Early Childhood Services can be a high-risk environment for incidents and accidents to children, families, Educators, and visitors. Our Service is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment through comprehensive policies and procedures andmanaging risks and hazards appropriately and effectively.
NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
|QUALITY AREA 2: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY|
|2.1||Health||Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted.|
|2.1.1||Wellbeing and comfort||Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s needs for sleep, rest and relaxation.|
|2.1.2||Health practices and procedures||Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.|
|2.1.3||Healthy Lifestyles||Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.|
|2.2||Safety||Each child is protected.|
|2.2.1||Supervision||At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.|
|2.2.2||Incident and emergency management||Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.|
|2.2.3||Child Protection||Management, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.|
|EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL REGULATIONS|
|74||Documenting of child assessments or evaluations for delivery of educational program|
|75||Information about the educational program to be kept available|
|76||Information about educational program to be given to parents|
|82||Tobacco, drug and alcohol-free environment|
|86||Notification to parents of incident, injury, trauma and illness|
|99||Children leaving the education and care service premises|
|102||Authorisation for excursions|
|103||Premises, furniture and equipment to be safe, clean and in good repair|
|105||Furniture, materials and equipment|
|106||Laundry and hygiene facilities|
|107||Space requirements- indoor space|
|108||Space requirements—outdoor space|
|109||Toilet and hygiene facilities|
|110||Ventilation and natural light|
|111||Administrative space (centre-based services)|
|112||Nappy change facilities|
|113||Outdoor space—natural environment|
|115||Premises designed to facilitate supervision|
|158||Children’s attendance records to be kept by approved provider|
|168||Policies and procedures are required in relation to enrolment and orientation|
|171||Policies and procedures to be kept available|
|Administration of Medication Policy Child Protection Policy Clothing Policy Control of Infectious Diseases Policy Delivery of, and collection from Education and Care Service Premises Emergency Evacuation Policy Governance Policy Hand Washing Policy Immunisation Policy Incident, Illness, Accident and Trauma Policy||Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy Nappy change and Toileting Policy Orientation of New Families Policy Physical Environment Policy Safe Storage of Hazardous Chemicals Policy Safe Transportation Policy Sleep and Rest Policy Sick Children Policy Sun Safety Policy Water Safety Policy Work Health and Safety Policy|
The Education and Care Services National Regulations requires approved providers to ensure their services have policies and procedures in place to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children, staff and families. We aim to protect the health, safety and welfare of children, educators, families, and visitors of the Service by complying with current health and safety laws and legislation as outlined in this policy.
This policy applies to children, families, staff, management, the approved provider, nominated supervisor, students and visitors of the Service.
New work health and safety (WHS) laws have commenced in the following States and Territories, using consistentWHS legislation instead of previous OH&S laws:
Victoria and Western Australia are yet to develop new legislationto reflect WHS terminology.
(Victoria- Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2017
The National Quality Framework establishes the standards and learning frameworks to provide high quality inclusive education and care in early and middle childhood settings, which can only occur in a safe and healthy work environment. The NQF makes few references to work, health and safety legislation as it underpins this framework.“Quality Area 2…. reinforces children’s right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their health and safety.” p: 138, 2020.
Thoroughwork health and safety policies, procedures and practices ensure that:
- management fulfils its responsibility to provide a safe workplace, without any negative impact on the health and wellbeing of employees;
- employees meet their health and safety obligations and are safe in the workplace; and
- the work environment supports quality early education and care.
We are dedicated to ensuring that all health and safety needs are met through the implementation of a high standard of hygiene practices to control the spread of infectious diseases, the prevention and management of injuries and illness, and to provide a safe and secure physical environment for children. In any occurrences where children show any signs of illness, accident, injury or trauma, educators will refer to the Incident, Injury,Trauma and Illness Policy.
Our staff are committed to assist in infection prevention controls and have completed the COVID-19 infection control training.
The importance of children’s nutritional and physical health needs will be promoted by educating children about a healthy lifestyle which will be reinforced through the everyday routine and experiences. Information on health, hygiene, safe food, and dental care principles and practices will be displayed at the Service to provide families with further information.
