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The Early Years and Childcare Service request that all childcare providers complete a safeguarding self audit annually in order to assist with the completion of Section 11 of Children Act 2004. The Safeguarding audit is designed to be a self evaluation tool to support providers ensure that they are meeting the Ofsted and Devon Safeguarding Children Board requirements.
Safeguarding audits are delayed this years due COVID-19 the new audit will be available in Spring 2021.
In the meantime please ensure that you are following the safeguarding requirements in the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Ofsted document Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings.
- Safeguarding Self Audits
This audit is to be completed by all early years and childcare providers as part of Section 11 of the Children’s Act (2004). This places duties on a range of organisations including Local Authorities to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged regarding the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
The audit should be used to monitor, review and evaluate safeguarding policies and procedures, to ensure the maximum effectiveness of safeguarding of the children in your care.
Providers must be fully compliant with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework, September 2014 and follow ‘safer recruitment’ procedures when recruiting staff.
- will support you to meet the safeguarding requirements of Early years Foundation Stage
- will help you to assess the quality of your safeguarding practice
- will help to ensure that gaps in safeguarding are identified and prompt action is taken to address these areas
- can be included as evidence for Ofsted as part of your Self Evaluation (SEF)
- will assist the Devon Early Years and Childcare Service with developing appropriate training and support for safeguarding and child protection.
It is the responsibility of the owner / manager / management committee to ensure that all staff understand their safeguarding responsibilities and that arrangements for safeguarding children comply with the current government guidance and the Devon Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Devon’s Early Years and Childcare Service has endeavoured to have one safeguarding audit that can be used by all early years and childcare providers (including childminders, pre-schools, day nurseries, out of school provision and children’s centres). School managed or governor run provision do not need to complete this audit as schools complete Babcock Safeguarding Audits.
As you will see this year the Devon Early Years and Childcare Service have changed the format of the audit to a confidence based audit. We recommend that this is completed with staff and volunteers to give an honest reflection of the confidence levels with regards to safeguarding. The Early Years and Childcare Service will then use this information to develop training and resources to ensure the needs identified are met.
- About Section 11 audits
While everyone shares a responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a statutory duty on a number of key agencies and organisations to –
‘Ensure that their functions are discharged with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’
The Section 11 duty means that the key people and bodies must make arrangements to ensure two things:
- that their functions are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
- that the services they contract out (commission) to others are provided having regard to that need.
The duty does not give agencies any new functions, nor does it override their existing functions. Rather, it requires them to carry out their existing functions in a way which takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Who Section 11 audits apply to
Section 11 audit applies to the following agencies:
- local authorities
- district councils
- health bodies
- the police (including the British Transport Police)
- probation and prison services
- youth justice service
- secure training centres
- private and voluntary organisations who are commissioned or contracted to provide services on behalf of the bodies listed above.
Other providers and agencies have commensurate duties under separate legislation –
- Early years providers have a duty under Section 40 of the Childcare Act 2006 to take necessary steps to safeguard and promote the welfare of young children
- These self audit forms are not compatible for use on tablets. You need to use a desktop or laptop PC.
- Action plan to accompany self audit tool
If you are unsure which safeguarding training you need to attend please see our handy Safeguarding Training Guide.
For advice on providing a safe environment for early years and childcare provision please refer to further information for childcare providers.
Further advice about safer recruitment can be found in our Staffing Matters document on the Recruitment pages.