When Nurseries use Call Parents for Safeguarding
If you’re a nursery or childcare provider, how do you quickly ascertain why a child is absent from nursery?
In recent months, many Local Authorities have issued guidance to EYFS providers, on the back of harrowing safeguarding cases around monitoring attendance of children in their care. This is vital from a health and safety, safeguarding and child protection point of view.
Nurseries are increasingly realising the need for, and reviewing their emergency contact and first-day calling procedures – making sure they are fully robust and efficient. Three cases in 2017 summarised below, emphasise that this is not only important for children who may considered ‘vulnerable’, but are actually important for all children, as their absence in itself may be an indication that they have become vulnerable.
- 1. A mum died from an epileptic seizure while bathing her children age 3 and 4. The next morning the school phoned home immediately after checking registers, there was no answer and so they continued ringing through the contact list until they had an answer. A family member went straight to the house and found mum had died, but the children were safe.
- 2. A dad died from natural causes, while caring for his children aged 2 and 4. Mum was working away from home. In the morning mum rang dad and there was no answer, but she assumed he was doing the school run and continued with her working day. The school noted the absence of the 4 year old. They started their first day calling procedure 2 hours after registration and rang dad only, leaving a message. They did not ring anyone else on the contact list. They repeated the call to dad at 3.40. Mum rang home at the end of her working day and was now worried so she rang another mum from school. Grandmother went to the home and could not gain access because of a key in the lock inside. The police gained entry at 8pm; the children had been alone with their deceased dad all day.
- 3. A mum died. School made a call to her when the child was not at school; the contact list was not used. No further calls were made. A letter was sent to the parent 3 days later. Eventually the house was entered 5 days later. The child, age 6 or 7 had also died. The child was non-verbal and had SEN.
The guidance urges providers to consider things such as:
- Are registers completed in a timely manner i.e. immediately as children arrive and leave?
- Who is responsible for checking registers are completed each session?
- Who is responsible for following up an absent child?
- What are appropriate timescales for contacting the emergency contacts?
- When would it be appropriate to share the emergency contact details? (With who, when and how?)
- How often do you ensure your emergency contact details are up to date?
- Have you gained emergency contact details of someone who does not live in the same household as the family?
We at Call Parents want to help nurseries protect themselves and the children in their care, by providing a reliable messaging system to message parents quickly when a child is absent from nursery – to ascertain why, and to ensure cases like the above, are never repeated.
Call Parents will message parents of an absent child and will allow the parent to respond via two-way messaging. Incidents can then be escalated if no response is promptly received.
Why not book a FREE online demonstration of Call Parents to see its features and benefits for yourself.
Or call the team on 03333 13 14 15 for more information today!