Childminder Policy Statement
Our first responsibility and priority is towards the children in our care. If we have any cause for concern, we will report it, following Brighton & Hove’s Safeguarding Children Board. The relevant local procedures that are held by us are available on request. We understand that child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, neglect or a mixture of these. We must notify OFSTED of any allegations of abuse, as soon as possible failure to do so within 14 days is an offence.
Procedure (how I put the statement into practice)
I keep up to date with child protection issues and relevant leading legislation by taking regular training courses and by reading relevant publications such as Who Minds and Nursery World. This helps me be aware of the signs of abuse or neglect and what to do if I have a concern.
We are aware of Brighton Hove Local Safeguarding children board (LSCB). We are registered with the above for regular updates. We will also check web site weekly.
In order to help identify a child’s safeguarding needs, we will always engage in listening to children about their living. This is fundamental to the promotion of children’s rights and to protecting children from all forms of abuse.
If we are concerned about a child’s welfare, we may contact the local authority, the NSPCC, Morton Michel or other relevant support services for advice, providing this does not affect confidentiality. Child Protection concerns that could identify a particular child are kept confidential and only shared with people who need to know this information.
Parents must notify us of any concerns they have about their child and any accidents, incidents or injuries affecting the child, which will be recorded.
We work proactively with children to develop their awareness of child protection and safety. For example, we provide opportunities within learning activities/routines to help children identify and label parts of their bodies. Stories and discussions are also used to enable children to explore issues of personal safety and abuse which are appropriate to their developmental evels and ability to understand. We positively encourage children to express their fears, anxieties and feelings without fear of ridicule or rejection and seek to work together with parents to take sure the care of their child is consistent and that we support each other in the child’s child protection learning.
If we notice:
- significant changes in behaviour
- unexpected bruising or marks
- any comments which give me cause for concern
- deterioration in general well-being which causes concern
We will implement the local Safeguarding Children Board procedures without delay to minimise any risk to the child. We will call the Advice contact and Assessment service and will follow up with a letter within 48 hours. We will keep a factual record of the concern and will ask the parents for an explanation, providing it would not put the child at risk. By law, we must let OFSTED know of any concerns that we have reported without delay.
If a child tells us that they or another child is being abused, we will:
- show that we have heard what they are saying and that we take their allegations seriously
- Encourage the child to talk, but we will not prompt them or ask them leading questions. We will not interrupt when a child is recalling significant events and will not make a child repeat their account.
- explain what actions we must take, in a way that is appropriate to the age and understanding of the child.
- write down what we have been told using exact words where possible
- make a note of the date, time, place and people who were present at the discussion
- Report my concerns immediately to the ACAS who have the experience and responsibility to make an assessment of the situation.
- ACAS –Advice and Assessment Service.
If an allegation is made against me or a member of the household/staff, I will report it to OFSTED and Darrell Clews following the Safeguarding Children Board procedures. Please see separate policy Allegations of abuse Policy.
In all instances I will record:
- the child’s full name and address
- the date and time of the record
- factual details of the concern, for example bruising, what the child said, who was
- details of any previous concerns
- details of any explanations from the parents
- any action taken such as speaking to parents
It is not my responsibility to investigate the situation myself.
Useful telephone numbers
ACAS (Advice Contact Assessment Service………01273295920
Darrell Clews Local Authority Designated Officer Direct Line ……………………………..01273295643
Police Child Protection Team …………………………01273 685539
NSPCC Child Protection helpline (24 hours)………..0800800500
Local Early Years Team……………………………….…01273 293670
I urge any parents/ carers or children reading this policy if they feel anything is needed to be added or altered to talk to me and together we can look at the possibility of amending the policy to ensure I am offering the best service I can deliver to all.