Back to Home

 
Enter Learner's World
Enter
Learner's World

Join our linkedin Join our facebook Join our twitter

Child Safe Environment

sunscreenPolicy     

One World Children’s Centre has a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that all children are safe in their care, and will provide training, resources, information and guidance to support this. One World Children’s Centre is committed to:

  • ensuring that the health, safety and wellbeing of children at the service is protected at all times while also promoting their learning and development
  • fulfilling its duty of care obligations under the law by protecting children from any reasonable, foreseeable risk of injury or harm
  • ensuring that all staff, students and volunteers caring for children at the service act in the best interests of the child, and take all reasonable steps to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing at all times
  • supporting the rights of all children to feel safe, and be safe, at all times
  • developing and maintaining a culture in which children feel valued, respected and cared for
  • encouraging active participation from parents/guardians and families at the service, and ensuring that best practice is based on a partnership approach with shared responsibility for children’s health, safety, wellbeing and development
  • ensuring that One World Children’s Centre is proactive in educating children of their individual rights by including personal safety education programs within our centre

Relevant legislation and standards

Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (Vic): Sections 165, 166, 167

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 84, 85, 86, 99, 100, 101, 102, and 168(2) (h)

National Quality Standard, Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

National Quality Standard, Quality Area 3: Physical Environment

National Quality Standard, Quality Area 7: Leadership and Service Management

Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic), as amended 2011

Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic), as amended 2012

Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic), as amended 2011

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), as amended 2008 and 2011

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)

Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic)

Working with Children Regulations 2006 (Vic)

Background

“Every child has the right to live a full and productive life. It is up to all of us to ensure our children grow up in environments that build confidence, friendship, security and happiness, irrespective of a person’s family circumstances and background” (Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – refer to Sources). The protection of children, one of the most vulnerable groups in society, is a shared community responsibility and involves ensuring that all children are safe, their needs are met and the possibility of child abuse is minimised.

The Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA) provides the legislative basis for the provision of services to vulnerable children, young people and their families, and places children’s best interests at the heart of decision-making and service delivery. Under the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, the Approved Provider must ensure that all educators and staff are familiar with current policies and procedures with regard to child protection, including state and territory legislative responsibilities and their obligations under these laws.

Under the law, early childhood educators are not currently required to undertake mandatory reporting (refer to Definitions), though this is subject to change. Approved Providers must keep informed of, and comply with, all legislative changes as they occur.

Early childhood educators, in daily contact with children and their families, are well placed to observe when a child appears to be at risk of harm arising from abuse or neglect. Services have a duty of care (refer to Definitions) to act immediately to protect and preserve the safety and wellbeing of the children in their care. Any person who believes, on reasonable grounds, that a child is in need of protection may report their concerns to Child Protection (refer to Definitions) (Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – refer to Sources).

The Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 require that approved services protect children from any harm and hazards, and to adequately supervise children at all times. Adult supervision is a key factor in creating and maintaining child safe environments. Active supervision together with risk minimisation strategies can prevent or reduce the risk of injury to children .

Risk minimisation strategies, supported by clear policies and procedures for specific areas of child safety will help ensure the environment and practices at the service are child safe. Policies and procedures must be developed in relation to all matters specified in Regulation 168(2), including emergency and evacuation, water safety, sun protection, delivery and collection of children, and incident, injury, trauma and illness. Risks in the child’s physical environment can be minimised by ensuring the safety of buildings, grounds, equipment, materials and furniture used at the service, and the safe storage and use of dangerous substances such as cleaning products and chemicals.

Definitions

Abuser: A person who mistreats and/or harms a child or young person.

Abuse: (In the context of this policy) refers to physical and/or emotional mistreatment, and/or lack of care of the child. Examples include sexual abuse, the witnessing of family violence and any
non-accidental injury to a child.

Bullying: Repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Bullying occurs when one or more people deliberately and repeatedly upset or hurt another person, damage their property, reputation or social acceptance.

Child: In Victoria, under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, a child or young person is a person under 18 years of age.