We believe in quality education and care in an environment that provides for all children’s protection through adequate supervision, safe experiences and environments, and vigilanceto potential risks. Educators at the Service are dedicated to understanding their legal and ethical responsibility to protect the children enrolled at the Service.Our Work Health and Safety Policy provides further detail about Hazard Reduction and Risk Minimisation.
Choosing Appropriate Resources and Equipment
- The Service will maintain an up-to-date register of equipment at the Service.
- The Approved Provider will be ultimately responsible for any purchases of equipment.
- Educators will document any equipment that needs maintenance on a prioritised basisin the maintenance register.
- Resources and equipment will be chosen to reflect the cultural diversity of the Service’s community and the cultural diversity of contemporary Australia.
- The Service will actively pursue the contribution of families regarding toys and equipment at the Service.
- All new equipment will be checked against Australian Safety Standards and added to the equipment and resources register.
- Children will be carefully introduced to new toysandpieces of equipment and taught how to use and care for them appropriately.
- Equipment that should only be used under supervision will be stored in a safe place out of children’s reach.
- The use of pools and toys or equipment which involves the use of water will be used under the direct supervision of educators. All equipment will be emptied of water when not in use and stored in such a manner that it cannot collect water.
- Equipment will be checked regularly by the educators to ensure it is in a clean and safe condition which will be recorded on the appropriate indoor and outdoor safety checklist.
- The Approved Provider will advise educators and parents about the purchase of new equipment and ensure a risk assessment has been conducted.
THE CHILDREN’S LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
- The Service will keep a record of any changes that is made to the physical environment of the Service, such as rearranging of rooms etc., to show continuous improvement.
- The Service will document the links between the arrangements and choice of resources and equipment and the children’s learning in the program.
- The Service will reflect on the environment and establish a plan ensuring that the environment continuously complies with our philosophy of providing a safe and secure environment, that is stimulating and engaging for all who interact with it.
- The Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor will also ensure that the Service and its grounds comply with Local Government regulations, and regulations regarding fire protection, ventilation, natural and artificial lighting and safety glass.
- Should the Service undertake major renovations, management plans will be put in place to ensure that the safety of educators, children, families, and others at the Service is not compromised.
A daily inspection of the premises will be undertaken which will include the:
- Service perimeters
- Fences/Fence Line
- All rooms accessible by children
- Fixed equipment
- Sand Pit/Mud pit
This must be done in order to identify any dangerous objects in the grounds ranging from sharps to poisonous or dangerous plants and animals. To ensure best practice, the daily safety checks will be conducted prior to the children arriving at the Service.
In the event of a sharp object being found (for example a syringe) educators will follow the Safe Disposal of Sharps Procedure and wear gloves and use tongs to pick up the object and place it in the ‘sharp object box’. This box will be disposed of as per the recommendations of our local council.
Similarly, trees in the grounds must be checked regularly for overhanging, dead or dangerous looking branches as well as checked for any infestations or nests.
Non-fixed play equipment in the Servicegroundscan be no more than 1500mm high and must be supervised at all times by an educator. (AS 4685)
The Service will have regular pest inspections carried out by an accredited pest control company. Documentation of these inspections will be kept and any findings from the pest control check will be carried out in line with the recommendation of the pest control company.
The Indoor and Outdoor Daily Safety Checklists will be used as the procedure to conduct these safety checks. A record of these will be kept by the Service. Any required maintenance will immediately be reported to the Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor who will make the appropriate arrangements to have repairs carried out.
The following can be used as a guideline to produce Checklists for the Service’s individual needs.
- Building maintenance– regularly maintain and check for hazards, check building is in a safe, clean and hygienic condition. Records of any damages and subsequent repairs are kept.
- Doorshave finger jam protectors
- Fencessecurely and effectively fence all sides of outdoor play areas from roads, water hazards, and driveways, and are of appropriate height. Childproof self-locking devices are installed on gates.
- Garbage – safe and prompt disposal. Use lidded secure bins that prevent child access and maintain in a clean and safe condition. Encourage recycling.
- Garden and renovation debris removed. Regularly trim branches and bushes.
- Garages and sheds– keep locked.
- Heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting– comfortable, safe, maintained, guarded and are kept out of reach of children.
