What is safeguarding in childcare?
DBS checks are the bread and butter of ensuring there’s a level of basic safeguarding in childcare. The Disclosure and Barring Service ensures that a potential nanny’s criminal record is free from any offences that would make them inappropriate for childcare. Self- employed nannies should have applied for their own DBS check. They will then be able to provide you with a one-time passcode that will allow you to view and verify their DBS online. This can be easily done through the government website, and you can use the guidelines here.
However, none of this is necessary if you use a nanny-matching service, which will likely guarantee that their employee has been DBS checked. At GrandNanny, we ensure that all our GrandNannies have an enhanced DBS check, including the child barred list.
Childcare experience and qualifications
Taking a look at your prospective nanny’s CV is the best place to start – an obvious but important point. Ask yourself, do they have experience with a certain age group that aligns with the ages of your children, or are they experienced with a range of ages?
Nannies don’t necessarily need a qualification to care for your kids, although there are home-based children qualifications. Some of these are accredited by organisations such as Ofsted, CPD and Pacey. It’s worth looking out for Ofsted accreditations because this is an essential part of claiming for tax-free childcare in the UK!
Generally speaking, nannies from agencies are likely to have undergone in-house safeguarding training for nannies. At GrandNanny we equip our nannies with an accredited
CPD-accredited online safeguarding course.
Technically, this is part of a childcare qualification, but paediatric first aid qualifications are especially important. All nannies must have this qualification and should revisit this course to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest emergency protocols and have them at their fingertips.
The paediatric first aid course will cover anything from what to do when a child has cuts and scrapes, to when injuries are more serious and how to respond in the time that it takes for emergency services to arrive. Important things like CPR, dealing with choking or anaphylaxis, and identifying shock are all prominent parts of the training. This is another feature of safeguarding that GrandNanny requires of its nannies by completing a CPD-accredited online paediatric first aid refresher course.
With the above training, you and your nanny should be able to make a clear plan for emergencies, including contact information for emergency services, a first aid kit and its location, and instructions for what to do in the event of an accident or illness.
Mutually agreed risk assessments
Even if a nanny isn’t registered with Ofsted, it is still their responsibility to stay up to date on legislation. A nanny who is familiar with legislation should therefore have a good grasp of risk assessments, and caregivers can assess their familiarity by discussing the different elements of one. Here are the major points:
- Environmental safety: Has the nanny assessed possible accidents and injury?
- Medication or harmful substances: Is the nanny aware of what items or substances need to be restricted?
- Supervision: Does the nanny need to be supervising my kids at all times, or just in certain situations?
- Child protection: Is the nanny conscious of the way that adults or children could harmfully interact with my children?
- Health and wellbeing: What does the nanny think a child needs emotionally and physically, in order to feel good about themselves? Allow the nanny to discuss food choices, daily exercises etc.
- Behaviour management: Does the nanny have a good idea of what kinds of behaviour will keep your children safe in public and private areas?
- Disclosure: Does the nanny have a clear understanding of how to approach the relevant authorities, and/or individuals to report certain kinds of behaviour?
Discussing these things openly and honestly with your nanny is a sure way of setting a standard of expectation that you can return to if either party is unhappy.
Establishing clear channels of communication
Clear communication is key. Regular check-ins and open lines of communication to discuss any concerns or issues that may arise are really useful. For instance, a monthly or bi-monthly informal meeting or chat may be really beneficial for everyone involved. And it’s a great way to update risk assessments as children get older, especially regarding online safety.
It’s worth keeping detailed records of the nanny or childcare provider’s employment. Keep a file dedicated to contracts, invoices and other relevant documents. It’s a menial but
important aspect of safeguarding. It may even be wise to keep a nanny safeguarding policy to hand.
Typical safeguarding questions
What happens when safeguarding goes wrong?
The child at risk sustains a physical or emotional injury. Of course, this is the worst consequence, but sometimes legal repercussions can also come into play over pay. This is why it’s really important to keep hold of legal documents like contracts and invoices.
Where to report safeguarding concerns?
Minor concerns are often resolved through discussion with the nanny. In serious cases, to the nanny’s employers. At that point, safeguarding officers, like the ones we have
at GrandNanny, will assess the situation and offer guidance or take action.
In the case of a self-employed nanny, you can report safeguarding concerns to the bodies from which they have attained their childcare accreditation. In serious incidents, there will be an immediate inspection. It’s well-advised to document all the details you can, so you have a report of the scenario that is as accurate as possible.
Should my nanny have insurance?
Yes! No matter how scrupulous your nanny is, accidents can happen. The likelihood is that every nanny you interview will either be insured by the employer they work for or have public liability insurance – this kind of insurance is used by all types of self-employed professionals, from hairdressers to plumbers.
So, those are our tips for helping you understand what safeguarding is in childcare. For a brief overview of our own nanny safeguarding policy, check out this page. If you’d like to see our entire safeguarding training document for nannies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using: email@example.com
Ready to find a GrandNanny? Great! Just register here