Conroy, A. & Kingston, C. (2010). Protecting Children: A Child Protection Guide for Early Years and School Age Childcare Services. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/265
Child protection is everybody’s concern. Those working with children in early years services and in
school age childcare have both a professional and a moral responsibility to ensure that their services are
managed in such a way as to maximise the safety and welfare of the children attending them.
Early years and school age childcare services have responsibilities under Children First: National
Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. Barnardos provides training and
consultancy on child protection to the sector and is aware of managers’ and practitioners’ concerns
about competencies, policies and procedures in this area.
The need for services who work with children to understand their obligations under Children First and to
have in place appropriate policies and procedures is necessary, not only for the protection of children,
but also for the protection of staff.
Protecting Children is primarily aimed at managers and practitioners working in centre-based early
years and school age childcare services. It will also be useful for any services that work with children
and to development/support staff who might be working in a training or support capacity with services
working with children.
The aim is to provide a comprehensive guide to child protection for early years and school age
childcare services covering relevant legislation, the policy context, principles and procedures. There is
also guidance in relation to best practice for working with children, parents1 and other agencies. A key
message of Protecting Children is that safeguarding children needs to be part of the organisational
culture of all organisations who work with children.
Protecting Children aims to cover two key areas:
1. The promotion of positive practice, which incorporates the protection and welfare of children.
2. Guidance in relation to dealing with concerns about suspected or actual child abuse or neglect.
The guide aims to be accessible and practical rather than a theoretical book, however it is informed by
Irish and international research and by Barnardos’ extensive experience in this area. While Protecting
Children is not a training manual, it includes materials such as templates and scenarios which we hope
will act as a resource for practitioners and managers seeking to implement best practice in relation to
the protection and welfare of children in their care.
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