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Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool
*Child-safe Environment Policy


QUALITY AREA 2: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY

PROVIDING A CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENT

 

POLICY: Our preschool has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that the rights and best interests of the child are paramount and that we will provide training,resources, information and guidance to support this in order to:

  • ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the preschool is protected at all times;
  • ensure that people educating and caring for children at the preschool act in the best interests of the child;
  • protect and advocate the rights of all children to feel safe, and be safe, at all times;
  • maintaining a culture in which children’s rights are respected;
  • encouraging active participation from families at the preschool, supporting a partnership approach and shared responsibility for children’s health, safety, wellbeing and development.

NOTE: This policy is an overview and is supported by many other policies listed at the end of this document.

 

RELEVANT LEGISLATION:

  • Education and Care Preschools National Law Act 2010: 165, 167
  • Education and Care Preschools National Regulations 2011: 99, 158, 159, 168(f), 176
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2013
  • Crimes Act 1900
  • Ombudsman Act 1974 – Part 3A
  • Australian Privacy Principles – www.oaic.gov.au
  • Office of the Australian Information Commissioner – www.oaic.gov.au
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) – www.oaic.gov.au/law/act

 

LINKS TO NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD

  • 2.3 Each child is protected
  • 2.3.1 Children are adequately supervised at all times
  • 2.3.2 Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect children from harm and any hazard likely to cause injury
  • 2.3.3 Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practiced and implemented
  • 2.3.4 Educators, coordinators and staff members are aware of their roles and responsibilities to respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect
  • 3.1 The design and location of the premises is appropriate for the operation of a preschool
  • 7.1 Effective leadership promotes a positive organizational culture and builds a professional learning community.

 

KEY RESOURCES:

  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) www.acecqa.gov.au
  • Mandatory Reporter Guide & training including e-learning presentation www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au
  • Working With Children Check www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/ working-with-children/working-with-children-check
  • Become a Childsafe Organisation www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/ working-with-children/become-a-childsafe-organisation.au
  • Childsafety Australia: www.childsafetyaustralia.com.au
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: www.unicef.org.au
  • The Supporting young children’s rights: Statement of intent (2015-2018): www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au
  • Australian Human Rights Commission: www.humanrights.gov.au
  • Staying Healthy in Childcare – Preventing Infectious Disease in Child Care 5th edition 2012
  • www.kidsafensw.org
  • Providing a Child Safe Environment – Sample Policy. Community Child Care Cooperative 2015

 

PRACTICE:

The Physical Environment

In order to promote a safe physical environment we will:

  • Ensure all equipment and materials used at the preschool meet relevant safety standards.
  • Remove, repair or replace worn and damaged buildings, structures equipment and resources which may provide a safety risk for children in a timely manner.
  • Ensure learning environments are established that provide appropriate child groupings, sufficient space, and include carefully chosen and well-maintained resources and equipment.
  • Organise indoor and outdoor spaces to ensure risks to the health and safety are minimised.
  • Conduct a risk assessment of the preschool environment on a six monthly basis to determine any risks to children’s health and safety.
  • Analyse and evaluate the risks associated with identified hazards.
  • Determine appropriate ways to eliminate or control identified hazards.
  • Review risk assessments after any serious incident report is made to the Regulatory Authority.

 

Staffing and Supervision

  • Ensure that sufficient numbers of educators are employed to ensure adequate supervision of children at all times.
  • Manage rosters to not only ensure that adequate numbers of educators are on duty to meet ratio and qualification requirements but that duty of care implications are considered to ensure adequate supervision at all times.
  • Ensure screening and suitability of staff, volunteers as per the legislation and policy at the time of employment and as part of an ongoing process.
  • Respond proactively to emerging staff performance concerns.

 

Child Protection

  • All educators and volunteers of our preschool are Mandatory Reporters and are required to report to the Child Protection Helpline (Phone: 133 627 or eReport at: https://kidsreport.facs.nsw.gov.au) if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a child or young person is at risk of significant harm and have current concern about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or young person.
  • The Mandatory Reporter Guide (see resources) will be used, to guide decision making and determine whether or not to report to the Child Protection Helpline under the new risk of significant harm reporting threshold.
  • Staff will undertake training in order to effectively:
    • Make appropriate responses to all disclosures of abuse and any allegation of abuse against staff members of the preschool
    • understand the responsibilities and processes as a mandatory reporter
    • be able to recognise the factors that increase a child’s vulnerability to maltreatment;
    • be aware of the vulnerabilities which may indicate a need to assess, monitor or curtail the behaviour of individuals in relation to children and young people within organisations;

 

 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

The Approved Provider will;

  • Ensure the preschool operates in line with the Education and Care Preschools National Law and National Regulations 2011 with regard to the delivery and collection of children at all times.
  • Ensure all staff have access to relevant professional development.
  • Ensure ensuring that the Nominated Supervisor and staff members at the preschool who work with children are advised of current child protection legislation, its application, and any obligations that they may have under that law (Regulation 84).

