Greater rights for the young?

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Senator Sam Mézec has launched a 12-week public consultation into reform of the Children (Jersey) Law 2002.

The legislative changes are being proposed following the findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry that the government had failed to keep up with developments in children’s laws elsewhere.

Senator Mézec is spearheading a programme aimed at improving outcomes for children. Key features include:

  • A legal entitlement for children and families to receive early help and support.
  • lEnhanced and more integrated planning between services.
  • lEstablishing a list of named ‘corporate parents’ with responsibility for children in care and care leavers.

The public consultation follows discussions with children and young people, meetings with government counterparts in Scotland and analysis of international best practice.

Senator Mézec said: ‘This consultation will help us to ensure that the law will provide a strong foundation to promote and support the wellbeing of all children in Jersey and underpin provision of the right help at the right time for children and families.’

More details can be found at There will also be drop-in sessions at Jersey Library on 29 and 31 January.

Ahead of legislative changes being finalised, a revised set of standards for schools and childcare providers is being launched today.

The Childcare and Early Years Service is bringing in new statutory requirements, which are designed to enhance young children’s experiences and include accessible information about responsibilities such as ratios of staff to children, staff qualifications and the creation of safer, secure, stimulating environments.

The revisions have been drawn up following discussions with local childcare practitioners and schools, including nurseries, reception classes, holiday, activity, breakfast and after-school clubs.

Nicola Mulliner, of the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department, said: ‘Practitioners work hard to create high-quality provision and this framework gives them an aspirational approach and recognises the commitment and partnership between the Government of Jersey, our Island’s registered settings and schools in giving each child the best start in life.’

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