Safeguarding Policy

Policy Statement:

As registered childminders our first responsibility is the safety and welfare of the children in our care. If we have any concerns about a child in our care we will report them. We recognise that child abuse can be neglectful, sexual, physical and emotional or combinations of these. We follow the procedures set out by West Sussex County Councils Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Ofsted/Childminder Agency must be notified of any allegations of abuse that are alleged to have taken place while a child is in our care.


Procedure:

Suitable people and Safeguarding during our care

  • We have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure.
  • Our family members living at our home have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure.
  • Our assistant(s) will have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure before being left alone with any child as per Ofsted/Childminder Agency guidelines
  • We have undertaken Safeguarding training as required by the EYFS Framework document, and through these am aware of the signs and symptoms of physical, sexual, neglect and emotional abuse and what to do if we have concerns and also the legislation involved in Safeguarding children.
  • We will have regard to the Government’s statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.
  • We have incorporated the 'Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings, document into our working practises
  • We are aware of the Pan Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Children Procedures and web resources. We regularly check and make sure we are up to date with any changes.
  • We will keep a record of visitors who come into our childminding premises.
  • We will try to ensure no tradesmen call at our house during childminding hours unless required for repairs needed for health and safety. At no time shall any minded child be alone with a tradesman.
  • We will not allow people whose suitability has not been checked to have unsupervised contact with children who are being cared for by me.
  • Confidentiality about children in our care and their families will be maintained at all times.
  • We will ensure all registers, child information sheets, incident reports, accident reports and any other documents relating to the children in our care are kept up to date and are stored in a safe place.
  • To protect ourselves we will look to record all details of existing injuries in the Accidents/Incidents book and ask the parents to sign the form.
  • All children should be within our sight and/or hearing at all times depending on their age and development.
  • We will tell parents immediately of any incident or accident occurring while their child is in our care and record these in an incident/accident report and get the child’s parents to sign it.
  • Anytime physical intervention is used with a child to manage their behaviour for the safety of themselves or others this will be recorded as an incident and parents will be told the same day and asked to sign that they have been informed.
  • We shall ensure that we always use appropriate language with the children and ensure any other people in the house do the same.

Safeguarding Policy

If we become concerned about a child’s welfare

  • We may get concerned about a child’s safety and welfare if the following occurs (not an exhaustive list)
      • Signs of neglect
      • Unexpected bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse or neglect
      • Any children’s comments which gives us cause for concern
      • Signs of deterioration in general wellbeing which causes concern
      • Significant changes in a child’s behaviour
      • Any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside our care for example in the child’s home
      • Inappropriate behaviour shown to a child by an assistant or any other person in our home. For example, inappropriate sexual comments or excessive one to one attention beyond what is necessary or inappropriate sharing of images.
  • We will keep a record of the causes of concern.
  • If appropriate, as long as it will not put the child at further risk, we will talk to the parents of the child once we become reasonably confident about the grounds for concern and record all the information.
  • If we have concerns about children’s safety or welfare, we must notify agencies with statutory responsibilities without delay. This means the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board – Multi agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and, in emergencies, the police. This will be followed up with a written form within 48hrs.
  • We will maintain confidentiality only when there is no risk of harm to a child.
  • We will inform the parents that we are making a referral but will only do so if it will cause no further risk to the child.
  • We will follow the advice given to us from the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and record all the information.
      • We will notify Ofsted on 0300 123 1231/Childminder Agency on 01444 848118.
      • Parents must inform us about any incidents, accidents or injuries or any concerns about their child and these will be recorded.
      • Child protection concerns that could identify a child are kept confidential and only disclosed to people who need to know this information.
      • We work closely with parents to maintain continuity and consistency of care – please see our Working in Partnership with Parents Policy.
      • If a child makes a disclosure to us that they or another child is being abused;
            • We will reassure the child that we have heard what they have told us and that we take what they have said seriously.
            • We will not interrupt, prompt or ask leading questions when a child is recalling significant events. We will encourage the child to talk but will not ask a child to repeat what they have said.
            • We will explain what we are going to do in an age appropriate way for the child to understand.
            • We will record what we have been told using the exact words if we can and make a note of the date, time, place and people who were there during the disclosure.
            • We will immediately phone the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and inform the social worker on duty of the disclosure and our concerns so they can make an assessment of the situation.
        • If a child abuse allegation is made against us or an assistant
        • If we receive any allegations against ourselves or any person living or working at the setting, we will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) immediately to discuss the allegation and any steps that need to be taken. We will then inform Ofsted and / or the childminder agency within 14 days of an allegation being made.
                        • We will contact our insurer and other parties as we see fit for advice, including the best path to follow if an allegation is made about our assistant.
                  • If the parent hasn’t already done so, we will suspend the childminding contact.
                    If an allegation of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises is made
                  • We must inform the LADO and Ofsted/Childminder Agency of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere).
                  • We must notify Ofsted/Childminder Agency of the action taken in respect of the allegations.
              These notifications must be made as soon as practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made.


