From 1st September 2012, this framework will be mandatory for all Early Years providers: maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools and all providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register.
The following is a summary of the key changes to the Welfare Requirements;
- To emphasise the importance of safeguarding, the welfare requirements are now known as the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. These requirements are given legal force by Regulations made under Section 39 (1)(b) of the Childcare Act 2006.
- Child Protection:The revised EYFS includes examples of adults' behaviour which might be signs of abuse and neglect. If staff become aware of any such signs, they should respond appropriately in order to safeguard children.
- The EYFS now requires that safeguarding policies and procedures must cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting.
- Suitable People:The requirements for providers to check the suitability of Managers have been simplified. Ofsted currently obtain Criminal Record Disclosures on Managers, but under the revised requirements this will now be the responsibility of the provider.
- Staff Qualifications, Training, Support and Skills: A requirement has been introduced in relation to staff supervision. Providers must give staff opportunities for coaching and training, mutual support, teamwork, continuous improvement and confidential discussion of sensitive issues.
- The requirement for childminders to complete training in the EYFS has been strengthened. Childminders will be required to complete the training before they register with Ofsted.
- Staff:Child Ratios: There is a clarification of the circumstances in which there may be exceptions to the staff:child ratios for childminders caring for children of mixed ages.
- Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment: The requirements in relation to risk assessment have been adjusted to clarify that it is for providers to judge whether a risk assessment needs to be recorded in writing.
Section 3 of the attached Statutory Framework for the EYFS gives more detail on the revised Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.