Safeguarding during Coronavirus

Sarah Read

Sarah Read, Head of Safeguarding

23 March 2020

As a tiney home leader you may still be caring for children of key workers during the current situation. Here's tiney's Sarah Read with some useful tips, adapted for tiney home leaders and parents from some advice from NSPCC-accredited child protection trainer Susan Taylor...

Ensure you are confident in your knowledge around child protection and how to contact your Local Authority MASH/safeguarding teams.

Ensure you know how to contact tiney for advice should you need to.

Consider how social media could be used to support social connections, for example using protected You Tube channels to upload remote teaching and learning activities.

If you care for children with any child protection/safeguarding concerns, consider what the impact of closure could be for these children. Balance the risk of exposure to the virus with the risk of being in isolation.

If you care for children with additional needs, you could consider creating visual timetables and social stories about the closure in order to support the individual needs of the child.

It is also important to consider the impact that the current situation will have on the children and parents that you work with.

When supporting parents, ensure that you have the ability to communicate effectively with parents during the closure through the app, and aim to do this regularly.

Signpost parents links to other services/organisations that may be of help to them during this time - for example tiney, Early Help, Mind, Samaritans.

Children are likely to spend more time online during this time so you could also highlight the importance of internet safety with parents - Thinkyouknow, Safer Internet Centre and Digital Parenting are useful resources.

For parents/tiney home leaders to support children:

Children will be feeling anxious at this time. Not only are they hearing things from their peers, adults and through the media, but even our youngest children who may not yet understand what is going on will pick up on the anxieties of others around them.

It is important to recognise these feelings in children and name them: "It seems that you are feeling worried at the moment". Naming them will help children learn and understand their emotions better. Consistent communication and a nurturing environment will help to support children. Child Mind Institute and Mindheart have resources that can support.

Remember to look after yourself too. You can only look after the families and children effectively if you look after yourself. Tiney will be available throughout the crisis, so please do get in touch with us as and when you need to. We are also running regular webinars over the coming weeks to touch base and offer you the opportunity to talk to us and other tiney home leaders.

Sarah Read profile img

Sarah Read

Head of Safeguarding

Sarah has a long and impressive history in the early years sector, starting out as a registered childminder almost 20 years ago, when her own kids were tiny, and going on to work in a local authority advisory role. After making the move to the charity sector as Head of Early Years at Action For Children, she joined team tiney as Head of Safeguarding and Quality. She has a huge passion for making things better for children in their early years and is also a keen runner and gig-goer.

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