- Non-slipstairs, steps, and groundsurfaces.
- Renovation dangers e.g. lead, asbestos, holes and excavations – reduce risks.
- Pesticideresidue – dangerous chemicals should not be used to remove vermin.
- Safety glassisinstalled according to the Australian Standards on all glass doors and windows accessible to children, and safety decals on both sliding doors and plate glass doors at child and adult eye level.
- Security- minimising unauthorised access with appropriate fencing and locks.
- Under Service access(including buildings on stilts and footings) – lock or block access.
- Window fly screenssecurely fitted, maintained and permanent.
- Hazards and driveways. Maintain fences, have correct height, install childproof self- locking devices on gates.
- Bikes and wheeled toys– it is recommended that correctly fitted helmets be worn every time children use ‘bikes’ and wheeled toys. For detailed checklists and assistance in developing written policies to guide maintenance, programming, supervision and use of ‘bikes’ and wheeled toys in children’s services, contact the Kids and Traffic Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program on (02) 9850 9882 (NSW).
- Centre car park– ensure family members are aware of pedestrian safety rules such as holding their child’s hand and alighting children from the safety door. Encourage families to always supervise their children in the car park to prevent accidents and injuries, which could occur as a result of reversing vehicles.
- CPR chart- ensure chart is prominently displayed in outdoor area
- Finger entrapment– all holes or openings in playground equipment must be between 8-25 mm.
- First aid kit is approved,maintained, and accessible throughout outdoor play.
- Hazardous Plants– identify and remove or make inaccessible to children.
- Machinery, tools and equipment– ensure all engine operated or other hazardous equipment, tools or machinery are stored securely and are inaccessible to children.
- Pet and animal droppingscleared or inaccessible to children in outdoor areas, exclude dogs from children’s play areas, finger proof pet enclosures, supervise pet interactions with children.
- Pool safety, fencing and gate compliance, paddling pools emptied immediately after use, turn upside down, disinfected if soiled.
- Safe play rules and adequate safe play areas – talk with children about how to play safely. Maintain safe layouts for outdoor play areas to avoid collisions between children.
- Sandpits – cover when not in use, regularly clean, rake, and remove sand soiled by faeces or blood. Hose sandpits at end of day after removing contaminated sand and material.
- Soft fall- appropriate ground cover under outdoor climbing and play equipment, meets standards.
- Sun protectionclothing, hats, and sunscreen, for unshaded areas – minimise play at peak sun exposure times. Install a sunshade over sandpits and play areas.
- Ensure children are visible and supervised at all times. High-risk areas and climbing and other outdoor play equipment. Make hazardous equipment, machinery, chemicals, and any other materials inaccessible to children.
- Water hazards- cover and make inaccessible to children, e.g. ponds, dams, spas, creeks, nappy buckets.
- Water troughsare to be used under adult supervision only and will not be used without a stand, keeping it off the ground. Children are to remain standing on the ground whilst using the water trough
- Play equipmentthat is higher than 50cm must have soft fall installed underneath at least 25cm in depth under and 1.9m from the perimeter of the equipment. Place outdoor play equipment away from paths and solid garden edging.
- Surfacing used underneath and around equipment complies with Australian Standard AS 4685and is maintained regularly; materials may need to be raked, redistributed and checked weekly for spiders, sharp objects or animal litter.
- Wild animals/snakes– grounds will be searched during the safety check.
- Access for children and adults with disability- ensure safe access into, withinand out of the Service, security, toilet andwashing facilities, and check for hazards forwheelchairs and people with impaired sight,hearing or mobility.
- Barriers- age appropriate, child proof, self-locking barriers to balconies, stairways, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, garage, other levels in the Service, front and back garden.
- Children at risk– maintain extra security and supervision for children at special risk.
- Choking hazards– e.g. small toy parts, beads, nuts, blind and curtain cords, plastic bags, sandwich bags and balloons.
- Decorations and children’s artwork– do not place near ceiling fans, air conditioners or heaters. Avoid use of tacks, pins, and staples.
- Emergency evacuation– develop an evacuation plan and emergency contact numbers display, inform families, and practice evacuation procedures. Ensure exit pathways are kept clear at all times.
