Safeguarding Policy

The children’s Act 1989 and the Early Year’s Foundation Stage state that ‘the registered person must comply with the local child protection procedures approved by the local safeguarding children’s boards and ensures that all adults working and looking after children in the provision are able to put the procedures into practice.”

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility!

Safeguarding – Is what we do to prevent harm

Child Protection – Is the way in which we respond to harm

Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare: The welfare requirements within the statuary framework for the early year’s foundation stage require providers to take the necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children in their care. They are required to implement an effective safeguarding children’s policy. The providers must ensure that any one working with them understands the safeguarding policy and procedure.

Providers should follow the guidelines set out in the booklet “what to do if you are worried a child is being abused” produced by the department for children, schools and families (DCFS).

We will also follow the guidelines of the Durham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Threshold Document (2020), which supports the Durham Staircase and Continuum of Need and Single Assessment Procedures.

The Childcare Act 2006, The Children Act 2004, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 and the Prevent Duty for England and Wales 2015 places statutory responsibility that as a childcare provider, manager, or member of staff in a day care setting, you are in a unique position to observe any changes in a child’s behaviour or appearance. If there are any reason to suspect that a child in your care is being abused or neglected or is likely to be abused you must take action on behalf of the child and contact an agency that has a ‘duty’ to make enquiries.

The Working together to Safeguard Children March 2018 DfE’states in its introduction as follows:

  • Whilst Local authorities play a lead role, safeguarding children and protecting them from harm its everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who meets children and families has a role to play.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined for the purposes of this guidance as:

- protecting children from maltreatment

-preventing impairment of children’s health and development

-ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care:

-taking actions to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Dawn till Dusk Childcare keeps up to date with all legislation and use the Working Together To Safeguard Children document (DfE) which was last updated 4th July 2018.

This policy is also based on EYFS Framework (2021) and the requests set out in the Children Act 2004 ('Every Child Matters').

The health, safety and welfare of all our children are of paramount importance to all the adults who work in our setting.  Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability.  They have a right to be safe in our setting.

Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are   met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.  We believe every child should be able to participate in all of the setting’s activities in an enjoyable, safe and stimulating environment and be protected from harm. This is the responsibility of every adult employed by, or invited to deliver services at Dawn till Dusk Childcare. As an organisation, we recognise that child abuse can be an emotive subject and therefore it is important to understand the feelings involved and not to allow them to interfere with judgment about any action that needs to be taken.

We recognise that abuse and neglect can result in underachievement. We strive to ensure that all our children make good progress within their learning and development.

Aims and objectives

Our aims are:

  • To provide a safe environment for children to learn in;
  • To establish what actions the setting can take to ensure that children remain safe, at home as well as at the setting;
  • To raise the awareness of all staff to these issues, and to define their roles and responsibilities in reporting possible cases of abuse;
  • To identify children who are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm;
  • To fulfil the Prevent Duty and promote British Values, identifying children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know how to help them;
  • To ensure effective communication between all staff on child protection issues;
  • To set down the correct procedures for those who encounter any issue of child protection.

Types Of Abuse

Child abuse takes a variety of forms, the 4 main areas being:

Physical abuse involves the hitting, shaking or other treatment of a child that can

cause actual bodily harm.

Physical Observations

  • Bruising: on the trunk or body, upper arms, shoulders, or neck that is consistent with gripping, or fingertip imprints or marks from grabbing or prodding
  • Burns /scalding: cigarette burns, multiple or linear burns marks, or burns from over exposure to extreme heat
  • Others: bite marks, fractures (especially spiral or twisting fractures), swelling and lack of comfortable use of limbs, inconsistent explanations of serious injuries or conflicting explanations.
  • Untreated injuries, missed appointments and failure to address basic medical needs such as dental care fall into this category

Behavioural observations

  • Unusually fearful of adults.
  • Unnaturally compliant to adults.
  • Refusal to discuss injuries and fear of medical assistance.
  • Withdrawal from any physical contact.
  • Aggression towards others and the use of inappropriate threats.
  • Wearing “cover up” clothing, despite changes in the heat and seasons.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child into sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware what is happening. This includes non-contact situations, such as showing children pornography, watching sex, encouraging inappropriate sexual behaviour or grooming, including via the internet.

Physical Observations:

  • Damage to genitalia, anus or mouth, including excessive soreness in these areas.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases including genital warts.
  • Unexpected pregnancy in young girls.
  • Unexplained urinary tract infections or discharges or severe abdominal pains. *Problems with jaw caused from oral sexual activity.

Behavioural Observations:

  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge for age.
  • Sexual activity demonstrated through play.
  • Sexual promiscuity and provocative behaviours.
  • Use of sexualised language and behaviour.
  • Loss of interest in activities such as hobbies/school.
  • Sudden changes in personality.
  • Lack of concentration, restlessness and aimlessness.
  • Socially withdrawn behaviour.
  • Overly compliant behaviour.
  • Acting out aggressive behaviours for no apparent reason.
  • Lack of trust in adults and carers.
  • Regressive behaviours including soiling and wetting.
  • Insecure and clinging behaviour.
  • Running away/absconding.
  • Suicide attempts, self-harming and self-disgust.
  • Eating disorders.

Emotional abuse- is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of children, such as frightening them, or putting them in positions of danger. It is also an abuse to convey to children the feeling that they are worthless or unloved.

Physical observations

  • Physical, mental or emotional delay in overall development
  • Incontinence, bedwetting (particularly when previously dry)
  • Acceptance of excessive punishments
  • Over reaction to mistakes made by themselves, such as fear and anger
  • Continual self-depreciation
  • Sudden speech disorders
  • Fear of new situations
  • Drug, solvent or alcohol use/dependency

Behavioural Observations:

  • Inappropriate emotional response to various situations
  • Neurotic behaviours such as rocking, hair twisting and thumb sucking
  • Self-harm and self-mutilation
  • Fear of parents/carers being contacted for any reason at all
  • Extremes in behaviour passive/aggressive
  • Running away/absconding

Neglect – Persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and psychological needs likely to result in serious impairment of a child’s health or development. May occur in pregnancy as a result of substance misuse. May involve failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment. Failure to protect them from physical harm or danger, access appropriate medical care or treatment. Failure to provide adequate supervision. May also include neglect of basic emotional needs.

Physical Observations-

  • Poor growth and development
  • Failure to thrive
  • Constant hunger
  • Obesity
  • Inadequate clothing
  • Poor hygiene
  • Constant tiredness
  • Failure of carer to seek and/or follow medical advice for a child
  • Being left alone without proper supervision

Behavioural Observations

  • Absence from the setting or lateness
  • Destructive tendencies
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Neurotic behaviours
  • No social relationships
  • Running away/absconding
  • Stealing or scavenging

There are also several other forms of noticeable abuse, which everyone needs to be aware of.

Domestic Abuse/Violence 

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.

How does this affect children?

The legislation “Every Child Matters” looks at five major outcomes for children. Children exposed to domestic violence will experience severe delays and damage in all these outcomes.

Being healthy, Making a positive contribution, Staying Safe, Achieve economic well-being, Enjoying and Achieving.

Children may:

  • Experience symptoms of stress, but often learn to keep these to themselves
  • Not talk to the people close to them about their feelings or fears
  • Feel insecure, frightened and confused
  • Have difficulty at school
  • Become aggressive
  • Have trouble sleeping or suffer nightmares
  • Become 'model' pupils because they have become anxious about 'conflict' or they may be worried about making things worse at home
  • Start to suffer from ill health.

FGM Female Genital Mutilation

FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs. It is illegal in the UK and a form of child abuse. As of October 2015, the Serious Crime Act 2015 (Home Office, 2015) introduced a duty on teachers (and other professionals) to notify the police of known cases of female genital mutilation where it appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18. Our setting will operate in accordance with the statutory requirements relating to this issue, and in line with existing local safeguarding procedures. All evidence will be recorded on a blue form.

To create an awareness and support the statutory requirements relating to FGM all staff have undertaken FGM E-Learning training.Staff will follow the safeguarding procedures of Dawn till Dusk Childcare. A full written record will be taken as evidence.

CSE - Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited they're given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities. Children and young people are often tricked into believing they're in a loving and consensual relationship. This is called grooming. They may trust their abuser and not understand that they're being abused.

Children and young people can be trafficked into or within the UK to be sexually exploited. They're moved around the country and abused by being forced to take part in sexual activities, often with more than one person. Young people in gangs can also be sexually exploited. Sometimes abusers use violence and intimidation to frighten or force a child or young person, making them feel as if they've no choice. They may lend them large sums of money they know can't be repaid or use financial abuse to control them. Anybody can be a perpetrator of CSE, no matter their age, gender or race. The relationship could be framed as friendship, someone to look up to or romantic. Children and young people who are exploited may also be used to 'find' or coerce others to join groups.

To create an awareness and support the statutory requirements relating to CSE all staff have undertaken CSE E-Learning training. 

Faith Abuse / Witchcraft (CALFB – child abuse linked to Faith or Belief)

This is a form of abuse linked to faith or belief where concerns for a child’s welfare have been identified and could be caused by, a belief in witchcraft, spirit or demonic possession, ritual or satanic abuse features.  Or when practices linked to faith or belief are harmful to a child.

Signs that a child is undergoing abuse linked to faith or belief could be:

* a child’s body showing signs or marks, such as bruises or burns from physical abuse.

* a child becoming noticeably confused, withdrawn, disorientated or isolated.

To create an awareness and support, all staff will be aware of this.

Breast Ironing

Breast Ironing. The practice of breast ironing is seen as a protection to girls by making them seem ‘child-like’ for longer and reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. Once girls’ breasts have developed, they are at risk of sexual harassment, rape, forced marriage and kidnapping; consequently, breast ironing is more prevalent in cities.

To create an awareness and support, all staff will be aware of this.

County Lines

County lines is the organised criminal distribution of drugs from the big cities into smaller towns and rural areas using children and vulnerable people. Although cannabis is occasionally linked to the county lines organisations, it is harder drugs that provide the focus: heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines.

To create an awareness and support, all staff will be aware of this.


Cuckooing is the practice of taking over the home of a vulnerable person in order to establish a base for illegal drug dealing, typically as part of a county lines operation.

To create an awareness and support, all staff will be aware of this.

Child Trafficking

This refers to the action or practice of illegally procuring and relocating children, typically for the purpose of forced labour or sexual exploitation.

To create an awareness and support, all staff will be aware of this.

Forced Marriage 

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 made it a criminal offence in England, Wales and Scotland to force someone to marry. (It is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland under separate legislation).

This includes:

taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)

marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they are pressured to or not)

The Government states that, ‘A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities or reduced capacity, cannot) consent to the marriage as they are pressurised, or abuse is used, to force them to do so. It is recognised in the UK as a form of domestic or child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will may be:

physical – for example, threats, physical violence or sexual violence

emotional and psychological – for example, making someone feel like they are bringing ‘shame’ on their family

Financial abuse, for example taking someone’s wages, may also be a factor.’

The staff team have undertaken the online e-safety awareness training for Forced Marriages. We are aware that if we have concerns about a child who may be lead into Forced Marriage we will contact the Forced Marriage Unit for support. The modules in the e- learning programme aim to enable professionals to recognise the warning signs and ensure that appropriate action is taken to help protect and support all those at risk.

Honour Based Violence

This is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community.  For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion.

Peer on Peer Abuse / Anti Bullying

Peer on peer abuse occurs when a young person is exploited, bullied and/or harmed by their peers who are the same or similar age.  Everyone directly involved in peer on peer abuse is under the age of 18.

Dawn till Dusk Childcare does not accept any kinds of bullying within our setting, please see our anti- bullying policy for full details.

Promoting British Values 

At Dawn till Dusk Childcare we promote British Values throughout the setting and encourage all children to take pride in this.  We respect our children.  The atmosphere within our setting is one that encourages all children to achieve their best.  We provide opportunities that enable our children to take and make decisions for themselves. We actively challenge any behaviour that may discourage this from anyone including staff, parents, carers and visitors. The intention of promoting British Values is directly linked to the Prevent Duty which legislates that all children are protected from being radicalised.

