Safety, Security & Child Safe Standards
Our priority is providing your child with a safe, clean and nurturing environment. All our centres are only accessible via single-entry security keypad access and there are no external entry points to the playground or outdoor areas.
An electronic record is kept of every child’s daily arrival and departure times and the adult responsible for picking up and dropping off the child must sign in using the electronic kiosk. A child will not be released to an unauthorised person or any persons under the age of 18.
All educators are trained in first aid and asthma & anaphylaxis care and no educators are present without a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). We hold our child protection, safety and security procedures in the highest regard and will not compromise on safety when it comes to the protection of your children.
Arrival and Departure from the Centre
Children are to be delivered to and collected by a responsible adult of at least eighteen years of age.
If your child will be absent from the Centre for any reason, please telephone the Centre.
Regulations require that if we cannot contact the parent/guardian at closing time, educators will wait 5 minutes and then emergency contacts will be called to collect the child. If we still cannot contact you or any of your emergency contacts 30 minutes after closing time, we will call local Police and the incident will be reported to the Department of Child Protection.
Visitors to the Centre and Emergency Contacts
We do not allow any unauthorised visitors entry to the centre. Your child’s safety is our number one priority. Unknown people will be asked to show photo identification upon arrival at the centre and their name is required to be listed as an Authorised Nominee contact on the child’s enrolment form.
Attendance Records: Sign in / Out Using the Kiosk
We utilise QK Kiosk which allows parents and authorised family contacts to electronically sign children in and out by entering a digital pin into the touchscreens located at reception – this is an efficient and sustainable practice.
It is important for safety and legal reasons to sign your child in and out each day. If an unfamiliar person is collecting your child, it is your responsibility to update your child’s enrolment form and also inform the Educators.
If you have forgotten your PIN or needing to change your mobile number please see the Centre Director. Please keep your PIN confidential. If you have forgotten your PIN please see the Centre Director.
Our Commitment to Child Safe Standards and Creating a Child Safe Environment
The Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, employees and volunteers will implement a Child Protection Risk Management Strategy to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all children at the service, protect children from harm and protect the integrity of employees and volunteers.
Our Child Safe and Protection Policy and Child Safe Standards Policy advises of our commitment, our policies and procedures in relation to the Standards are as follows:
- Strategies to embed a culture of child safety through effective leadership arrangements.
- A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety.
- A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
- Screening, supervision, training, and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing staff
- Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.
- Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse.
- Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
Statement of Commitment to Child Safety and Protection
The organisation has a strong commitment to child safety, wellbeing and protection, through implementing and adherence to the Child Safe Standards and the Information Sharing Scheme. This commitment extends to all children in our service and community with an aim for children to feel safe, secure and supported. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and we have a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse and harm. We acknowledge the importance of our organisation and community to be committed to culturally safety of aboriginal children, the cultural safety for culturally and/or linguistically diverse children and safety of children with a disability.
Child Safe Standards
- Culturally Safe Environments: Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are respected and valued.
- Child Safety and Wellbeing Guidance: Ensure that child safety and wellbeing are embedded in our organisation's leadership, governance and culture.
- Child and Student Empowerment: Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Family Engagement: Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Diversity and Equity: Equity is upheld and diverse needs are respected in policy and practice.
- **Suitable Staff and Volunteers: **People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- **Complaints Processes: **Ensure that processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Child Safety Knowledge, Skills and Awareness: Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Child Safety in Physical and Online Environments: Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Review of Child Safety Practices: Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Implementation of Child Safety Practices: Policies and procedures that document how our service is safe for children and young people.
The centres’ approach to child safety and protection is based on the following principles:
• Children have the right to feel safe, secure and under the protection of responsible, caring, trustworthy, adults at all times.
• Children will be respected and in no way degraded, endangered, exploited, intimidated or harmed psychologically or physically.
• Warm words and loving touch are basic needs throughout life. The loss of spontaneous affection would be detrimental to both children and staff.
• Physical contact is part of the nurturing of children and helps create and sustain trusting relationships and add to feelings of security.
_Who in our service upholds the Child Safe Standards? _
Child Safety Officer role is held by the Nominated Supervisor as part of their role to promote and maintain safety and health of children. In the temporary absences of the Nominated Supervisor the Responsible Person – Person in Charge of Service will hold this role. The Child Safety Officer role is also supported by the Wellbeing and Social Justice and Equity Representative/committees of the service.
Understanding Your Obligations - Everyone has a part to play to protect children
As community members, we all have a moral obligation to protect any child under our care and supervision from foreseeable harm. As early childhood service staff members, you play an especially critical role in protecting children (including identifying, responding to and reporting child abuse) and must meet a range of legal obligations to do so.
These legal obligations vary, depending on the nature of the service and your role within it. However the best way to comply and the best way to protect children in your care is to follow the: Four Critical Actions for Early Childhood Services.