- Fire – fire blanket, extinguisher, fire exits, smoke detectors, electrical safety switch are easily accessible and regularly serviced.
- First aidkit with approved contents is maintained and accessible. Ensure First Aid certificates are current for relevant educators.
- Furniture and nursery equipment – stable, maintained and meets Australian safety standards.
- Guard and make inaccessible to Children– heaters, coolers, fireplaces, stoves, microwaves, power points, and office equipment. Ensure heaters are away from children’s cots.
- Hazardous indoor and outdoor plants– identify, remove or make inaccessible tochildren.
- Heaters –ensure that children cannot come in contact with hot surfaces. It is preferable to use heating where combustion products are ducted outside. If gas heating is used ensure there is adequate ventilation while the heater is operating.
- Hot water- ensure the hot water supply is regulated so as to keep it below the temperature at which a child can be scalded (the current KidSafe recommendation is below 50°C.
- Machinery, tools and equipment– ensure all engine operated or other hazardous equipment, tool or machinery are stored securely and are inaccessible to children.
- Noise – reduce excessive exposure.
- Non-slip, non-porousfloors, stairs.
- Pets and animals– inform families of pets being kept on premises and plans to obtain new pets. Ensure pets are vaccinated, wormed, don’t have fleas, and are clean, and healthy. Keep pet accessories such as pet food, litter boxes, pet toys away from children. Exclude dogs from children’s play areas. Keep children-pet interactions minimal and supervise interaction times.
- Power points- check for safety plugs in used electrical outlets/power points
- Record detailsand notify parents of any child accident.
- Safe play rules and adequate play spaces: discourage running indoors and safe furniture layout to avoid collisions.
- Safety glass used and installedaccording to Australian Standards, and Australian Building Codes on all glass doors and windows accessible to children, safety decalson sliding doors and plate glass doors at child and adult eye level.
- Security– ensure all entry doors are locked at all times and place bells on doors.
- Smoke & drug free environmentin all areas.
- Educators personal items– ensure educator‘s personal items such as bags, sharp instruments, toiletries and medicines are kept secure and are inaccessible to children.
- Stairways, ramps, corridors, hallway, external balcony must be enclosed to prevent a child falling.
- Store in locked cabinetanyunsafe items, e.g. chemicals, medicines, razors, knives and electrical equipment.
- Supervision and visibility of children– ensure children are visible and supervised atall times. High risk areas are children in highchairs, playpens, and play areas, on changetables, and in nappy change and toiletareas. Have at least two educators on the premisesat all times within sight of each other and thechildren, have two educators present or within sight when changing nappies or washing children.
- Toys– meet safety standards, age appropriate, maintained, and non-toxic.
CLEANING OF BUILDINGS, PREMISES, FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT
- The Service will use structured cleaning schedules to ensure that all cleaning is carried out regularly and thoroughly.
- To minimise our staff and children’s exposure to infectious diseases or viruses such as coronavirus (COVID-19) our Service will adhere to all recommended guidelines from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
- High touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily
- Cleaning contractors will hygienically clean the Service to ensure risk of contamination is removed as per Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Principles for COVID-19
- Educators will clean the Service at the end of each day and throughout the day as needed, signing off on all cleaning duties that have been completed.
- Accidents and spills will be cleaned up as quickly as possible to ensure that the Service always maintains a high level of cleanliness,hygiene, and safety.
When purchasing, storing and/or using any dangerous chemicals, substances, medicines or equipment, our Service will:
- adhere at all times to manufacturer’s advice and instructions when using products to clean furniture and equipment at the Service
- store all dangerous chemicals, substances, and medicines in their original containers provided by the manufacturer. All labels and/or use by dates should be kept intact at all times
- ensure any substance found to be stored in a different container than originally provided, or with destroyed labels and/or unknown use by dates where appropriate will not be used under any circumstances
- ensure containers are disposed of correctly following local council guidelines, and not reused under any circumstances
- ensure all dangerous chemicals, substances and equipment isstored in a locked place or facility which is labelled, secure and inaccessible to children. These materials may include, but are not limited to, all cleaning materials, detergents, poisonous or dangerous substances, dangerous tools and equipment including those with sharp and razor edges, and toiletries
- follow the instructions of manufacturers, particularly of any product which may need to be stored in a refrigerated environment
- refrigerate substances that must be stored in a labelled, child resistant container, preferably in a separate compartment or in a part of the refrigerator inaccessible to children
- ensure all hazardous chemicals are supplied with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) (formerly called a Material Data Safety Sheet). Our Service will adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for use, storage, and first aid instructions recorded on the SDS.
