At Peapods Nursery, 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.
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
· Acting to enable all children to have the best outcomes.
(Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2015).
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 staff understand how to recognise early indicators of potential radicalisation and terrorism threats and act on them appropriately in line with national and local procedures
· 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 and updates
· Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by the Safeguarding Children Board
· Make any referrals relating to extremism to the police (or the Government helpline) in a timely way, sharing relevant information as appropriate
· Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know to protect the child and act in their best interest
· Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access always
· 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 the Safeguarding Children Board.
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.