Coronavirus, early years and childcare

Early education and childcare during coronavirus

For child safety, early education and childcare providers follow the guidance issued by the Department for Education. Early education and childcare settings are now open to everyone. 

Children's centres remain open

All 12 Children’s Centres in Tower Hamlets will remain open with the easing of lockdown. Health and safety remains our top priority - for staff, families and the community. We have adapted our services to be ‘Covid-secure’ and we continue to offer:

- Health appointments

- Early learning for two-year-olds

- Face-to-face support for vulnerable, and newly vulnerable, parents 

- Collection of vitamins

Some small group sessions will be operating, please check our timetable for details.

We follow the latest government guidelines, which means our timetables and services are subject to change.

Please phone your local children's centre before you visit to make an appointment and find out the latest information.

Training sessions 

We continue to provide blended learning for our first aid and safeguarding courses and adult education courses.

Thank you

We would like to express our gratitude to all early education and childcare settings and childminders who have continued throughout COVID to offer Tower Hamlets children a wonderful, safe, caring and stimulating time. Thank you!

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Safeguarding in the Early Years

NURSERIES_TH_101The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFSSF) 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 of childcare must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well.  Section 3 of the EYFSSF deals with Safeguarding and Welfare requirements and explains what Early Years providers must do to: safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.

On this page you will find the following information:

  1. Important contact telephone numbers

  2. The Prevent Duty

  3. Safeguarding resources for practitioners

  4. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

  5. Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Partnership (THSCP)

Important contact telephone numbers

Children's Social Care (Monday to Friday daytime)

Available from 9am to 5pm.

 

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

 To make a referral you need to complete the interagency form.

020 7364 3444 / 5601 / 5606

Police Child Abuse Investigation Team

(CAIT)

020 8217 6484

(or use 999 if not available)

Tower Hamlets Local Authority Designated Officer

(LADO)

Contact Melanie Benzie for allegations against professionals, staff or volunteers.


020 7364 0677  

07903 238827

LADO@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Early Help select Option two.

Open during weekday (excluding public holidays) 9am and 5pm 

 020 7364 5006 (select option two)
 

Children’s Social Care Emergency Out of Hours Duty Team

(5.00pm onwards)

 020 7364 5006 (Select option 3) 

 

Prevent Duty advice for schools and childcare providers

The Department for Education published The Prevent Duty in June 2015. It provides advice for schools and childcare providers and came into effect on 1st July 2015.

Schools and childcare providers are responsible for keeping children safe, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and for promoting the welfare of children in their care. The Prevent duty reinforces these duties by spreading understanding of the risks and current good practice across the country.

This advice is intended to help schools and childcare providers think about what they can do to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and suggests how they can access support to do this.

Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages. Detailed guidance on channel is available.

School staff and childcare providers should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the channel programme.

Free online general awareness training module on Channel is available. The module is suitable for school staff and other front-line workers. It provides an introduction to the topics covered by Prevent Duty advice, including how to identify factors that can make people vulnerable to radicalisation, and case studies illustrating the types of intervention that may be appropriate, in addition to Channel.

Safeguarding resources for practitioners

Please visit our Practitioner Resources page  for a variety of resources including Safeguarding.

Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

3.13 of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, details that providers must also meet their responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which includes a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed, (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm. 

 Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Children Partnership (THSCP) 

The Tower Hamlets Safeguarding Children Partnership (THSCP) is a statutory body responsible for agreeing locally how all organisations working with children and young people co-operate to promote their welfare and keep them safe from harm.

There website brings together information for professionals working with children, young people and their families, whether in an employed or voluntary capacity. It also gives an overview of the responsibility, structure and work of the Board as well as access to Guidance, Research, Training, Procedures, Board Reports and Minutes.