There are certain classes of professionals, who are classified as "mandatory reporters". Within an early childhood service setting, mandatory reporters include:
• a person registered to teach or with permission to teach under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (including early childhood and primary teachers and early childhood workers)
• registered doctors and nurses (including Maternal Child Health Nurses).
Child Safe Code of Conduct
The service upholds the Child Safe Code of Conduct for employers, educators, volunteers, students, families, service community members and children to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children.
The Child Safe Standards, provide guidance and we follow the Child Safe Code of Conduct to clearly expectations for appropriate behaviour with children and adults. Further the service community (staff, volunteers, children and families) acknowledge the importance of an inclusive and supportive approach and understanding of safe behaviours and relationships with Aboriginal children, culture and/or linguistically diverse children and children with disabilities.
Our Child Safe Code of Conduct:
All paid and unpaid staff (including volunteers, students on placement, trainees) and parents, family members and members of the service community are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who engage with the service. All people of the service community are expected to act in accordance with this Child Safe Code of Conduct in their physical and online interactions with children and young people under the age of 18 years.
• Act in accordance with the organisation’s Child Safety and Protection Policies and procedures at all times.
• Behave respectfully, courteously and ethically towards children and their families and towards other staff.
• Listen and respond to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they communicate (verbally or non-verbally) that they do not feel safe or well.
• Promote the human rights, safety and wellbeing of all children in the organisation.
• Demonstrate appropriate personal and professional boundaries.
• Consider and respect the diverse backgrounds and needs of children.
• Create an environment that promotes and enables children’s participation and is welcoming, culturally safe and inclusive for all children and their families.
• Involve children in making decisions about activities, policies and processes that concern them wherever possible.
• Contribute, where appropriate, to the organisation’s policies, discussions, learning and reviews about child safety and wellbeing.
• Identify and mitigate risks to children’s safety and wellbeing as required by the organisation’s risk assessment and management policy or process.
• Respond to any concerns or complaints of child harm or abuse promptly and in line with the organisation’s policy and procedure for receiving and responding to complaints.
• Report all suspected or disclosed child harm or abuse as required by the legislation and by policy and procedure on internal and external reporting.
• Comply with the organisation’s protocols on communicating with children.
• Comply with regulation and the organisation’s policies and procedures on record keeping and information sharing.
• Engage in any unlawful activity with or in relation to a child.
• Engage in any activity that is likely to physically, sexually or emotionally harm a child.
• Unlawfully discriminate against any child or their family members.
• Be alone with a child unnecessarily.
• Arrange personal contact, including online contact, with children for a purpose unrelated to the organisation’s activities.
• Disclose personal or sensitive information about a child, including images of a child, unless the child and their parent or legal guardian consent or unless required to do so by the organisation’s policy and procedure on reporting.
• Use inappropriate language in the presence of children, or show or provide children with access to inappropriate images or material.
• Work with children while under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs.
• Ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child harm or abuse.
_If you believe the Child Safe Code of Conduct has been breached by another person in the organisation, you will: _
• Act to prioritise the best interests of children.
• Take actions promptly to ensure that children are safe.
• Promptly report any concerns per the policy and procedure.
• Follow the organisation’s policies and procedures for receiving and responding to complaints and concerns.
• Comply with legislative requirements on reporting, and with the organisation’s policy and procedure on internal and external reporting.
How do we empower children and promote their understanding and awareness of Child Safety? We:
- deliver an educational program based on an approved learning framework and based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child. This includes covering topics such as Child Safety.
- provide an environment for children that promotes their agency (element 1.2.1), maintains respectful and equitable relationships (regulation 156) with each child and allows children to feel secure and confident.
- we provide education and care in a way that maintains at all times the dignity and rights of each child and has regard to the family and cultural values, age and physical and intellectual development of each child (regulation 155).
- through promoting child's agency, we encouraging children’s participation in decision-making. We value and respect children’s opinions.
- seek children’s views about what makes them feel safe and unsafe
- establish an environment of trust and inclusion that enables children to ask questions and speak up if they are worried or feeling unsafe. We understand that children often do not report abuse because they feel uncomfortable or they do not know how to raise their concerns or allegations of abuse.
- have in place and follow policies and procedures in relation to interactions with children and dealing with complaints (regulation 168(2)(j), regulation 168(2)(o) and regulation 170) which promote the participation and empowerment of children.
We implement the Child Safe Standards by including the following in our educational program:
- our service philosophy and educational program promotes and supports child safe environments through empowering children (promoting child agency), increasing children's awareness and providing them the strategies, tools and support in relation to Child Safety.
- age-appropriate resources for children and families on children’s rights.
- child-friendly information and communications about personal safety, and how to voice concerns about personal safety.
- provide a safe environment for children to express concerns where they will be taken seriously and not judged. We have a Wellbeing Program that supports all children's wellbeing, health and safety.
_Please see the careers and employment section of the website for policies and procedures in relation to child safety for recruitment, selection and training. _
Please see our Child Protection & Wellbeing Policy and Child Safe Standards Policy for all other policies and procedures in relation to our governance in relation to Child Safe Standards.