1. Outline current policies and legislation relating to children and how they affect your practice.
Key legislation for working with children
UN Convention on the Rights of a Child 1989
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child was ratified by the UK in 1991. It set out the principles for a legal framework to underpin all aspects for the care, development and education of all children. The articles cover: non discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, disability, language, ethnic or social origin; civil and political rights; economic, social, cultural and protective rights. Particularly relevant for out of school clubs and play providers is Article 31 as this states that all children have the right to relax and play, and to have the chance to join in a wide range of activities.
Protection of Children Act 1999
The Protection of Children Act came into force in October 2000 and gives the Secretary of State the power to keep a list of people unsuitable to work with children and young people. All regulated childcare organisations have a statutory duty to refer individuals for inclusion in the list and must not employ individuals and volunteers, in posts that bring them into contact with children, whose names are included in the PoCA List. Similarly, the Act also allowed for other organisations that work with children and young people to refer individuals and carry out checks on prospective employees and volunteers. In addition the system of Criminal Record Bureau disclosure checks was created for organisations that work with children and young people.
Within education the DfES List 99 (Section 142 Education Act 2002) is a confidential list of people who may not be employed by Local Authorities, schools and Further Education establishments. In October 2009 both the PoCA List and List 99 were replaced by the ISA Children’s barred list.
Childcare Act 2006
The Childcare Act 2006, is pioneering legislation – the first ever exclusively concerned with early years and childcare. The Act is intended to transform childcare and early years services in England, taking forward some of the key commitments from the The Ten Year Childcare Strategy published in December 2004. Measures in the Act formalise the important strategic role Local Authorities play through a set of new duties. These duties require authorities to: improve the five Every Child Matters (ECM) outcomes for all pre-school children and reduce inequalities in these outcomes secure sufficient childcare for working parents
provide a better parental information service
The Act also reforms early years regulation and inspection arrangements, introducing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the new Ofsted Childcare (Compulsory and Voluntary) Register. The sufficiency, information and outcomes duties came into effect from 1 April 2008 and the remaining provisions from September 2008.
Children Act 1989
The Children Act 1989 recognised that the welfare of the child is paramount and set out an overarching system for safeguarding children and the roles different agencies play. It introduced the concept of parental responsibility rather than parental rights. A key principle is that Local Authorities have a duty to provide services for children and their families and all children and young people should have access to the same range of services.
Every Child Matters: Change for Children 2003
In 2003, the Government published a green paper called Every Child Matters. This was published alongside the formal response to the report into the death of Victoria Climbié. There was a wide consultation with people working in children's services, and with parents, children and young people. Following the consultation, the Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislative backbone for developing more effective and...
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