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New guide explains legal requirements in plain English

ChildForum Early Childhood Network – Media Statement, Friday 26 October 2012

New guide helps early childhood education services keep on top of legal responsibilities.

· MyLawGuide explains essential legal requirements in plain English

· Assessment tasks allow staff to check their understanding

· Online guide provides easy access

Did you know that if you are in a management position and use copyrighted material illegally you are liable for a fine of up to $150,000 and up to five years in prison, or that if you do not provide an employee with a signed contract before they start work that you invalidate the 90-day trial provision?

Keeping up to date with every policy and legislation change can be time consuming and hard work, but it is a vital aspect of running a thriving and trusted early childhood education service.

Now, a new system called MyLawGuide has been launched to help early childhood education service owners, managers, and staff gain knowledge about the legal requirements to run an early childhood education service without having to search for information.

The guide contains information about legislation relating directly to early childhood education such as The Education Act 1989 and the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, as well as other areas which affect services such as health and safety and employment law. It also covers areas that services may not previously have thought about such as copyright.

Tim Larkin from MyLawGuide said it hoped to simplify things for those working in the early childhood education sector.

“MyLawGuide takes away the complexity of legal compliance and allows service owners and staff to focus on what they do best – caring for and educating children – while knowing they have minimised the risk to their centre.”

The guide offers simple explanations of each point of law, and the package contains self-assessment questions to track whether each user understands the basic points. All the work can be done online reducing the need to store large number of different documents. The online information is regularly updated, meaning services will be able to access the latest legislation at any time.

It is suitable for all types of centre-based early childhood education services. A version specifically for home-based services is currently being developed.

ChildForum Early Childhood Network CEO Dr Sarah Farquhar said the guide would prove very useful to any type of early childhood education service.

“In this day and age, there is a raft of policy and legislation requirements that early childhood education services need to be aware of and adhere to,” she said.

“For early childhood teachers and managers who are already busy, it can be hard to keep up with all the information. MyLawGuide offers valuable information gathered together in an easy to use and understand format. It provides a cost effective way for services to ensure all their staff have the latest knowledge in this area.”

MyLawGuide will be available nation-wide through the ChildForum Early Childhood Network. For more information go to http://www.childforum.com

The developers of MyLawGuide also plan to offer a number of half-day training seminars on early childhood education legislation for people who would like face-to-face teaching. For more information on the seminars contact MyLawGuide Development Director, Tim Larkin phone 021 889631.


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