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Early childhood services - implementation of child safety practices

Guidance on Child Safe Standard 11: Policies and procedures that document how services are safe for children.


Standard 11 focuses on:

  • making sure policies and procedures document how the service will ensure it is child safe
  • implementing actions from the other standards
  • consulting all stakeholders in the development and review of policies and procedures. This includes children, families, staff and volunteers
  • service leadership in modelling and championing the importance of the child safe standards
  • staff and volunteers complying with the standards.
  • Services approved under the National Quality Framework (NQF):

    • long day care
    • family day care
    • kindergartens (preschool)
    • Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)
    • school holiday programs that operate for 28 days or more per year.

    Services approved under the Children’s Services Act (CS Act):

    • limited hours
    • occasional care
    • school holiday programs that operate for less than 28 days per year
    • early childhood intervention services
    • former Budget Based Funded services
    • mobile services.

Actions services must take to comply with Standard 11

Standard 11: Policies and procedures that document how services are safe for children.

Early childhood services must comply with all the following elements of this standard:

  • Policies and procedures address all Child Safe Standards (11.1)
  • Policies and procedures are documented, and easy to understand (11.2)
  • Best practice models, and stakeholder consultation informs the development of policies and procedures (11.3)
  • Leaders champion and model compliance with policies and procedures (11.4)
  • Staff and volunteers understand and implement policies and procedures (11.5).

How to comply - examples and ideas

Start by reflecting on how your service already documents how it is safe for children.

    • Document the service’s policies, procedures and statements required by the standards.
    • Ask families, staff and volunteers tifpolicies and procedures are easy to understand. Make any relevant improvements.
    • Produce child safety material in different formats. Use child friendly and plain language and translated versions.
    • Maintain high visibility of child safety and wellbeing. Discuss child safety at staff and parent meetings and assemblies. Display posters, write articles, newsletters and staff bulletins on child safety topics.
    • Train staff and volunteers on service policies and their responsibilities. Create regular opportunities to reinforce understanding and resolve any misunderstandings.
    • Identify formal and informal ways to track policy implementation. Analyse whether current processes achieve the outcomes for each standard.
    • See how staff and volunteers contribute to child safety. Do this using supervision, discussions, staff meetings and surveys.
    • Nominate child safety champions. They can help put in place and track the child safe policies and practices.
  • Ask for feedback when developing and implementing child safety policies.

    • Feedback types include:
      • informal feedback. Talk with parents when they pick up their children. Have staff discussions in the lunchroom.
      • formal feedback, such as meetings
      • surveys or focus groups, among staff and for families.
    • Include the feedback you receive in:
      • policy and procedure reviews
      • processes for raising concerns and handling complaints.

    More information:

    • Publish your child safety policies in an easily accessible location. For example, the service’s website and inside the premises.
    • Integrate child safety into your induction processes, ongoing education, training and supervision. This applies for all staff and volunteers.
    • Include copies of your child safety policies in enrolment information.
    • Raise child safety information in all communications to families.
    • Use plain language in written materials.
    • Use visual aids in discussions with students and families to increase understanding.
    • Translate materials into the languages used by families at your service. Or organise sessions with an interpreter.
    • Display easy-to-read posters in various locations around the service.
    • Nominate one or more child safety champions. Their role is to promote, track and report on how the service’s child safety strategies are followed.
    • Support the child safety champions. Give them time to work on child safety and the power to investigate child safety issues.
    • Highlight child safety in recruitment processes.
    • Have child-focused complaints policies and procedures.
    • Review how you keep records of child safety complaints. Make sure you capture all relevant information.
    • Use a Child Safety Risk Register to manage risks of child abuse and other child safety risks. Or use another register or document to record these risks.
    • Set aside regular time for a child safety agenda item for all staff meetings.
    • Schedule child safety briefings at information sessions .
    • Include a regular child safety item in newsletters to families.
    • Seek feedback on policies and procedures from staff, families, and volunteers.
    • Be aware of emerging legislation, research and resources in child safety. Ensure policies and procedures reflect any new developments.
  • This Standard refers to policies and procedures that are in the following standards:

    • Standard 1 - culturally safe environments for Aboriginal children.
    • Standard 2 - service leadership, governance and culture.
    • Standard 3 - child and young person empowerment.
    • Standard 4 - family and community engagement.
    • Standard 7 - complaints processes are child focused.
    • Standard 8 - child safety knowledge, skills and awareness.
    • Standard 9 - child safe physical and online environments.
  • There are requirements under the NQF and the CS Act that help early childhood services to comply with the child safe standards.

    All services must already have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children. These must be:

    • well documented
    • followed at all times by everyone at the service
    • developed in partnership with educators, co-ordinators, staff members, families and children
    • regularly reviewed.

    Find out how Standard 10 aligns with existing regulatory requirements, the NQS and the VEYLDF at Mapping the Child Safe Standards (DOCX, 96KB)External Link .


Reviewed 15 August 2022

Child Safe Standards

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