The National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care services across Australia. The NQF provides National Quality Standards (NQS) against which all services are assessed.
The Quality Areas are:
1. Education program and practice
2. Children’s health and safety
3. Physical environment
4. Staffing arrangements
5. Relationships with children
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
7. Governance and leadership
EACH Child has policies and procedures to support the Quality Areas.
The purpose and policy statements are included below. The full policy and procedure information is available at our centre. Please let us know if you would like to review the full document, we welcome your feedback.
Child Safe Commitment
Children have the right to feel safe and be safe. EACH has a commitment to creating a child safe culture and maintaining a child safe and child friendly environment. The following statement acknowledges EACH’s commitment to child safety.
All children who come to EACH have a right to feel and be safe. EACH is committed to the safety and well-being of all children whether they are direct service recipients or indirectly linked to our services such as children of clients or carers. The welfare of children and young people will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and heard, are safe and protected.
NQS2 - Children’s Health and Safety
Breastfeeding is important for infants’ nutrition. Australian and international health authorities recommend exclusive breastfeeding until around 6 months. At around 6 months, solid food can then be offered while breastfeeding is continued until 12 months or longer if the mother and baby wish (NSW Ministry of Health, 2014). EACH Child respects and supports the child’s health and mothers’ wishes to continue to breastfeed. It is known that returning to work is a common reason for discontinuing breastfeeding.
EACH Child recognises the importance of breast milk for the developing infant and acknowledges optimal infant and young child feeding practices as recommended by the World Health Organisation. EACH Child will ensure that all families are aware of our commitment to supporting mothers to continue to provide their child with breast milk whilst at the service.
Bottle Safety Preparation Policy
As young children (particularly those under 12 months) are still developing their immune system, they are more susceptible to food borne illnesses and infection. This therefore makes it imperative that education and care services implement and maintain the highest level of hygiene practices. EACH Child will therefore ensure safe practices are consistently maintained for handling, storing, preparing and heating breast milk and formula, and sterilising bottles and teats.
To ensure EACH Child maintains a safe and hygienic environment for all infants and toddlers requiring feeding from a bottle, educators will sterilise, store and prepare bottles safely and hygienically in accordance with recognised guidelines and best practice. All educators preparing and/or handling bottles will have undergone training in safe food handling.
Health Safety Policy
Early Childhood Services can be a high-risk environment for incidents and accidents to children, families, educators and visitors. EACH Child is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment through comprehensive policies and procedures, managing risks and hazards appropriately and effectively.
We aim to protect the health, safety and welfare of children, educators, families and visitors of EACH Child by complying with current health and safety law and legislation.
Nutritional Food and Safety Policy
EACH Child recognises the importance of safe food handling and healthy eating to promote the growth and development of young children and is committed to supporting the healthy food and drink choices of children in our care. It is acknowledged that the early childhood setting has an important role in supporting families in healthy eating. We are committed to implementing the healthy eating key messages outlined in the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) Services are required by legislation to ensure the provision of healthy foods and drinks that meet the requirements for children according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines. It is essential that EACH Child partners with families to provide education about nutrition, and promote healthy eating habits for young children to positively influence their health and wellbeing. Dietary and healthy eating habits formed in the early years are shown to continue into adulthood and can reduce the risk factors associated with adult chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
EACH Child recognizes the importance of healthy eating for the growth, development and wellbeing of young children and is committed to promoting and supporting healthy food and drink choices for children in our care. This policy affirms our position on the provision of healthy food and drink while children are in our care and the promotion and education of healthy choices for optimum nutrition.
We believe in providing a positive eating environment that reflects dietary requirements, cultural and family values, and promotes lifelong learning for children. EACH Child is also committed to ensuring consistently high standards of food preparation and food storage and transportation are adhered to.
Sun Safety Policy
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Research has indicated that young children and babies have sensitive skin that places them at particular risk of sunburn and skin damage. Exposure during the first 15 years of life can greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer in later life. Early Childhood Services play a major role in minimising a child’s UV exposure as children attend during times when UV radiation levels are highest.
EACH Child aims to protect all children and staff from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.