Record keeping for early years practitioners

High quality record keeping is essential in early years settings safeguarding, particularly for children with a child protection plan and for children with special educational needs (SEN).

Practitioners have a duty to maintain a good, clear written record of all concerns and actions regarding safeguarding and child protection issues for the children in their care.

All such records, including referrals and subsequent notes should be kept securely and locked at all times.

The two key documents we use for record keeping are:

  • Front sheet - the first page of child's file - record and keep up to date with all child's essential details. Quick point of reference for practitioners needing to access information about the child.
  • Chronology sheet - use to record and track significant or key issues or events

Our booklet, Guidance on managing records for vulnerable children in the early years (SEN, safeguarding), provides full details of how to use the forms and record management and retention policy and procedures for:

  • Keeping records for children with SEN
  • Keeping child protection/safeguarding records