The Butterfly Preschool

Child Protection Policy

Our commitment to safeguarding children 

The Butterfly Preschool staff team aims to promote the health, development, safety and welfare of all children in its care. We recognize that the community of children and families to whom we provide a service is diverse in culture, racial background, religion, social class, financial resources and ability. Whilst family ‘cultural’ differences will be respected, they will not be viewed as valid explanation for clear harm to a child. 

Working in partnership with parents/carers

When we have concerns for a child’s protection, welfare or safety our aim will always be to provide ongoing support and advice to parents/carers (whether or not a referral is made to Wandsworth Initial Point of Contact IPOC or other services) wherever possible parents/carers will be contacted before a referral is made to discuss the nature of concerns. However, if there is an immediate concern about the child’s welfare or safety, or if there is possibility that the police may need to be involved in an investigation, then we may need to contact Wandsworth IPOC first to decide who is the best person to talk with the parents/carers. 

Parents/Carers can reduce any concerns staff may have by informing the preschool staff of any accidental injuries their child may have sustained.

Please bring to the immediate attention of the preschool staff any concerns you may have regarding the nursery security, safety and access. 

Our first responsibility is towards the child as laid down in the ‘What to do if you’re Worried a Child is being Abused’ Guidance, although we will always aim to work closely in partnership with parents. 

The Butterfly Preschool staff key responsibilities are: 

  • To be alert to possible signs of abuse, neglect or concern for a child, parent/carer or a member of the team’s welfare
  • Be aware of the child protection procedure and to follow it when child protection concerns arise
  • Keep clear and accurate records on safeguarding or welfare concerns (These confidential records should include clearly signed and dated entries and be stored securely) 
  • Provide appropriate activities for children in helping them to gain understanding of what and who might be harmful or dangerous to them and their rights to protection
  • Adopt consistent safe work practices across a whole team that reflect a pro-active attitude towards avoiding allegations against practitioners and promote high standards in child care
  • To report concerns of a child’s welfare, safety and /or well-being to the designated person Charlotte Butterfill

Designated person for Safeguarding Children and Families

The preschool Designated Person for Safeguarding Children is Charlotte Butterfill and the Nominated person to assist with safeguarding issues is Ana Vuite

The key responsibility of the ‘Designated person’ is to:

  • Be a key point for liaison across professional services including, child protection agencies

Steps taken when a child protection concern arises:

The nursery recognizes that concern for a child’s protection; welfare or safety can arise at any time during the day and can come to a practitioner’s notice through:

  • A child behaviour, including signs of discomfort or distress
  • Physical signs of harm or neglect
  • What a child or parent/carer might say
  • Information received from another party 

Having identified the concern for the child, it will be necessary to assess the level of seriousness and consider the most appropriate course of action. 

Details of the concerns for the child should be noted soon after the observation was made, on the nursery Early Help Assessment (EHA) form. These written records should be signed (with printed name in brackets) dated and stored securely. 

Below is a step-by-step guide for child protection procedures and in Appendix 1 you will find a detailed Wandsworth early years safeguarding protocol.

Consider what you know, what you have seen or heard and things about the child which causes concern

  1. If child discloses abuse, listen to the child. Reassure them that they did the right thing to tell you. Never promise to keep something a secret. Don’t probe or interrogate the child – Write down what the child told you using the child’s own words in the preschool child protection record
  2. Discuss your concerns urgently with the designated safeguarding advisor Charlotte Butterfill
  3. The designated safeguarding advisor will discuss and review the concerns & advise on what action to take
  4. Speak with all parties involved and keep a written record, for use with local authorities if need be

Allegations made against a member of staff or volunteer: 

The preschool will always consider an allegation made against a practitioner or volunteer as a child protection matter in the first instance. A referral will be made to Wandsworth LADO as necessary and the preschool will co-operate fully in the investigation process. The preschool disciplinary procedure will only be initiated in agreement with Wandsworth LADO. Ofsted will be informed of all allegations made against practitioners (including agency staff, student and volunteers) by the Designated person or their nominee for child protection. 

Allegations made against practitioners should not be made public knowledge within the nursery. It is recognised however, that those who need to know that a suspension has been  made, if appropriate, will not need to know the nature of the suspension. This should be kept confidential. The appropriate professional body and /or the vetting and barring board will be informed, should any practitioner, student or volunteer be dismissed on the grounds of misconduct. 

This child protection policy integrates the ‘Keeping children safe in education Policy’ from Ofsted as well as Wandsworths ‘Working together to safeguard children’ policy. 

This child protection Policy includes our commitment to safeguarding as well as child protection. It sets out in detail our procedures and practices in managing our approach in safeguarding children and/or their parents/carers. 

Recruitment and Selection 

All members of the preschool team are carefully recruited, for their suitability to work with children and their families. The preschool routinely conducts checks, inducts and trains all member of the team in high standards of safeguarding practice and works to the nurseries professional code of practice. Staff are required to inform management or the directors, if any member of their immediate family or any person living at the same address is the subject of an allegation or convicted of, a child protection matter. All staff have up to date DBS checks, two references and a six month probation period to make sure they are suitable for the role as a preschool teacher/assistant. 

Female Genital Mutation 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It's also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna. It is our job as practitioners to spot the signs of and notify the local authorities if we suspect a child will receive or has received FGM. 

From October 2015, the FGM Act 2003 (as amended by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) introduced a mandatory reporting duty for all regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales. Professionals must make a report to the police, if, in the course of their duties:

  • they are informed by a girl under the age of 18 that she has undergone an act of FGM
  • they observe physical signs that an act of FGM may have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18. 

FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 

This policy was prepared by Charlotte Butterfill and updated July 2018. We will review this policy, every year, (or as required) as a reflection of our commitment to safeguarding children and their families