Quality Area 2 – Children's health and safety
The aim of Quality Area 2 under the National Quality Standard is to safeguard and promote children’s health and safety, minimise risks and protect children from harm, injury and infection.
All children have the right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their physical and psychological wellbeing and provides support for each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence.
Standard 2.1 - Health: Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted.
- Element 2.1.1 - Wellbeing and comfort: Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.
- Element 2.1.2 - Health practices and procedures: Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.
- Element 2.1.3 - Healthy lifestyle: Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.
Questions to help guide reflective practice for National Quality Standard 2.1
• How do we find out about individual children’s routines, and ensure that all relevant staff members are informed about these?
• How do we seek information from families about their children’s routine experiences, such as sleeping and toileting patterns, and support the same approaches within the service?
• How do we encourage and support mothers who wish to breastfeed in the service?
• How do we arrange routine times to ensure that children are able to follow their individual needs or preferences, including arrangements for children who do not need or wish to sleep or rest when other children do?
• How do we seek information from children and families about children’s well-being, physical comfort or personal needs, and support children sensitively within the service?
• How do we keep informed of, and implement, current practices and guidelines from recognised authorities in relation to child and adult immunisation, allergies and anaphylaxis, food safety and hygiene practices, administration of medication, rest and safe sleep requirements, sun safe practices?
• How do we find out about individual children’s health requirements, and ensure that all relevant staff members are informed about these?
• How do we maintain acceptable levels of hygiene while minimising the use of toxic products?
• How do we ensure that families are informed about and follow the service’s policy and guidelines for the exclusion of ill children?
• What arrangements do we have in place to regularly review and update our child health-related policies and procedures?
• How do we communicate with families if there is an outbreak of an infectious disease?
• How do family day care educators and co-ordinators discuss and manage risks associated with working in isolation, when managing children’s illnesses and injuries?
• What arrangements do we need to make for older children to independently administer their own medication?
• How do we ensure that all educators are familiar with current guidelines about healthy eating, physical activity, rest and safe sleeping?
• How do we ensure that all educators understand and implement correct procedures relating to food handling, transportation and storage?
• How do we plan food and beverages to meet the preferences of each child as well as their dietary and nutrition requirements, including during excursions or other special activities?
• How do we incorporate discussions and activities about healthy eating, physical activity and allergies into children’s everyday experiences so that each child is encouraged to make healthy food and beverage choices?
• How do we plan the program to ensure that there is a balance between planned and spontaneous active play as well as a balance between passive and active experiences?
• How do we set up the environment and resources to encourage and support children to engage in movement and physical play?
• How do we plan the program to include opportunities for active play during periods of inclement weather?
• How do we encourage children to solve problems in relation to physical challenges in the environment?
• How do we encourage play and recreational experiences that are child-initiated, child-directed, and appropriate for the age and capabilities of school-aged children?
Standard 2.2 - Safety: Each child is protected.
- Element 2.2.1 - Supervision: At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.
- Element 2.2.2 - Incident and emergency management: Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented
- Element 2.2.3 - Child protection: Management, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.
Questions to help guide reflective practice for National Quality Standard 2.2:
• How do we identify potential supervision risks in the service?
• How do we plan to ensure that all areas used by children are effectively supervised, including when children are participating in high-risk activities or varying their activities?
• How do we plan to manage supervision of small groups of children who may need to be in a different space from the main group, such as children who sleep for longer periods than others ir at different times, children who take longer to finish mealtimes or children who want to engage in quiet, solo activities away from other groups of children?
• How do we identify, assess, manage and record hazards and potential risks for children, such as potentially dangerous products, plants, objects and animals at the service, and how often do we do this?
• How do we ensure children are alerted to safety issues and encouraged to develop the skills to assess and manage risks to their own safety?
• How do we ensure that all equipment and materials used in the service meet relevant safety standards, including bedding and sun protection resources and equipment?
• How do we conduct risk assessments for potential excursions and plan for children’s safety during excursions?
• How do we identify which emergency procedures and specific action plans are required for our service and how often do we practise these? What recognised authorities are consulted in the development of these plans?
• How do we maintain an awareness of the people who have contact with children at the service and/or who collect children from the service?
• How do we keep up to date with current legislation in our state or territory in relation to child protection, and ensure that all staff understand how to report their concerns about child protection issues?
• How do we discuss and manage supervision risks associated with working in isolation?
