From January 2014, a new standardised child protection training course became available to workers in the Early Years Sector. The first level of training is Child Protection & Welfare: Basic Level and it will be delivered by the Childcare Committees.
Child Protection & Welfare: Basic Level is a quality assured child protection training course tailored to the needs of the sector. It will be rolled out over 3 years to workers in both services and home-based settings. Training will be available in Irish and English, Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta and Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta will provide the training in Irish.
The new programme has been developed in partnership with the HSE and the roll out is being co-ordinated by the National Early Years Children First Committee, an interagency committee tasked with the implementation of Children First in the Early Years Sector. Children First is Ireland’s national guidance for the protection and welfare of children.
This coordinated approach to child protection training aims to provide access to a standardised training module for everyone, at minimum cost, and consistent implementation of child protection policy and procedures across the sector.
The role that Early Years workers have in the lives of children and their families means that they are uniquely placed to recognise when there are concerns about the safety, welfare or well-being of a child. Early Years workers and services also have a responsibility for safeguarding the children in their care through their policies, procedures and practice.
The one-day accredited training course looks at what constitutes child abuse, roles and responsibilities in reporting child protection and welfare concerns, child protection policy and safe work practices. Many of the participants in the pilot programme reported increased knowledge, skills and confidence in responding to child protection and welfare concerns after attending the course.
Child Protection & Welfare: Basic Level will replace all other HSE accredited training and the ‘Keeping Children Safe’ Training. This course is aimed at childcare workers who are currently working in a service, childminders and boards of management. Designated Liaison Person training and an online information resource will be developed for childcare students.