Young children need to be looked after in environments where an awareness of safeguarding issues is integral to the day to day life of the setting. We know that most children will not experience abuse or neglect, but for those who do it is important that this is identified as soon as possible so that its impact on their development can be minimised. Good safeguarding practice in the early years is therefore vital. Staff should be aware of their settings safeguarding policy including what to do if there are concerns about the behaviour of a member of staff.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage states that all practitioners should have an up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding children issues and be able to respond appropriately to:
- Significant changes in children’s behaviour
- Deterioration in their general wellbeing
- Unexplained bruising, marks or signs of possible abuse; signs of neglect; comments children make which give cause for concern.
Supervision has been a statutory requirement of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework since September 2013. A supervision policy and related procedures must be in place. The process of supervision is well established for developing, supporting and managing staff.
It should provide practitioners with a route through which to raise any professional queries, discuss career progression, clarify roles and responsibilities, and to build confidence in supporting children’s development. It should also be an opportunity for practitioners to raise any concerns that they might have about children in their care, and to receive support to help them deal with difficult or challenging situations at work.
We have developed a range of training which uses lessons from serious case reviews together with government guidance to give participants a thorough grounding in the key elements of safeguarding children in the early years.