Child Protection Policy

icon_carLEGISLATION ON CHILD PROTECTION e.g The Children (N.I) Order 1995, taking into consideration the five main principles of the Order, the first being ‘the welfare of the child is paramount’.
We intend to create in our pre-school an environment in which children are safe from abuse and in which any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to. We will comply with Health and Social Services Guidelines on Child Protection and have appointed designated persons to deal with Child Protection issues in the early years setting.

Exclude Known Abusers

Before staff are employed, they have to undergo rigorous checks and are carefully selected.

All appointments, both paid and voluntary, will be subject to a probationary period and will not be confirmed unless the pre-school is confident that the applicant can be safely entrusted with children. See Staffing and Employment Policy.

Prevent Abuse by Means of Good Practice

All staff are familiar with the Policy and Procedures and do attend appropriate training.

Children will be encouraged to develop a sense of autonomy and independence through adult support in making choices and in finding names for their own feelings and acceptable ways to express them. This will enable children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches.

The layout of the playroom permits constant supervision of all children. Adults will not be left alone for long periods with individual children. An adult who needs to take a child aside e.g first aid/toileting accident, will leave the door ajar.

Respond Appropriately to Suspicions of Abuse

Changes in children’s behaviour/appearance will be investigated. Parents will normally be the first point of reference, though suspicions will also be referred as appropriate to the Social Services Department. All such suspicions and investigations will be kept confidential, shared only with those who need to know.

Keep Records

Whenever worrying changes are observed in a child’s behaviour, physical condition or appearance, a specific and confidential record will be set up, quite separate from the usual on-going records of children’s progress and development. The record will include, in addition to the name, address and age of the child: timed and dated observations, describing objectively the child’s behaviour/appearance, without comment or interpretation: where possible, the exact words spoken by the child; the dated name and signature of the recorder. Keep record until child’s 21st birthday due to the possibility of legal action.

Liaise With Other Bodies

The pre-school operates in accordance with local authority guidelines. Confidential records kept on children about whom the pre-school is anxious will be shared with the Social Services Department if the pre-school feels that adequate explanations for changes on the child’s condition have not been provided.

If a report on a child is to be made to the authorities, the child’s parents will be informed at the same time as the report is made.

With the proviso that the care and safety of the child must always be paramount, the pre-school will do all in its power to support and work with the child’s family.