Last reviewed 1 March 2019

In October 2018, Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings was published to support inspections under the common assessment framework. Liz Hodgman, Childcare Consultant, has developed an eight-part plan to help early years practitioners meet the requirements and provide a robust safeguarding provision.

The plan focuses on eight key areas of the childcare provision.

  1. The Child.

  2. People.

  3. Documentation.

  4. Training and supervision.

  5. Partnership with parents.

  6. Partnership working.

  7. Environment.

  8. Recruitment.

1. The Child

  • Ensure you are meeting the individual needs of each and every child.

  • Additional support is provided appropriately for children with medical needs and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

  • Children are observed for possible signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect.

  • Concerns regarding a child are documented and referred/reported as appropriate.

  • Children feel safe and have a key person that they can go to if they are concerned.

  • The child’s voice is heard in all case notes for children being assessed and under Child Protection Plans.

  • Children are supported to take appropriate risks within the provision.

  • Children are supported to develop their independence.

  • Children’s emotional wellbeing is supported and they are helped to learn vocabulary to enable them to express their feelings.

  • Consider the child’s cultural and religious background and how this is included in their care.

  • Consider siblings of the children within your care and their possible impact especially if there are teenagers or a new baby expected.

  • Raise concerns if a child is absent unexpectedly and refer to social care if appropriate or call the police for them to make a welfare call.

  • Notice patterns in a child’s punctuality and attendance and raise any concerns with parents.

2. People

This covers all people who come into any contact with the childcare provision.

  • Staff, volunteers, workplace students, committee members and governors are all aware of their roles and responsibilities in respect of child protection and safeguarding children.

  • Ensure that there is a trained Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy.

  • The DSL and Deputy are known to all staff and readily available.

  • Ensure all adults know how to raise and escalate a concern/make a referral.

  • Ensure visitors sign in and out and are supervised while on the premises at all times.

  • Ensure contractors are supervised while on the premises and, where possible, work is carried out outside of opening hours.

  • Ratios of staff to children are adhered to at all times.

3. Documentation

4. Training and supervision

  • All staff must regularly undertake child protection training.

  • All committee members and governors must have received safeguarding training.

  • DSL and Deputy should have training every two years.

  • Staff have undertaken first-aid training and are confident in delivering emergency care.

  • Staff have received training on how to restrain a child (to prevent them from hurting themselves or others).

  • Prevent training has been undertaken and staff are aware of extremisms and confident to share any concerns.

  • All staff meetings have safeguarding as a routine agenda item and recorded in minutes.

  • Staff should have regular supervision sessions. These must include safeguarding discussion around both the children and the staff member.

  • A training record is maintained that clearly shows when each staff member undertook safeguarding training.

5. Partnership with parents

  • Develop strong partnerships with parents.

  • Create an “open door” policy where parents feel able to talk to their child’s key person or a member of management when they need to.

  • Provide information to parents through different mediums, newsletters, display boards, website and social media. Include safeguarding information for example the NSPCC Pants campaign.

  • Raise concerns with parents and support them to get help if necessary, this includes signposting to other services.

  • Support parents’ emotional wellbeing. Look out for changes in mood, signs of depression — for example postnatal depression — and changes to their appearance.

  • Where families are experiencing problems, inform staff on a need-to-know basis.

  • With parental consent, refer parents onto local support services and their local children’s centre.

  • Be aware of any signs of possible domestic violence and encourage them to access support. You may also need to make a referral to social care if appropriate.

6. Partnership working

7. Environment

  • Create a physical environment that is safe for children and staff.

  • Carry out regular risk assessments and ensure all electrical equipment has been safety tested.

  • Ensure all visitors to the provision sign in and out of the visitors’ book and are closely supervised at all times.

  • Create an environment that meets the emotional needs of the children and supports staff’s mental wellbeing.

  • Encourage children’s growing independence while managing safety and possible risks, particularly in toilet areas. Use the NSPCC Pants resources to support children to understand about how to keep their own body safe.

  • Childcare on shared spaces, for example community halls, will need to ensure that the provision is secure for the children especially if using communal toilets.

  • First-aid box is available in each room and stock of the box within use-by dates and checked regularly.

  • Garden and outdoor areas are checked daily for secure boundaries and animal faeces.

  • Fire and emergency evacuation procedures are carried out regularly and recorded. Pick different times and days to enable more children and staff to practise them.

8. Recruitment

  • Managers recruiting new staff should be safer recruitment trained.

  • DBS checks must be done on all staff who undertake regulated activities.

  • Records of checks must be recorded (does not need to be a single-central record unless in a school).

  • Interviews should be carried out for each role recruited to.

  • References must be followed up.

  • Qualifications must be checked against the Governments’ checker and originals of certificates seen.

  • Induction procedures are robust and recorded. They must include safeguarding, who the DSL is and how to raise concerns.

  • Ensure you are complying with the guidance for the Disqualification Under the Childcare Act 2006, published on July 2018.

Further information