ST. MARY’S NURSERY

SAFEGUARDING  POLICY

Statement

The St. Mary’s Nursery Safeguarding Policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by The Children Act 1989 and 2004.  The Early Years Foundation Stage, Sections 175 and 176 Education Act 2002 and related guidance including The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (1999), Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) and What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2006), and statutory frameword 2014.  The staff and committee members of St. Mary’s Nursery take seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children entrusted to our care.  The designated person for Child Protection who has overall responsibility for child protection practice in the nursery is Sara Laker, the deputy being Sarah Brady.

As part of the ethos of the setting we are committed to:

  • Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern.
  • Providing an environment in which children feel safe, secure, valued and respected, confident to talk openly and sure to be listened to.
  • Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties.
  • Using learning at the setting to provide opportunities for increasing self awareness, self esteem, assertiveness and decision making so that young children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others.
  • Working with parents to build an understanding of the setting’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations.
  • Ensuring all staff are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the setting’s procedures and lines of communication.
  • Monitoring children who have been identified as ‘in need’ including the need for protection, keeping confidential records which are stored securely and shared appropriately with other professionals.
  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies.

This policy is in line with The Kent & Medway Safeguarding Children Procedures (2007).

Staff’s Roles and Responsibilities with regard to Child Protection

Everyone involved in the care of young children has a role to play in their protection.  As a member of staff in St. Mary’s Nursery, we are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance.  If we have any reason to suspect that a child in our care is being abused, or is likely to be abused, we have a ‘duty of care’ to take action on behalf of the child by following the setting’s Child Protection Policy.

Designated Person For Child Protection’s Roles and Responsibilities

The setting’s Designated Person (Sara Laker, deputy Sarah Brady) is responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating child protection action within the setting and liaising with other agencies.
  • Ensuring the locally established procedures are followed including reporting and referral processes, making referrals as necessary and maintaining a confidential record system.
  • Acting as a consultant for other staff members to discuss concerns and ensuring that they have up to date child protection training.
  • Representing the nursery at inter-agency meetings, Strategy Discussions and Child Protection Conferences.

How to Share Your Concerns

Those connected with the nursery (staff, committee, parents, carers, students, visitors) will voice their concerns in the first instance with Sara Laker – the designated person or Sarah Brady – deputy designated person.  If any person wishes to discuss concerns with an outside agency the telephone numbers are listed below.

Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO)                  

 03000 410 888

Are Safeguarding Advisor (Education)                         

Peter Lewer                                (Office) 03000 415648

(Mobile) 07917 602413

Lin Storton (Admin)               (Office) 03000 415648 (Mobile) 07717895731                

Social Services Offices (Central  Duty Service 24 hrs)                                03000 411 111

 Please see ‘What is Child Abuse’ for further information.

Allegations against a Member of Staff

In the event of all allegation made against a member of staff, student, committee member or visitor, the designated person, Sara Laker, will immediately inform the Area Children’s Officer (Early Years).  They will assess whether the allegation reaches the threshold for referral to social services/police and advise accordingly regarding further action to be taken in respect of the child and the member of staff.  Sara Laker will also report any alleged incident to Ofsted and what measures we have taken.  We are aware that it is an offence not to do this.

Any allegation against a member of staff can be reported verbally to another member of staff or to the designated person (Sara Laker) or deputy designated person (Sarah Brady). This may also be done in writing addressed to the designated person or to the committee chairperson (Torie Davies) at the nursery address.  They may also make a complaint by telephone to the Mid Kent Area Children’s Officer (Early Years) on 01233 898696 Incidents may also be reported to Ofsted on 0300 121 3155 (Whistleblowing)  or in writing at:

Ofsted , Piccadilly Gate, Store Street,

Manchester, M1 2WD

The designated person will:

  • Write a report, confined to facts, without interpretation, opinion or judgement.  The report may contain statements and comments from witnesses.
  • Ensure that the any child concerned in an alleged allegation is removed from danger.
  • Not try to investigate the alleged incident themselves and will not interview the staff member concerned unless instructed to do so by social services or police.
  • Report the alleged incident to the Chairperson of the Nursery Committee.
  • Report the alleged incident to Ofsted.
  • Ensure that all information is dealt with confidentially and shared with people who need to or must know.

