What is Safeguarding in Nurseries?

Our Guide to Safeguarding in Nurseries

Safeguarding children is the most critical responsibility that we have as a childcare provider. It takes priority over everything else that we do here at Tommies Childcare.

But, what exactly is safeguarding? What does safeguarding in nurseries look like?

You may have come across the term ‘safeguarding’ from time to time, particularly if you have a child in a nursery. That’s why we want to explain what safeguarding in a nursery is and what our responsibilities as a childcare provider are.

Defining Safeguarding

We follow the Department for Education’s (DfE) definition of safeguarding as defined in the statutory guidance, ‘Working together to safeguard children‘.

The DfE defines safeguarding as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

Do childcare providers have their own safeguarding policy?

All childcare providers must have a safeguarding policy. At Tommies Childcare, our safeguarding policy is there to underpin the statutory guidance. It sets out our commitment, responsibilities, and the actions we will take if there is a concern about a child’s wellbeing or safety.

Parents and carers are welcome to view our safeguarding policy at any time.

Safer Recruitment

Recruitment Process

As part of our safeguarding responsibilities, we must ensure that everyone who works at Tommies Childcare is suitable to work with children. To achieve this, we have a comprehensive recruitment process for all employees who are offered a position with us.

Regardless of whether a person works directly with children or in an office-based role, all employees are required to have an enhanced DBS check. As well as this, we require a minimum of three professional references.

While these extensive checks can often slow down our recruitment process, it is critical that the people we employ do not present a risk to your child.

DBS Checks

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. A DBS check is what used to be known as a CRB check.

There is a difference between a standard and an enhanced DBS check. A standard DBS check looks at an applicant’s criminal record within the Police National Computer for any reprimands, warnings, cautions, or convictions. Whereas, an enhanced DBS check also looks for any information held locally by police forces which are considered relevant to the child workforce and the role that the applicant has applied for.

Here at Tommies Childcare, all staff are required to complete an enhanced DBS check before they can commence work with us.

DBS checks are renewed every three years; however, we also ask all employees to complete an annual declaration form to confirm their ongoing suitability to work with children.

In addition to DBS checks, all staff are advised of their duty to report any incidents at the time they occur that may affect their suitability to work with children. We take any concerns brought to light on an employee’s DBS check exceptionally seriously. If required, we will terminate an individual’s employment at Tommies Childcare if they are deemed unsuitable to work with children.


To ensure that new employees at Tommies are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to safeguarding, they are required to embark upon a 6-month induction programme.

As part of this induction, employees must complete an extensive training programme. The training programme ensures that staff are aware of their safeguarding duties, including what to do if they have a concern about a child’s wellbeing.

Designated Safeguarding Leads

Within each of our day nurseries, we have what is known as ‘Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL)’. Usually, the DSLs is the Nursery Manager and Deputy Manager.

DSLs are individuals who are trained at a higher level and are responsible for managing safeguarding within their nursery. The training includes an online course and a course held by the local authority. This training has to be renewed or refreshed every two to three years.

Did you know? Safeguarding procedures differ between local authorities. There is not a set procedure which all councils are required to follow.


If you have a child in a nursery, you may already be aware that there are several documents that you are required to complete. These documents are kept as running records of the normal accidents or incidents which tend to occur during early childhood. However, if staff notice a pattern or have a concern, they may speak with you about this. The only time staff will not talk to you about their concerns is if they feel that doing so may put a child at risk.

To fulfil our statutory safeguarding duties, we are required to keep records of the following:

  • Accidents/incidents that occur at the nursery: These are recorded on our Accident & Incident forms. Parents are asked to sign and retain a copy of these forms.
  • Accidents on arrival: You complete these alongside a member of the nursery team. Accident on arrival forms are used when a child comes into the nursery with a bump, mark, or injury that has been incurred outside of the nursery.

Acting in Your Child’s Best Interest

Hopefully, this information has provided you with an insight into some of the processes and guidance we have in place here at Tommies Childcare.

We aim to always work in partnership with parents and agencies to ensure that children are protected. Staff at Tommies Childcare always act in the best interest of your child.

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