A Few Inspection Tips around Safeguarding   3 comments

As many readers of this blog are aware, I have a complaint driven inspection due – any day now. Although I am saddened that people think it appropriate to put in malicious complaints, wasting Ofsted’s time and resources, my time,  and to create worry for the parents using my childminding service; I am not worried about the forthcoming inspection, as Ofsted and indeed anyone else are welcome to visit at any time. In fact I have an ‘open door’ policy whereby anyone (once their identity has been checked) can just ‘pop in’ – it is as it is, here at Penny’s Place. In my opinion high quality practice, day in, day out – and although I am of course double checking that everything is in place – and a few little things did need updating – I am not changing my practice just because an inspection is due.


However as many readers are also aware, I communicate with a lot of other Early Years professionals with a mutually respectful, two way sharing of information; these professionals include; practitioners from all early years sectors, early years organisations, local authorities, Ofsted, researchers, authors, tutors, consultants, teachers – and parents. As a result of all this two way sharing of information, I have had some information shared about how inspectors are checking things in relation to safeguarding – and in particular as a direct result of the recent serious case reviews of the very sad cases involving young children in childcare settings.

Of course not all inspectors will use these prompts, some will use the prompt list fully and some will just have it in mind when checking other evidence within the setting.

However, I think it is worth all early years settings taking a look at the list as part of their reflective practice – and I certainly have.

At inspection:

  • check the record of DBS/CRB checks for all staff, students, the household
  • check qualifications for all adults working in the setting
  • review the Provider’s history
  • review the Complaints log


Ask possible child protection based questions, such as:

  • Do adults (and if applicable family members) understand internet safety when working with children/alone?
  • Does the physical layout of bathrooms balance privacy and reduced opportunities to abuse?
  • Do adults and / or family members understand indicators regarding relationships with children e.g. excessive attention?
  • What would the registered person and / or staff do if concerned?
  • How are ‘special relationships’ between adults and children scrutinised, especially for vulnerable children?
  • Are children listened to, regardless of age?
  • Are adults aware of how to respond to comments which cause concern?
  • Are there clear strict rules about safeguarding practice?
  • How does the provider discourage cliques and promote good team-working?
  • If employ staff; do supervision sessions support staff to reflect on their own behaviour and raise any concerns they have about colleagues, particularly around safeguarding?
  • If don’t employ staff – how is own behaviour reflected on? Is there a ‘critical friend’?
  • Are parents aware of how to raise concerns?
  • Are adults aware that they can be ‘groomed’/’coerced’ by others both in and outside the workplace?
  • How does the provider ensure staff have considered the potential to be ‘groomed’?
  • Are recruitment procedures effective, including more than just DBS checks?
  • How are visitors to the setting,(including in home based settings, family and friends) checked and supervised to ensure they are not put at risk of allegations of abuse?
  • How does the provider ensure the continued suitability of staff and /or consider the impact of others in their household?
  • How are appropriate professional barriers maintained between providers and parents where it is a close knit community?


I hope readers find this useful as part of their reflective practice and as a bit of a ‘heads up’ before inspection.

Posted January 16, 2014 by psw260259 in My thoughts on current childcare issues

3 responses to “A Few Inspection Tips around Safeguarding

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  1. Thank-you Penny for taking the time to pass on the information. I really appreciate all that you do to help us all.

  2. that is a very useful list Penny, i think I may well use it as a basis for some inhouse training with my staff

  3. I was thinking exactly the same thing! I’m in a similar situation penny. I will also have a complaint driven full inspection soon. Half expect an unannounced visit so am keeping busy every night. Checking. Double checking. Tweaking. And updating. Such a horrible thing to have over your head when you know that your practise is great and that you have done nothing wrong.

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