- ensure there is a register of all hazardous chemicals, substances and equipment used at the Service. Information recorded should include where they are stored, their use, any risks, first aid instructions, and the current SDS. The register will be readily accessible
- ensure appropriate personal protective clothing is worn in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions when using and disposing of hazardous substances or equipment.
- seek medical advice immediately if poisoning or potentially hazardous ingestion, inhaled, skin or eye exposure has occurred, or call the Poisons Information Line on 13 11 26, or call an Ambulance on 000
- ensure emergency, medical and first aid procedures are carried out, with relevant notification given to the appropriate authority that administers workplace health and safety and any other person or authority as required by regulations or guidelines
- in any major emergency involving a hazardous chemical or equipment, a hazardous gas, or a fire or explosion hazard, call the emergency services: Dial 000 and also notify the appropriate authority that administers workplace health and safety and any other person or authority asrequired by regulations or guidelines
- the Poison Safety Checklist will be used in order to ensure we are consistently meeting requirements.
Effective handwashing is a vital strategy in the prevention of spreading many infectious diseases. Our Service will ensure signs and posters remind employees and visitors of the importance of handwashing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. All adults and children should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water and/or alcohol-based sanitiser:
- upon arrival at the Service
- when hands are visibly dirty
- when coming inside from being outside
- before eating
- before putting on disposable gloves
- before preparingfood items
- after touching raw meats such as chicken or beef
- before and after toileting children and coming into contact with any body fluids such as blood, urine or vomit
- before and after wearing gloves to change infant nappies
- after touching animals or pets
- after blowing your nose or sneezing and after assisting a child to blow their nose
- after meals
- after going to the toilet
- before and after administering first aid
- before and after administering medication
- before and after preparing children’s bottles
- after removing protective gloves
- after using any chemical or cleaning fluid
MINIMISING POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES
Our Service minimises the use of potentially dangerous substances. Ordinary detergents will be used to help remove dirt from surfaces. Colour-coded sponges (e.g. pink for the kitchen, yellow for the bathroom) will be used in order to eliminate cross contamination. Different rubber gloves will also be used in each room then hung out to air-dry. Before returning to the children educators will wash and dry hands.
Disinfectants are usually unnecessary as very few germs can survive exposure to fresh air and natural light. In an outbreak situation, such as gastroenteritis or other infectious virus (COVID-19) the Public Health Unit or SafeWork Australia, may specify the use of a particular disinfectant and increased frequency of cleaning. In this situation, for the disinfectant to work effectively, there still needs to be thorough cleaning using a detergent beforehand.
Essentially, there is no ideal disinfectant. Disinfectants cannot kill germs if the surface is not clean. It is more important to ensure that surfaces have been cleaned with detergent and warm water than to use a disinfectant.
In the event of an outbreak of gastroenteritis, a disinfectant such as bleach solution may be used following the manufacturer’s directions- e.g.: White King Bleach (sodium hypochlorite 42g/L) diluted part bleach (25mL) in 40 parts water (1L) to make 0.1% solution Gloves must be worn at all times when handling and preparing bleach.
To kill germs, any disinfectant needs:
- A clean surface to be able to penetrate the germ
- To be able to act against those particular germs
- To be of the right concentrate
- Enough time to kill the germs, which is generally at least 10 minutes
To work in accordance with Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, proper cleaning with detergent and warm water, followed by rinsing and air-drying kills most germs from surfaces as they are unable to multiply in a clean environment. Cleaning equipment should be stored and taken care of so it can dry between uses and not allow germs to multiply.
