Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe.
As a nanny, regardless of whether you are registered with Ofsted, you have the same responsibility as Ofsted registered child carers to keep up to date with safeguarding so that you can provide a professional service to the children in your care.
What is safeguarding?
When we talk about safeguarding, we are looking at the steps we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
As a nanny, what is my role in safeguarding children?
As a nanny, safeguarding the children in your care involves:
- protecting them from abuse and maltreatment – for example, being aware of other individuals coming into contact with the children including parents, friends, family members, teachers and others
- preventing harm to their health or development – for example, checking that medication and harmful substances like household cleaning products are safely stored away out of reach.
- ensuring they grow up with safe and effective care – for example, making sure that their environment is safe and taking steps to prevent accidents and injury
- taking action to enable them to have the best outcomes
You must also know who to contact and how to report any concerns you may have about physical, emotional or sexual abuse; neglect; trafficking or exploitation including online exploitation so that those concerns can be addressed quickly and appropriately.
What do I do if I am worried about a child?
The Government has published a very useful guide on what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused or is at risk of significant harm:
Remember to keep a record of anything you have witnessed as this might come in useful as evidence in later investigations. Make sure you include:
- the time and date of your concerns
- the names and contact details of any individuals involved,
- step by step details of exactly what happened.
DO NOT confront anyone you suspect, as well as potentially putting yourself at risk this might make it more difficult for the safeguarding authorities to carry out their own investigations further down the line
Distressing as the situation may be, remember that it’s better for the child if you can remain calm and professional and that by reporting your concern you are doing the best that you can do to help the child at risk.
If a child is in immediate danger ALWAYS call 999
If you are worried about a child, or the behaviour of an adult towards a child, your local children’s social care services are always available to help. You can find their contact number on your local Safeguarding Partners’ website – search Safeguarding Partners and your borough or city name on the internet for details.
You can also contact the NSPCC for help, advice and support about a child: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
For details of courses you may find useful including Paediatric First Aid, Introduction to Early Years and Food safety for Early Years, click here: Early Years Courses