Emergency and Evacuation Policy

Purpose
To provide clear guidelines to ensure the safety of children and others at the service while children are being educated and cared for by the educators of FIRST IDEA FAMILY DAY CARE SERVICES, during any emergencies and to evacuate during emergencies.

Scope
These guidelines will apply to the Approved provider, nominated supervisor, Certified supervisor, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents, children and others attending the service.

Objective
Securing children’s safety is and will always be the priority.

To practice evacuation regularly to be familiar with the emergency evacuation to ensure children and adults alike are familiar with practices, roles and duties that need to take place to secure children’s and other stakeholder’s safety.

Children can make inappropriate decisions when panicked, like hiding from danger, whereas if they have practiced and rehearsed emergencies without any real threat they can be conditioned on how to behave if a real threat or emergency should present.

Policy

Family Day Care Educators working under First Idea FDC services will take reasonable steps, to ensure every child’s health and wellbeing is safeguarded whilst protecting children from harm and hazards. Emergency, in relation to a care and education service, as any situation or event that poses an imminent or severe risk to the persons at the education and care service premises. Examples being: Flood, Fire,

A situation that requires the education and care service premises to be in lock-down, examples but not limited to:
1. Intruders (animal or human) 2. Power failures or electrocution 3. Involvement of firearms or other weapons 4. Structural damage.

Procedures
Approved provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring a risk assessment is conducted annually to identify potential emergencies relevant to the FDC home or approved venue
  • Ensuring educators have designed and displayed a copy of the emergency and evacuation floor plan and instructions are displayed in a prominent position near each exit at the premises.
  • And follow the emergency evacuation floor plan to safely evacuate and assemble at the evacuation point ,in case of emergency
  • Ensuring educators have an evacuation kit, including contact numbers for each child, required medication, water, nappies (if required) a mobile telephone
  • Ensuring there are induction procedures in place to inform new educators, including educator assistants, students and volunteers, of the emergency and evacuation procedures.
  • Ensuring that educators are rehearsing emergency evacuation practices at least once every three months at various times, and ensure all children are involved
  • Ensuring educators also include ‘lock down’ situations practice i.e. in case of an intruder and have a suitable place within in the home that is a ‘safe area’
  • Ensuring educators document the rehearsals of the emergency and evacuation procedures with the date, time and names of children and educators present and any notable outcomes (times, strategies that worked well, required improvements etc.)
  • Ensuring educators place a copy of the emergency contact numbers displayed prominently near phones at FDC homes.
  • Ensuring a current database is maintained of educators living in a location identified as a risk of bushfire to be recorded in the ‘Register of educators and assistant policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring regular monitoring of the Bureau of Meteorology and Country Fire Authority websites on days where there is a high or declared risk of bushfire (Daily during high fire season)
  • Ensuring that educators and families are notified by telephone that no education and care will be provided by educators living in a location identified of bushfire on a declared Code Red day in accordance with Bureau of Meteorology and Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Requiring educators have an operating telephone to enable immediate communication to and from parents and emergency services
  • Requiring educators to have ready access to emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets, and are adequately trained in their use
  • Ensuring educators have working and sufficient smoke detectors positioned throughout their home/venue and they are tested monthly and batteries changed at daylight savings time – March each year.
  • Ensuring educators are offered support and debriefing following a serious incident, emergency or evacuation

Educators and assistants are required to

  • Being contactable whilst children are in attendance at the service for emergency alerts
  • Rehearsing and documenting emergency evacuation procedures with the children every three months and document the events – ensuring all children are involved
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the evacuation drill and consult with approved provider or nominated supervisor of any modifications that may be required
  • Ensuring there is a copy of the emergency and evacuation floor plan and instructions displayed in a prominent position near each exit and that all children, families and visitors are briefed and aware of the emergency procedures
  • Ensuring all available exits out of the home have an exit sign displayed
  • Ensuring there are no obstruction that prevent access to any exit or access path, including secured bars or fly screens
  • Providing awareness and support to children before, during and after emergencies and drills
  • Ensuring to have a fully equipped first aid kit.
  • Ensuring the sign-in book is fully completed.
  • Keeping a written record of all visitors to the service, including time of arrival and departure
  • Ensuring all family members, children, and visitors present during an emergency are accounted for in the event of an evacuation
  • Ensuring all required emergency items (first aid kit, emergency evacuation bag, attendance register) are taken out of the home during any evacuation or practice drill
  • Regularly test and maintain emergency equipment including replacing batteries in smoke detectors (March each year)
  • Reviewing and evaluating any emergency and actions taken to be completed by them and any adults involved in the incident in collaboration with approved provider
  • Ensuring near miss incidents are documented and communicated to the approved provider
  • Family Day Care Residence/Venue ‘Lock Down’