NAPPY CHANGE AREA
Nappy change areas must be cleaned after each use with detergent andwarm water and dried with paper towel. Placing paper towel on the change mat and removing this after each nappy change is recommended. Nappy change mats should be placed in the sunlight after being cleaned. Refer to Nappy Changing Policy and procedure.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR LAUNDERING OF SOILED ITEMS
Soiled clothing will be returned to a child’s home for laundering. Educators will remove soiled content prior to placing clothing into a plastic bag and securely storing these items in a sealed container not placed in the child’s bag. For more information refer to the Nappy change and toileting procedure.
- Educator’s clothing should be washed daily.
- Educators should also have a change of clothes available in case of accidents.
- Dress-up and play clothes out on display should be washed once a week.
Educators are required to clean the children’s equipment and toys on a regular basis, and on a daily basis in rooms with younger children, in order to minimise cross contamination and the spread of illnesses.Educators will wash a toy immediately if it has been sneezed on, mouthed, and/or soiled or if it has been discarded after play by a child who has been unwell. The Service will have washable toys for younger children. Toys and equipment must be cleaned more often in the event of an infectious disease or virus is present in the service or community- (COVID-19).
Refer to the following toy cleaning schedule for toys on display in the children’s rooms. Educators will be required to keep a toy cleaning register, documenting when toys and equipment have been cleaned.
RECOMMENDED CLEANING MATERIALS
- Most toys can be washed with normal dishwashing liquidand rinsed with clean water.
- Get into corners with a toothbrush and allow to air dry (if possible, in the natural sunlight).
- Leaving items such as LEGO and construction blocks to drain on a clean tea-towel overnight isideal.
- Should be wiped over with a damp cloth – please do not immerse in water as this can destroy the equipment.
Our Service will reduce the risk of the spread of disease when playing with play dough by:
- encouraging hand washing before and after using play dough
- storing the play dough in a sealed container in the refrigerator between uses
- making a new batch of play dough each week, and
- if there is an outbreak of vomiting and/or diarrhoea, discarding the playdough at the end of each day during the outbreak.
RATTLES AND BABY TOYS
- Must not be immersed in water as it can get inside, rendering the toy useless.
- Wipe thoroughly with hot water or a cloth with diluteddetergent
RIDE-ON VEHICLES AND OUTDOOR TOYS
- Must be cleaned (children can often help with this activity).
- Please take care not to leave outdoor toys exposed to the elements as this reduces their lifespan.
PUZZLES AND GAMES
- Wooden puzzles as per ‘Wooden Toys’ above.
- Cardboard puzzles should be wiped over with a slightly damp cloth.
Our Service will work in compliance with the SunSmart Program to ensure children’s health and safety is maintained at all times whilst at the Service. SunSmart recommends that all early childhood education and care services have a SunSmart Policy to reduce UV damage to those in care, including Educators. Our Sun Safety Policy has been accepted and approved by SunSmart.
- OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Sun protection is required when UV levels reach level 3 or above. Our Service will monitor UV levels daily through one of the following methods:
- using smart phone SunSmart app
- viewing Bureau of Meteorology website www.bom.gov.au
- visiting www.myuv.com.au
The Service will use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels reach 3 and above.
- Care is taken during the peak UV radiation times and outdoor activities are scheduled outside of these times where possible.
- Minimising outdoor activities includes reducing both the number of times (frequency) and the length of time (duration) children are outside.
- All sun protection measures (including recommended outdoor times, shade, hat, clothing and sunscreen) will be considered when planning excursions and incursions.
The Service will provide and maintain adequate shade for outdoor play. Shade options can include a combination of portable, natural and built shade. Regular shade assessments should be conducted to monitor existing shade structures and assist in planning for additional shade. Play experiences will be monitored throughout the day and moved as required to remain in the shade.
Educators and children are required to wear sun safe hats that protect their face, neck, and ears. A sun safe hat is:
- Legionnaire hat- the flap should cover the neck
- bucket hat with a deep crown and angled brim that is size at least 5cm (adults 6cm) and must shade the face, neck and ears
- Broad brimmed hat with a brim size of at least 6cm (adults 7.5cm).
Please note: Baseball caps or visors do not provide enough sun protection and therefore are not recommended.Children without a sun safe hat will be asked to play in an area protected from the sun (e.g. under shade, veranda or indoors) or can be provided with a spare hat.
