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Report a concern about a member of the workforce

When there is a safeguarding allegation about you or anyone in an early years and childcare setting, including childminders, the correct procedure must be followed.

Role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) was introduced within the 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' guidance in 2006. LADOs give advice and guidance on how concerns or allegations about adults working with children should be investigated. The LADO should be contacted within 24 hours if you have concerns or receive a complaint or allegation that a worker/volunteer has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children

There are four LADOs for Essex County Council and they are based within the Children's Safeguarding Team. They can be contacted by phone on 03330 139 797 or by e-mail: If referring an allegation, a written referral is required. The referral form can be accessed via the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website. Please request a secure email link by emailing the duty LADO prior to sending the referral form, you will receive a response within one working day. It is no longer possible for the duty LADO to receive password protected or encrypted documents.

If a concern is raised outside of office hours, and an immediate referral to Social Care is required, this should be made to Essex Social care on 0845 606 1212. The LADO should then be informed at the first available opportunity.

Further information about the role of the LADO is available on the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website

You must also report serious childcare incidents to Ofsted within 14 days. The day of the incident is the first of these 14 days.

You must tell Ofsted about:

  • any allegation of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working or looking after children on the premises
  • if a person looking after a child has something significant affecting their health   
  • an event that might affect the smooth running of the childcare, such as fire or a flood at the premises
  • the death of a child
  • serious accidents, injuries or illnesses to a child
  • food poisoning affecting two or more children

'A registered provider who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits a criminal offence' (section 3.8 of the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage).  

Relevant resources

We've put together model templates / paperwork for you to use if you ever need to set up a case file for a child.