Child Protection Policy 

Rationale

Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery believes that every child has the right to feel secure and safe from abuse and harm.  We are committed to protecting all the children in our care from harm during their time at Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery in line with the underlying principles of ‘Helping Every Child Achieve More’.

We have written this policy to ensure that best practice and procedures are carried out at the Nursery. This policy complies with the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework.

Child Abuse

Child abuse can manifest itself in a variety of different ways and across all cultures, areas and socio-economic groups.

The Nursery will ensure that all members of staff receive high quality and regular Child Protection training and will be competent at identifying signs and evidence of physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect.

Definitions of Child Abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape ) or non-penetrative acts. They may include involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child causing severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development, often by making them feel they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person, age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children, causing children frequently to feel frightened, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child's health or development, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs.

Implementation of Policy

Signs to Monitor

All staff and volunteers should be concerned about a child if: 

Golden Rules to Follow When a Child is Disclosing Abuse 

Golden Rules for Staff following a Disclosure of Suspected Abuse 

The Child Protection Officer (Penelope White) will be responsible for ensuring that written records are dated, signed and kept confidentially. Any incidents should be recorded on the Child Protection Record Sheet and handed immediately to the designated Child Protection Officer. The records will be kept in a locked and secure cupboard on the Nursery’s premises. 

If an allegation of abuse is made against the Child Protection Officer the Penelope White– who is the Nursery Manager the allegation should be made to the relevant social services department at the Local Authority front line Designated social worker for early years (previously know as LADO and now referred to as ‘Designated Officers’ or ‘Teams’) and can be contacted on 02083147280-Fiona Owens. They will then assume responsibility for the situation or delegate this role to a senior member of staff so as not to involve the member of staff under investigation. 

Dealing with Allegations 

The following procedures will be followed for a suspected or reported case of abuse: 

Referring Allegations to Child Protection Agencies 

If the Child Protection Officer has sufficient evidence that a child has been, or is in danger of being, subject to abuse, the following procedure will be activated: 

The Social Care department at the Local Authority will be informed immediately. The contact details are:

The Child Protection Officer will pass on all relevant information about the incident to social care and any other agencies as necessary. Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery will assist the investigation by social care as much as possible. OFSTED will be informed immediately of any allegations against a member of staff, student or volunteer, or any abuse that is alleged to have taken place on the premises or during a visit or outing.

Staff Support and Training 

Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery will ensure that it meets its legal and statutory responsibilities in respect of child protection through high quality support and training to staff and rigorous adherence to child protection guidelines.  

Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery will ensure that: 

Safe Caring 

At Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery all staff understands Stepping Stones Montessori Nursery Child Protection Procedures and sign to acknowledge they have read and understand their roles and responsibilities. They have had appropriate training and guidance in the principles of safe caring and this is regularly checked and reviewed during staff training sessions. 

Mobile phones and cameras 

 

Any questions or concerns regarding this policy should be made to the Nursery Manager Penelope White

 

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