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07/01/2011
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Adults have a robust approach to keeping children safe

A systematic approach to safeguarding protects children and reassures parents
Induction and support of new staff ensures consistent care for children
Active risk management helps children keep themselves safe
Ongoing training and development equips adults to safeguard children well

A systematic approach to safeguarding protects children and reassures parents

Child safety is a priority in well-organised settings. Policies and procedures are effective, and monitoring of practice is rigorous. Safe recruitment practices include thorough checks on the suitability of new staff. Adults are never left alone with children until these checks are satisfactorily completed. All adults are clear about their roles and responsibilities and confident in carrying them out, including working with other agencies to safeguard children. Concerns and complaints are investigated thoroughly and action is taken where needed to improve children’s safety. The certificate of registration is clearly displayed as required, showing parents the setting is registered and working within any conditions that have been set. The setting’s safeguarding policy and arrangements are shared with parents, reassuring them that their children are kept safe.

Induction and support of new staff ensures consistent care for children

New staff are supported to learn about how the setting runs, including a thorough understanding of its policies and procedures. Induction includes time to get to know the children and their individual physical and emotional needs, so children feel safe, comfortable and happy with the adults looking after them. Mentoring arrangements ensure staff are regularly observed in their work with children. Staff receive regular feedback and discuss their development and training needs, and these are acted on.

Active risk management helps children keep themselves safe

In well-organised settings providers are careful in assessing potential risk and taking effective steps to prevent accidents while allowing children freedom to discover and learn safely. Adults are vigilant in enabling children to learn how to keep themselves safe, on trips and visits outside as well as within the setting.

An inspector said: ‘Staff remind children of safety rules and use innovative ways to explain safe practices, such as asking a child to demonstrate how high children may climb up the ladder bars.’ (pre-school)

Children said:
‘You have to wash your hands, 'cos there's germs, if you swallow them they could kill you. '

'You must not play about with the knives and forks at the dinner table, it might poke you in the eye.’

‘We don't take our shoes off in case there is any glass.’

‘We have to leave all the toys and get out quickly so that the fire does not burn us.’ [children learning what to do in case of fire]

‘We stay in this playground and can go as far as the grass triangle.’

‘You can't go too high on the swing because of the littler ones.’

Ongoing training and development equips adults to safeguard children well

Well-organised settings have an active training and development programme for all staff, including those that have been in the setting for some time. This ensures adults have the up-to-date qualifications and skills needed to provide for the particular needs of children attending. Often, more adults are trained than the minimum required in areas such as child protection and first aid for babies and young children. The training ensures adults are able to respond with confidence and knowledge to child protection concerns.

An inspector said: ‘Staff are qualified, enthusiastic and extremely competent. They regularly undertake short training courses on topics such as “respect and dignity”, food hygiene and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) briefings, so children are cared for by informed and knowledgeable practitioners.’ (nursery centre)