8. Explain the duty of
care for an early years practitioner to identify and act on a support need.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined
for the purposes of Working Together to Safeguard Children. Key principles for a
child centred and coordinated approach to safeguarding. Safeguarding is
everyone’s responsibility: for services to be effective each professional and organisation
should play their full part; and a child centred approach: for services to be
effective they should be based on a clear understanding of the needs and views
children from maltreatment;
impairment of children’s health or development;
that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe
and effective care;
action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
are best protected when professionals are clear about what is required of them
individually, and how they need to work together.
Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on the
local authority to make an investigation if they believe a child in their area
is suffering or is likely to suffer from significant harm. The local authority
must also decide whether to seek an order, provide services and/or review the
case at a later date.
Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on local
authorities to provide a range of services for children in need. This means all
of the local authority services and includes the provision of day care services
for the under 8’s, as well as support for children who have suffered abuse.
11 of the Children Act 2004 places responsibility on key agencies to safeguard
all children and promote their welfare. The act encourages agencies to share
early concerns about the safety and welfare of children and to ensure
preventative action before a crisis develops.
Provides a legal framework for inspection and regulation of
childcare; this includes the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for early
years and childcare provision from birth to 31st August following their fifth
birthday and the Childcare Register for services provided for older children
and young people. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 “The legislative
requirements and expectations on individual services to safeguard and promote
the welfare of children; and a clear framework for Local Safeguarding Children
Boards (LSCB’s) to monitor the effectiveness of local services. Effective
safeguarding systems are child centred. Failings in safeguarding systems are
too often the result of losing sight of the needs and views of the children
within them, or placing the interests of adults ahead of the needs of children.
Everyone who works with children – including teachers, GPs, nurses, midwives,
health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, police, Accident and
Emergency staff, paediatricians, voluntary and community workers and social
workers – has a responsibility for keeping them safe. No single professional
can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children
and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes
into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing
information and taking prompt action.”
The paramount duty of all childcare practitioners is to keep
the children in their care safe from harm and to ensure their well-being at all
times. To help them, there are plenty of CPD courses staged by early years
training organisations, specialist groups and charities, on a host of topics
from sun safety to anaphylactic shock. While it is not clear yet what will be
included in the welfare section of the reformed EYFS, there are certain courses
which must still be booked. Training in paediatric/childcare first aid is a
requirement for all childcare practitioners who require registration by OFSTED.
While these skills are probably rarely used, early years staff need to be
confident and proficient in them, so it is essential to arrange regular
refresher training. Staff involved in food preparation must hold the Chartered
Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Level 2 Award in Food Safety to meet
the requirements of the Food Safety Act and the Food Safety Regulations. Dame
Clare Tickell, in her review of the EYFS, recommends that the welfare section
of the EYFS is renamed the ‘safeguarding and welfare requirements’ and that the
welfare requirements are redrafted to improve their clarity. She also proposed
that the EYFS sets out clearly the high-level content of the child protection
training that lead safeguarding practitioners should be required to attend. There
are many courses on safeguarding. The Childcare Consultancy has developed a bespoke
course reviewing the Plymouth Review (see case study) which looks in detail at
points it raised, such as the inappropriate culture in the nursery, and
safeguarding recruitment including how to ask ‘value-based’ interview questions
to find out how a candidate thinks. Inclusion is key to effective practice in
the EYFS, which places such emphasis on the individual child. Staff can find
themselves supporting families and children with special needs with which they
One of the toughest tasks an early years practitioner can
ever face is supporting a grieving child. Help is at hand from the Child
Bereavement Society, which runs a course called Grief and bereavement in early
years settings. This gives practitioners an insight into very young children’s
understanding of death and the impact of bereavement on their holistic
development, and helps them to develop a framework for appropriate responses to
death within the setting.
9. Explain the practitioners role in
identifying support needs of children and/or families within own early years
involved in the care of children has a role to play in their protection. As an
early years childcare practitioner you are in a unique position to observe any
changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance. If you have any reason to suspect
that a child in your care is being abused, or is likely to be abused, you have
a duty of care to take action on behalf of the child.
believe the child, listen carefully to the child, take it seriously, reassure
the child they are right to tell, record the information as accurately as you
can, using the child words, include the time, setting and those present, as
well as what was said. This should be dated and signed. We do not display any
negative/shocked body language, jump to
conclusions, speculate or accuse anybody, interrogate the child. It is all right to ask
for clarification, but you should not ask leading questions. Misguided or
inappropriate questioning can do more harm than good promise to keep what the
child tells you a secret the child needs to know that you have to talk, to
someone who will be able to help them attempt to examine or undress the child
for evidence of non-accidental injury, or take photographs. Remember – All
those who work with children have a responsibility for their care. Think about
the child’s welfare as the most important consideration; and what does this mean
for that individual child in his/her own setting?
