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
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
- 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
- Health (medicines) – as well as promoting good
health, providers should have procedures for when a child falls ill and for administering
- 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?
- 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.