Managing Allegations in Early Years Settings

Although it is a difficult decision to make, there may be times when those working with young children will want to report their concerns about the safeguarding practices and procedures of other professionals working with children. In this context, the term “professional” includes paid employees, volunteers, casual/agency staff and self-employed workers who will have contact with children as a part of their role.

In order to manage allegations against child care professionals, every Local Authority appoints a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). The LADO should be alerted to all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against children, or related to a child, or
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he may pose a risk to children. (Working Together 2015)

The LADO ensures that all allegations or concerns about professionals or adults working or volunteering with children are recorded appropriately, monitored and progressed in a timely and confidential way. The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The LADO provides advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

All early years settings need to notify Ofsted and the LADO of any allegations against their staff:

Ofsted can be contacted in three ways.

  • Call on 0300 123 3155 (Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm).
  • Email at 
  • Write: WBHL, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD

The Local Authority Designated Officer in Bristol is Nicola Laird who can be contacted on 0117 9037795

Early Years Prevent
Early Years Prevent
Enhanced Provision
Enhanced Provision

Safeguarding contacts

Dawn Butler, Early Years Manager: Inclusion