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Child protection in early childhood (PROTECT)

Information to support early childhood staff to take action if they suspect, or are witness to any form of child abuse.

Department of Education
4 Apr 2023


This content has been developed to support staff employed in early childhood services in Victoria to take action if they suspect, or are witness to any form of child abuse. There is separate guidance for school staff within Victorian Schools.

This includes all staff within any service providing education and care to children under the age of 13 years including in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC), as well as those working in children's services providing occasional care and limited hours care. It also includes Maternal Child Health Services, Early Childhood Intervention Services and Supported Playgroups.

As a staff member within an early childhood service, you play a vital role in protecting children from abuse by responding to and reporting any incidents, disclosures or suspicions.

You are often best placed to identify signs and behaviours that may indicate that a child has been subject to abuse, or that a community member, staff member, contractor or volunteer may be a perpetrator of abuse.

This resource uses the term child to refer to any person under the age of 18.

Child Safe Standards

New Child Safe Standards are in place. Find guidance on how to comply for Early childhood services. For general information on the new Standards go to the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP).

Topics in this section

This resource has been designed to support you in this role and it includes specific advice on: