Early Years Code of Practice

This professional code for childcarers provides advice from Voice for all practising professional childcarers in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. Its purpose is to offer guidance; it is not intended to be prescriptive.

The basic principle is that the interest of the child is placed before all else.

Members should:

  • value and respect each child as an individual;
  • be aware of, and safeguard, the rights of all children;
  • facilitate and promote the growth and development of the whole child; and
  • be aware of, and endeavour to meet the needs of, each child for whom they are professionally responsible.

The child within the family

Members should:

  • see the child in the context of his or her family situation and be aware of differences in family structures in our society;
  • be aware that the care of the child is a shared responsibility which must take account of the customs, values and beliefs of the family or the main carers; and
  • work in a cooperative and collaborative manner with the family to promote and safeguard the well-being of the child/ren.

Professional practice

Members should:

  • ensure that no action is taken, or omission made, which is detrimental to the welfare and safety of, or that hinders the development of, the child;
  • maintain the highest possible standards of performance, and aim to improve their knowledge, skills and competencies by taking advantage of in-service and other training;
  • constantly evaluate and reappraise their own methods, policies and practices and be aware of the need to keep up-to-date with current developments in the light of changing needs and circumstances; and
  • be aware of the need for confidentiality within their professional practice. Confidential information received should not be disclosed unless required by law or to protect the interests or welfare of the child.

Working with others

Members should:

  • work in a cooperative manner with other professionals in the care and education of all children;
  • acknowledge and respect the contribution of other colleagues who share in the provision of the service;
  • share their knowledge, demonstrate their skills with students and other colleagues to develop and promote good childcare practice whilst offering guidance and support as appropriate; and
  • be prepared to give support and supervision to, and receive support and supervision from, colleagues and management to further their own personal and professional development and that of the service.

Members should at all times actively promote and take opportunities to improve the status of the profession.


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