Child care legislation, inclusion and encouraging self reliance.

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CACHE-L3 Diploma in Child Care and Education (DCCE-L3)

Unit 3: Supporting Children

Andrea Fernandes




E1   Identify FIVE (5) pieces of current legislation/

E2    Describe how each piece of legislation will influence working practices in the setting

Children Act 1989

The Children Act 1989 has influenced setting by bringing together several sets of guidance and provided the foundation for many of the standards practitioners sustain and maintain when working with children.  

The Act requires that settings work together in the best interests of the child and that they form partnerships with parents /carers. It requires settings to have appropriate adult: child ratios and policies and procedures on child protection.   This Act has had an influence in all areas of practice from planning a curriculum and record keeping.  

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The DDA states:

 and settings are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ by either changing policy, providing alternative ways to access a provision, or by addressing physical features which make a service impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use.  For example settings can make their provision more accessible by having downstairs toilets, wider doors and ramps to the front doors.

Children Act 2004

This Act was introduced as a result of the Victoria Climbié case and was the introduction of ‘Every Child Matters’ which ensures the wellbeing of children.  The Every Child Matters framework has influenced settings by giving them and other external organisations a duty to find new ways of working together by sharing information and working co-operatively to protect children from harm.  

Human Rights Act 2000

This Act has had a huge impact in current legislation in the UK.  Under the Act it was agreed that children would have the same rights as adults which means children have the right to dignity, respect and fairness in the way that they are treated.  In terms of working with children the articles that relate to this Act are Article 8 which is about the right to privacy, Article 10 the right to freedom of expression and Article 14 discrimination.  

Race Relations Act 1976

The Race Relations Act 1976 aimed to define racial discrimination.  In 2000 there was an amendment to the Race Relations Act which strengthened some of the requirements of the earlier legislation and make settings work towards racial equality.  

In practice this will mean that an organisation must be alert on how a setting promotes their service, recruits staff and make the service genuinely accessible to all.    

The Act defines two types of discrimination:

1. Direct Discrimination - where a person or organisation treats another person

less favourably because of their colour, race, ethnic or racial origin.

2. Indirect Discrimination - where apparently everyone receives the same

treatment, but where that treatment disadvantages people from a certain racial group. Following the Act the Commission for Racial Equality was established in order to help enforce the act, and also to advise the Government and others on issues concerning it.

E3    Describe how the policies and procedures will help safeguard children

A designated safeguarding person in a setting will help to promote positive safeguarding procedures and receive information and offer advice about safeguarding concerns and maintain secure records and take appropriate actions by notifying local authorities or professionals if they feel a child is being abused.  

There are many policies within a setting that help safeguard children.  

A signing in policy in a childcare setting means that any visitor or volunteer who comes into the setting has to wear proof of identification that shows that they are a member of staff especially in larger settings.   It is also crucial to check the adults coming in are allowed to be in the setting and all visitors should sign in and out of the setting which not only provides the setting with proof of identity but also in case of a fire or accident on the premises.  

A whistle blowing policy means to describe someone within the organisation or setting that reports the inappropriate actions of a line manager by alerting someone in a much senior position who then prevents possible abuse from those employees working directly with the children and young people which prevents the allegations of abuse.  

A harassment policy in place helps to give a setting clear guidance on all forms of harassment experienced by members of staff, children and families such as racial or sexual harassment.

A staff development and training policy helps staff within the setting to receive ongoing training to raise awareness of discrimination which ensures staff both understand the issues and supports the solutions as staff development is crucial to ensure the best possible service for children and their families. As a condition of employment all staff in a setting must have an enhanced criminal record disclosure from CRB.  Staff are then prohibited from attending any activity schemes or related activities until a satisfactory disclosure has been received. This policy also helps staff to manage and support each member of the team by effectively communicating the company’s goals/ethos.  A staff development and training policy also helps to assess, monitor and develop childcare staff training needs, and look after welfare, dealing with any issues, situations and conflict as/if they arise.

E4    Describe how the policies and procedures promote fair, just and inclusive strategies

An equal opportunities policy means as a practitioner you have a duty to ensure that children are valued and not discriminated against either by adults or by other children.  Equality of opportunity means ensuring children in a setting’s care are seen as being individual and special.  However, this does not mean treating all children exactly the same as some children may need more adult help and support than others or even special equipment to undertake and participate in activities.  Equality of opportunity means ensuring that children are equally valued and given the same opportunities to fulfil their own potential.  

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By having an anti discrimination policy it means actively opposing discrimination in every area of work, including discriminatory language, bullying and hidden or unintentional discrimination.

By having a recruitment and selection of staff policy in a childcare setting allows open and transparent recruitment and selection that does not put barriers to any section of the community.  This policy is designed to encourage a multi-racial workforce that reflects the proportion of different races in the community and also includes male staff and those with disabilities.

This is defined in the Early Childhood Forum in June 2003 as:

This ...

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