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.
Involvement in adventurous play provides children with opportunities to explore and test their own capacity, access risks and manage situations, master new skills, extend their limits and learn life skills. Research shows that success and failure of adventurous play motivates children to try again and work out different ways of doing things, increases their physical and motor skills and teachers them about their own limits. In our endeavour to create a physical environment that is safe for all children at all times, we may be creating a physical environment that inadvertently limits adventure and risk-taking.
We acknowledge that it is sometimes difficult to find the right balance between allowing children to engage in adventurous play in our physical environment whilst preventing serious injuries. EACH Child is committed to supporting families to understand the importance and benefits of risk taking through adventurous play for their children. We believe that for children to learn effectively and prepare for life-long skills, it’s important for them to experience challenging situations in our physical environment that is managed effectively to minimise negative outcomes, not eliminate risk.
EACH Child acknowledges the important developmental benefits of adventurous and risky play such as psychological, perceptual, physical/motor skills and social development. We encourage educators to support children’s curiosity by providing them with opportunities to access risks and manage situations appropriately. We aim to support and respond to children’s physical development by offering an environment that provides open-ended, dynamic, stimulating and challenging learning opportunities for all children. EACH Child will continually determine whether a learning environment is dangerous, or a potential learning opportunity that may encourage risk taking.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and sometimes sudden allergic reaction which is potentially life threatening. It can occur when a person is exposed to an allergen (such as food or an insect sting). Reactions usually begin within minutes of exposure and can progress rapidly over a period of up to two hours or more. Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment. Most cases of anaphylaxis occur after a person is exposed to the allergen to which they are allergic, usually a food, insect sting or medication.
EACH Child aims to minimise the risk of an anaphylactic reaction occurring at EACH Child by ensuring all educators are adequately trained to respond appropriately and competently to an anaphylactic reaction. We also aim to ensure the risk of children with known allergies coming into contact with allergens is eliminated or reduced.
Asthma is a chronic health condition, which is one of the most common reasons for childhood admission to hospital. Correct asthma management will assist to minimise the impact of asthma. Children under the age of six usually do not have the skills or ability to recognise and manage their own asthma effectively. Our Service recognises the need to educate its staff and families about asthma and to implement responsible asthma management strategies.
EACH Child aims to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all children enrolled at the Service where all children with asthma can fully participate.
Early childhood is an important time for developing good dental hygiene practices. From the time a baby starts teething, keeping gums and teeth clean can safeguard against cavities in the ‘baby’ teeth which can also cause damage to the permanent teeth underneath.
EACH Child aims to promote children’s general wellbeing by creating an environment that supports healthy dental and oral health habits and practices that can be maintained throughout the child’s life. Our Service will provide food and drinks with consideration to the sugar content and ensure that drinking water is always available.
Excursions/Incursions enhance children’s learning by providing them the opportunity to participate in curriculum planned activities and experiences to extend on their skills and knowledge in the current interest topic. EACH Child recognises that excursions provide opportunities for children to explore the wider community as a group and extend on the educational program provided.
EACH Child will ensure that all excursions and incursions undertaken by the Service are planned and conducted in a safe manner, maintaining children’s wellbeing at all times in accordance with National Legislation. We believe excursions/incursions provide the children with the opportunity to expand and enhance their skills and knowledge gaining insight into their local community.
Having and encouraging good hygiene practices in early childhood is essential for reducing the risk of cross infection. Helping children to develop appropriate personal hygiene habits will become embedded as they grow and develop. It is important to work with families to ensure children follow simple hygiene rules by incorporating good hygiene strategies in both the service and home environment.
EACH Child is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all educators, staff, volunteers, families and children, providing a safe and healthy environment. Effective hand hygiene significantly reduces the risk of infection and is therefore of the utmost importance. We aim to perform specific hand washing hygiene practices to minimise the risks associated with cross infection.
Head lice continue to cause concern and frustration for families, educators and children. Although head lice are not considered a health hazard, and do not spread disease, infestations can cause anxiety for all stakeholders. Head lice affect all socioeconomic groups and are not a sign of poor hygiene. They have no preference for ethnic background, hair colour, hair type or age. This policy is intended to outline roles, responsibilities and expectations of EACH Child to assist with early identification, treatment and control of head lice in a consistent and coordinated manner.
Whilst families have the primary responsibility for the detection and treatment of head lice EACH Child will work in a cooperative and collaborative manner to assist all families to manage head lice effectively.
The purpose is to ensure parents, teachers, staff, educators and healthcare workers are well informed about the early identification of head lice and managing infestations through effective treatment and communication with families.
EACH Child aims to
- Outline the roles and responsibilities of families, educators and management who are involved in early detection, treatment and control of head lice.
- Document effective treatment and management strategies.
- Provide information and support for families.