Child abuse: An act or omission by an adult that endangers or impairs a child’s physical and/or emotional health and development. Child abuse can be a single incident but often takes place over time. Abuse, neglect and maltreatment (refer to Definitions) are generic terms used to describe situations in which a child may need protection. Child abuse includes any and all of the following:

  • Physical abuse: When a child suffers or is likely to suffer significant harm from an injury inflicted by a parent/guardian, caregiver or other adult. The injury may be inflicted intentionally, or be the consequence of physical punishment or the physically aggressive treatment of a child. Physical injury and significant harm to a child can also result from neglect by a parent/guardian, caregiver or other adult. The injury may take the form of bruises, cuts, burns or fractures, poisoning, internal injuries, shaking injuries or strangulation.
  • Sexual abuse: When a person uses power or authority over a child, or inducements such as money or special attention, to involve the child in sexual activity. It includes a wide range of sexual behaviour from inappropriate touching/fondling of a child or exposing a child to pornography, to having sex with a child.
  • Emotional and psychological abuse: Involves continuing behaviour by adults towards children, which erodes social competence or self-esteem over time. It occurs when a person engages in inappropriate behaviours, such as rejecting, ignoring, threatening or verbally abusing a child, or allowing others to do so (Office of the Child Safety Commissioner (OCSC), Victoria).
  • Racial, cultural and religious abuse: Conduct that demonstrates contempt, ridicule, hatred or negativity towards a child because of their race, culture or religion (OCSC).
  • Neglect: Refer to definition below.
  • Exposure to domestic/family violence: When children and young people witness or experience the chronic, repeated domination, coercion, intimidation and victimisation of one person by another through physical, sexual and/or emotional means within intimate relationships (adapted from the Australian Medical Association definition).

Child FIRST: A Victorian community-based intake and referral service linked with Family Services. Child FIRST ensures that vulnerable children, young people and their families are effectively linked to relevant services, including Child Protection (www.cyf.vic.gov.au/family-services/child-first).

Child sex offender: Someone who sexually abuses children, and who may or may not have prior convictions.

Child protection: The term used to describe the whole-of-community approach to the prevention of harm to children. It includes strategic action for early intervention, for the protection of those considered most vulnerable and for responses to all forms of abuse.

Child Protection Service (also referred to as Child Protection): The statutory child protection service provided by the Victorian Department of Human Services, to protect children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect. This service also works closely with Family Services (including Child FIRST) to support the assessment and engagement of vulnerable children and families in community-based services (www.cyf.vic.gov.au/child-protection-family-services/home).

Code of conduct: A set of rules or practices that establish a standard of behaviour to be followed by individuals and organisations. A code of conduct defines how individuals should behave towards each other, and towards other organisations and individuals in the community (refer to Code of Conduct Policy).

Disclosure: (In the context of this policy) refers to a statement that a child or young person makes to another person that describes or reveals abuse.

Domestic/family violence: The repeated use of violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour by an individual against a family member(s) or someone with who they have or have had an intimate relationship, including carers.

Duty of care: A common law concept that refers to the responsibilities of organisations to provide people with an adequate level of protection against harm and all reasonable foreseeable risk of injury. In the context of this policy, duty of care refers to the responsibility of education and care services to provide children with an adequate level of care and protection against foreseeable harm and injury.

Maltreatment: (In the context of this policy) refers to physical and/or emotional mistreatment, and/or lack of care of the child. Examples include sexual abuse, the witnessing of family violence and any non-accidental injury to a child.

Mandatory reporting: The legal obligation of certain professionals and community members to report when they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a child is in need of protection from harm.

A broad range of professional groups are identified in the CYFA as ‘mandatory reporters’. Mandated staff members must make a report to Child Protection as soon as is practicable after forming a belief, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is in need of protection from significant harm as a result of physical injury or sexual abuse, and the child’s parents/guardians are unwilling or unable to protect the child (Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – refer to Sources).

To have reasonable grounds to believe a child is in need of protection, a mandatory reporter should believe both that there is risk of significant harm as a result of physical injury or sexual abuse, and that the parents/guardians are unwilling or unable to protect the child (Sections 162(c)(d) and 184 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (amended in 2011)). Section 182 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (amended in 2011) lists those who are mandated to report.

Mandatory reporters must report the abuse/neglect to:

  • police, by calling 000, if the offence requires immediate police attention, or
  • Child Protection authorities, if they suspect, on reasonable grounds, that a child is suffering abuse or neglect, or wish to discuss their concerns about a child or young person.