factual record of any concerns, i.e. exactly what you have seen and heard. If
the child says anything at all which gives you a concern this must be recorded
in the child’s own words and not your own. You may jeopardise future
proceedings if you substitute the child words for your own. Sign and date your
records for future reference. It is good practice to share any initial concerns
with the child parents, if you consider it appropriate, as there may be a
perfectly innocent explanation for changes that you have observed, for example:
sudden change in behaviour could be due to the death or illness of a close
family member or a pet
loss and/or failing to thrive could be symptoms of an illness
injury which could have been inflicted accidentally by a sibling or another
suspect sexual abuse or
do not get an explanation which you feel is consistent or acceptable from
feel that discussing the issue with parents may put the child at further risk
of significant harm or you think a criminal offence has been committed
To give all
children the best opportunities for effective development and learning in
Knowledge and Understanding of the World practitioners should give particular
attention to the following areas.
parents’ knowledge to extend children’s experiences of the world.
children become aware of, explore and question differences in gender,
ethnicity, language, religion, culture, special educational needs and
Support children with sensory impairment by
providing supplementary experience and information to enhance their learning
about the world around them.
a stimulating environment that offers a range of activities which will encourage
children’s interest and curiosity, both
indoors and outdoors.
Make effective use of outdoors, including the
correct terms so that, for example, children will enjoy naming a chrysalis if
the practitioner uses its correct name.
Pose carefully framed open-ended questions,
such as “How can we…?” or “What would happen if…?”.
Learning and Development
activities based on first-hand experiences that encourage exploration,
experimentation, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking,
decision making and discussion.
skills and knowledge in the context of practical activities, for example,
learning about the characteristics of liquids and solids by involving children
in melting chocolate or cooking eggs.
children to tell each other what they have found out, to speculate on future
findings or to describe their experiences. This enables them to rehearse and
reflect upon their knowledge and to practise new vocabulary.
Support children in using a range of ICT to
include cameras, photocopiers, CD players, tape recorders and programmable toys
in addition to computers.
Give children accurate information which
challenges cultural, racial, social and gender stereotypes.
Also to give
all children the best opportunity for effective development and learning in
Creative Development practitioners should give particular attention to the
children feel secure enough to ‘have a go’, learn new things and be
what children can do and children’s own ideas rather than expecting them to reproduce someone else’s picture,
dance or model, for example.
Give opportunities for children to work
alongside artists and other creative adults so that they see at first hand
different ways of expressing and communicating ideas and different responses to
media and materials.
Accommodate children’s specific religious or cultural
beliefs relating to particular forms of art or methods of representation.
development of babies and young children must be encouraged through the
provision of opportunities for them to be active and interactive and to improve
their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They must be
supported in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and
to make connections between new information and what they already know. They
must be supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical
activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.
Physical Development means for children: Babies and children learn by being active and
Physical Development takes place across all areas of Learning and Development.
children gain confidence in what they can do.
children to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active.
children to develop a positive sense of well-being.
Good health in the early years helps to
safeguard health and well-being throughout life. It is important that children
develop healthy habits when they first learn about food and activity. Growing with
appropriate weight gain in the first years of life helps to guard against
obesity in later life.
To give all
children the best opportunities for effective development and learning in
Physical Development practitioners should give particular attention to the
children’s confidence to take manageable risks in their play.
children to be active and help them develop movement skills through praise, encouragement,
games and appropriate guidance.
Notice and value children’s natural and spontaneous movements,
through which they are finding out about their bodies and exploring sensations
such as balance.
time to support children’s
understanding of how exercise, eating, sleeping, and hygiene promote good
equipment and resources that are sufficient, challenging and interesting and
that can be used in a variety of ways, or to support specific skills.
Allow sufficient space, indoors and outdoors,
to set up relevant activities for energetic play.
time and opportunities for children with physical disabilities or motor
impairments to develop their physical skills, working in partnership with relevant
specialists such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
additional adult help, as necessary, to support individuals and to encourage
increased independence in physical activities.
activities that offer physical challenges and plenty of opportunities for
Give sufficient time for children to use a
range of equipment to persist in activities, practising new and existing skills
and learning from their mistakes.
Introduce appropriate vocabulary to children,
alongside their actions.
mealtimes as an opportunity to promote children’s social development, while
enjoying food and highlighting the importance of making healthy choices.
settings must make sure they meet the “reasonable” special educational needs of
children. This means that education settings – early years settings, schools
and colleges – should be able to meet the needs of most children with a
learning disability. If a child or young person has SEN, or a setting thinks
that they might have SEN, they must follow this process:
must talk to a child’s parents or the young person to work out what support
might be needed.
Once a child
or young person’s needs have been identified, settings must decide what
outcomes they want the child or young person to achieve and what support should
be put in place to help them achieve those outcomes. There should be a clear
date set to review whether these outcomes have been achieved. Parents/the young
person must be involved in agreeing these outcomes. The staff, supported by the
SENCO where relevant, should put this support into practice. The support
received by the child or young person should be reviewed by the setting and
families/the young person to see if it is working or have been achieved. If it
is, it might continue. If it is not or the outcomes have been achieved, some of
the arrangements might be changed.
set out their arrangements for supporting pupils with SEN in an online policy.
You will be able to view this policy via your Local Offer.