When groups of children are together, illness and disease can spread rapidly. Preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough can have serious health consequences for children, and especially young children. Staff members who work in a childcare setting are also at increased risk of contracting certain infectious illnesses.
The purpose of this policy is to provide information to manage and prevent the spread of infectious illnesses and diseases. EACH Child has a duty of care to ensure that all children, families, and educators are protected from infectious diseases whilst at the service. Along with maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, this also includes notifying families and educators when an excludable illness or disease is present in the service, maintaining a record of children’s and educators’ immunisation status, complying with relevant health department exclusion guidelines, and increasing educators’ awareness of cross-infection.
To support children’s wellbeing and manage individual health requirements EACH Child will work in accordance with the Education and Care Services National Regulations to ensure health related policies and procedures are developed and implemented.
EACH Child aims to efficiently respond to and manage medical conditions at the Service ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children, staff, families and visitors.
Nappy Change and Toileting Policy
EACH Child aims to meet the needs of children by providing a clean, safe, and hygienic place for nappy changes and toileting. We believe that nappy-changing and toileting rituals provided in a caring and responsive manner are valuable opportunities to promote children’s learning, meet individual needs, and to develop strong relationships with children.
We aim to ensure best practice guidelines are adhered to for nappy changing and toileting, ensuring that children’s bathrooms and nappy change areas are maintained in a hygienic state in order to eliminate or reduce the spread of infectious disease. EACH Child will also ensure that nappy change and toileting routines are used as an opportunity to engage with children.
Sleeping and Rest Requirements Policy
All children have individual sleep and rest requirements. Our objective is to meet these needs by providing a comfortable, relaxing and safe space to enable their bodies to rest. This environment will also be well supervised ensuring all children feel secure.
EACH Child will ensure that all children have appropriate opportunities to sleep, rest and relax in accordance with their individual needs. The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for infants will be minimised by following practices and guidelines set out by health authorities.
EACH Child will only approve an alternative practice if the Service is provided with written advice from, and the contact details of a registered medical practitioner accompanied by a risk assessment and risk minimisation plan for individual children. We have a duty of care to ensure children are provided with a high level of safety when sleeping and resting and every reasonable precaution is taken to protect them from harm and hazard. In meeting EACH Child’s duty of care, it is a requirement that all Educators implement and adhere to this policy to ensure we respect and cater for each child’s specific needs.
The safety and supervision of children is paramount when in and around water. This relates to water play, excursions near water, and hot water, drinking water and hygiene practices with water in the Service environment. Children will be supervised at all times during water play experiences.
EACH Child will ensure the safety and supervision of children in and around water. This includes water play, excursions near water, hot water, drinking water and hygiene practices with water in the Service environment.
Administration of First Aid Policy
First aid can save lives and prevent minor injuries or illnesses from becoming major. The ability to provide prompt basic first aid is particularly important in the contact of an early childhood service where Educators have a duty of care and obligation to assist children who are injured, become ill or require support with administration of medication.
Our Service has a duty of care to provide and protect the health and safety of children, families, educators and visitors of EACH Child. This policy aims to support educators to:
- Preserve life
- Ensure that ill or injured persons are stabilised and comforted until medical assistance intervenes
- Monitor ill or injured persons in the recovery stage
- Apply additional first aid tactics if the condition does not improve
- Ensure the environment is safe and other people are not in danger of becoming ill or injured.
Administration of Medication Policy
In supporting the health and wellbeing of children, the use of medications may be required for children at EACH Child. Any medication must be administered as prescribed by medical practitioners and first aid guidelines to ensure the continuing health, safety and wellbeing for the child.
To ensure all educators of the Service can safely administer children’s required medication with the written consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Educators will follow this stringent procedure to promote the health and wellbeing of each child enrolled at EACH Child.
Emergency Evacuation Policy
It is vital that if an emergency situation arises, it is handled effectively and efficiently. Ensuring that Educators and children know what to do in an emergency situation requires vigilant planning and practice.
Regularly practicing the drills for emergency situations also provides an opportunity to help support and build on children’s coping mechanisms and resilience.
Our Service has a duty of care to maintain the safety and wellbeing of each child, educator, and all using or visiting the Service during an emergency or evacuation situation.
Incident, Illness, Accident & Trauma Policy
In early childhood, illness and disease can spread easily from one child to another, even when implementing the recommended hygiene and infection control practices. When groups of children play together and are in new surroundings accidents and illnesses may occur. Our Service is committed to reducing illness and the likelihood of accidents through its risk management and effective hygiene practices.
Educators have a duty of care to respond to and manage illnesses, accidents, incidents, and trauma that may occur at the Service to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, educators and visitors. This policy will guide educators to manage illness and prevent injury and the spread of infectious diseases.