 

The Nominated Supervisor will;

  • Provide all staff and educators working directly with children with a copy of the Mandatory Reporter Guide to assist them in their reporting.
  • Provide all staff and educators working directly with children with access to the Child Wellbeing and Child Protection NSW Interagency Guidelines.
  • Ensuring screening and suitability processes are maintained to meet policy and legislated requirements.
  • Identifying and providing appropriate resources and training to assist staff, contractors, visitors, volunteers and students to implement this policy (refer to Sources).
  • Keeping up to date and complying with any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy.
  • Co-operating with other preschools and/or professionals in the best interests of children and their families.
  • Ensuring that families are made aware of support preschools available to them and of the assistance these preschools can provide.
  • Ensuring that all staff who work with children are supported to implement this policy in the preschool.
  • Protecting the rights of children and families, and encouraging their participation in decision-making at the preschool.

 

The Early Childhood Educators/Certified Supervisors will;

  • Act in accordance with the obligations outlined in this policy.
  • Raise concerns when barriers or threats to the protection of children and young people’s safety and wellbeing are identified, including through the conduct of other adults at the site/preschool.
  • Keeping up to date and complying with any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy.
  • Follow all record keeping requirements.
  • Undertaking appropriate training and education on child protection.
  • Identifying any potential for risk and harm to a child at the preschool and developing and implementing effective prevention strategies in consultation with the approved provider and the nominated supervisor.
  • Co-operating with other preschools and/or professionals in the best interests of children and their families.
  • Informing families of support preschools available to them, and of the assistance these preschools can provide.
  • Ensuring that no child is left alone (or is out of sight) with a contractor, visitor, volunteer, student or parent/guardian at the preschool.
  • Implementing the procedures for reporting suspected child abuse.
  • Notifying the nominated supervisor or the approved provider immediately on becoming aware of any concerns, complaints or allegations regarding the health, safety and welfare of a child at the preschool.
  • Offering support to the child and their family, and to other and staff in response to concerns or reports relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of a child at the preschool.
  • Maintaining confidentiality at all times.
  • Adhering to all preschool policies.

 

The Families will;

  • Reading and complying with this policy.
  • Reporting any concerns, including in relation to potential for child abuse, to the Nominated Supervisor.

 

EVALUATION

Children are healthy and safe at our preschool and the number of serious health and safety incidents is reduced over time.

 

 

OTHER POLICIES

Bexley Jack and Jill Preschool is committed to creating and maintaining a safe environment for children, staff and others who visit our preschool. We have many policies that relate to this objective.Further information about our safety practices and procedures can be found within these related policies.

 

  • Staffing Recruitment/ Working with children check
  • Infection Control
  • Cleaning
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Exclusions for infectious diseases and acutely ill children
  • Assessing serious or potential infectious diseases
  • Notification procedures in infectious disease cases
  • Immunisations
  • Administering medications
  • Managing a child with an acute fever
  • Managing children with chronic conditions that require invasive clinical procedures
  • Handling, use and disposing of needles and sharps
  • Managing children with asthma
  • Managing children with diabetes
  • Managing children with epilepsy
  • Managing children with food allergies and anaphylaxis
  • Reducing the risk of severe allergies and anaphylaxis
  • Dental and oral health
  • Management of choking
  • First aid
  • Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness
  • Authority for emergency treatment
  • Procedure for calling an ambulance
  • First aid information and contacts
  • Fire and emergency evacuation procedure
  • Lockdown
  • Notifying families in acute illness or injury cases
  • Keeping an illness injury register
  • Communicating with a health professional in an emergency
  • Supervision of Children
  • Indoor safety checklist
  • Arrivals and Departure
  • Disposing of soiled nappies
  • Contact between children, pets and animals
  • Toy safety
  • Outdoor safety checklist
  • Fencing
  • Playground equipment
  • Precautions against spiders and insects
  • Sun smart
  • Water safety
  • Hazardous Plants
  • Building maintenance checklist
  • Procedure for renovations
  • Prevention of exposure to lead
  • Prevention of exposure to asbestos
  • Safe use of pesticides
  • Indoor allergens
  • Storage of chemicals, substances and equipment
  • Road safety
  • Travel and excursions
  • Safe excursion locations
  • Child safety precautions on a farm
  • Child protection practices
  • Touch and nurturing
  • Emergencies and Critical Incidents

Policy reviewed March 2015

 

 

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