Neglect: The failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical attention or supervision, to the extent that the child’s health and development is, or is likely to be, significantly harmed (Victorian Department of Human Services).

Negligence: Doing, or failing to do something that a reasonable person would, or would not do in a certain situation, and which causes another person damage, injury or loss as a result.

Offender: A person who mistreats and/or harms a child or young person.

Perpetrator: A person who mistreats and/or harms a child or young person.

Reasonable grounds: A person may form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child or young person is in need of protection after becoming aware that the child or young person’s health, safety or wellbeing is at risk and the child’s parents/guardians are unwilling or unable to protect them. There may be reasonable grounds for forming such a belief if:

  • a child or young person states that they have been physically or sexually abused
  • a child or young person states that they know someone who has been physically or sexually abused (sometimes the child may be referring to themselves)
  • someone who knows the child or young person states that the child or young person has been physically or sexually abused
  • a child shows signs of being physically or sexually abused (see details in Appendix 2 of Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – refer to Sources)
  • the person is aware of persistent family violence or parental substance misuse, psychiatric illness or intellectual disability that is impacting on the child or young person’s safety, stability or development
  • the person observes signs or indicators of abuse, including non-accidental or unexplained injury, persistent neglect, poor care or lack of appropriate supervision
  • a child’s/young person’s actions or behaviour may place them at risk of significant harm and the parents/guardians are unwilling or unable to protect the child

Voluntary (non-mandated) notification: A notification to the Child Protection Service by a person who believes that a child is in need of protection. Section 183 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (amended in 2011) states that any person who believes, on reasonable grounds, that a child is in need of protection, may notify a protective intervener of that belief and of the reasonable grounds that the belief is based on. Under this part of the Act, notifications are made out of moral obligation, rather than legislative obligation. The person making the notification is not expected to prove the abuse, and the law protects the anonymity of the person making the notification.

Young person: In Victoria, under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, a child or young person is a person under 18 years of age

Procedure

Any staff member that suspects a child is being abused you are immediately to report this to the Centre Co-ordinator. The Centre Co-ordinator will take  your information and or notes to the Director and or Management Team for action.

Responsibilities:

The Approved Provider (or delegate) is responsible for:

In relation to child protection matters:

  • ensuring that the Nominated Supervisor and staff members at One World Children’s Centre 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)
  • screening all educators, staff, volunteers and students to ensure that they hold a current Working with Children Check (except for individuals under the age of 18, registered teachers or police officers)
  • ensuring that volunteers/students, parents/guardians and other visitors to the service are not left with sole supervision of individual children or groups of children
  • ensuring clear procedures are in place for reporting suspected child abuse and management of complaints
  • offering support to the child and their family, and to educators and staff in response to concerns or reports relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • developing co-operative relationships with appropriate services and/or professionals (including Child FIRST) in the best interests of children and their families
  • notifying DEECD, in writing, within 24 hours of becoming aware of a notifiable complaint (refer to Defi or allegation regarding the health, safety and/or welfare of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • maintaining confidentiality at all times
  • offering support to the child and their family, and to educators and staff in response to concerns

In relation to providing a child safe environment at the service:

  • ensuring children are adequately supervised and that educator-to-child ratios are maintained at all times
  • ensuring the physical environment at One World Children’s Centre is safe, secure and free from hazards for children conducting risk assessments for excursions and considering children’s safety when leaving One World Children’s Centre premises
  • ensuring all equipment and materials used at One World Children’s Centre meet relevant safety standards implementing and practising emergency and evacuation procedures
  • ensuring there are appropriate procedures in place for the safe delivery and collection of children
  • ensuring that the Nominated Supervisor, educators and all staff at One World Children’s Centre who work with children are aware that it is an offence to subject a child to any form of corporal punishment, or any discipline that is unreasonable or excessive in the circumstances
  • implementing and reviewing this policy in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff, contractors and parents/guardians
  • identifying and providing appropriate resources and training to assist educators, staff, contractors, visitors, volunteers and students to implement this policy (refer to Sources)
  • protecting the rights of children and families, and encouraging their participation in decision-making
  • ensuring the Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff, volunteers and students are kept informed of any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy

The Centre Co-ordinator is responsible for:

In relation to child protection matters:

  • keeping up to date and complying with any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy
  • identifying the potential for child abuse at One World Children’s Centre , and developing and implementing effective prevention strategies in consultation with the Approved Provider and educators/staff
  • identifying and implementing appropriate programs and practices to support the principles of a child safe organisation in consultation with the Approved Provider and educators at one World Children’s Centre
  • co-operating with other services and/or professionals in the best interests of children and their families
  • ensuring that families are made aware of support services available to them (such as Child FIRST), and of the assistance these services can provide
  • ensuring that where One World Children’s Centre has been notified of a court order prohibiting an adult from contacting an enrolled child, such contact does not occur while the child is on One World Children’s Centre premises
  • ensuring that no child is left alone (or is out of sight) with a contractor, visitor, volunteer, student or parent/guardian at One World Children’s Centre
  • implementing the procedures for reporting suspected child abuse and management of complaints
  • notifying the Management Team immediately on becoming aware of a concern, complaint or allegation regarding the health, safety and welfare of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • offering support to the child and their family, and to educators and staff in response to concerns or reports relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • implementing and reviewing this policy in consultation with the Approved Provider, educators, staff, and parents/guardians
  • maintaining confidentiality at all times

In relation to providing a child safe environment at the service:

  • ensuring that all educators and staff who work with children are aware of this policy, and are supported to implement it at One World Children’s Centre
  • protecting the rights of children and families, and encouraging their participation in decision-making at One World Children’s Centre
  • ensuring that all children are adequately supervised at all times
  • ensuring learning environments are established that provide sufficient space, and include carefully chosen and well-maintained resources and equipment that will help enhance the quality of children’s learning and experiences
  • organising/facilitating regular safety audits of the following:
  • playgrounds and fixed equipment in outdoor environments
  • ensuring that all cupboards/rooms are labelled accordingly, including those that contain chemicals and first aid kits, and that child-proof locks are installed on doors and cupboards where contents may be harmful
  • ensuring that all contractors/visitors sign in to the visitor’s log book
  • ensuring the physical environment at One World Children’s Centre is safe, secure and free from hazards for children
  • ensuring risk assessments are completed for excursions and considering children’s safety when leaving One World Children’s Centre premises
  • implementing and practising emergency and evacuation procedures
  • ensuring there are appropriate procedures in place for the safe delivery and collection of children
  • ensuring that all educators and staff at One World Children’s Centre who work with children are aware that it is an offence to subject a child to any form of corporal punishment, or any discipline that is unreasonable or excessive in the circumstances
  • implementing and reviewing this policy in consultation with the Director, educators, staff, and parents/guardians
  • identifying and providing appropriate resources and training to assist educators, staff, visitors, volunteers and students to implement this policy
  • keeping up to date and complying with any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy

The Centre Health and Safety Officer is responsible for:

In relation to child protection matters:

  • ensuring educators, staff, contractors, volunteers and students undertake appropriate training and education on child protection, including recognising the signs and symptoms of child abuse (refer to Definitions), knowing how to respond, and understanding processes for reporting and managing concerns/incidents
  • identifying the potential for and signs of child abuse at One World Children Centre , and developing and implementing effective prevention strategies in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor and educators/staff

In relation to providing a child safe environment at the service:

  • ensuring all equipment and materials used at One World Children’s Centre meet relevant safety standards 

Certified Supervisors and other educators/staff are responsible for:

In relation to child protection matters:

  • keeping up to date and complying with any relevant changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy
  • reading, understanding and implementing this policy
  • undertaking appropriate training and education on child protection, including recognising the signs and symptoms of child abuse, knowing how to respond, and understanding processes for reporting and managing concerns/incidents
  • identifying the potential for child abuse at One World Children’s Centre , and developing and implementing effective prevention strategies in consultation with the Approved Provider and educators/staff
  • ensuring that where One World Children’s Centre has been notified of a court order prohibiting an adult from contacting an enrolled child, such contact does not occur while the child is on One World Children’s Centre premises
  • identifying and implementing appropriate programs and practices to support the principles of a child safe organisation in consultation with the Centre Co-ordinator
  • co-operating with other services and/or professionals (including Child FIRST) in the best interests of children and their families
  • informing families of support services available to them (such as Child FIRST), and of the assistance these services can provide
  • ensuring that no child is left alone (or is out of sight) with a contractor, visitor, volunteer, student or parent/guardian at One World Children’s Centre
  • implementing the procedures for reporting suspected child abuse and management of complaints
  • notifying the Centre Co-ordinator or a Management representative immediately on becoming aware of any concerns, complaints or allegations regarding the health, safety and welfare of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • offering support to the child and their family, and to other educators and staff in response to concerns or reports relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of a child at One World Children’s Centre
  • maintaining confidentiality at all times
  • reviewing this policy in consultation with the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff, and parents/guardians.