Dawn till Dusk Childcare actively promotes the 5 fundamental British Values of;

  • Democracy – everyone has a voice and is listened to
  • The rule of law – teaching children right from wrong
  • Individual liberty freedom
  • Mutual respect – for everyone and ensuring children have the right to say ‘no’ and be respected for their choices
  • Tolerance -  of those with different faiths and beliefs; including world religions and festivals in our planning to teach children about the world in which they live.

Prevent Duty

To fulfil the prevent duty it is essential that all staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation; and know what to do when they are identified.  In order to fulfil this duty Dawn till Dusk Childcare and its staff and directors will build children’s resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values, enabling children to challenge extremist views.  We will provide a safe space in which children and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.  For children within the Early Years (0-5) the EYFS Statutory framework sets standards for learning, development and care, thereby assisting children’s personal, social and emotional development and understanding of the world.

Through the Personal, Social and Emotional and Understanding The World areas of the Early Years Foundation stage educational programme, we will teach the children about the diversity in our community and the wider world, the skills needed to recognise and manage risk and to make safe choices. Through effective teaching, we will encourage positive character traits such as determination, self-esteem and confidence.

Dawn till Dusk Childcare will support those families who may be vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation and give them guidance to seek help, seeking advice from the CHANNEL programme.

If we have a concern staff will follow the safeguarding policy and procedure.

In order to meet the statutory guidance on the Prevent Duty, Dawn till Dusk Childcare is required to meet the following four themes:

  • Risk Assessment – Staff are able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting children and young people in the local area and have specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and how to help these individuals.
  • Working in Partnership – We will work in partnership with the Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership to fulfil the Prevent Duty, as well as effectively engaging parents and families; assisting and advising families who raise concerns, directing them to the correct support mechanisms.
  • Staff Training – We will ensure that the DSL (Lucy Grieves) undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to other members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.  All staff will have an awareness of the prevent duty and the statutory guidance surrounding it, as well as accessing an E-learning PREVENT DUTY course.
  • IT Policies – We will ensure that all children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in the setting, with suitable filtering in place.  All staff will also be aware of the risks posed by the online activity of extremist and terrorist groups.

Staff Responsibilities

Safe guarding is the responsibility of EVERYONE.

It is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure all of the following:

  • that the Company Directors adopt appropriate policies and procedures to safeguard children in the setting;
  • that these policies are implemented by all staff;
  • that sufficient resources and time are allocated for staff to carry out their responsibilities effectively;
  • That all staff and adult helpers in the setting are able to voice their concerns if they feel that a child is vulnerable, or that there are any particular practices that are unsafe.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead for the setting is Lucy Grieves – Manager.

The Deputy Safeguarding Lead is Natalie McNab.

The Director responsible for Safeguarding is Natalie Mitchell.

A key role of the DSL is to be fully conversant with the procedures of the DURHAM SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN PARTNERSHIP, and to ensure that the setting takes action to support any child who may be at risk. The DSL must also make sure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities in relation to child protection. The DSL will work closely with Ofsted, when investigating any allegations of abuse. All parties involved will handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, remembering all the time that the interests of the child are of paramount importance.

All staff have a responsibility to report to the DSL any concern they have about the safety of any child in their care.

Lucy Grieves, Natalie McNab or Natalie Mitchell will then contact First Contact on 03000 267 979.

Or the LADO if the situation involves a member of staff, volunteer etc on 03000 268835 in order to seek advice and report any concerns.

What to do if you observe a sign of abuse or a child disclosures or reports abuse

If you have observed any signs of abuse or a pupil discloses that they are being abused, then upon receiving the information you should:

  • React calmly.
  • Reassure the child that they were right to tell and that they are not to blame and take what the child says seriously.
  • Be careful not to be deemed as putting words into the child’s mouth, the easiest way of doing this is by asking questions. Allow the child to talk – ask only open questions e.g. “Can you tell me more about….” Do not press for detail, put forward your own ideas or use words that the child has not used themselves.
  • Do not promise confidentiality.
  • Inform the child/young person what you will do next.

Make a full and written record of what has been said as soon as possible on a blue incident form. Record the conversation and facts in writing immediately afterwards (writing notes during the interview may put undue pressure on the child). Sign and date the report (it may be required as evidence).  Do not delay in passing on the information.

