This help centre article was written for childminders preparing for registration with the Koru Kids' Home Nursery service
This article is a recap of what you learn in your Safeguarding training with regard to your responsibilities.
Responsibilities of the Early Educator
It is vital to note that the safeguarding of the children in your care is ultimately your responsibility.
There are two main safeguarding responsibilities of any childcare practitioner:
To recognise when a child is at risk of a ‘significant impairment to achievement’ or ‘significant harm’.
To recognise when a child is ‘unlikely to achieve normal standards of health and development’.
And to take action and work with the family - this may mean seeking support of local support services / working with other services involved with the family (e.g. counsellors, support groups).
If an Early Educator has any concern about a child in their care, they must contact their Local Authority Safeguarding Hub as soon as possible. You can find information on contact details here.
You must log factual information; the date, time, marks on the child’s body or comments, disclosures (word for word ideally) that you are concerned about on a “Cause for Concern” form.
If the child arrives with bruising or marks, an Injury on arrival form needs to be filled out, following the same policy and procedure as an accident form.
This will be filed in the child’s personal file. The parent/carer will be asked about the bruising/marks and their response will be added and both the parent and you must sign the form.
You must ensure that accurate written records about a child are kept even if there is no need to make an immediate referral and that all such records are kept confidentially and securely.
Where an immediate referral is not required, you must continue to monitor the child and situation.
Early Educators are the Designated Lead Person for safeguarding at their provision.
The lead person has primarily two main roles:
Firstly, to be the key point of liaison for any assistants employed and for other professionals.
Secondly, to ensure that you and any assistants employed are appropriately trained and supported in your knowledge of safeguarding and child protection concerns.
Early Educators are responsible for keeping their safeguarding knowledge up to date.
You must take annual refresher courses with Koru Kids (we’ll remind you of this), and also sign up to receive updates from your Local Authority Safeguarding Hub
You can read more on Local Authority Safeguarding Hubs, including contact details for each hub, by clicking here.
You are also expected to take relevant Safeguarding courses to increase your knowledge. Koru Kids Early Educators will have free access to a wealth of Safeguarding courses.
Early Educators are responsible for making sure that any assistants they employ are aware of safeguarding procedures.
This includes making sure that they have completed both Koru Kids Safeguarding training and Local Authority Safeguarding training.
You must also make them aware of the Safeguarding policy and procedures for your setting.
Early Educators must establish and maintain links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with enquiries of a child protection nature.
When you attend your local authority safeguarding training you will establish a link with their Local Safeguarding Board.
You will attend case conferences, family support meetings, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings, contribute to assessments, and provide reports as required.
Early help and support
Providing early help and support is most effective in promoting the welfare of children.
Through observation and assessment and tuning into your children, you should aim to provide support as soon as a problem emerges.
By making partnership and two-way communication with parents a priority, you should aim to ensure that you can identify children and families who would benefit from early support.
You should co-operate if required with local agencies to provide targeted early help services to address the needs of the child and their family.
You should be particularly alert to the potential need for early help for a child who:
Is disabled and has specific additional needs ;
Has special educational needs;
Is a young carer;
Is in a family circumstance presenting challenges for the child, such as substance abuse, adult mental health, domestic violence; and/or - is showing early signs of abuse or neglect.
If there is more than one agency working with the child and/or family, it is essential that contact is made and relevant information is shared.
If you find out any safeguarding matter relating to the child, it is your responsibility to share this information with all other known agencies who are working with the child.
No practitioner should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to keeping the child safe.
Consent should be sought before making a referral unless doing so will place the child at increased risk of significant harm.
Further safeguarding procedures
Phones and cameras must be used sparingly in your setting.
Assistants, visitors and older children must not carry or use personal mobile phones and cameras within working hours.
When parents are in your setting whilst picking up or dropping off children you need to ask them politely not to use their mobile phones. If they are there for an extended period (e.g. settling in) ask them not to carry their phone either. That is, they should leave it in a bag by the door.
Your mobile phone will be used to contact parents and to record children’s experience while in your care. You should keep its use whilst you are looking after children to a minimum. You must delete all photos of children after they leave your setting - both digital and physical copies.
The Internet can be positive, but children need to learn to use it safely:
The Internet is a positive resource to support teaching and learning.
Computer skills are vital to accessing life-long learning and employment.
Using the Internet should result in significant educational benefits, including access to information from around the world.
It is important for children to learn to be e-safe from an early age and your setting can play a vital part in starting this process. Internet use must be carefully planned and targeted within a regulated and managed environment.
It is your duty to ensure that children in your setting are not exposed to inappropriate information or materials. You must also ensure that children know how to ask for help if they come across material that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Children’s Internet access must only be for educational use and include appropriate filtering.
We have further advice about screen time in this article.
You must not discuss individual children on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media.
If you employ an assistant, you must constantly supervise them to ensure that you are monitoring their practice.
It is your responsibility to coach them and upskill them in their practice.
You must record the details of every visitor to your setting.
You must ensure that you have control over who comes into your setting so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children in your care.
All visitors must be accompanied whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use, however, wherever possible, visits should be arranged outside of working hours.
If someone other than the child’s parent or usual carer wants to collect a child from the setting, they must notify you in advance and arrange for them to repeat a set password to you.