Where social services/police and the nursery committee agree that it is appropriate the member of staff will be suspended from duty on full pay while the allegation is investigated.

If the concern is about the Designated Person or Manager of the nursery please report your concern to the above numbers.

Disqualification and Risk by Association

The Statutory Framework EYFS 2014 states that a registered provider or a childcare worker can be disqualified from registration.  If a childcare provider or worker is disqualified they may no longer be able to continue to work with children, nor be directly involved in the management of any childcare provision.  A registered provider or childcare worker may also be disqualified because they live in the same household as another person who is disqualified, or a person employed in that household is disqualified.

If the manager or staff of St. Mary’s Nursery become aware of relevant information which may lead to disqualification of an employee, we will take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of children in our care.  In the event of disqualification of a person employed in St. Mary’s Nursery, we will not continue to employ that person.  The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009.

Complaints Policy

We believe children and parents/carers are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes.  We work in partnership with parent/carers and the community and are open to suggestions on how to improve our policies at any time.  We believe that most complaints are made constructively, are important to you and can be  dealt with at an early stage.  Please talk to your child’s key person in the first instance as complaints or worries can often be sorted out fairly quickly with them.  Alternatively you may fill in a comment/complaint slip and place it in the yellow posting box on the notice board.   It is in the interests of the nursery and parents/carers that complaints are treated seriously and dealt with quickly and fairly.  If parents/carers are uneasy about any aspect of nursery provision they should speak to the Manager (Sara Laker).

Complaints Procedure

  • The complaint will be recorded and a plan of action implemented within 5 days – immediately if the complaint is regarding Child Protection or a breach of Welfare Requirements).
  • If there is no satisfactory outcome within two weeks or if the problem reoccurs, the parent/carer should put their concerns in writing to the manager.
  • A meeting with the manager and parent/carer will be arranged.  The parent/carer may have a friend or partner present if they wish.
  • A written record of the discussion will be made.
  • If agreement is still not reached between parent/carer and manager then a further meeting will be arranged between the parent/carer and the Committee Chairperson (Torie Davies).
  • If agreement is still not reached after this stage then an external mediator who is acceptable to both parties will be invited in to listen to both sides.  They will be able to help define the problem, offer advice and review the action so far and suggest ways in which it might be resolved.
  • All discussions will be kept confidential.

In some circumstances it may be necessary to involve Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education).  Ofsted must be involved if a child appears to be at risk or where their appears to be a possible breach of registration requirements.  The nursery will follow requirements as set out by Ofsted in respect of any complaint made by a parent/carer.

CONTACT DETAILS FOR OFSTED

 

Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

Telephone:   0300 121  3155 (whistleblowing)

www.ofsted.gov.uk  email:  enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

Mobile Telephones and Digital Devices

Please see our CODE OF CONDUCT for full details of this policy.

Supervision

Government guidance has identified that effective supervision is important for any practitioner, from any agency, involved in day to day work with children and their families (Working Together to Safeguard Children, chapter 2, para 4 DfE 2013).  Supervision is a regular, planned, accountable two-way process which should offer support and develop the knowledge, skills and values of an individual, group or team.  Supervision provides an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues including the safeguarding of children and any concerns raised about an individual or colleague’s practice.  At St. Mary’s Nursery we carry out recorded supervision for all staff every half term (6 times a year) in accordance with The Statutory Framework for EYFS 2014.

Looked after children

We are committed to providing quality provision based on equality of opportunity for all children and their families.  We will do all we can to enable looked after children in their care to achieve and reach their full potential.

Procedures

  • The term ‘looked after child’ denotes a child’s current legal status and this term (or acronyms such as LAC) will be used to categorise a child as standing out from others.
  • We are able to offer places (subject to numbers on our current register) to three and four year old children who has been with their current carer for at least one month.
  • We will allow the carer to stay with the child during the settling in period for as long as this is necessary.
  • If a child who is attending our setting is taken into care we will continue to offer the placement for that child.

