Safeguarding Children/Child Protection Policy
Disclaimer from Ofsted: The EYFS requires that a setting's safeguarding policy 'should be in line with the guidance and procedures of the relevant local authority'.
EYFS: 3.4-3.18, 3.19, 3.21, 3.22
At Smartys Day Nursery (Stone) LTD we work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. Children have the right to be treated with respect, be helped to thrive and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form.
We support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development. In our setting we strive to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and we promote acceptance and tolerance of other beliefs and cultures (please refer to our inclusion and equality policy for further information). Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the nursery’s other policies and procedures.
This policy works alongside these other specific policies to cover all aspects of child protection:
- Online safety
- Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
- Prevent Duty and Radicalisation
- Domestic Violence, Honour Based Violence (HBV) and Forced Marriages
- Looked After Children
Legal framework and definition of safeguarding
- Children Act 1989 and 2004
- Childcare Act 2006
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
- Children and Social Work Act 2017
- The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017
- Working together to safeguard children 2018
- Keeping children safe in education 2018
- Data Protection Act 2018
- What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, in relation to this policy is defined as:
- Protecting children from maltreatment
- Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development
- Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018).
To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:
- Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image
- Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct
- Support staff to notice the softer signs of abuse and know what action to take
- Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development
- Provide a safe and secure environment for all children
- Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities
- Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling
- Always listen to children
- Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need
- Share information with other agencies as appropriate
The nursery is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Due to the many hours of care we are providing, staff may often be the first people to identify that there may be a problem. They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse.
Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for children’s social care, health professionals or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team, where needed.
The nursery aims to:
- Keep the child at the centre of all we do
- Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse (including the signs known as softer signs of abuse), understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour
- Be aware of the increased vulnerability of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and other vulnerable or isolated families and children
- Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, share information and seek the help that the child may need
- Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures, including thorough annual safeguarding newsletters ad updates
- Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out -STAFFORDSHIRE SAFEGUARDING BOARD
- Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest
- Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times
- Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff
- Identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the Staff Behaviour Policy
- Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or living or working on the nursery premises including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities
- Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur
- Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued by STAFFORDSHIRE SAFEGUARDING BOARD
At this nursery the designated person with responsibility relating to matters relating to child protection is: The manager on Duty
In her absence: The deputy manager
We will support children by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. We will devise activities according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence and self-esteem within their peer group and support them to learn how to keep themselves safe.
Contact telephone numbers
First response: 0800 1313 126
Local authority Designated Officer (LADO) – 0845 6042 886
Ofsted 0300 123 1231
Non-emergency police 101
Government helpline for extremism concerns 020 7340 7264
1st Response Contact details and MASH (Multi agency safeguarding hub):
0800 1313 126 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ask for LADO when reporting an allegation about a member of staff – in the event you feel your manager has not dealt with a situation accordingly.
Types of abuse and particular procedures followed
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children.
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (advice for practitioners) 2015.
The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused, but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.
Indicators of child abuse
- Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones
- Fearful or withdrawn tendencies
- Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff
- Repeated injuries
- Unaddressed illnesses or injuries
- Significant changes to behaviour patterns.
Softer signs of abuse as defined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:
- Low self-esteem
- Wetting and soiling
- Recurrent nightmares
- Aggressive behaviour
- Withdrawing communication
- Habitual body rocking
- Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking
- Over-friendliness towards strangers
- Excessive clinginess
- Persistently seeking attention.
Peer on peer abuse
We are aware that peer on peer abuse does take place, so we include children in our policies when we talk about potential abusers. This may take the form of bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. We will report this in the same way as we do for adults abusing children, and will take advice from the appropriate bodies on this area.
Action needs to be taken if staff have reason to believe that there has been a physical injury to a child, including deliberate poisoning, where there is definite knowledge or reasonable suspicion that the injury was inflicted or knowingly not prevented. These symptoms may include bruising or injuries in an area that is not usual for a child, e.g. fleshy parts of the arms and legs, back, wrists, ankles and face.
Many children will have cuts and grazes from normal childhood injuries. These should also be logged and discussed with the nursery manager or room leader.
Children and babies may be abused physically through shaking or throwing. Other injuries may include burns or scalds. These are not usual childhood injuries and should always be logged and discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and/or nursery manager.
Female genital mutilation
ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved. This procedure may be carried out shortly after birth and during childhood as well as adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy and varies widely according to the community . Symptoms may include bleeding, painful areas, acute urinary retention, urinary infection, wound infection, septicaemia, incontinence, vaginal and pelvic infections with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physiological concerns. If you have concerns about a child relating to this area, you should contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. There is a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, we will ensure this is followed in our setting.
Breast ironing also known as "breast flattening" is the process where young girls' breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage. Although this is unlikely to happen to children in the nursery due to their age, we will ensure any signs of this in young adults or older children are followed up using the usual safeguarding referral process.
This is also a type of physical abuse. This is where a child is presented with an illness that is fabricated by the adult carer. The carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation. The signs may include a carer exaggerating a real illness or symptoms, complete fabrication of symptoms or inducing physical illness, e.g. through poisoning, starvation, inappropriate diet. This may also be presented through false allegations of abuse or encouraging the child to appear disabled or ill to obtain unnecessary treatment or specialist support.
Action needs be taken if the staff member has witnessed an occasion(s) where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing, had an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or language. This may include acting out sexual activity on dolls/toys or in the role play area with their peers, drawing pictures that are inappropriate for a child, talking about sexual activities or using sexual language or words. The child may become worried when their clothes are removed, e.g. for nappy changes.
