Childminder Safeguarding - Q&A

​Safeguarding has not changed from previous inspections but there are new safeguarding challenges all the time and it is important that providers are aware of them and able to answer questions confidently during inspection.

This question and answer has been provided to complement previous blogs including the New inspection framework Q & A and Learning and development Q & A

 

Know the terms used…

What is Safeguarding? - Safeguarding is an aim to protect vulnerable children or adults from abuse and neglect.

What is child protection? - Child protection is the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

 

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions during inspection and how you might answer them…

 

What do I need to do before Ofsted arrive?

Read the Early Years Inspection handbook (EYFS) and check compliance – read the Ofsted Early Years Inspection handbook and know what Ofsted expect in relation to safeguarding –

 

Prepare your policies and procedures - there are 2 statutory policies required by the Childcare Register –

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Complaints

 

Note: your Local Authority might supply you with a ‘model’ safeguarding policy but it is important the policy is relevant to you and your ways of working so change it if necessary (it is unwise to use a generic policy) and read through it before inspection.

 

Do I need a safeguarding folder?


It is up to you whether you have a safeguarding folder or not. Some providers find it useful to keep all their safeguarding evidence together in a safeguarding folder but this is not a requirement of the EYFS.

 

 

Ofsted will ask safeguarding questions

It is impossible to say exactly what your inspector will ask you but, as a general rule, they use scenarios to test your knowledge. For example, the inspector might ask –

 

What are the 4 main types of abuse?

  • Physical – sexual – emotional – neglect

 

What are the signs of physical abuse?

  • Bruising – burns etc

 

What would you do if you saw signs of physical abuse eg fingertip bruising on a child?

  • Record it – ask parents if they know what has happened and record their reply (ask them to sign) as long as the child has not made an allegation of abuse and / or you do not believe it would ‘make things worse’ for the child at home  – monitor the child’s wellbeing.
  • If you felt it would ‘make things worse’ for the child at home or the child makes an allegation of abuse you must report it to the Local Safeguarding Children Board (your local contacts – check the website).

 

What are the signs of sexual abuse?

  • Bruising to intimate areas – bleeding to vagina or anal area etc

 

What would you do if you suspected sexual abuse?

  • Record concerns - ring your Local Safeguarding Children Board as noted in your safeguarding policy - report it to them for further investigation.

 

What would you do if a parent called their child ‘silly’?

  • Record concerns – linked to emotional abuse – and speak to parents if you feel they are affecting their child’s emotional health or wellbeing.

 

What would you do if a child makes a disclosure?

For example, you are changing a nappy and notice a bruise on a child’s leg … you are playing tickle and a child starts to cry because his rib is hurting: you look and see a mark that looks like a burn. If you don’t have an ‘accident / injury at home’ form completed by parents when they brought their child that morning, I think the normal reaction for most childminders is to ask the child, ‘What happened?’

If the child makes an allegation – also known as a disclosure of abuse – daddy did it… mummy hurt me… aunty hit me… you are legally required to follow the steps set out in your safeguarding procedures.

If you are looking after a non-mobile baby with an unexplained mark or bruise you must take advice as well - It is recognised that non-mobile babies are unlikely to be injured unless someone has caused them harm because they are not able to move into situations where they are likely to be hurt. Most LSCBs have a ‘non-mobile baby protocol’ which all early years providers must follow.

You are not qualified to ring parents and investigate a child’s allegation / disclosure of abuse – you are not qualified to make a judgement as to whether or not the child is telling the truth – you are legally required to report the allegation / disclosure immediately and let your LSCB decide what to do next / take over the investigation.

 

What are the signs of neglect?

  • Child is dirty – constantly hungry – dressed in the wrong clothes eg too small

 

Questions linked to the 4 main types of abuse

Inspectors might ask you about other types of abuse, linked to the 4 main types of abuse, for example, they might ask what you would do if you suspected…

 

Child sexual exploitation?

  • Record concerns – report to the Local Safeguarding Children Board – inform Ofsted  

 

Domestic violence?

  • Record concerns - signpost parent to local support services – report if you had evidence that the child was being abused – inform Ofsted

 

Forced marriage?

