SAFEGUARDINGSafeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children’s health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18.
Early years and childcare practitioners are in a unique position to observe changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance which give rise to concern about their well-being and everyone at a setting should act in a timely and co-ordinated manner to respond to any concerns about the welfare of a child. They also have a duty to comply with the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2016) as set out in section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006. There are four overarching principles set in the EYFS as the foundation of safeguarding measures for early years providers to follow including:
- Children learn and develop best in an enabling environment
- Children are unique, learn constantly and can become resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn and develop best in different ways and at different rates
- Children learn strength and independence from positive relationships.
For helpful advice on the signs and symptoms of child abuse and the underwear rule – PANTS you can use the NSPCC website
Dawn Butler, Early Years Manager: Inclusion