Child Protection

Our pre-school wants to work with children, parents/carers and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start.

Our aims are to:

  • Create an environment in our pre-school which encourages children to develop a positive self image, regardless or race, language, religion, culture or home background
  • Help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers and with other adults
  • Encourage children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence
  • Enable children to have the self confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches
  • Work with parents to build their understanding of and commitment to the welfare of all of our children

The legal framework for this work is:

  • The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • The Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • The Education Act 2011
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999
  • Working together to Safeguard Children 2015
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Liaison with other bodies:

  • We work within the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) guidelines
  • We have a copy of Local Safeguarding Children Boards Guidelines available for staff and parents to see
  • We notify the registration authority (Ofsted) of any incident or accident and any changes in our arrangements which affect the wellbeing of children
  • We have procedures for contacting the local authority on child protection issues, including maintaining a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of social workers, to ensure that it is easy, in any emergency, for the pre-school and social services to work well together
  • If a report is to be made to the authorities, we act within the Local Safeguarding Children Boards guidance in deciding whether we must inform the child’s parents at the same time.

Recording suspicions of abuse and disclosures

Staff makes a record of:

  • The child’s initials
  • The date and time of the observation or the disclosure
  • An objective record of the observation or disclosure
  • The exact words spoken by the child
  • The name of the person to whom the concern was reported, with date and time
  • The names of any other person present at the time

These records are signed and dated and kept in a separate confidential file. All members of staff know the procedures for recording and reporting.

Informing Parents/carers

  • Parents/carers are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents/carers are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local Area Child Protection Committee does not allow this.
  • This will usually be the case where the parent is the likely abuser. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

Confidentiality

  • All suspicions and investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. Any information is shared under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Support to Families

  • The pre-school takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff and volunteers in the group.
  • The pre-school continues to welcome the child and the family whilst investigations are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation.
  • Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child’s parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child only if appropriate on a ‘need to know basis’ under the guidance of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • With the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount, we do all in our power to support and work with the child’s family.

Curriculum

  • We introduce key elements of child protection into our EYFS, so that children can develop understanding of why and how to keep safe.
  • We create within the pre-school a culture of value and respect for the individual
  • We ensure that this is carried out in a way that is appropriate for the ages and stages of our children

Complaints

  • We ensure that all parents know how to complain about staff or volunteer action within the pre-school, which may include allegation of abuse.
  • We follow the appropriate guidance when investigating any complaint that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child
  • We follow all the disclosure and recording procedures when investigating an allegation that a member of staff or volunteer has abused a child as if it were an allegation of abuse by any other person
  • Responding to suspicions of abuse
  • We acknowledge that abuse of children can take different forms – physical, emotional, sexual and neglect
  • When children are suffering from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, this may be demonstrated through changes in their behaviour, or in their play. Where such changes in behaviour occur, or where children’s play gives cause for concern, the pre-school investigates
  • We allow investigation to be carried out with sensitivity. Staff in the pre-school take care not to influence the outcome either through the way they speak to children or ask questions of children.
  • Where a child shows signs and symptoms of ‘failure to thrive’ or neglect, we make appropriate referrals.

Disclosures

Where a child makes a disclosure to a member of staff, that member of staff:

  • Offers reassurance to the child
  • Listens to the child
  • Gives reassurance that s/he will take action

The member of staff does not over question the child but needs to sure of the facts by asking open ended questions. The member of staff will record in a written statement all aspects of the disclosure and sign and date it.

Methods

Staffing and volunteering

  • Our named person who co-ordinates child protection issues is   Caroline Hunter
  • The registered person takes responsibility for ensuring that all members of staff have been checked for their suitability for working with children with the DBS and have an Enhanced disclosure indicating this.
  • OFSTED will be informed of any changes to the registered person and will undertake the necessary checks with the CRB for them
  • We provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of children
  • Applicants for posts within the pre-school are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information.
  • At the annual review meetings for staff, questions will be asked to ensure changes of circumstance will not affect other members of staff and children.
  • We abide by OFSTED requirements in respect of references and police checks for staff and volunteers, to ensure that no disqualified person or unfit person works at the pre-school or has access to the children
  • Volunteers do not work unsupervised
  • We abide by the Protection of Children Act requirements 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 child protection concern.
  • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the pre-school
  • We take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the pre-school so that no unauthorized person has unsupervised access to the children.

Disciplinary Action

  • Where a member of staff or a volunteer is dismissed from the pre-school or internally disciplined because of misconduct relating to a child, we notify the Department of Health administrators so that the name may be included on the List for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Training

  • We ensure that all staff regularly attend child protection training to ensure that they are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of possible physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.  This ensures that they are aware of the local authority guidelines for making referrals.
  • We ensure that all staff knows the procedures for reporting and recording their concerns in the pre-school.

Use of mobile phones and cameras

  • Any staff member, parent/volunteer or visitor who attends preschool will be asked to place their mobile phone and camera if they have one with them in the tub on the windowsill during their time in session.
  • Photos by visitors are permitted to be taken under special circumstances eg Christmas sing a long/parties. These photos taken by parents are not permitted to be posted on Facebook, or any network sites and the internet.
  • No pictures taken during preschool hours are allowed to be used on the internet at all without prior permission from parents/carers.
  • Please be aware that events outside of pre-school cannot be controlled by pre-school staff e.g. Bamford Carnival – pre-school staff are unable to control who takes pictures of the children on the float.