• How do we discuss and manage transport arrangements, including supervision and safety considerations (for example, child safety in educators’ vehicles and safe fitting of car seats)?
• How do we keep up to date with current information on travelling safely, such as bus travel and bike safety?
References for Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice + Further Reading
The Guide to the NQS chapter, within the Guide to the NQF, draws from a number of useful resources and publications. These are listed below for further reading.
Quality Area 2: Children’s health and safety
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2011). National Quality Standard Resource List, retrieved 14 September 2017 from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard/quality-area-2-c…, last updated 2016.
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2016). Occasional Paper 2, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/research#OP, last updated 2017.
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (2017). Safe Sleep and Rest Practices, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/information-sheets/safe-sleep-and-re….
- Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (2017). Brain Story Resources, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.albertafamilywellness.org/
- Archer, C. & Siraj, I. (2015). Encouraging Physical Development through Movement-Play, Sage, London, England.
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (2011). Keeping Baby Safe: A Guide to Infant and Nursery Products, retrieved 19 September from https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/keeping-baby-safe-a-guide-to-infan…
- Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
- Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2010). Educators Belonging, Being and Becoming: Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.
- Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2011). My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
- Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2012). Educators My Time, Our Place: Educators’ Guide to the Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
- Australian Government Department of Health (2014). Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines: Move and Play, Every Day, retrieved 19 September 2017
- Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (2009). Get Up and Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood—Directors/Coordinators Book, retrieved 19 September 2017 from https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/get-up-grow-resource-co…, last updated 2013.
- Bunney, C., Bartyl, R. & Marshall, L. (2014). Caring for Children: Birth to 5 Years (Food, Nutrition and Learning Experiences), NSW Ministry of Health, Sydney, Australia.
- Cancer Council Australia (2015). Sunsmart Schools and Early Childhood Programs, retrieved 21 September from http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/sun-protection/sunsmart-scho…
- Cavallini, I. & Tedeschi, M. (Eds.) (2008). The Languages of Food: Recipes, Experiences, Thoughts, Reggio Children, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
- Early Childhood Australia (2017). A Voice for Young Children, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2015). Food Standards Code, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/Pages/default.aspx
- Garvis, S. & Pendergast, D. (2014). Health and Wellbeing in Childhood, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Australia.
- Harvard University Center on the Developing Child Resource Library (2017). Resource Library, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources
- Hunter Institute of Mental Health (2014). Connections: A Resource for Early Childhood Educators about Children’s Wellbeing, Australian Government Department of Education, Canberra, Australia.
- Kidsafe (2004). Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia, retrieved 19 September 2017 from https://kidsafe.com.au/about-us/
- Kids and Traffic (2014). Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program, retrieved 19 September 2017 from www.kidsandtraffic.mq.edu.au
- KidsMatter (2012). Kidsmatter Early Childhood, retrieved 19 September 2017 from https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/early-childhood
- KidsMatter (2014). What Every Child Needs for Learning Self-Regulation, retrieved 16 August 2017 from https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/early-childhood/blog/what-every-child-nee…, last updated 2016.
- Laevers, F. (Ed.) (1994). Defining and Assessing Quality in Early Childhood Education, (16), Leuven University Press, Leuven, Belgium.
- The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (2017). Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, retrieved 19 September 2017 from http://napcan.org.au
- National Health and Medical Research Council (2012a). Eat for Health: Infant Feeding Guidelines Information for Health Workers, retrieved 13 September 2017 from https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/infant-feeding-guideline…
- National Health and Medical Research Council (2012b). Staying Healthy: Preventing Infectious Diseases in Early Childhood Education and Care Services (5th ed.), retrieved 13 September 2017 from https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/staying-healthy-preventi…, last updated 2013.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (2013). Eat for Health: Australian Dietary Guidelines Providing the Scientific Evidence for Healthier Australians, retrieved 13 September from https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/adg
- Nitzke, S., Riley, D., Ramminger, A. & Jacobs, G. (2015). Rethinking Nutrition: Connecting Science and Practice in Early Childhood Settings (Rev. ed.), Redleaf Press, St Paul, MN.
- Red Nose (2017). Safe Sleeping, retrieved 19 September 2017 from https://rednose.com.au/section/safe-sleeping
Want to learn more? Head over to our next blog: Reflection Questions for Quality Area 3, or if you've landed here and haven't seen our earlier blog post, head over to Reflection Questions for Quality Area 1.
References for this Publication:
Quality Area 1 – Educational program and practice | ACECQA