At Stepping Stones we recognise that we have a duty to safeguard and protect children from abuse or harm as defined in the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004. The policy is underpinned by the fundamental principles of the Children Act 1989 and 'the interest and welfare of the child must be of paramount interest to all those who care for children'.
Providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. The requirements state that early years providers must: safeguard children, ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children, promote good health, manage behaviour and maintain records, policies and procedures.
Stepping Stones aims to provide a safe and secure environment for the children and to support children's development in ways which will promote self-esteem and independence. We will identify and respond to children in need of support or protection and develop links with relevant agencies, working in co-operation with these to support any child. The preschool ensures that all staff has the sufficient training to be able to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect.
How Stepping Stones works to safeguard children:
• All staff has been DBS checked to ensure they are safe to work with children.
• All staff has had safeguarding training.
• All staff has read the policies and procedures with regards to safeguarding children.
• We have a secure entry system with intercom and camera for viewing, with a bell to ring to notify staff that someone wants to enter the building.
• The gate self-locks after 30 seconds and while it is unlocked a member of staff supervises the gate at all times until it locks.
• Doors leading to the playground are kept shut unless outside playing with a member of staff.
• There are alarms on the doors which are set at all times to ensure no child goes outside without an adult.
• The two large gates in the playground are padlocked with only certain members knowing the passcode to unlock them.
• Should someone want to enter the building, they must show identification and sign our visitor book.
• For pickups, no child is allowed to leave with someone if they have not been put on to the child’s registration form and a password is needed from the parent to allow others to pick their child up.
• We have a strict no mobile phone policy to be used in the setting and a strict no camera policy. This ensures that children remain safe at all times.
• Confidentially is used at all times. Information about a child will not be shared with anyone unless we need to, or we have the parent’s permission.
• We ensure that staff: child ratios are correct for every session and that no child is ever left unattended.
• Volunteers or students are never left alone with a child and a member of staff must be with them at all times.
• The setting is checked daily to ensure that all equipment is safe and that the rooms and kitchen is cleaned ready to use and that food is safe and well in date. Children with allergies are noted down so that they are not exposed to that item.