 

Outings

Children benefit from being taken out of the nursery on outings to local areas or other suitable venues.  These outings will enhance each child’s learning experiences.  Nursery staff ensure that children are kept safe on all outings and all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the procedures set out below.

Procedures

  • Before each outing, we will require written parental permission, medical consent form and two contact phone number. These will be taken with a first aid kit, staff details and spare clothes and mobile telephones.
  • When we travel to venues by coach, we require that all children are accompanied by a parent or carer.
  • A member of staff will carry out a prior visit to assess any safety risk.  Results of these risk assessments are made clear to parents/carers and all staff and volunteers accompanying us on the outing.
  • Parent/carers will be made aware of contact mobile telephone numbers before the outing begins.  Staff will ask for contact mobile telephone numbers of each parent/carer before the outing begins.
  • All coaches used on outing will be fitted with seat belts and staff will ensure that these are used by children and adults on the outing.

Procedure before/during/after Outing

  • A register will be taken before leaving the Nursery
  • A headcount will be taken when all children/adults are on the coach
  • A register and headcount will be taken before leaving the venue

Procedure for children lost whilst on an outing

  • In the event of losing a child whilst on an outing – staff should be informed as soon as the child is identified as missing.
  • The police will be called.
  •  Two members of staff will stay with parents and other children.  All other staff will organise a search ensuring that the entire area is covered.
  • If parents are not present at the outing, they will be telephoned at this time.

Lost children (within nursery premises)

Safety of each child at nursery is our priority.  We take care to ensure that entrance gates are locked and only people identified and accepted by nursery staff are admitted, whilst allowing rapid exit by the whole group in the case of an emergency.  We take all possible precautions to ensure that children do not leave the premises without an accepted adult.

Procedures to ensure that children do not go missing from nursery premises

  • An accurate and up-to-date register must be kept
  • Key people of new children should take special care to ensure that both children and their parents know where they may and may not go. Key people will also seek advice from parents new to the group so that they are forewarned about particularly adventurous children
  • Parents and staff should work together for the safety of all the children in the group. New parents should be helped to take an active role by being made aware of the group’s safety procedures and being encouraged to alert a member of staff if they notice a child whose behaviour suggests that she/he might be thinking of trying to leave

Procedures to follow if you cannot find a child within nursery premises

  • The chances of finding a missing child safe are greater if the child’s absence is soon discovered. Know how many children should be present and make regular counted checks
  • The group is responsible for the missing child and also for the other children in the group. Elect a member of staff to gather all the remaining children into one large group for a story, whilst the rest search. Without alarming them, ask the children themselves whether they have seen the child who is missing
  • Check all the adults are present and that all know the problem. Check every room in the building and also any accessible outside areas
  • Call the child’s parents, alarming them as little as possible, to warn them that the child may be attempting to get home. If they are out or at work, the group should contact the emergency numbers. If the child lives within walking distance of the group, one adult should make the journey on foot in order to catch up with or intercept the child if possible
  • If the above steps do not locate the child, the police must be called
  • Inform the Chairperson as soon as possible
  • Start to build up a record of the event as soon as possible. Include in the record the last definite sighting of the child and anything unusual that day about the behaviour of that child
  • The child’s parents will be frightened, distressed and probably angry so it is important to be very careful from the beginning about the words you use to talk to people about the incident. Say

how sorry you are that the incident has happened

that a full investigation is in hand

that  Social Services have been informed

  • Other parents need to be given brief, accurate information as rapidly as possible. It might be possible to call a short meeting when parents and careers come to collect children
  • During the time a child is missing, however briefly, all adults involved suffer great fear, guilt and distress. It is not always easy to control all these emotions when the child is found. It is important to remember

that the child also might have been afraid and might need comfort

that the child may be completely unaware of having done anything wrong

that the incident provides a good opportunity to talk to all the children to ensure that

they  know that they must not leave the premises and why.

