Child Safe Environment

Background
All children have the right to be safe whether it is in their home or when attending an education and care service. We know children learn best through play and exploration with a range of materials that can be manipulated, utilizing all of their senses. By providing a safe environment we can assist children to not only explore but to develop self-help and independence, however, safety is so much more. Safety is protecting the child’s wellbeing, their sense of self, their sense of safety and security

Policy
At FIRST IDEA FAMILY DAY CARE SERVICES, we are committed to educators and family’s relationships to ensure children are safe from harm at all times and experience a child centered education and care program. There are challenges in operating an education and care service from a residence and this takes particular consideration, from ways of making children feel safe and give them a sense of belonging in someone’s home through to engaging and building partnerships with families. Building partnerships with families allow the sharing information on child development, behavior management etc. and provides an opportunity to observe the families for signs of stress.

Procedures
Approved providers are responsible for:

    • Ensuring all educators and educator assistants hold a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
    • Undertaking a safety and performance review of the educator within 24 hours of a serious incident
    • Ensuring all persons over the age of 18 years residing at the educator’s home hold a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
    • Ensuring all students and volunteers hold a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
    • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification) providing support and training to educators as to how they can achieve this in their service
    • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
    • Ensure that all nominated supervisors have completed: The Protecting Children-Mandatory Reporting and other Obligations for the Early Childhood Sector eLearning Module.
    • Ensuring educators understand the requirement to report any allegations of child abuse to the approved provider or nominated supervisor and this is then reported to the police or child protection
    • If an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the children are safe by removing any risks – removing visitor from home, refusing to allow a child with an adult for reasons as determined in ‘Delivery and collection of children policy and procedures, calling emergency services if required
    • Ensuring educators are aware of ‘Emergency and evacuation procedures in accordance with ‘Emergency evacuation policy and procedures
    • Requiring educators take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of children in collaboration with families Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.81 – and that children remain adequately supervised at ALL times and that visitors are not left unsupervised.
    • Ensuring educators have an understanding and obligations of the existence and application of the current child protection law in accordance with Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.84 – through information in newsletters, annually and delivering a session on this topic at least every 2 years
    • Undertaking an annual safety audit of the educator’s home or venue in accordance with ‘Approval and reassessment of family day care venues.
    • Requiring educators conduct risk assessments for excursions and regular outing and are considering children’s safety when leaving the residence in accordance with ‘Excursions policy and procedures.
    • Requiring that where the service has been notified of a Court Order prohibiting an adult from contacting any enrolled child the educator ensures such contact does not occur while the child is in the educator’s residence in accordance with ‘Delivery and collection of children policy and procedures.
    • Requiring educators take all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse (ie. Visitors, supervision, access) – risk management training to be discussed in meetings and training delivered every 2 years
    • Being contactable by telephone whilst children are in attendance at the service
    • Notifying Department of Education and Training (DET) within 24 hours of a serious incident or a complaint alleging legislation was breached
    • Ensuring educators are aware that their home environment is free from the use of tobacco, illicit drugs and alcohol while children are being educated and cared for Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.82
    • Ensuring educators are aware that they must not consume alcohol, or be affected by alcohol or drugs (including prescription medication) that may impair their capacity to provide education and

Requiring educators to ensure children are never left alone with visitors

  • care for children Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.83

Educators and educator assistants are responsible for:

  • Ensuring a court order prohibiting an adult from contacting an enrolled child is implemented fully in accordance with ‘Delivery and collection of children policy and procedures
  • Ensuring any disclosures of potential abuse are taken seriously, documented and reported to the approved provider
  • If the approved provider does not address the issue, the educator, educator and assistant can report the allegation to the Department of Health and Human Services www.dhs.vic.gov.au or the Police if imminent danger is suspected
  • Ensuring a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
  • Ensuring all persons over the age of 18 years residing at the educator’s home hold a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
  • Ensuring all students and volunteers hold a current working with children card (WWCC) or teaching registration card (VIT)
  • Having an understanding of the obligations, existence and application of the current child protection law in accordance with Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.84 by attending training and refresher courses every 2 years
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of children in collaboration with families Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 r.81 – ensuring children and visitors are supervised always
  • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification) providing support and Aboriginal families and children through consultation with Elders, or Aboriginal support services, attend training, include the topic of Aboriginal history in the educational program
  • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities respect children’s privacy and dignity at all times / respect for privacy and self-help abilities allow children to try and build their own skills, respect children’s choice of
  • what they want help with and how they want to be touched / accessibility to the education and care facilities and program, ensuring children can access what they need to develop self-help i.e. their bag, hand towels, activities etc)
  • Participating in training and professional development on the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe environment where children’s wellbeing is protected at all times – attending at least one health and safety professional development per annum
  • Being contactable by telephone whilst children are in attendance at the service
  • Remaining aware of ‘Emergency and evacuation procedures in accordance with ‘Emergency evacuation policy and procedures.
  • Conduct, document and store risk assessments for excursions and regular outing and are considering children’s safety when leaving the residence in accordance with ‘Excursions policy and procedures.
  • Ensure the environment is free from the use of tobacco, illicit drugs and alcohol while children are being educated and cared for
  • Not consume alcohol, or be affected by alcohol or drugs (including prescription medication) that may impair capacity to provide education and care for children.
  • Ensuring the requirement to report any allegations of child abuse to the approved provider or nominated supervisor and this is then reported to the police or child protection
  • If an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe by removing any risks, contact police and approved provider.
  • Do not put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors, smacking, refusing food or making threats of harm)
  • Do not engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities, relationship issues, movie themes)
  • Do not use inappropriate language in the presence of children (swearing, adult themes)
  • Do not express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children
  • Do not discriminate against any child, including because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability
  • Do not engage in private ‘babysitting’ arrangements with any family or child without the written consent of the approved provider or nominated supervisor
  • Do not ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
  • Understanding the procedures for reporting suspected child abuse
  • Being receptive to offered support from approved provider in response to concerns or any reports relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of a child
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times when dealing with child protection
  • Notify Department of Education and Training (DET) within 24 hours of a serious incident or a complaint alleging legislation was breached

Under NO circumstances will children be left alone with visitors or unsupervised.

NATIONAL QUALITY FRAMEWORK

Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

National Quality Area

National Quality Standard

161-175

81, 82, 83, 84, 100, 101, 102,

166, 168

2.1,2.3

2.1.1,2.1.2,2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.4,

3

3.1.1, 3.1.2

7

7.1.5

RELATED LEGISLATION

  • Family Assistance Act 1999
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Information Privacy Act 2000
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Privacy Act 2000 (Vic.)
  • Children’s Health and Wellbeing Act 2009
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Information Privacy Act 2000
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cwlth)
  • Working with Children Act 2005

RELATED POLICIES

  • Code of Conduct
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Confidentiality
  • Delivery and Collection of Children
  • Engagement or Registration of Family day care Educators and Assistants
  • Visitors to family day care residences
  • Assessment of family day care educators, assistants and persons residing at family day care residence

References and resources

  • Department of Education and Training (DET)
  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia:
  • Early Childhood Australia – Code of Ethics
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Criminal History Requirements
  • Guide for Family Day Care Educators
  • Delivering children’s programs in a family day care service
  • DEECD Emergency Management Guidelines

REVIEW

POLICY REVIEWED

July 2018

NEXT REVIEW DATE

July 2019

MODIFICATIONS

Policy created for First Idea Family Day Care Services, inclusive of changes to the National Quality Standards and Education and Care National Regulations

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Testimonials

My kids and I have always felt home at First Idea. The team at First Idea have been so professional and understanding. I highly recommend their services to anyone who wants a safe…

Steven Zane

My kids always feel home at First Idea Family Day Care. Thanks to the team for not just doing their job, but adding a personal touch into their duties at work each day.

Rebecca Paul

The staff at First Idea family have been so helpful right from the time of admission till each day of nurturing my son to a better individual. I can’t stop thanking them for everything.

Daniel Johnson