Last week I had the opportunity to be training managers from early years settings. In 2009 Venessa George was arrested, a worker in a privately run nursery. One of the key lessons learnt from the serious case review was “the danger of mobile phones within day care settings”. The report says: “Whilst stopping staff carrying mobile phones is an important preventative measure and will mean that images cannot easily be transmitted electronically; this alone will not prevent abuse taking place.” (6.4)

Then why when I asked the managers in the room what their current policy is on mobile phones use in their nursery was across the board… “we have to hand it in and there is a policy of abstinence”.  This made me reflective on although the early years sector are driven by national guidance  (Early Years Foundation Stage) and are committed to safeguarding children as are other sectors.

  • Why when there is a serious incident do we react with total abstinence?
  • Why do we only look to remove the object as the problem?
  • Why are we not looking to change cultural aspects and day to day practices to allow the mobile phone to be part of our practice in a constructive way?
  • Why is it that we now can breed fear into the use of technology in this way?

The use of mobile phones can hold a vast amount of information through smart phone applications that can help us in our job roles. I believe there are different ways we can action these issues highlighted in SCRs by embracing the digital era and by modelling safe practice – the phone does not have to be in a locked cabinet!! As we know this will not eradicated abuse it might in instances be preventative for a time limited period but by shunning it its ugly head may just well reappear.