Procedure for collected children

  • Children are only released from the care of the provision ot individuals named by the parent.
  • The Nursery will need written consent from parents/carers as to who can or cannot collect their child.
  • The nursery will ask parents/carers to introduced or bring in a photograph of the person who is going to collect their child.
  • A password will be set up by the parent/carer and kept on file, only to be used when an unfamiliar person will collect the child.
  • In an emergency a parent/carer may telephone the nursery with a name and description of the adult collecting a child.  We will then ask for a password to be set up if there is not one on file.  The parent/carer is responsible for informing the collector of the password.  We may ask for identification from the collector.
  • We will not release a child into the care of an adult who is unknown to us or to a person we consider to be a child.

Procedure for uncollected children

  • The Manager or Deputy Manager will telephone the parents/carers home, mobile and work number first.
  • If unsuccessful they will telephone the two contact numbers on the child’s contact form.
  • Two members of staff will stay with the child until he/she is collected.
  • If the child is not collected after two hours the Manager or Deputy Manager will contact the Local Social Services and/or the police.

Confidentiality and Information Sharing

Information (ie., contact forms, assessment recorders) will be kept in a secure locked filing cabinet and will not be removed from the nursery.  All information held on children within the nursery may be seen by parents/carers of that child at any time.

We are obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it or to whom it relates if it is in the public interest when:

  • It is to prevent a crime from being committed or intervene where one may have been committed.
  • Where there is evidence or reasonable cause to believe that the child is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm.

Procedures

  • The decision to share information shall be made with the back up of the committee.
  • We will ensure that there is a legitimate purpose for sharing the information.
  • Information shared will be accurate and up-to-date, necessary for the purpose is is being shared for and shared only with those who need to know.  It will be shared securely.
  • The child’s well being and safety is paramount, and we will continue to follow our own procedures for reporting concerns as stated in ‘safeguarding children’.
  • Parents/carers will have access to profiles and contact forms of their own child/children, but will not have any access to information about any other child.
  • Information given to staff by parents/carers will not be shared with anyone without the parent/carers permission, except where it effects planning for that child’s needs or is in the interests of the welfare of that child.
  • Personal information about a child will not be shared with students on visits or placement, and students will be made aware of our confidentiality policy and procedures.
  • Parents will be consulted before referral toother agencies if this is as a result of concerns about the child’s development.

This is in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Digital Devices – Acceptable Use

New technologies have become integral to the lives of children in today’s society both within nursery and in their lives outside nursery.  This policy recognises that the internet and other digital information and communication tools are vital to the education of all children and at St. Mary’s Nursery we ensure that children will have good access to ICT.  Staff at St. Mary’s Nursery will ensure that children are taught to be responsible users and stay safe whilst using the internet and other communication technologies for educational, personal and recreational use.  The designated person responsible for ensuring the acceptable, safe use of cameras and ICT equipment is Sara Laker (Manager).

Children’s use of The Internet

  • Use of the internet will be under strict supervision by nursery staff and will only be for purposes such as research and learning activities.
  • The use of games and children’s websites will be monitored by practitioners to determine suitability.

Staff use of The Internet

  • Use of the internet on nursery premises should be for nursery use, such as accessing learning resources or accessing email on nursery business.
  • Use of the internet to access any illegal sites or inappropriate materials is a disciplinary offence.  If inappropriate material is accessed accidently then this must be reported immediately to the designated person (Sara Laker or Sarah Brady) and the computer shut down.
  • The use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is inappropriate during nursery sessions.  These should not be accessed using nursery equipment.  Staff must recognise that they should not post material which is damaging to the nursery’s reputation or which is considered confidential, such as issues relating to children or other staff members, via these networks.  Those who post materials which might be considered as inappropriate could render themselves vulnerable to criticism or allegations of misconduct.
  • Parents or carers of children attending the nursery must not be accepted as ‘friends’ on social networking sites.  The exception to this will be if a there is a pre-existing relationship with the parent or carer, in which case the Manager will be advised.
  • Staff are advised to have a high security level on their social networking sites and that they should review this regularly.

