Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and implications for ECE services

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 is a new law that will have implications for the ECE sector over the coming months and years. The Act is one of several government measures to strengthen child protection and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

No immediate action is required. Further guidance and information will be provided to support the changes that are underway.

The first change will be to ensure your existing child protection policy meets the new requirements. The Vulnerable Children Act requires policies to have provisions on identifying and reporting on child abuse and neglect. Because a consistent approach is important, the National Children’s Directorate will provide guidelines and model policies. The Ministry will also provide information to help you assess your current policy against the new requirements.

New children's workers' safety checks will be phased in from about the middle of next year - first, for new workers and then for existing workers. Identity verification, work history and a risk assessment will be required along with the existing requirement for a police vet. Further information will be provided before the requirements come into force. Again, no action is required now.

You can expect further information about these changes within the next few months.

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