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Children First Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children

October 10, 2017

In preparation for full commencement of the Children First Act (2015), the new Children First Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children was launched on October 2nd by Minister Katherine Zappone. The Guidance document has been updated to reflect the provisions of the Children First Act 2015 and includes specific information for Early Childhood Education and Care settings, regarding their legal obligations under the legislation. The 2015 Act places a number of statutory obligations on early years services including:

• Keeping children safe from harm while they are in the ECEC setting
• Carrying out a Risk Assessment
• Developing a Child Safeguarding Statement
• Appointing a relevant person, to be the first point of contact in respect of the organisation’s Child Safeguarding Statement

The Act will come into full effect on December 11th 2017, – until this date Children First (2011) will continue to stand. Early years’ settings will have until March 11th 2018 to develop their Child Safeguarding statement.

Tusla has developed a universal e-learning programme called ‘Introduction to Children First’, which is available free of charge, along with other resources to support you in implementing the upcoming changes, and Early Childhood Ireland will continue to keep you updated on key implications and developments.

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