Staff, Student and Visitor use of Cameras

The Data Protection Act 1998 affects the use of photography in Nurseries.  This is because an image of a child is considered to be personal data.  It is very important that we protect the identities of some children attending St. Mary’s Nursery.  It may be that Looked After Children (LAC) are attending nursery and their whereabouts may be confidential.  Therefore it is essential that all those connected to the nursery should consider the impact of this technology and follow the simple rules below.

  • Any photographs taken by staff, students or volunteers within the nursery or during outings or any other nursery activity will not be put on public display or published anywhere on the internet (including social networking sites).
  • Cameras will not be taken into the toilet area.  If key people wish to take photographs of children washing their hands, they may only do this with the express permission of the manager, and with another staff member present.  The images will then be checked by the manager.
  • All photographs will be printed from nursery camera memory cards and used for learning journals or nursery displays only and will not be removed from the nursery or used for any other purpose unless sanctioned by the Manager, with  appropriate parental permission gained.
  • Staff cameras on mobile telephones or personal cameras or cameras on any other digital device will not be used at any time within the nursery or on outings or other nursery activities.
  • All nursery cameras will be locked in the office at the end of each nursery session.
  • Visitors to the nursery are not permitted to take photographs of children when on nursery premises.
  • The manager reserves the right to check all images on nursery cameras at any time.
  • We are unable to prevent parents/carers from taking photographs or video footage of children during events such as parties, outings and nativity plays.  It is vital that parents/carers understand that any photographs or DVD footage is for personal use only, such as putting in family albums.  Anything rather than private use of images or DVD’s may contravene the Data Protection Act 1998.  Therefore parents/carers must be especially careful not to put images onto social networking sites such as Facebook.
  • The nursery staff reserves the right to limit the taking of photographs or DVD footage if we consider this to be inappropriate, such as on Health and Safety grounds, i.e., bulky equipment being used or excessive use of flashlights.

Children’s use of Cameras

  • Children will be supervised when using nursery cameras and will be instructed in the acceptable use of cameras at nursery, i.e., cameras will not be taken into the toilets.
  • Images taken by children will be monitored by staff.

Mobile Telephones

  • All staff, students and visitors will keep their mobile telephones in the nursery office. 
  • Mobile phones will not be used by staff anywhere within the nursery premises except the office, with the permission of the manager.
  • Parents and carers of children are asked not to use mobile phones when leaving or collecting their children from nursery.

Code of Conduct

Nursery staff, students, voluntary staff shall ensure that corporal punishment is not given to any child.  Corporal punishment will never be threatened or use or threaten any form of punishment which would have an adverse effect on a child’s well being (The Education Act 2002 and The Childcare Act 2006).

Physical intervention will only be used in order to prevent personal injury to a child or children or an adult, or to prevent serious damage to property, or where such physical intervention would be reasonably regarded as being used in exceptional circumstances.

Physical intervention, when used under any circumstances, shall be reported to the child’s parent/carer on the same day.

All staff will promote equal opportunities ensuring that children are included and not disadvantaged because of gender, ability, culture, religion, family background, home language, ethnicity, learning difficulties or disabilities.

Staff will be mindful of children’s personal development, ensuring that their learning opportunities will help them to progress towards the early learning goals.  Key people will carry out sensitive observational assessment, giving regard to the child’s feelings, development and cultural background.

Practitioners will allow children to develop and use their home language and will provide opportunities for children to develop English as this is crucial in order for them to access learning.

WHISTLEBLOWING

If any staff member, parent/carer or anyone connected in any way to the nursery has suspicions about a child being abused or are concerned about the actions of a staff member they have a duty to report this. This is vital to ensure that no child will continue to be unnecessarily at risk.  These matters should be brought to the attention of the Designated Person, Sara Laker or the Deputy Designated Person, Sarah Brady.  Witnesses should always be aware that fear of repercussions, fear of not being believed and fear of getting it wrong should not prevent them from reporting incidents.  If a person is uneasy about informing members of staff, including the designated person, they must report the incident or concern to the following:-

Ofsted Whistleblowing                 0300 121 3155

Area Children’s Officers               03000 415648

Or                                                           07917 602413

Social Services

(County 24 hours)                         03000 411 111

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