Safeguarding & child protection

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.’ EYFS 2017.

What is ‘safeguarding’?

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment.
  • Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development.
  • Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.

Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children, 2018’.

Choochoos ethos

Choochoos believes that all those directly involved within our setting have an essential role to play in making it safe and secure. We aim to create the safest environment within which every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Our responsibility in promoting the welfare and safeguarding of all children and young people is vital.

What do we do at Choochoos to safeguard children & promote their welfare?

  • Have a Designated Safeguarding and Child Protection Officer/Deputy.
  • Provide Safeguarding and Child Protection training to all employees as part of their induction. Keep employees regularly updated.
  • To ensure all employees know what to do if they have any concerns and support them to notice signs of abuse and know what action to take.
  • Attend training about up to date and current safeguarding guidance.
  • Have a safeguarding policy underpinning our practice.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all children, families, employees and visitors.
  • Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling.
  • Always listen to children and maintaining their welfare as paramount.
  • Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need.
  • Share information with other agencies as appropriate.
  • Follow guidance, training and updates from the KSCUMP (Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-agency Partnership) team.

Recognition & categories of abuse

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. There are many signs that may indicate a child has been abused or will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these signs or any of them. All employees at Choochoos are aware of the definitions, signs and symptoms of abuse. There are four categories of abuse, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Emotional and Neglect.

Prevent guidance

Choochoos follows the Prevent Duty to protect children from being at risk of radicalisation and extremism. Choochoos actively promotes British values in our day to day routine and practices. We aim to effectively engage and work closely with our parents, carers and families by securing a strong key person approach.

Choochoos employees complete channel training online, as part of their induction. Employees will be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do if identified. If employees have any concerns or worries about our children, parents, families, siblings or employees they will follow our safeguarding procedure.

For more information, refer to this ‘Channel poster’.

Lockdown

Following on from the Prevent Duty, one of the emergency procedures we practice is called a ‘Lock down’. In line with our public buildings insurance and legislation/guidance we are required to have a lock down procedure in place. This would be used if we felt that there was a threat or an emergency to the setting. It enables us to safeguard our children, visitors and staff the best we can.
This is a drill, a practice so that, should any event like this happen our children and staff would know what to do. We have procedures in place to evacuate the premises, but lock down advice is to remain safe in the setting. We would talk to our children about how we keep safe in a range of ways and include what we would do if we had someone one on site who posed a threat. This would range from any unknown dog, running around on site, to more serious events.

Female genital mutilation (Also known as FGM)

This type of physical abuse is practised as a cultural ritual by certain ethnic groups and there is now more awareness of its prevalence in some communities in England, including its effect on the child and any other siblings involved. Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

If employees have any concerns regarding FGM, they would inform our safeguarding officer immediately. All employees are provided with FGM online training as part of their induction. Choochoos includes FGM into our inhouse safeguarding training to ensure staff know the signs to look out for.