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Commitment to high-quality child care
The provider must be equipped to provide high-quality child care at the service appropriate to the needs of families and the community having regard to the provider’s ability and commitment to:
- providing a tailored, individual education program based on each child’s knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests
- developing a program that acknowledges and strengthens the cultural identity of children to whom care is provided at the service
- ensuring children are properly supervised
- ensuring reasonable precautions are taken to protect children from harm or injury and any hazard likely to cause harm or injury
- ensuring at least one staff member who holds a current approved first aid qualification is on duty and present at the service that care is being provided by the service
- carrying out any other activities the Secretary of the Department of Education considers necessary or appropriate for the provision of high-quality child care at the service.
The provider must implement appropriate arrangements to manage serious incidents, including (without limitation) notifying the Secretary of the Department of Education in writing within 24 hours after either:
- a serious incident occurs
- a circumstance occurs that could have resulted in the occurrence of a serious incident.
The following incidents are serious incidents:
- the death of a child while being cared for by the service or because of an incident that occurred while being cared for by the service
- any incident involving injury, harm or trauma to or illness of a child while being cared for by the service for which
- the attention of a medical practitioner was sought, or ought to have been sought, or
- the child attended, or ought to have attended, a hospital
- any incident for which the attendance of emergency services at premises where care is usually provided is sought or ought to have been sought
- a child being cared for
- is missing
- appears to have been taken or removed from the premises where the service provides the care in a manner that would contravene the National Regulations, regardless of whether the regulations apply, or
- is accidentally locked in or locked out of the premises where the care is being provided or any part of those premises.
Work health and safety
The applicable work health and safety laws include:
- the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- any regulations or instruments made under that Act
- any corresponding work, health and safety laws within the meaning of that Act.
The Department of Education does not administer the work health and safety laws, but these notifications are required so that the Secretary of the Department of Education can decide if there are any issues that may impact on the continued operation or approval of a service.
The provider must carry out the following duties as part of managing workplace health and safety for the service:
- if, under the work health and safety laws, the provider is required to report a notifiable incident to the regulator arising out of the provision of care by the service, the provider must also
- immediately, or as soon as possible afterwards, give written notice of the incident to the Secretary, together with a copy of any written notice given to the regulator
- give the Secretary, within 14 days after the incident occurred, a report detailing the circumstances of the incident, the results of investigations of its cause, and any recommendations or strategies for prevention in the future
- give the Secretary written notice with full details of the following
- any suspected contravention of the work health and safety laws relating to the provision of care by the service within 24 hours after becoming aware of the suspected contravention
- any cessation or direction to cease work under the work health and safety laws relating to the service due to unsafe work, immediately, or as soon as possible, after the provider is informed of any such cessation or direction
- any workplace entry under the work health and safety laws by a work health and safety entry permit holder, or an inspector, to any premises of the service where care is being provided, within 24 hours of becoming aware of any such workplace entry
- any proceedings against the provider, or any decision or request by the regulator given to the provider, under the work health and safety laws, within 24 hours of becoming aware of any such proceedings, decision or request
- provide the Secretary of the Department of Education with copies of all notices and correspondence issued to the provider by any person under the work health and safety laws within 24 hours after receiving any such notice or correspondence.
The provider must always have in place the following insurance policies:
- workers compensation insurance for the service as required by law
- a current policy of insurance providing adequate cover for the service against public liability with a minimum cover of $10,000,000.
Quality Improvement Plan
A provider is required to have, within six months after the approval of the service, a written Quality Improvement Plan that:
- is available to view by the Department of Education on request
- assesses the service’s strengths and weaknesses against each of the seven key quality areas of the National Quality Standard of the National Quality Framework.
Please note this requirement for Quality Improvement Plans is different from that in the National Regulations, which do not apply to these exempt services.
A provider is required to review the Quality Improvement Plan annually by reassessing the service’s strengths and weaknesses against each of the seven key quality areas and indicating progress and areas for improvement.