Making safety at Seaford Rise everyone's business
Managing large groups of people in emergency situations can be difficult – add nearly 100 children to the mix and it becomes a challenging exercise.
That’s why the team at Goodstart Seaford Rise decided to come up with a method of managing child behaviour and educator response during stressful emergency situations – turning a compliance requirement into a thoughtful, child-centred procedure.
The method was so successful that it has been awarded a 2018 National Goodie award in the Safety and Wellbeing category.
The Goodies recognise excellence in Goodstart centres and showcase the best practice and commitment to delivering high quality education. There were 19 national winners this year, and 700 nominations submitted.
The project, Safety is everyone’s business, was introduced to the Seaford Rise centre after a fire safety audit identified that the centre needed to establish a lock-down procedure. Cue cards are used throughout the service to let children know what is happening and how they should behave.
In the nomination, centre director Nicole Hadley said during practice, threats were identified and a key phrase is used to let the educators know they need to into lock down procedure. The educators gather the children using a mouse cue card to let them know they need to be “as quiet as a mouse”.
The educator then latches the door, turn off the lights, and uses a second cue card, a snake, to let the children know they need to get low and move into their safe zone in the room.
“Once they are there, the mouse card is used again to remind the children to stay quiet.
“Once the all clear is given by the centre director using the green tick at the door, the children are shown the turtle cue card which represents coming out of a shell – and that everything is all right,” Ms Hadley said.
The centre regularly reflects on the practice and will review it annually.
Goodstart national safety and wellbeing manager Kylie Warren-Wright said the idea was so good, it should be replicated in all Goodstart centres immediately.
“The thought and execution that has gone into this idea is exceptional,” she said. “Every staff member is engaged in the process and clearly understands their role and it greatly reduces pressure on educators and children,” Ms Warren-Wright said.
“The team have been able to embed the lockdown practice by connection with children, ensuring a calm and safe practice where understanding is shared by all.”