Promote Children’s Welfare and Well being in the Early Years The Welfare requirements and guidance for all people working in the Early Years Sector are laid down and explained in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS 2012) “Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. This means that your priority, as always, is to make sure that the children in your care are kept safe.” (EYFS and You. NCMA) By putting together the statutory framework, which applies to all Early Years Providers “The EYFS seeks to provide: • Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
• a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
• partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;
• equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.” (EYFS 2012)
In order to give the best chance of the children being healthy, safe and secure by adhering to the above principles, the requirements lay out how a person should be checked to ensure that they are a “suitable person” to care for small children and what training they should have undergone prior to being given permission to work and also how many children they are able to care for. It is specified that practitioners should not be under the influence of alcohol or any substance or medication that might impair their ability to care for children. Specific necessary documentation is specified, outlining what information must be held about the children in your care, including information about contacting parents and carers, age of the child, any specific health issues, disabilities, specific needs or learning needs and medication requirements. It asks for regular documentation about known and perceived hazards and risks in the setting, and how these will be dealt with, or the risk minimised or managed; as well as instructing which policies and procedures the setting should have in place and share with the parents and carers. Parents should be asked for written permission for specific things eg outings. All settings are required to document regular observations of the children and to track these against the developmental norms laid out in “Development matters in the EYFS” At around 2.5yrs a child profile of current development should be completed and shared with the parents and any other setting that the child attends. There should be a policy and procedure for dealing with complaints swiftly and fairly and whilst childminders are not required to have a written policy for this, all complaints, their treatment and outcomes have to be recorded and either reported to Ofsted or be available for Ofsted inspections. At all times the settings are required to build partnerships with parents and carers as well as with the children, acknowledging that the parent and child are central to learning and care. Safeguarding is a central theme to the welfare requirements, and covers child protection requirements and reporting; and also about teaching children themselves to learn to assess and manage risks for themselves and others. It is about children being taught and shown what potential risks are and strategies for managing them whilst still enjoying their childhood. It is about communicating with people and professionals who are involved in the child’s life so that the child is seen as a whole, rather than fragmented pieces, to different agencies. This is covered in depth in CYP 3.3. The requirements for the organisation of the setting include those for promoting a child’s health through smoke free environments, healthy nutrition, exercise and outdoor activity, and management of...
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