Early Years providers are an important part of the network that helps to safeguard our children and babies.
Babies represent the highest numbers within our child protection plans and both locally and nationally have the highest likelihood of being harmed through abuse or neglect.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements (2021 p.21 sections 3.4 – 3.8, England only) state “providers must be alert to any issues for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. Providers must have and implement a policy and procedures to safeguard children.”
The EYFS in England also states that in every setting there must be a designated person to take lead responsibility for safeguarding. For childminders, this responsibility falls to themselves. This designated safeguarding lead (DSL) must be trained in child protection, and all childcare professionals must be trained so that they understand the importance of their safeguarding policy and procedures and know how to follow them. To do this they will need to also have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues.
The Safeguarding Children Partnerships of Leicester and Leicestershire & Rutland are supporting the Early Years workforce to meet their safeguarding requirements.
Through their Safeguarding Children Competency Framework. This sets out the minimum requirements from the Safeguarding Partnerships of those who work with children. It also recognises that it is not only through training that we learn, and that there are many different ways we can evidence that we are competent in certain areas of safeguarding practice.
Through their Multi-Agency Safeguarding Children Training Programme, which offers:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) courses - These courses are being presented in many ways. Some of these courses cover the role for new DSLs but obviously can still be accessed by those just wanting a refresher. We also provide refresher courses for those who need an update. There are online and in person courses available.
Core Awareness in Safeguarding Children and Young People – This is for the childcare professionals in your settings covering the 10 Core Competencies of the Safeguarding Children Competency Framework for those who work or volunteer with children.
All of the above courses and also courses that are about different topics which link to the priorities of the Safeguarding Children Partnerships or are from recent reviews, either local or national, can be found through accessing the multi-agency safeguarding children training programme.