The physical symptoms may include genital trauma, discharge and bruises between the legs or signs of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Emotional symptoms could include a distinct change in a child’s behaviour. They may be withdrawn or overly extroverted and outgoing. They may withdraw away from a particular adult and become distressed if they reach out for them, but they may also be particularly clingy to a potential abuser so all symptoms and signs should be looked at together and assessed as a whole.
If a child starts to talk openly to an adult about abuse they may be experiencing the procedure below will be followed:
- The adult should reassure the child and listen without interrupting if the child wishes to talk
- The observed instances will be detailed in a confidential report
- The observed instances will be reported to the nursery manager or DSL
- The matter will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team (see reporting procedures).
Child sexual exploitation (CSE)
Working Together to Safeguard Children defines CSE as “…a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.”
We will be aware of the possibility of CSE and the signs and symptoms this may manifest as. If we have concerns we will follow the same procedures as for other concerns and we will record and refer as appropriate.
Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child, caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.
This may include extremes of discipline where a child is shouted at or put down on a consistent basis, lack of emotional attachment by a parent, or it may include parents or carers placing inappropriate age or developmental expectations upon them. Emotional abuse may also be imposed through the child witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them.
The child is likely to show extremes of emotion with this type of abuse. This may include shying away from an adult who is abusing them, becoming withdrawn, aggressive or clingy in order to receive their love and attention. This type of abuse is harder to identify as the child is not likely to show any physical signs.
Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been any type of neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation or failure to seek medical treatment, when required, on behalf of the child), which results in serious impairment of the child's health or development, including failure to thrive.
Signs may include a child persistently arriving at nursery unwashed or unkempt, wearing clothes that are too small (especially shoes that may restrict the child’s growth or hurt them), arriving at nursery in the same nappy they went home in or a child having an illness or identified special educational need or disability that is not being addressed by the parent. A child may also be persistently hungry if a parent is withholding food or not providing enough for a child’s needs.
Neglect may also be shown through emotional signs, e.g. a child may not be receiving the attention they need at home and may crave love and support at nursery. They may be clingy and emotional. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
All staff have a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and suspicions of abuse. These concerns will be discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) as soon as possible.
- Staff will report their concerns to the DSL (in the absence of the DSL they will be reported to the Deputy DSL)
- Any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given will be recorded and stored securely
- If appropriate, the incident will be discussed with the parent/carer, such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to these records on request
- If there are queries/concerns regarding the injury/information given then the following procedures will take place:
The designated safeguarding lead will:
The designated safeguarding lead.. Always a minimum of 1 safeguarding lead per setting
- Contact the local authority children’s social care team to report concerns and seek advice (if it is believed a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police)
- Inform Ofsted
- Record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised
- Speak to the parents (unless advised not do so by LA children’s social care team)
- The designated safeguarding lead will follow up with the Local Authority children’s social care team if they have not contacted the setting within the timeframe set out in Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2018). We will never assume that action has been taken,
Keeping children safe is our highest priority and if, for whatever reason, staff do not feel able to report concerns to the DSL or deputy DSL they should call the Local Authority children’s social care team or the NSPCC and report their concerns anonymously.
These contact numbers are displayed on the wall in the staff room.
Recording Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosures- in line with GDPR
Staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure, supported by the nursery manager or designated safeguarding lead (DSL). This record should include:
- Child's name
- Child's address
- Age of the child and date of birth
- Date and time of the observation or the disclosure
- Exact words spoken by the child
- Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen
- Exact observation of any incident including any concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time
- Any discussion held with the parent(s) (where deemed appropriate).
These records should be signed by the person reporting this and kept secure in file.
If a child starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important not to promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. As soon as possible after the disclosure details must be logged accurately.
It may be thought necessary that through discussion with all concerned the matter needs to be raised with the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted. Staff involved may be asked to supply details of any information/concerns they have with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the local authority children’s social care, police, and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children.
Staff must not make any comments either publicly or in private about the supposed or actual behaviour of a parent or member of staff.
ALWAYS NETWORK WITH OTHERS
ALL PRACTITIONERS AND MANAGERS PLEASE:
Think critically and systematically but with the presence of compassion
REMEMBER safeguarding is EVERYONES priority
Although it is Smartys aim to provide high quality childcare at all times there are occasions when it may be necessary to bring to our attention an area of concern or specific grievance.
We welcome any such matters as it is only by addressing areas of complaint that we can ensure that high standards are maintained at all times.
Any parent’s who may have any concerns are always encouraged to contact the nursery staff (This being your child’s key worker, room supervisor) who will be more than happy to help you, this may mean referring you straight to the nursery manager where they will speak to you straight away or arrange a more convenient time to discuss your concerns.
The manager will then bring the matter to the proprietor to either be resolved if it has not been done so or to inform them of the parent’s concerns.
However there may be occasions when you need to make a more formal complaint in writing. We will investigate such complaints and report back to you within 28 days.
Should a complaint not be resolved following the above then the parent has the option to take the matter to Ofsted’s complaints department. The details for Ofsted are below:
Telephone Number: Web Address:
0300 123 1231 www.ofsted.gov.uk
It is the nurseries policy to review all complaints and to keep an accurate record of these and to ensure that repeated incidents can be monitored, resolved and prevented from recurring.
IT IS SMARTYS AIM TO RESOLVE ALL COMPLAINTS BY HOLDING DISCUSSIONS WITH PARENTS
We follow parent’s wishes as to where and when the babies sleep. We have a variety of cots, bouncers and sleep mats. We do not have set times for sleeping. Babies sleep as needed but also in line with their parents wishes.
Our babies nappies are changed regularly throughout the day or whenever needed. The carers check the babies’ nappies regularly. Each child has their own box where we store your child’s own nappies, wipes and creams (we do ask for parents to provide these).
Our babies are encouraged to explore and become mobile as they begin to cruise, crawl and walk around the rooms.