In the event of a situation where children and educators need to stay inside the residence and or venue until they are notified otherwise by an appropriate authority, the following procedure will apply:

  1. All children will proceed to a designated area in the residence and or venue (as indicated in the emergency plan and evacuation strategies) and sit waiting for the residence to be deemed safe.
  2. Family Day Care Educator will contact relevant authorities and the Family Day Care coordination unit who will inform the parents.
  3. Documentation of this event to be made in an Incident Report and made notification to the regulatory authority as per the requirement.

The Evacuation Procedure:

  • The Family Day Care Educator will make the final call as to whether to evacuate the residence and or venue. The residence and or venue will be evacuated when an emergency situation is declared.

The following procedure will apply:

    1. The Family Day Care co-ordination unit staff/educator will:
      1. Inform all persons in the residence and or venue to evacuate.
      2. Telephone 000or the local emergency service required and give their name, location of emergency (town street number and telephone number).
      3. Move all persons to the primary evacuation assembly area as indicated in the emergency plan and evacuation strategies.
      4. Take the Attendance Record, parent contact details, and any other relevant documents/items (for example portable first aid kit) with them when evacuating.
      5. Check all persons who are registered at the residence and or venue at that time are in the evacuation assembly area.
      6. Keep all children and persons calm during the evacuation.
      7. Inform the Family Day Care co-ordination unit of the evacuation. The Family Day Care coordination unit will inform the families.
      8. Once the area has been declared safe by the appropriate authorities the educator and the children can re-enter the residence and or venue.
    2. If the Family Day Care residence and or venue emergency exits as indicted on the emergency plan evacuation strategies are blocked, then:
      • the Family Day Care Educator will utilise any alternative evacuation exits to ensure all persons leave the residence and or venue in a safe manner.
    3. If the primary evacuation assembly area is affected by the emergency, the Family Day Care Educator will immediately identify an alternative assembly area for all persons to exit to. This is to be clearly indicated to all who are exiting the residence and or venue.
    4. If a child or person is requiring first aid or unable to leave the residence and or venue due to an injury the Family Day Care Educator will:

ensure all other persons are evacuated; and assist the person who is injured to evacuate.

In case of Bushfires

  1. Write up a risk assessment that identifies any potential emergencies that are relevant to First Idea Family Day Care Service and or geographical context.
  2. Prepare an emergency plan and evacuation strategies indicating procedures and instructions to be followed in an event of an emergency.
  3. Develop a Fire Readiness Plan including the Prepare, Act, and Survive Steps.
  4. Implement the Fire Readiness Plan when instructed by the local Fire Authority
  5. Documentation of this event to be made in an Incident Report.

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

97, 168,

2

2.11

RELATED LEGISLATION

  • Children’s Health and Wellbeing Act 2009
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005
  • Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cwlth)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

RELATED POLICIES

  • First aid kit requirement
  • Asthma
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes
  • Authorisations – Acceptance and Refusal
  • Code of Conduct
  • Confidentiality
  • Enrolment and Orientation
  • Excursions
  • Incident, Illness, and Trauma
  • Medical Conditions

References and resources

  • Department of Education and Training (DET)
  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Guide for Family Day Care Educators
  • DEECD Emergency Management Guidelines
  • Protecting the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young People
  • Metropolitan Fire Brigade
  • Country Fire Authority
  • State Emergency Service
  • Managing Bush Fire Risks in Family day care

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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