Note: This is a Legacy Copy of this Publication. Protecting Children: A Child Protection Guide for Early Years and School Age Childcare Services (2nd Edition)

Conroy, A. & Kingston, C. (2015). Protecting Children: A Child Protection Guide for Early Years and School Age Childcare Services (2nd Edition).
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 Guidance 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, parents 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.