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Early Years Foundation Stage safeguarding and welfare requirements

Information about safeguarding and welfare requirements

All Early Years providers (including schools) must follow the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS statutory framework, current guidance from the government and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB)

The EYFS states ‘Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them…Providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well’.

Who to contact if you have a concern


The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is the front door to Children’s Social Care for all child protection and immediate safeguarding concerns.

Contact MASH If there is an immediate safeguarding concern, for example:

  • allegations/concerns that the child has been sexually/physically abused
  • concerns that the child is suffering from severe neglect or other severe health risks
  • concern that a child is living in or will be returned to a situation that may place him/her at immediate risk
  • the child is frightened to return home
  • the child has been abandoned or parent is absent

Tel: 0345 050 7666. This number will take you through to Customer Services who will ask a series of questions and triage into MASH.



Contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children

Contact LADO

Safeguarding training

  • Generalist and Designated Safeguarding Lead Training is booked through OSCB.
  • Safer Recruitment Training
  • Early Help Strengths and Needs Training is booked through OSCB.

Important safeguarding information and documents

A range of safeguarding information including national documentation can be found on the Early Years Toolkit under the Children’s safeguarding and welfare section.

Local policies and procedures can be found on the OSCB website.

Ofsted’s Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills sets out the key points inspectors need to consider when inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings. It needs to be read alongside and the Education Inspection handbooks. The Early Years Compliance handbook sets out Ofsted’s policy and approach to its compliance and enforcement work for providers who are registered on the Early Years and/or the Childcare Register. It includes a list of when

Childminders and childcare providers must inform Ofsted of significant events.

Safeguarding Self Assessments (Audit)

The Safeguarding Self-Assessments (Safeguarding Audits) are intended to support you to meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and standards for OFSTED.

There is an expectation that you will complete this online. You will have received an email with a link and instructions on how to complete this if you are an early years setting or childminder. Please contact us at early.years@oxfordshire.gov.uk if you haven't
received this.

If you are registering as a new provider please let us know and we can forward you a word version of the audit.

Who is the self-assessment for?

All settings and childminders providing for children within the EYFS. In settings it is the manager’s or the management committee’s responsibility to ensure that arrangements for safeguarding children in childcare settings comply with current guidance from government and the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Why should I use the self assessment?

It is a requirement of the Early Education Funding Agreement that you will annually complete an OSCB early years’ safeguarding self assessment (formally audit) in line with the requirements of the Children Act 2004; addressing any arising actions and return if/when requested by the council without delay.

It will also

  • assist you in ensuring full compliance with the Statutory Safeguarding Welfare Requirements of the EYFS
  • provide a clear overview of what is already in place in your setting and areas for development to continuously improve the quality of provision and practice
  • support you in preparation for OFSTED

Why do I need to do the self assessment if I already have the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage booklet?

The self assessment provides a quick reference for identifying what is in place and areas for development. It does not replace the need for you to refer to the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage for full details and guidance on all aspects.

How do I use the self assessment?

  • Discuss each aspect of the self assessment with your management and staff teams
  • Identify what is already in place and ensure that you have evidence on which to base this judgement
  • Reference your evidence within your settings self-evaluation and/or Action Plan and make sure that all evidence is well documented and available for scrutiny by OFSTED and other external agencies
  • Ensure that all legal requirements are securely in place
  • Highlight what is not in place and add to your action plan with clear priorities including required action, responsibilities and time scales
  • Review progress on a regular basis (every six months as a minimum) to ensure full compliance with the statutory requirements