Online Safety is online safeguarding and part of our safeguarding responsibility at Choochoos.
Choochoos is aware of the growth of internet use and the advantages this can bring. However, we are also aware of the dangers, so we strive to support children, staff and families in using the internet safely.
Keeping Children Safe in Education states, ‘The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk’:
- Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material.
- Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users.
- Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes harm.
We aim to safeguard staff, families and children in keeping safe online. It is not about banning and restricting the use of the internet, but about educating children to make the right choices.
Our job is to educate and make parents/families aware of the risks and how they can prevent these. It needs to be a shared approach with parents, families and staff.
Parents, families and staff should be having conversations with their children about online safety from a young age, e.g. passwords, what is wrong and right, if it happens who to tell and go to, etc.
All staff are provided with online safety training as part of their induction and core training, which is provided by a reputable training provider and accessed by staff, as an online training course. Online safety is also shared with staff in our Choochoos Safeguarding and Child Protection training.
Staff and families can access our online safety policy and procedure at all times, in our lobby area or by email/paper copy on request. Choochoos keeps up to date with training available and any updates.
Some of the things Choochoos do to keep children and staff safe online:
- Choochoos promotes the use of the internet, along side government guidance, statutory framework for the EYFS, welfare requirements and birth to 5 matters.
- Choochoos DSL’s (Designated Safeguarding Leads) would oversee ‘Online Safety’ as part of their job role. If staff, parents or children have any online safety concerns they should inform our DSL straight away and follow their advice/support. Our DSL would follow our normal DSL safeguarding procedure.
- Choochoos provides care for children birth to 5 years, our practitioners review and adapt teaching on online safety to suit the child’s understanding and age, ensuring it is appropriate.
- We educate parents/carers, display and make available leaflets and posters. Support and advise, with any new updates or information. Useful websites, resources and activities are shared with our parents/families for use at home, these begin at our parent pack meeting.
- Choochoos has online safety books available for children to access in their time at Choochoos, e.g. digi duck, chicken clicking. Staff also use these books to educate our children with online safety. Choochoos provides activities and experiences that explore online safety.
- Supervising – ensure all ICT/DVD/iPad and any online items viewed or used by children, are checked and watched by ourselves first, to ensure safe and appropriate. Use of online items are supervised at all times and used for limited times.
- Use Choochoos cameras, phones and tablets only.
- Gain parent/carer permission to use their child’s photos online, on social media, in our newsletter or on our website.
- Gain staff permission to use their photo online, on social media, in our newsletter/website.
- Staff not becoming friends with parents/carers on any social media sites, during or after their employment at Choochoos.
- Confidentiality, staff are reminded to not write or discuss Choochoos outside of Choochoos, including online and any social media sites.
- Each room have ICT resources or a designated ICT area, as we actively encourage children to learn about how to use/operate ICT equipment.
- All staff have online safety training as part of their induction, this is renewed 3 yearly and updates yearly.
- Staff are shared all updates and important documents/guidance via email, nursery meetings and verbally to update their knowledge on online safety as and when needed.
- Staff mobile phones are kept in their lockers on silent, only to be used on their breaks/lunches in the staff room or out of the Choochoos premises.
- Safeguarding training for staff covers online safety. Staff are also required to complete an online safety course online as part of their induction.
- Ensuring we have appropriate antivirus and anti-spyware software on all devices and update them regularly.
- Integrating online safety into nursery daily practice by discussing computer usage ‘rules’ deciding together what is safe and what is not safe to do online.
- Teach our children how to keep safe online and what to do if something online makes them feel upset or worried.
- Children’s screen time is monitored to ensure they remain safe online and have access to material that promotes their development. We will ensure that their screen time is within an acceptable level and is integrated within their programme of learning.
- All personal data that is kept at Choochoos is in line with GDPR.
Please refer to our online safety policy and procedure for more information.
Helpful websites and resources for families:
- CEOP – The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre is a National Crimes Agency Command Centre. It was set up in April 2006 to protect children from online and offline sexual exploitation. https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
- IWF – Illegal things online, report to Internet Watch Foundation. https://www.iwf.org.uk/
- Parent Port – Inappropriate content for parents to report. http://www.parentport.org.uk/
- Digital Parenting Magazine – Free on Vodafone website/magazine. https://www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile/digital-parenting
- Childnet website – www.childnet.com
- Government guidance for online safety in early years – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-children-and-protecting-professionals-in-early-years-settings-online-safety-considerations