ICT in the Early Years
E2BN ICT in the Early Years

Keeping Safe

Ensure your ICT policy and Health and safety policy covers adult and children’s uses of technology (this will refer to computer use as well as other technologies, for example, those used in cooking).

You may also have an Acceptable Use Policy in place. See an example Acceptable Use Policy that we use at Homerton. In your policies you may like to include some of the points below:

The computer:

  • Ensure children are able to see the screen without straining their necks; ideally they should be looking straight ahead or slightly down at the screen, not up.
  • Ensure children can put their feet flat on the ground, if not make sure they have a block or step available so they are able to position themselves comfortably.
  • Make sure the table/trolley the computer is on has room for children to move the mouse and touch the keyboard.
  • Ensure all leads are out of the way (tucked behind the computer) and that extension leads are not stretched across children’s play spaces.
  • If sockets do not have a plug in make sure they are fitted with safety plugs.
  • Model safe use and involve the children in discussion about electricity, wires, passwords and keeping safe.
  • Provide rules for sharing so that children can collaborate e.g. have two chairs at the computer and provide an active role for the child in the ‘waiting chair’ by calling it the ‘helping chair’. Teach children how to turn-take using a sand timer for each child’s turn.

 The Internet:

  • Ensure your computer is fitted with a recommended Firewall (ask your local authority what is in use in schools and settings) and anti-virus software.
  • Provide the children with shortcuts to favourite sites.
  • Visit all the sites first so that you are aware of the content that may come into discussion (as well as being able to support and extend children’s learning.)
  • If the children leave these sites and start visiting others you are unfamiliar with redirect them to ‘favourite’ sites.
  • Be aware that all searches on ‘Images’ through search engines can be risky; search for images in sites used in education e.g. Microsoft gallery  or E2BN Gallery.
  • Position the computer so that it faces out into the room enabling you to monitor Internet use easily.

Photos and documents:

  • Ensure you have signed parental permissions for all photographs you use. Make sure parents are given a choice of what they may like to agree to e.g. they may agree to having their children’s photographs used within the setting but not outside the setting. See an example Photo Permission Form that we use at Homerton. 
  • When using a photograph of a child outside the setting e.g. on a web site or in training materials, use a pseudo name or the child’s initial. Do not publish a child’s image with their name.
  • It’s not always necessary to photograph children’s faces, particularly full on. Try taking photographs of groups of children from a distance, or backs/sides of heads, or just their hands or feet in action, they can be just as effective in communication what children are doing and learning.
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