Keeping children safe

This page gives you information to help you keep the children you care for safe.

As a childminder, you must identify who has parental responsibility for a child and who has legal contact with the child. This information is a specific legal requirement (EYFS, 2008 Safeguarding and promoting children's welfare) and must be collected in advance of a child being admitted to the provision.

Who do I contact if I have a concern about a child or young person?

If you have a concern about a child or young person's welfare who lives in County Durham, call First Contact on tel: 03000 267 979. First Contact brings together children's services staff with partners such as Durham Constabulary and health services.

The government have provided advice and guidance for childcare providers about what to do if you’re worried a child is being abused You can find this on's Child abuse concerns: guide for practitioners page. You can also find a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children on's working together to safeguard children page.

Prevent Duty

If you work with children and young people, you should have policies and procedures in place which help to safeguard them from the risk of radicalisation. For example, your safeguarding and ICT policies should include management of risks of extremism and radicalisation. 

Find out more about the Prevent Duty on the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board website.

Radiator safety

When the weather turns and it’s time to put the heating on, radiators can be a hazard in the home causing burns and scalds. While accidents do happen, there are ways to ensure they’re avoided.

Here are some tips on staying safe while using your heating system to keep toasty and warm.

Teach children about being careful around radiators – it’s possibly a while since you last used your radiators and heating system so you may need to reinforce safety messages. In fact, it’s better to get them into the habit of staying away from radiators at all times, even when they are not in use and cold to the touch.

It may help to consider turning the temperature of your home radiators down at least slightly. It’s a case of finding a happy-medium where they are still able to warm the home, though do not pose such a risk if touched by children. Or there’s the option of using the radiators throughout the night to heat the home, and maybe switching off or turning down to a cooler temperature during the day.

You may want to think about radiator covers that are designed for safety purposes. From wooden covers to metallic guards etc, if an immediate, temporary or portable solution is required, there are plenty of products to choose from which provide a barrier between inquisitive little fingers and the hot radiators.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the pipes and fittings that surround your radiators as these can get equally as hot.

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