  • Record concerns - report concerns to the Local Safeguarding Children Board – inform Ofsted

 

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

  • Record concerns - report to the police (mandatory reporting) – inform Ofsted


You will be expected to know your safeguarding policy and procedures…

For example, your inspector might ask you –

 

Who would you contact locally if you suspected a child was being abused?

  • The answer to this varies depending on where you live – in Cheshire east it’s ChECS – visit your Local Safeguarding Children Partners website and note your reporting requirements.

 

What would you do if a child made an allegation of abuse against your partner?

  • Record the allegation – contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board – inform Ofsted.

 

What to do if you are worried a child is being abused (latest version – March 2015) 

 

What are the requirements of the Prevent Duty?

  • To risk assess the dangers of children being radicalised – to report concerns about radicalisation – to actively promote British values

 

What are the signs of a child being radicalised?

  • The child talks about war – guns – killing soldiers – their big brother going away to fight – their family going to fight with IS

 

Prevent Duty England and Wales (latest version – August 2015) 

Free Prevent duty training course 

Advice about complying with the Prevent duty 

 

What are British values?

  • Democracy
  • Rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
     

How do you actively promote British values?

You might talk about how you encourage children to take turns, share, be polite and respectful of others, listen in group times and visit local places of interest to teach them about the wider world.

 

British values advice from Foundation Years 

 

Ratios are part of safeguarding - What are your ratios?

  • The most important ratio is ‘no more than 6 under the age of 8’.
  • If you have a variation you will be expected to discuss your risk assessment and how you continue to meet the care and learning needs of each child.

 

What would you do if a child arrived with medication?

  • Check it comes in the original box, named for the child (if prescribed) and with instructions - complete a medication administration record form – ask parents to sign to confirm what it is for, when the medication should be administered and where it should be stored – sign when the child has been given the medication – ask parents to sign to confirm the medication has been given.

You might show your inspector a blank copy of your medication form.

 

How do you record accidents?

  • Write what happened - write whether first aid was administered - reflect on how it could be avoided next time for the risk assessment - ask parents to sign and date the record. 

You might show the inspector a blank copy of your accident form.


How do you record physical intervention?

  • Write what happened - write whether first aid was administered - reflect on how it could be avoided next time for the risk assessment - ask parents to sign and date the record. 

You might show the inspector a blank copy of your physical intervention form.

 

How do you record safeguarding concerns?

  • Your Local Authority might provide documentation, or you might have a simple ‘Incident Form’ to complete.

You might show the inspector a blank copy of your record keeping.

Free childminding record forms from Childcare.co.uk 

 

What would you do if nobody came to collect a child?

This should be set out in your Late Collection Procedures – these are statutory, required by the EYFS.

 

What would you do if you lost a child?

This should be set out in your Lost / Missing Child Procedures - these are statutory, required by the EYFS.

 

What would you do if a child was absent for a long time or regularly?

You need to encourage regular attendance because lack of attendance can be a safeguarding concern. If a child does not attend regularly and they are funded, you are required to report any concerns to the local authority. If you think lack of attendance might be linked to safeguarding concerns, you should report it to your local authority safeguarding team.

 

You may be expected to answer wider safeguarding questions

 

What would you do if a child didn’t arrive and parents had not booked them in for a holiday?

  • Make every attempt to contact parents – record the absence in the attendance register – contact the Local Safeguarding Children Board for advice if parents were not contactable or did not give an appropriate reason for the child not attending.

 

Show me your safeguarding training certificate… how often do you update it?

  • This varies depending on your Local Authority requirements – please check locally.
  • Regardless of when your Local Authority expect you to update safeguarding training, you should regularly review your skills and knowledge, audit compliance with the EYFS, update your documentation, review your policy etc.

 

Show me your paediatric first aid certificate…

  • Your training must be up-to-date (within the last 3 years) Ofsted approved paediatric first aid course - even if you are taking a break / ‘no children on roll’.
  • The EYFS says you must either display your certificate or have it in a file accessible by parents.

