The setting’s designated Early Years Safeguarding Officers: Sue Melvin and Norma Whapshott.
All staff members have a responsibility regarding child protection issues.
This Child Protection Policy has been developed in accordance with all relevant guidance and legislations, including the Children Act 1989 and 2004 and using the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 document. We use all documents to provide us with information we require and the EYFS Statutory Framework 2021. Within the nursery we aim to create an environment where children are safe from abuse and feel safe, secure, valued and respected and confident to talk openly and are sure that they are being listened to. Also, where any suspicions of abuse is dealt with in a prompt manner and responded to appropriately.
In order that this is achieved the setting will:
- Ensure that the children’s welfare is our paramount concern.
- Make it clear to all applicants for staff and voluntary positions within the nursery that their position is exempt from the Provision of the Rehabilitation of Offender’s Act 1979.
- Voluntary and paid applicants who apply to work at the nursery will be interviewed and will also spend one session in the nursery before any appointments are made.
- Both paid and voluntary staff will have a DBS check carried out.
- Staff, volunteers and students are prohibited from carrying around mobile telephones; these will be kept within the lockers provided. During outings senior staff members will carry mobile phones for emergency use only.
- Staff, volunteers and students are prohibited from using their own cameras and should only take photographs for the purpose of nursery use, for which parental permission has been given. Senior staff members are responsible for the development of photographs.
- The setting is aware of The Prevent Duty, June 2015 and will use the LSCB to refer to regarding radicalisation or extremism concerns, following any advice and support that they offer, or contact the dedicated telephone helpline for extremism on 03000 41 34 39.
- The setting has a GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS 2018 policy, which identifies the procedures for information sharing and is recognised as a vital legislative document, the setting recognises that the child’s welfare is always paramount, and this is recognised in its highest regard with any safeguarding issues.
- All staff will be trained to provide support and guidance so that children know that they will be listened to.
- The nursery will ensure that all paid staff will attend child protection training, so that the staff can understand and recognise the signs and symptoms of any forms of possible child abuse.
- Any member of staff affected by the issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from the designated person for child protection.
PREVENT ABUSE BY MEANS OF GOOD PRACTICE
- Adults will not be left alone with individual children or groups of children for a long period of time.
- Children will not be sent out of the room on their own.
- Children who do use unacceptable behaviour will be given a full explanation and not personal blame.
- Children will be encouraged to develop at their own pace, with full adult support to gain self-confidence, self-esteem and to learn self-awareness to reach their full potential.
- Children will have constant adult supervision at all times.
- Adults are advised that excessive attention to individual children may be deemed inappropriate and careful consideration to each child’s needs should be respected.
- Parents/guardians/carers are made aware of the nursery’s sun protection policy and procedure document.
- Parents do not have the automatic right to access child protection records.
- Staff are informed at interviews and at regular appraisals that they are expected to disclose any convictions, cautions, court orders, reprimands and warnings which may affect their suitability to work with children (whether this is received before or during their employment).
- During these appraisals staff declare if there are any changes to their living address, with regards to people who may be deemed inappropriate to have contact with children.
- The staff are to ensure sensitivity to children and their families regarding their culture and beliefs, whilst being aware of radical changes that may cause concerns regarding a child and their family, (such as sudden travel plans to Syria or Iraq), highlighting the need to seek further advice.
- Priority relating to female genital mutilation/child sexual exploitation and the prevent strategy is recognised by all staff.
RESPOND APPROPRIATELY TO SUSPICIONS OF POSSIBLE ABUSE
- If a child’s behaviour changes in any way that gives cause for concern, it will be noted and if necessary investigated by the Supervisor, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and/or designated behaviour management person and the child’s key person.
- The child’s parent/guardian/carer will be the first point of reference, but if deemed necessary the Supervisor may refer any suspicions to Social Services or Police.
- If a parent/carer with permission to collect a child is causing concerns that they are under the influence of alcohol, prescribed and non-prescribed drugs then the person in charge has the right to prevent that child from leaving the premises and an alternative point of contact and/or Social Service/Police will be contacted.
- All information and enquiries will be dealt with in a private and confidential manner.
- Staff will not discuss the children outside of the nursery.
- The main people involved will be parents/guardians/carers, the Supervisor and the child key person.
- Changes that may appear worrying/unusual in a child’s behaviour will be noted in the relevant records. The records will not only include changes in behaviour/progress, but also the date, time that these observations were made and by whom these were made by.
- Exact words spoken by the child must be noted, dated, times, in cases of a comment made by a child.
- Records will be kept in a safe, separate, locked cabinet and will only be accessible by the Supervisor and her deputy. When a child leaves the setting to go to another educational setting any documentation will be passed to the future educational setting when a receipt of these has been acknowledged. We will then keep this receipt for the required 25 year period.
- Children who have been identified as ‘in need’, including child protection issues will be observed closely and appropriate records will be kept safely.
- If a child attending the setting is being looked after by the Local Authority (LAC) then the setting will aid in the writing of a Personal Education Plan (PEP), with the external agencies working to support the child.
- The setting will also ensure that all the identified strategies to support the child’s individual needs are implemented into the setting with agencies working to support the child.
- The registers are used by means of good practice for daily safety of who is on the premises and awareness of children’s attendance. If a child is absent for a period of three days without prior knowledge with a rationale of absence, and then the Supervisor (or deputies in her absence) will contact the child’s family.
- Children will only be permitted to leave the premises in-line with completed documentation and permissions.
LIAISON WITH OTHER BODIES
- The nursery will liaise with other agencies effectively and will reflect and adhere to the Kent support levels for universal support level 1, additional support level 2, intensive support level 3 (assessment at front door) or specialist support level 4 (assessment at front door) .
- The nursery operates in accordance with local authority guidelines.
- The setting’s designated Safeguarding Officer/s will notify the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) of any allegations of harm or abuse.
- If it is deemed necessary, confidential records kept on the children whom the nursery has concerns over will be shared with Social Services.
- This will happen if the nursery is unsatisfied with any explanation that they are receiving about the concerns regarding the child’s welfare.
- If a report is to be made to the authorities regarding a child in need and a child protection referral form is sought/completed, the Supervisor will notify the child’s parents/guardians/carers, (if it does not jeopardise the child’s welfare).
- The Supervisor will maintain contact at all times with the registering authority: names, addresses, telephone numbers of individual social workers will be kept in case of an emergency. This will enable the nursery and Social Services to work together effectively.
- The nursery will ensure that all families understand the nursery’s responsibilities for the welfare of all children, which may include the need for a referral to other agencies in some situations.
- The nursery will take every opportunity to build up a trusting and supporting relationship between families, staff and volunteers.
- Where abuse within the child’s home environment is suspected the nursery will continue to welcome the child and their family, whilst investigations continue.
- Confidential records will be kept on the child, but these are available upon parental request to the Supervisor and cannot be taken off of the nursery premises. The parent/guardian/carer will not have access to any other child’s records.
- All information regarding the child’s welfare will be transferred onto the child’s future school/setting and their child protection officer, by registered delivery.
- The care and safety of the child is paramount and the nursery will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.
- If a referral is required, Social Services must be telephoned and the person making the referral should ask to speak to the Duty Social Worker on a child protection issue.
- When making a referral and a child is in need, parental permission must be sought. If a child is at risk, no parental permission is needed to make the referral.
- The Area Children’s Officer is able to offer support and guidance. Contact details can be found within the nursery’s telephone book.
- If a child is not collected after the session has finished and after 45 minutes and no contact has been made, the setting has the obligation to contact the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board (LCSB, LADO, Social Services). Or if deemed appropriate the Police.