
We aim to attend all training opportunities to improve our knowledge to recognise the signs and symptoms of possible abuse, and the guidelines for making referrals, and provide opportunities for staff to talk about procedures/policies during supervision meetings or staff meetings allowing regular updates to be shared by the SLP.
Extremism- the Prevent Duty
Under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, we have a duty to refer any concerns of extremism or radicalisation, firstly to CADS or straight to the Police in cases where immediate action is required. There is a government helpline for advice. Playdays Nursery has a separate Prevent Policy for more specific details.
Prevent Duty Lead is Angie Ward.
Children’s Advice and Duty Service – (CADS) 0344 800 8021
LADO- 01603 223473 or via email to LADO@norfolk.gov.uk
OFSTED – 0300 123 1231
Norfolk County Council Children’s Services/MASH- 0344 800 8020
Government helpline for extremism concerns – 020 7340 7264
Police – 999/101
More information can be found in the NSCB Safeguarding folder.
All our Child Protection and Safeguarding policies are cross referenced with other policies relating to Safeguarding issues including Safeguarding from technology, Social network, Behaviour, Health and Safety, Prevent Policy, Confidentiality including Data protection.