 

Show me your DBS certificate

  • You do not need a file with all your documents in it – but it does make inspection easier if you have one! If you don’t have a DBS – your police check / CRB check is held by Ofsted. If you have staff – you must have a ‘single central register’ equivalent list of DBS checks and other staff details

 

Show me your public liability insurance certificate…

  • Your insurance must be paid up-to-date (renewed annually) even if you are taking a break / ‘no children on roll’

Note – if you have staff you must display an Employers' Liability insurance certificate.

 

Show me your car insurance certificate

  • You should keep a copy in a folder for parents and easily accessible for Ofsted to see.

Note – if you have staff who drive the children, you will need a copy of their car insurance certificate as well.

 

What would you do if a child needed to go to hospital?

You should have a policy that is shared with parents – but it does not need to be in writing. As a general rule, paramedics advise that you send the child with the paramedics and make every effort to contact parents.

 

What is the link between behaviour and safeguarding?

It is important to monitor children’s behaviour – their wellbeing and involvement (see the Leuven Scales for more information). You need to recognise that if a child’s behaviour changes suddenly or over time it might be linked to safeguarding and that getting early help for the child can make a difference. You should work closely with parents to ensure you know what is happening in the child’s home and family life.

 

What would you do if a complaint was made against you?

Share information from your Complaints Procedures – and explain that you share it with parents.

 

What would you do if your partner was arrested by the police on suspicion of abusing a child?

  • Contact Ofsted to inform them immediately and follow advice

 

Do you allow mobile phones on the premises?

  • Most providers will say ‘yes’ to this question and then talk about their mobile phone and camera policy (required in writing by the EYFS).

 

Are you registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO)?

  • Yes – I am registered with ICO as a data handler – show the inspector your certificate

 

Do you do regular fire practices with the children?

  • We do fire practices every month (or following your own schedule) with the children and we record them in the setting diary – we note any problems and how we dealt with them

 

How do you teach children about keeping themselves safe?

  • Talk about your rich and varied curriculum that includes, for example, lessons on road and rail track safety and how you teach children about personal safety , for example, sharing information about the NSPCC PANTS rule 

 

How do you keep children safe online?

  • We monitor online use and we provide parents with information about keeping children safe online at home – we talk to the children about websites and chatrooms / online safety.

 

When would you inform Ofsted if you had concerns about a colleague?

  • Whistle blowing should be part of your safeguarding policy – you would inform Ofsted immediately if you had concerns about a child’s wellbeing or safety eg a colleague is over-minding or we suspect children are being abused.
  • If a staff member was suspected of abusing a child, you would immediately suspend them, pending investigation by the local authority. You would also inform Ofsted.


How long do you have to report concerns to Ofsted?

  • The EYFS says 14 days but we must report immediately / as soon as possible or Ofsted will ask why we sat on it

 

What is the statutory safeguarding paperwork?

Ofsted have reduced the paperwork they will ask to see to that which is required by the EYFS. Therefore, it is best practice to go through the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS and Childcare Register and to make sure you have everything it says including, for example,

  • Medication Administration Records
  • Accident, Injury and First Aid records
  • Local Authority safeguarding documentation
  • Physical intervention record
  • Child Protection / Safeguarding Policy
  • Attendance Registers etc.


What would you do if parent arrived drunk or under the influence?

  • This should be a procedure in your Safeguarding Policy, approved by your local authority safeguarding team. Note that you cannot withhold a child from a parent who has parental responsibility for them – you would have to let them go and ring the police. Your Local Authority Safeguarding team might have sample wording for you to use.

 

How do you keep updated with changes?

You might say, for example –

  • I do regular Local Authority training;
  • I use websites such as NSPCC to read about changes;
  • I do regular CPD on my Local Authority safeguarding website.

 

Safeguarding is a complex area of inspection and inspectors might ask a range of questions to test your knowledge and understanding of the subject. Regular professional development opportunities will keep you up-to-date and help you to feel confident about this part of the inspection.

Note that safeguarding is a limiting judgement – if you fail to show you know your safeguarding, you will not gain an outstanding or good grade during inspection.

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