Quality Area 2: Children’s health and safety

Overview

Quality Area 2 of the National Quality Standard reinforces children’s right to experience quality education and care in an environment that provides for their health and safety. Educators support this when they promote each child’s wellbeing and healthy lifestyle, and support each child’s growing competence, confidence and independence.

Learning about healthy lifestyles, including nutrition, personal hygiene (such as handwashing, dental hygiene and ear care), physical fitness, emotions and social relationships, is integral to children’s wellbeing and self-confidence. Wellbeing and a strong sense of connection, optimism, resilience and engagement enable children and young people to develop a growth mindset and a positive attitude to learning (Framework for School Age Care). With resilience and a growth mindset, each child's ability to take increasing responsibility for their self-help and basic health routines promotes a sense of independence and confidence. Viewing children as active participants and decision-makers opens possibilities for educators to move beyond preconceived expectations about what children can do. This requires educators to respect and work with children and young people’s unique qualities and diverse capabilities (Early Years Learning Framework). As children become more independent, they can take greater responsibility for their own health, hygiene and personal care and they become aware of their own and others’ safety and wellbeing (Framework for School Age Care). This is particularly relevant for school age children attending education and care services.

The approved provider, nominated supervisors, co-ordinators and educators have responsibility for supporting the health, protection, safety and wellbeing of all children. In exercising their responsibilities, they must take reasonable care to protect children from foreseeable risk of harm, injury and infection.

Standards, elements and concepts

Quality Area 2 has two Standards that focus on children’s health and safety. These Standards are crucial to delivering quality outcomes for children under the National Quality Framework because:

  • children’s health, comfort and wellbeing strongly impact on their learning, confidence and self-growth
  • all children have a right to safety and protection from harm
  • adequate supervision and effective management of incidents and emergencies are paramount at all times to support children’s safety and engagement in the educational program.
Standard/ElementsConceptDescriptor
2.2.3Child protectionManagement, educators and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect.
QA2 Children’s health and safety
2.1HealthEach child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted.
2.1.1Wellbeing and comfortEach child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.
2.1.2Health practices and proceduresEffective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.
2.1.3Healthy lifestyleHealthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.
2.2SafetyEach child is protected.
2.2.1SupervisionAt all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.
2.2.2

Incident and emergency

management

Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.
See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.