When outdoors, educators and children will wear sun safe clothing that covers as much of the skin (especially the shoulders, back and stomach) as possible. This includes wearing:
- Loose fitting shirts and dresses with sleeves and collars or covered neckline.
- Longer style skirts, shorts and trousers.
- Children who are not wearing sun safe clothing can be provided with spare clothingor will be required to play under shade or in an area protected from the sun or provided with spare clothing.
Please note: Midriff, crop or singlet tops do not provide enough sun protection and therefore are not recommended.
As per Cancer Council Australia recommendations: All staff and educators and children will apply SPF30+ or higherbroad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if wiped or washed off. Sunscreen is stored in a cool, dry place and the use-by-date monitored.
- babies under 12 months will not be exposed to direct sunlight when the UV index is 3 or above and are to remain in dense shade when outside
- they will wear broad brim hats and sun safe clothing.
If babies are kept out of the sun or well protected from UV radiation by clothing, hats and shade, then sunscreen need only be used occasionally on very small areas of a baby’s skin. The widespread use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months old is not recommended
- ROLE MODELLING
All educators, staff at the Service are required to role model appropriate sun protection behaviours by:
- wearing a sun safe hat (see Hats)
- wearing sun safe clothing (see Clothing)
- applying SPF30 or higher broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors
- using and promoting shade
- wearing sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard1067 (optional)
- families and visitors are encouraged to role model positive sun safe behaviour.
DELIVERY AND COLLECTION OF CHILDREN
The following procedure must be adhered to at all times to ensure the safety of the children.
- All children must be signed inby their parent or person who delivers the child to our Service
- An educator is to check the sign in sheet ensuring families have signed their child in. If families have not signed the child in, the educator, or nominated supervisor will sign the child in, complying with Regulation 158.
- An educator will greet and receive each child to ensure the child is cared for at all times.
- A locker, hook or shelf space will be made available to children and their families. A sign is posted above the lockers nominating a symbol for each child.
- All children must be signed outby their parent or person who collects the child from our Service. If the parent or other person forgets to sign the child out, they will be signed out by the nominated supervisor or an educator.
- Children can only be collected by a parent, an authorised nominee named on their enrolment record, or a person authorised by a parent or authorised nominee to collect the child. Children may leave the premises if a parent or authorised nominee provides written authorisation for the child to leave the premises.
- Children will not be released into the care of a person not authorised to collect the child e.g. court orders concerning custody and access. If an unauthorised person is not willing to leave the premises without the child the educator will call the police.
- Nominated Supervisors will ensure that the authorised nominee pick-up list for each child is kept up to date.
- Nominated Supervisors will ensure that the authorised nominee pick-up list for each child is kept up to date. It is our policy that we do not allow anyone under the age of 16 to collect children.
- No child will be released into the care of anyone not known to educators. Parents must give prior notice where:
- the person collecting the child is someone other than those mentioned on the enrolment form (e.g., in an emergency) or
- there is a variation in the persons picking up the child, including where the child is collected by an authorised nominee who is unknown to educators.
- If educators do not know the person by appearance, the person must be able to produce some photo identification. If educators cannot verify the person’s identity, they may be unable to release the child into that person’s care.
- If the person collecting the child appears to be intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs, and educators feel that the person is unfit to take responsibility for the child, educators will:
- discuss their concerns with the person, if possible, without the child being present
- suggest they contact another parent or authorised nominee to collect the child
- educators will inform the police of the circumstances, the person’s name and vehicle registration number if the person insists on taking the child. Educators cannot prevent an incapacitated parent from collecting a child, but must consider their obligations under the relevant child protection laws.
- At the end of each day educators will check all beds and the premises including outdoors and indoors to ensure that no child remains on the premises after the Service closes.
- Children may leave the premises in the event of an emergency, including medical emergencies as outlined in our Emergency Evacuation Policy.
- Details of absences during the day will be recorded.