Recording

  • For all concerns we have about a child we will record;
      • The child’s full name and address
      • The date and time of the record
      • The factual details of the concern e.g. what was said, any injuries, who was there.
      • Details of any concerns noticed before
      • Exact details of any explanations given by the parents
      • Any action taken e.g. ringing Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or speaking to parents.
      • Any records of accidents, incidents and details of existing injuries will be kept along with Public Liability insurance certificates until the child is 21 years and 3 months.
      • Our duty is to pass on concerns to the appropriate people and not to investigate concerns ourselves.


Mobile Phones and Cameras

      • We recognise that as childminders we need to be contacted by parents at all times and when we are in the house we use our landline/mobile, however when we are out of the house we will use our mobile phone to contact parents or for them to contact us.
      • Visitors to the house will be required to leave any mobile phone, laptop or camera that they have with them in a safe place away from the children or in their car and if they need to use their phone they will need to do this away from the minded children.
      • Our childminders and assistant(s) working with at Little Footsteps are also aware that where their mobile phone is used to take photos to upload to the online journal that they should not be stored on the phone and any photos that appear on the phone should be deleted before leaving the setting.
      • Our mobile phones should be kept out of the reach of the minded children.
      • Our childminders/assistant’s mobile phones should be kept away from the children.
      • For the children’s learning journals and our observation, planning and assessments we will be taking photographs and video recordings of the children. To safeguard ourselves and the children the following procedures will be followed;
            • No photographs or video recordings will be taken without written consent from the parents and will be for the purpose of the children’s learning journals, records, observation, planning and assessments and for sharing with the parents and on our website if written consent by a parent is given. Photos and video which are used in the children's online learning journal will be used in line with the Online Learning Journal Policy.
            • All photos and video recordings will be downloaded to a password protected computer or network storage device and we are registered with the Information Commissioners Office under the Data Protection rules.
            • All photos and video recordings stored on our computer will be deleted once a child leaves our care. Online learning journals will be archived for 3 months after a child leaves to give parents a chance to download their child's online journal before being deleted from the online learning journal system.
            • We will try to ensure not to place ourselves in any position which could be interpreted in a negative way and lead to any complaints or allegations against us.

             

            Useful Telephone Numbers and Addresses

                • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm 01403 229 900 and out of hours - 03302226664
                  Email - MASH@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk
                • Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - Lindsey Tunbridge-Adams - 0330 2223339
                • Email - Lindsey.Tunbridge-Adams@westsussex.gov.uk
                • Assistant LADO - Anne Richards - 0330 222 7191
                • Email - Anne.Richards@westsussex.gov.uk
                • Safeguarding in Education and Allegations Management Team, Room 24, Durban House, Durban Road, Bognor Regis, PO22 9RE
                • NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
                • Ofsted - 0300 123 1231
                • Little Footsteps Childcare Ltd (Childminder Agency) – 01444 848118
                • Sussex Police - 101 ask for Safeguarding Investigations Unit or in an emergency dial 999
                • Family Information Service - 01243 777807


      Useful Telephone Numbers and Addresses

      • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) - Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm 01403 229 900 and out of hours - 03302226664
        Email - MASH@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk
      • Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - Lindsey Tunbridge-Adams - 0330 2223339
      • Email - Lindsey.Tunbridge-Adams@westsussex.gov.uk
      • Assistant LADO - Anne Richards - 0330 222 7191
      • Email - Anne.Richards@westsussex.gov.uk
      • Safeguarding in Education and Allegations Management Team, Room 24, Durban House, Durban Road, Bognor Regis, PO22 9RE
      • NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
      • Ofsted - 0300 123 1231
      • Pacey - 0800 169 4486
      • Sussex Police - 101 ask for Safeguarding Investigations Unit or in an emergency dial 999
      • Family Information Service - 01243 777807