The written record should include: 

  1. The child’s known details including name, date of birth, address and contact numbers.
  2. Whether or not the person making the report is expressing their own concerns or those of someone else.
  3. The nature of the allegation, including dates, times, specific factors and any other relevant information.
  4. Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay.
  5. A description of any visible bruising or other injuries; also any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
  6. Details of witnesses to the incidents.
  7. The child’s account, if it can be given, of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred.
  8. Accounts from others, including colleagues and parents.

Child In Need

Defined under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 as “Those children whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services.”  This includes all children who have a disability.

If a child who attends our setting is identified as a Child In Need, the DSL will work with other agencies and the Lead Professional to adhere to the Child In Need Plan.

Employment and recruitment 

We will do all we can to ensure that all those working with children in our setting are suitable people. This involves following Safer Recruitment Procedures, scrutinising applicants, verifying their identity and obtaining references, as well as the mandatory DBS checks.  Any member of staff or volunteer who has not had their suitability checked, will not be left unsupervised with a child in the setting.  We follow the guidelines set out by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, where it is a setting’s duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed because they have harmed or put a child at risk of harm.

Allegations against staff

If an allegation is made against a member of the setting’s staff (or a volunteer helper), it will always be investigated by the DSL, or, in the case of the allegation being against the DSL, by the Company’s Director responsible for Safeguarding, in connection with the LADO (03000 268835). If it is felt, after these initial investigations, that a further enquiry is needed, then the member of staff will be suspended. Suspension is a neutral act, and in no way implies that the person is guilty of any wrongdoing. However, it is acknowledged that this would be distressing for the person concerned, and the setting will do all it can to balance the interests of any individual with that of the need to keep children safe. Any allegations of serious abuse or harm by any person working or looking after children on the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere) will be notified to Ofsted.

Staff taking medication or other substances

Staff within the setting must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. If staff are taking medication which may affect their ability to care for children, the Manager should be informed with that member of staff seeking medical advice. The setting’s Company Directors must ensure that those staff only work directly with children if medical advice confirms that the medication is unlikely to impair that staff member’s ability to look after children properly. Staff medication on the premises must be securely stored, and out of reach of children, at all times.

Mobile Phones and Cameras

Staff, visitors and parents are not to use their mobile phones within the setting, with mobile phones being stored in staff handbags that are stored within the office.  Staff are not permitted to take photographs of children using their mobile phones, nor are any visitors or parents in the setting.

The settings camera or iPad is to be used to take pictures of children within the setting, and must not be taken away from the setting unless on an outing.  All photographs are to be downloaded onto the setting’s computer or stored on an encrypted USB drive.

Staff training

All adults in the setting receive regular training to raise their awareness of abuse, and to improve their knowledge of the safeguarding and child protection procedures that have been agreed locally. The maximum period of time before refresher training must take place is three years.


We regard all information relating to individual child protection issues as confidential, and we treat it accordingly. We pass information on to appropriate persons only.

We comply with the government requirements set out under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and by the LA, with regard to confidentiality. The files we keep on children are open to those children's parents or carers. Information from third parties will not be disclosed without their prior consent. Access to these files may be withheld in certain prescribed cases where there are instances of actual or alleged abuse (see DfES Circular 16/19). Working notes are not subject to disclosure, but will be summarised and then kept on file. These guidelines of ours are in line with the safeguards on disclosure of information set out in the Education (School Records) Regulations 1989.

Monitoring and review

The Company Directors will ensure that the setting has a senior member of staff designated to take lead responsibility for dealing with child protection issues. Directors will regularly monitor and review any incidents detailed in the interventions book, while a named Director (Natalie Mitchell) participates in the setting’s training with regard to child protection procedures.

This policy is reviewed annually by the Directors and Manager of the Setting.

Policy Drawn up by: Mrs Lucy Grieves (Manager)

Signed: L.Grieves

Date: 20th August 2022 – Updated 1.12.22

Ratified by: Mrs Natalie Mitchell (DTD Director)

Signed: N.Mitchell

Date: 20/8/22