In relation to providing a child safe environment at the service:

  • maintaining learning environments that provide sufficient space, and include carefully chosen and well-maintained resources and equipment to ensure a safe environment
  • maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for all equipment to avoid cross-infection
  • maintaining a clean environment daily, and removing tripping/slipping hazards as soon as these become apparent
  • conducting a daily check of the building, ensuring all children are signed out of the service, doors and windows are closed and locked, and appliances are switched off etc. A written record of the daily check should be kept, signed by an educator and filed for future reference
  • actively supervising children at all times
  • educating and empowering children to talk about events and situations that make them feel uncomfortable
  • ensuring children are adequately supervised at all times
  • ensuring the physical environment at the service is safe, secure and free from hazards for children
  • conducting risk assessments for excursions and considering children’s safety when leaving One World Children’s Centre premises
  • ensuring all equipment and materials used at One World Children’s Centre meet relevant safety standards
  • implementing and practising emergency and evacuation procedures
  • ensuring there are appropriate procedures in place for the safe delivery and collection of children
  • ensuring that children at One World Children’s Centre are not subjected to any form of corporal punishment, or any discipline that is unreasonable or excessive in the circumstances
  • implementing and reviewing this policy in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor, educators, staff, and parents/guardians
  • identifying and providing appropriate resources and training to assist educators, staff, visitors, volunteers and students to implement this policy
  • protecting the rights of children and families, and encouraging their participation in decision-making
  • keeping up to date and complying with any changes in legislation and practices in relation to this policy

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

  • reading and complying with this policy
  • reporting any concerns, including in relation to potential for child abuse, to the Centre Co-ordinator
  • abiding by One World Children’s Centre’s Code of Conduct

Source

Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic), amended in 2011:
www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/cohrara2006433/

Childsafety Australia:
www.childsafetyaustralia.com.au/

Choose With Care: Building child safe organisations – an information and training program:
www.childwise.net

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD):
www.education.vic.gov.au/ecsmanagement/educareservices/csprotocols.htm

Victorian Department of Human Services:
www.dhs.vic.gov.au

Office of the Child Safety Commissioner:
www.kids.vic.gov.au

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people – A joint protocol of the Department of Human Services Child Protection, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Licensed Children’s Services and Victorian Schools:  www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/stuman/wellbeing/protecting_children_protocol 27_5_10.pdf

Safeguarding Children accreditation program, Australian Childhood Foundation:
www.childhood.org.au

Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations: 
http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/facs/bdb/fmu/service-agreement/1.introduction/1.1-about-the-kit

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child:
www.unicef.org/crc

What is Child Abuse?:                                                                                                                                         
www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/children,-families-and-young-people/child-protection/what-is-child-abuse

Working with Children (WWC) Check:
www.justice.vic.gov.au/workingwithchildren

www.bullyingnoway.gov.au


Top of page
Childcare Services

One World For Children Pty Ltd

  • Finalists for the Australian Training Awards 2009: Australian Small Training Provider of the Year

  • Winners of the Victorian Training Awards 2009: Small Training Provider of the Year

  • Winners of the 2008 Victorian Community Services Health Industry Training Board's Innovation in Training and Assessment Award: Innovative Service Delivery

  • Finalist in the Victorian Training Awards 2006 for Training Initiative of the Year: Online Advanced Diploma of Children's Services

One World For Children Pty Ltd
P.O. Box 701 North Geelong Delivery Centre 3215
407-411 Thompson Road, North Geelong, Victoria
Telephone (03) 5272 2714, Fax (03) 5272 3039

Site design/maintenance by Pagination