All children have a right to a safe and secure environment in which they can learn, develop and explore the world. In ECEC this involves potential risks being minimised by a well-managed staff team who can support children to develop whilst protecting them from harm.

Those working with children must be deemed safe to do so. Staff must therefore have a DBS; previously known as a CRB check. This is provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service who provide three levels of checks:

Standard check: which will reveal any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

Enhanced check: This is the highest level of check available to anyone involved in a regulated activity or profession. This contains the same information as the standard disclosure but also includes additional information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role being applied for.

Enhanced with list checks: This is the highest level of check available to anyone involved in a regulated activity or profession. An enhanced with list check contains the same information as the enhanced disclosure but also includes a check on the DBS barred list.

Such checks will need to be updated annually.



These checks do not involve examining criminal records from overseas. As such relevant procedures will need to be followed when employing staff from countries outside of the UK.

There will be a number of policies in your setting related to safeguarding this might include:

Whenever you have any queries or concerns you have a responsibility to discuss this with an appropriate person in your setting. Often this will be the person who is responsible for over seeing the development, updating and implementation of such policies in your setting. This person will often also over see staff training in all matters related to safeguarding and child protection. It may however also be the setting manager or an external advisor if applicable.


When planning or reviewing safeguarding policies your first port of call you should be to refer to Government guidance:

Working together to safeguard children:

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014:

All Wales Protection Procedures:

The Children (Northern Ireland) order 1995:


Such is the importance of this issue where is wealth of information available online to support work in this area. We suggest you consider:


The following readings are also very useful: