Unit 1 – An Introduction to Working with Children
There are three types of sectors that support children and their families in the UK today. These are; the statutory sector; the voluntary sector; and the private/independent sector. The statutory sector, also known as the public sector, includes health, social care and education services that are provided by the county and funded by the government through taxes. The state is required by law to ensure that all children receive education, and to ensure that there are settings available to cater for all kinds of children. Examples of settings in the statutory sector are Nursery Care and Primary Education. Goetre Primary School is a primary school in Merthyr Tydfil that is a part of the statutory sector.
“The school was opened in September 1960 for the children of the expanding estate. Families moved onto the Gurnos from substandard housing around Merthyr. Originally there were plans to build a second school at the other end of the estate but these plans were shelved when the Goetre Schools were expanded. In the mid 1980's the schools were at their largest with 350 on role in the Infants alone. At present the school caters for children 3 to 11 year olds with 347 currently on role.” (Goetre Primary School, 2009)
The voluntary sector is built up of services that are not for profit and aren’t funded by the government. Registered charities are the largest category but the sector also includes small informal community groups. An example of a service in this sector could be “Barnardos”. Barnardo’s is a children’s charity that raises money from donations in order to run successful services for under-privileged children. One of the services they provide is a children’s centre.
“Our Sure Start Children’s Centres reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, often working in partnership with local health visitors, midwives and the National Childminding Association. Our knowledge of the local communities we work in allows each of our centres to be a trusted provider of local services, supporting and informing parents and carers. The centres can provide for a range of needs, from a broad service that’s open to anyone. We are proud to promote the inclusion of all children, their families and carers and seek to create a safe and nurturing environment.” (www.barnardos.org.uk, 2012)
The private sector is made up of services that aren’t owned or funded by the government and aim to make a profit. An example of this type of service could be privately owned crèche such as “Little Rascals Playgroup”. This company provides care and education (to a certain extent) to children for a set fee. There are many different legislations in place to protect children and their rights but the main legislation in the UK that promotes the rights of the child is The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty that concerns all children and young people under the age of eighteen years old. It was signed and ratified by every country in the world (except Somalia, South Sudan and USA) in December 1989. It was created over a period of ten years with input from different societies, religions and cultures. It is based on the belief that all children are born with fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings. People from every country, culture and religion are working to make sure that children from all around the world will enjoy the rights to survival, education and health, to a caring upbringing, culture and play, to safety and protection from exploitation and abuse of all kinds, and to have their opinions taken into consideration on important issues. There are different documents available that outline the principles and values that guide practitioners and underpin professional standards and good practice, such as the EYFS, the CACHE...
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