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Safeguarding and the EYFS

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Wednesday 27th of November 2019 Hadyn Luke 27/11/2019

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Safeguarding and the EYFS

As discussed in previous blogs, the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EFYS) sets the standards for learning development and care for children up to the age of five.

Section 3 of the framework focuses on safeguarding and welfare requirements, which are designed to ensure that children are kept healthy, safe and secure.

The aim is to provide a positive and stimulating environment for children to learn, develop and grow in confidence. All Early Years providers must take steps to safeguard the children in their care, which includes verifying the suitability of adults who come into contact with the children, creating policies and keeping records, and promoting good health and behaviour.

Schools usually have policies in place for all the children in their care; childminders are not required to have a written code but must have policies and procedures in place.

What areas come under Safeguarding?

These are extensive and comprise:

  • Child protection – from establishing policies and procedures to training staff and reporting concerns.
  • Suitable people – ensuring the suitability of adults who come into contact with the children in their care, including background checks and recording information on qualifications, identity checks and vetting.
  • Disqualification – ensuring that those disqualified from registration no longer work in Early Years provision and being aware of additional legal requirements. For example, a person may be disqualified because someone in the same household has been disqualified.
  • Staff taking medicine/other substances – these must not affect their ability to work safely with children and all medicines must be kept securely away from children’s reach.
  • Staff qualifications, training, support and skills – this covers areas such as induction training, professional development opportunities, staff supervision, qualifications required at different levels and knowledge of the English language.
  • Key person – children must be assigned a key person to ensure that their care is tailored to their needs.
  • Staff:child ratios – the ratio should be sufficient to ensure children are supervised and kept safe. There are strict regulations for different settings (eg childminder, schools etc), which must be adhered to.
  • Health (medicines) – as well as promoting good health, providers should have procedures for when a child falls ill and for administering medicines.
  • Food and drink – meals and refreshments should be healthy, balanced and nutritious, and providers should ask for information on specific allergies and dietary requirements. Food preparation areas should be suitably equipped and have the correct standards of hygiene.
  • Accident or injury – including having an accessible first aid kit, plus keeping records and informing parents/carers and Ofsted or the appropriate childminder agency of any accident or injury.
  • Managing behaviour – being aware of the appropriate ways of managing a child’s behaviour and not threatening or carrying out corporal punishment.
  • Safety and suitability of premises, environment and equipment – ensuring the space is suitable for children and includes outdoor space and/or activities; providing adequate toilet facilities; complying with health and safety legislation, such as preventing smoking on the premises and creating risk assessments.
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) – arrangements should be in place to support any child with SEN or disabilities. In some settings, providers will need to adhere to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and provide a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).
  • Information and records – keeping the correct records and sharing information when required with parents/carers and other professionals, while protecting confidentiality as appropriate. Having a clear procedure for complaints.
  • Changes that must be notified to Ofsted of the relevant childminder agency (CMA) – these range from change of premises or hours of operation to changes to management or staff.

What legal Acts are relevant to EYFS?

These include:

  • Children Act 1989, which gives statutory guidance about support for children and families

Anyone with concerns about a child’s safety or welfare should contact the local social care service for children or, if the situation is an emergency, the police.

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