Childminder Guides > Early Years Safety Blog > Emergency Contact Details for Children

Emergency Contact Details for Children

Keeping children safe in the early years


There is a requirement in the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England to collect certain information from parents including emergency contact details.


For example, a recent article in Schools Week talked about a child who died partly because staff at his nursery did not have emergency contacts for anyone other than the child’s mother (and the mother had died). It is important to reflect on what emergency contact details you request from parents at induction and how regularly these details are updated and reviewed –


However, many early years providers do not believe this goes far enough and, to support safeguarding, they ask parents for 2 further emergency contacts in case parents cannot be contacted.

The above referenced article demonstrates the importance of having contact details in addition to parents – relatives or friends or, in extreme cases, the contact number for social services if you are unable to contact the child’s parents and other emergency contacts.


Information collection: it is important that providers ensure emergency information is collected during induction and kept updated and accurate. It is also important that providers can contact either parents or their nominated emergency contacts if there is a problem.


Paperwork: offers a free emergency contact form for members as part of children’s initial information. This must be updated regularly –


Here are some brief scenarios for you to consider –


Non-arriving parents: it is a requirement of the EYFS to have a policy to follow in case parents do not arrive to collect their child from you as part of your Safeguarding / Child Protection Policy and Procedures. For example, they might be delayed or involved in an accident. You will, of course, ask them to contact you if they know they are going to be late and agree a time up to which you will keep their child before contacting the police or social services – depending on your local authority recommendations.

Think about: what would you do if a child was uncollected at the end of their session?




Non-arrival: It is a requirement in the Ofsted Early Years Inspection handbook to promote, ‘prompt and regular attendance’. It is also a requirement to monitor children’s attendance, although attendance is not mandatory in the early years.

Think about: what would you do if a parent failed to bring their child to their booked session?


Accidents – children: a child falls headfirst off the slide at the park. You do not have emergency contact details for parents with you / your phone does not have any reception.

Think about: what would you do if a child had a serious accident, and you could not contact parents?


Accidents – childminder – you are injured in the house or on an outing and unable to speak for the children.

Think about: how would emergency services work out which child was which and who to contact for them?


Emergency – childminder – think about a scenario where you are working on your own in the home environment with your full complement of early years children and you receive a phone call from someone saying you have to leave immediately. You should have someone you can contact in an emergency to hand the children over to, so you can leave knowing their parents will be contacted immediately to collect them. This person should have paediatric first aid and Ofsted state they should be safe and suitable to be around children.

Think about: who will you nominate as your emergency contact?


No contacts: you ask about what to do in an emergency and parents say they cannot give you emergency contacts. Maybe they are new to the country, or their families are not available.

Think about: you will need to inform parents that in an emergency where they cannot collect, you will contact social services to care for their child.


There are different times when you might need emergency contacts for the children. Hopefully they will be rare, but having a person to ring if parents cannot, for whatever reason collect their child will give you peace of mind that you are supporting their care needs.

In some instances, you might need to contact social services or the police to care for the child. You should make parents aware of this and explain when and how you will make this decision.


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