Sick Children Policy
Children come into contact with many other children and adults in the early childhood environment causing them to contract infectious illnesses. The National Quality Standard requires early childhood services to implement specific strategies to minimise the spread of infectious illness.
EACH Child aims to maintain the health of all children, staff and their families, ensuring a healthy environment and minimising cross contamination and the spread of infectious illnesses.
NQS4 - Staffing Arrangements
Code of Conduct Policy
We believe in maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment and workplace that motivates and facilitates personal growth and development for staff and educators. The values that underpin our work ethic include equality, respect, integrity, and responsibility.
EACH Child aims to establish a common understanding of work place standards and ethics expected of all employees of the Service. We aim to ensure positive working relationships are formed between all educators and management, promoting dignity and respect by avoiding behaviour which is or may be perceived as harassing, bullying or intimidating. Educators and management will at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner and strive to ensure that all interactions are positive and respectful and are in accordance with the Service’s philosophy.
Responsible Person Policy
A Responsible Person must be physically in attendance at all times the Service is educating and caring for children.
Approved providers are responsible for appointing a Responsible Person who is aged 18 years or older, has adequate knowledge and understanding of the provision of education and care to children, and has an ability to effectively supervise and manage an education and care service (ACECQA, 2017)
EACH Child is committed to meeting our duty of care obligations under the National Law & Regulations to ensure a Responsible Person is physically on the premises at all times children are being educated and cared for.
NQS5 - Relationships with Children
Interactions with Children, Families & Staff Policy
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) identifies secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships with children as one of the principles that underpin practice. Within an early childhood community many different relationships are negotiated with and between children, educators and families. The way in which these relationships are established and maintained, and the way in which they remain visible impacts on how the early childhood community functions as a whole. Relationships directly effect how children form their own identity, whether or not they feel safe and supported, and ultimately, their sense of belonging.
EACH Child aims to build positive relationships with children, families and educators through collaboration and interactions, which is reflective in our Service philosophy and the Early Years Learning Framework. Educators will encourage positive relationships between children and their peers as well as with educators and families at the Service, ensuring children feel safe and supported.
NQS6 - Collaborative Partnerships
Enrolment and orientation is an exciting and emotional time for children and families. It is important to manage this time with sensitivity and support, building partnerships between families and the Service. Such partnerships enable the Service and families to work toward the common goal of promoting consistent quality outcomes for individual children and the Service.
EACH Child aims to ensure children and families receive a positive and informative enrolment and orientation process that meets their individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Service to promote positive outcomes for children whilst adhering to legislative requirements.
Enrolment and orientation any Early Education and Care Service is an exciting and emotional time for children and families. It is important to manage this time with sensitivity and support, building partnerships between families and the Service and importantly, trust with the child. Such partnerships enable the Service and families to work toward the common goal of promoting consistent quality outcomes for individual children and the Service.
EACH Child aims to ensure children and families are provided with an orientation procedure that allows the family to transition into the Service positively and well-informed, meeting the children and families’ individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Service to promote positive outcomes for children whilst adhering to legislative requirements.
NQS7 - Governance and Leadership
The Governance Policy provides the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of a Service. Management are responsible for guiding the direction of the service, ensuring that its goals and objectives are met in line with the philosophy, and all legal and regulatory requirements governing the operation of the service.
EACH Child aims to ensure all legal and financial requirements are implemented and recognised through appropriate governance practices, providing quality education and care, meeting the principles, practices and elements of the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard.
Payment of Fees Policy
It is important parents gain a clear understanding of the EACH Child fee structure to ensure their child’s fees are paid on time and to understand there are consequences for failure to pay fees on time. This policy states EACH Child’s setting, charging, collecting, and reviewing of fees and family co-contributions. This policy aims to support families in understanding applicable Child Care Subsidy (CCS) guidelines and its impact on co-contribution payments.
Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
The right to confidentiality and privacy of the child and the family is outlined in Early Childhood Code of Ethics and National Education and Care Regulations. The right to privacy of all children, their families, and educators and staff of the Service will be upheld and respected, whilst ensuring that all children have access to high quality early years care and education.
EACH Child aims to ensure the confidentiality of information and files relating to the children, families, staff, and visitors using the Service is upheld at all times. We aim to protect the privacy and confidentiality by ensuring continuous review and improvement on our current systems, storage, and methods of disposal of records, ensuring that all records and information about individual children, families, educators, and management are held in a secure place and are only retrieved by or released to people who have a legal right to access this information.
Record Keeping and Retention Policy
The Approved Provider and Management are responsible for overseeing and ensuring records are maintained and stored in accordance with relevant legislation and National Quality Standard.
EACH Child aims to maintain and manage appropriate records in a private and confidential manner, working in accordance with legislative requirements and best practice.