Child Protection


 The National Early Years Children First Committee have developed a new publication ‘Developing a Child Protection & Welfare Policy: A Resource for Early Years Services’.

This practical resource aims to support early childhood services to develop and implement a Child Protection and Welfare Policy for their service, in line with Children First. The resource is designed to be tailored to the management structure, number of employees, age of children in the service and other policies and procedures in operation in the service.

To download the publication Click Here.




The Children First Guidance, which launched in 2011, is the National Guidance that promotes the protection of children from abuse and neglect. It states what organisations need to do to keep children safe, and what different bodies, and the general public should do if they are concerned about a child’s safety and welfare. The Guidance sets out specific protocols for HSE social workers, Gardaí and other front line staff in dealing with suspected abuse and neglect.

Consistent with the principles of Children First, every organisation, both public and private, that is providing services for children or that is in regular direct contact with children should:

  • Ensure best practice in the recruitment of volunteers, which includes Garda vetting, taking up of references, good HR practices in interviewing, induction training, probation and ongoing supervision and management;
  • Ensure that staff members or volunteers are aware of how to recognise signs of child abuse or neglect;
  • Develop guidance procedures for staff and/or volunteers who may have reasonable grounds for concern about the safety of children involved with the organisation. These procedures should not deviate from the current Children First: National Guidance, but may offer further elaboration to ensure local relevance and applicability.
  • Identify a designated person to act as a liaison with outside agencies and a resource person to any staff member or volunteer who has child protection concerns. The designated person is responsible for reporting allegations or suspicions of child abuse to the HSE Children and Family Services or to An Garda Síochána


Click on the link to download a copy of the Children First Guidelines: ChildrenFirst.pdf


Child Protection & Welfare Training - Booking Form


Recommended reading:

Child Protection and Welfare Practice Handbook

Our Duty to Care The principles of good practice for the protection of children & young people Child Protection and the Preschool Regulations: Childcare Providers are obliged under Regulation 9 of the Child Care (Pre-school Services) Regulations 2006 to have a Child Protection Policy based onChildren First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children in operation.

Clear written guidelines on identifying and reporting child abuse should be developed by the childcare service.
For information on Child Protection training to become a designated child protection officer, or for Child Protection Awareness training for staff, please contact Martina Boyce 087 6767509.