The NSPCC recently published new information and advice on safer activities and events, for those working within the voluntary and community sector.
Their study focused on the importance of careful risk assessment, the implications of safeguarding and safer recruitment training.
In this article, we’ll explore the implications of this research for keeping children safe within a nursery context.
What does best practice in keeping children safe mean within a nursery context?
In terms of welfare requirements and safeguarding within a recruitment context, it means ensuring suitable people are selected through safe and robust recruitment measures at all levels of work with children.
Adults who support children need clear guidance, during their inductions, to fully understand their roles and responsibilities in keeping children safe whilst also promoting and helping to support children’s physical health.
This is done by providing sufficient opportunities for children to practise skills through robust play; being exposed to age appropriate challenges and problem solving activities that promote outdoor learning, risk taking and team work helps promote health, resilience, patience and overall well-being.
Effective safeguarding is about leading from the front with knowledge, training and awareness being vital for all staff who work with children or vulnerable adults.However, applying this knowledge in practice through regular follow up, monitoring and review of policy and protocols is not always easy.
How can this be achieved?
By focusing on quality mentoring, shadowing opportunities and effective leadership from management that work alongside the workforce, particularly during stressful periods of transitions and crisis situations; essentially being there to support and help staff when they need it the most.
Management should ensure that their workforce come together like clockwork and they will need to be involved in carrying out observations and making assessments during critically important times; children and staff need much support during safeguarding processes and co-ordination of roles and processes is crucial.
Focusing on behaviour management
Behaviour management strategies are about preventing behaviours from occurring and using a range of resources that encourage individuals to manage their own behaviours.
Focusing on issues around care, welfare, safety, and security will help staff in early years’ settings to recognise and manage challenging behaviours with confidence and competence.
Managers should demonstrate what effective behaviour management and inclusion looks like, and also invest in training that provides an opportunity for children to reflect on their behaviour to help them understand the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.
Behaviour management should focus on providing inclusive practice and universal teaching strategies to support children’s development. Outstanding practice means that staff deliberately do things to make it less likely that children will misbehave, they provide for inclusive practice and ensure proper risk management is undertaken.
This also includes proper staff deployment, careful planning for areas of learning and different levels of need. Professional training is vital to helping staff organise their thinking about problematic behaviours and developing proactive skills that focus on prevention and respect which are required to support universal values.
Ultimately, all organisations who work with children and young people need to make sure they have the right policies and procedures in place for effective safeguarding.
This can be achieved, in the long term, by focusing on implementing effective behaviour management strategies, strong leadership and safe recruitment to ensure best practice is achieved.