All children have the right to experience high quality education and care, in a learning environment that provides for their protection through appropriate supervision, safe experiences and environments, and emergency preparedness. Goodstart is committed to ensuring that each child’s health and safety needs are met. This includes meeting individual health and comfort requirements, implementing effective hygiene practices and effectively managing injuries and illnesses. To view our NQS2 - Children’s Health and Safety Policy click here.
Key Goodstart policies in this area cover the following topics:
Administering Medication to Children
To ensure the safety of your child when medication needs to be administered, we ask that you are familiar with our medication administration requirements. This document covers the storage, authorisation, dispensing and disposal of both prescription and non-prescription (i.e. over-the-counter) medication.
Medical Conditions Management (including allergies, Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes and Epilepsy)
To ensure the safe and effective management of the enrolment, education and care of children who may suffer from any of these conditions, Goodstart’s extensive requirements cover training, risk minimisation and collaborative actions and planning between educators and families. Thorough individual medical management plans are developed, implemented and regularly reviewed between families, Goodstart staff and medical practitioners to best support the health and safety of children.
Children have the right to be free from harm, and to play, learn and be cared for in a safe and secure environment. Our early learning professionals are committed to the protection and physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing of your child.
Child Safe Environment
Goodstart is committed to ensuring that all aspects of children’s safety are protected in our early learning settings and must comply with mandatory reporting regulations. Our educators and families visiting the centre are required to be aware of all gates and doors as they enter and exit the premises, and to be conscious of children’s safety when using the car park and driveway entries and exits.
There is a detailed planning procedure for any excursions undertaken from a Goodstart centre to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children. We also provide our families with this information to help them decide whether or not to allow their child to participate in the event.
Food and Nutrition
Goodstart centres have a responsibility to provide information to families to encourage understanding and awareness of good dental/oral hygiene and nutrition. All areas where Goodstart food is prepared and provided must comply with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, the Education and Care Services legislation and the Building Code of Australia. Consideration is given to nutritional, dietary and cultural requirements when developing menus.
Our early learning employees follow recommended health and safety guidelines and procedures in the event of a child-related accident or injury, and all our centres have qualified first aid officers on duty. Any incidents that may occur are recorded in an illness/ injury report and provided to all families, and we investigate each issue to make changes to practice or the physical environment where necessary. If your child requires medical treatment, other than first aid, and we are unable to contact you, we will take any steps necessary to ensure that your child is appropriately cared for. This could include contacting the identified emergency contact for the child, or calling emergency services. It is important that information about your emergency contact and authorised nominee list is up-to-date at all times. We comply with regulatory requirements that all incidents are communicated to families within 24 hours and all notifiable incidents are reported according to regulations.
Infectious Disease Control and Unwell Children
To minimise the risk of transmission of infectious disease, our procedures focus on the quick and effective response to a suspected or identified infectious disease. In the case of a suspected or confirmed infectious disease, Goodstart works with families, public health units and medical practitioners to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, families and staff in the centre. Children diagnosed with infectious disease will be excluded from the centre using the guidelines in ‘Staying Healthy’ or until medical clearance has been provided.To prevent the spread of infectious disease, we encourage families to fully immunise their children in accordance with the Department of Health and Ageing’s National Immunisation Program Schedule. Non-immunised children may be excluded.
There are additional requirements for residents of New South Wales.
Changes to the Public Health Act 2010 stipulate that, before enrolling a child, parents/guardians must provide child care centres with documentation that show the child:
- is fully vaccinated for their age, or;
- has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, or;
- has a conscientious objection, including religious beliefs, to vaccination or;
- is on a recognised catch-up schedule if their child has fallen behind with their vaccinations.
The amendment prevents a child care centre enrolling a child unless the mandatory documentation is received.
Upon enrolment of their child, all parents/guardians in NSW must provide:
- An Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) Immunisation History Statement which shows that their child is up-to-date with their scheduled immunisations, or;
- An ACIR* Immunisation Exemption Conscientious Objection Form (IMMU12) which has been certified by an immunisation provider and a parent/guardian, or;
- An ACIR* Immunisation Exemption - Medical Contraindication Form (IMMU11) which has been certified by an immunisation provider, or;
- An ACIR* Immunisation History form on which the immunisation provider has certified that the child is on a recognised catch-up schedule.
Parents/guardians who fail to provide the required documentation will not be permitted to enrol their child. More information about the changes is available by contacting your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
*ACIR (Australian Child Immunisation Record) – for more information on ACIR visit www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/patients/acir/
It is important for your child’s comfort that their routines are followed while they are in our care. We encourage you to provide us with directions in relation to their dietary requirements and feeding schedules, and to update this information as your child’s routines and needs change. Please provide expressed breast milk, cow’s milk or pre-boiled water and pre-measured formula for your child, in ready-to-use bottles or sippy cups that are clearly labelled with your child’s name. If breast milk is provided, please also label this with the date it is to be used.
Sun Safety and Heat Stress
We are committed to ensuring all early learning professionals and children maintain a healthy ultra-violet exposure balance and are suitably protected when exposed to the sun.
Our early learning staff model and promote sun protection measures, and children learn about sun safety and are encouraged to wear hats and suitable clothing in outdoor environments. We ensure the sun protection measures in all Australian states are applied in accordance with individual state and Cancer Council recommendations.
Visitors to the Centre
Goodstart has strict regulations in place around the supervision and identification of authorised visitors to our centres, to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing. These may include maintenance staff undertaking facilities work, a health department employee or a workplace health and safety inspector. Records are kept regarding the time spent in the centre and purpose for visit, and all visitors will be supervised by the Centre Director or Supervisor.
Before children engage in or near water-based activities, Goodstart staff will undertake a risk assessment process to ensure the safety of children in the area, and will ensure direct supervision of all children when engaging in the water-based experiences. At centres with a swimming pool, we ensure pool fencing complies with the relevant Australian standards and a current safety certificate is kept on site at the centre. Pool areas are secured when not in use, and are restricted from access by children, unless accompanied by an adult.
Safe Sleep and Rest Practices
Goodstart's sleep, rest and relaxation requirement is based on current research and recommended evidence-based principles and guidelines. Educators must take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs for sleep and rest of children being educated and cared for by the service are met, having regard to the ages, development stages and individual needs of the children.
To view our NQS Sleep, Rest and Relaxation Requirement click here.