To ensure we meet Work Health and Safety requirements and ensure the safety of our children, individuals visiting our Service must sign in when they arrive at the Service and sign out when they leave. Refer to our Delivery of, and collection from Education and Care Service Premisesand procedure for more detailed information.
wading pools, water troughs and other water situations our Servicewill:
- remove any items or objects that could be used to climb into the fenced area of a pool, trough, or water storage unit e.g. chairs, bins, bikes, any overhanging trees
- conduct a risk assessment to minimise the risk or hazard to children
- make sure no child swims in any water without:
- written permission from family member to learn water safety and swimming
- appropriate educators/child ratios in place
- having sufficient numbers of educators present who have first aid or recognised water safety and rescue procedures
- at all times children near water are closely supervised. A child will never be left unattended near any water
- ensure that all water containers are made inaccessible to children and make sure children’s play areas are safely fenced off from water hazards such as rivers, dams, creeks, lakes, irrigation channels, wells etc.
- immediately empty all wading pools/water troughs etc. after every use, storage should prevent the collection of water e.g., upright/inverted, also check grounds after rain or watering and empty water that has collected in holes or containers.
- ensure wading/water trough are hygienically cleaned, disinfected and chlorinated appropriately:
- on a daily basis remove leaves and debris, hose away surface dirt and scrub inside with disinfectant
- wash away disinfectant before filling trough
- Children must not gain access to any harmful substance, equipment or amenity.
- The kitchen has a barrier to prevent unsupervised entry by children into the kitchen.
- The preparation of bottles for children under the age of 2 years is both safe and hygienic at all times and separate from nappy change area.
- Children should not be permitted in the kitchen at any time
MONITOR AND REVIEW HAZARDS
Risk management is an ongoing process. Risks must be systematically monitored, and management strategies reviewed to ensure that they continue to be effective and contribute to a safe and healthy work environment. New hazards can emerge over time resulting in control strategies becoming ineffective and therefore may require updating.
Hazard identification, Risk Management and Hazard Reduction is specifically addressed within our Work Health and Safety Policy.
BACK CARE AND MANUAL HANDLING
- Manual handling is any activity requiring the use of strength used by the person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any person or object.
- Manual handling injuries may be caused by the activities listed above. Injuries can include back strains, similar strains and sprains in parts of the body such as the neck, arm, shoulder and knee.
- Manual handling injuries also include overuse injuries or, because of falling during manual handling, bruising or laceration.
(See our Work Health and Safety Policy for further information and recommendations for back care and manual handling).
Victoria: WorkSafe Victoria is the state’s health and safety regulator see: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/early-childhood-education-and-care-safety-basics
For further information see:https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/
Australian Government Department of Health Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) Children in early childhood and learning centres
Cancer Council NSW. Early childhood and care sun protection policy: http://www.sunsmartnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Childcare-policy1.pdf
Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics. (2016).
Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2017).
Guide to the National Quality Standard. (2017).
KidSafe Australia: https://kidsafe.com.au
National Health and Medical Research Council. (2012) (updated June 2013). Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.
Revised National Quality Standard. (2018).
Standards Australia. AS 1851-2005 (incorporating Amendment No. 1). Maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment: https://www.saiglobal.com/PDFTemp/Previews/OSH/as/as1000/1800/1851-2005(+A1).pdf
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
|POLICY REVIEWED||JULY 2022||NEXT REVIEW DATE||JULY 2023|
|MODIFICATIONS||policy maintenance – no major changes to policyminor formatting edits within texthyperlinks checked and repaired as required|
|POLICY REVIEWED||PREVIOUS MODIFICATIONS||NEXT REVIEW DATE|
|JULY 2021||minor edits to policy as highlightedminor formatting changesreferences and sources checked for currency||JULY 2022|
|JULY 2020||COVID-19 information added to cleaning/ handwashing sections Removal of Hazard Identification, Risk Management, Hazard Reduction and Hazardous Materials sections, Maintenance of Fire Equipment and Back care and Manual Handling (moved to Work Health and Safety Policy) additional related policies||JULY 2021|
|MARCH 2020||Regulations checked and some additions Amendments to Sun Safety policy inclusion Rearranged information about ‘soiled items’ to relate to nappy and toileting area Additional information added re: fire extinguisher testing Specific state/territory contacts added||JULY 2020|