Childrens rights and entitlements

Updated on 10 May 2023

How we put the rights of the child at the heart of our planning and reflect the needs of all children.

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In line with, The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), The University of Dundee Nursery Ltd believes that all children have basic needs and it is their universal right to have these met to ensure each child in the world can develop to their full potential.

The UNCRC is an international agreement that protects the rights of the children and provides a child-centred framework for the development services for children.

At The University of Dundee Nursery Ltd we put the “Rights of the Child” at the centre of our planning. We reflect the needs of all children within the setting and enable them to enjoy their rights with a growing understanding of how they can help others to access their rights.

The UNCRC is separated into 54 “articles”. Out of the 54, 12 are particularly relevant for early years practitioners working with children.

article 2 (non-discrimination)

The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.


article 3 (best interests of the child)

The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.


article 9 (separation from parents)

Children must not be separated from their parents against their will unless it is in their best interests (for example, if a parent is hurting or neglecting a child). Children whose parents have separated have the right to stay in contact with both parents unless this could cause them harm.


article 12 (respect for the views of the child)

Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.

Article 13 (freedom of expression)

Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.

Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief, and religion)

Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide their child as they grow up.

Article 17 (access to information from the media)

Every child has the right to reliable information from a variety of sources, and governments should encourage the media to provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

Article 19 (protection from violence, abuse and neglect)

Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.

Article 28 (right to education)

Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 29 (goals of education)

Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Article 31 (leisure, play and culture)

Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.

Article 42 (knowledge of rights)

Governments must actively work to make sure children and adults know about the Convention.

We recognise the connections between the areas of learning and the variety of articles of the UNCRC. For example

Personal, Social & emotional development-

•           Children should have a name

•           Children should be able to be listened to and be able to think about things.

The Early Years Inspection Handbook says that settings should:

•           Actively promote equality and diversity

•           Actively promote British Values

•           Narrow any gaps in outcomes between different groups of children

•           Tackle poor behaviour towards others, including bullying and discrimination

ALL children have the right to freedom of expression (article 13) which includes the right to share information in any way they choose, including by talking, drawing or writing, etc.

We promote children's right to be strong resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.

We promote children's right to be strong resilient and listened to by encouraging children to develop a sense of autonomy and independence. We promote children's right to be strong resilient and listened to by enabling children to have the self-confidence and the vocabulary to resist inappropriate approaches. We help children to establish and sustain satisfying relationships within their families, with peers, and with other adults. We work with parents to build their understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of safeguarding all our children.

What it means to promote children’s rights and entitlements to be ‘strong, resilient and listened to’.

To be strong means to be:

Secure in their key relationships where they are loved and cared for, by at least one person who can offer consistent, positive, and unconditional regard and who can be relied on.

  • Safe and valued as individuals in their families and in relationships beyond the family, such as nursery or school.
  • Self-assured and form a positive sense of themselves – including all aspects of their identity and heritage.
  • Included equally and belong in nursery and in community life.
  • Confident in abilities and proud of their achievements.
  • Progressing in all aspects of their development and learning.
  • To be part of a peer group in which to learn to negotiate, develop social skills and identity as global citizens, respecting the rights of others in a diverse world; and
  • To participate and be able to represent themselves in key decisions that affect their lives.

To be resilient means to:

  • Be sure of their self-worth and dignity.
  • Be able to be assertive and state their needs effectively.
  • Be able to overcome difficulties and problems.
  • Be positive in their outlook on life.
  • Be able to cope with challenge and change.
  • Have a sense of justice towards self and others.
  • To develop a sense of responsibility towards self and others; and
  • To be able to represent themselves and others in key decision-making processes.

To be listened to means:

  • Adults who are close to children recognise their need and right to express and communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
  • Adults who are close to children can tune in to their verbal, sign, and body language to understand and interpret what is being expressed and communicated.
  • Adults who are close to children can respond appropriately and, when required, act upon their understanding of what children express and communicate
  • Adults respect children’s rights and facilitate children’s participation and representation in imaginative and child centred ways in all aspects of their life.

Document information

Date policy adopted 2 October 2022
Signed on behalf of Nursery Jacky Jones, Senior Manager,

Malgorzata Mazanka, Junior Manager
Date for review 2 October 2023

Jacky Jones

From Nursery
Corporate information category Nursery