Element 2.2.1: Supervision

At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard.

 

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 2.2.1

Section 51(1)(a) Conditions on service approval (safety, health and wellbeing of children)

Section 165 Offence to inadequately supervise children

Section 166 Offence to use inappropriate discipline

Section 167 Offence relating to protection of children from harm and hazards

Section 170 Offence relating to unauthorised persons on education and care service premises

Section 171 Offence relating to direction to exclude inappropriate persons from education and care premises

Regulation 82 Tobacco, drug and alcohol free environment

Regulation 83 Staff members and family day care educators not to be affected by alcohol or drugs

Regulation 84A Sleep and rest

Regulation 84B Sleep and rest policies and procedures

Regulation 84C Risk assessment for purposes of sleep and rest policies and procedures

Regulation 84D Prohibition of bassinets

Regulation 99 Children leaving the education and care service premises

Regulation 100 Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion

Regulation 101 Conduct of risk assessment for excursion

Regulation 102 Authorisation for excursions

Regulation 102AAB Safe arrival of children policies and procedures

Regulation 102AAC Risk assessment for the purposes of safe arrival of children policies and procedures

Regulation 102B Transport risk assessment must be conducted before service transports a child

Regulation 102C Conduct of risk assessment for transporting of children by the education and care service

Regulation 102D Authorisation for service to transport children

Regulation 102E Children embarking a means of transport—centre-based service

Regulation 102F Children disembarking a means of transport—centre-based service

What Element 2.2.1 aims to achieve

Supervision is a key aspect of ensuring that children’s safety is protected at all times in the service environment and while on excursion and during transportation provided or arranged by the service.

The educational leader and educators promote children’s learning, wellbeing and development by creating safe physical and social environments that have a positive impact. All children have a right to be protected from potential hazards and dangers posed by products, plants, objects, animals and people in the immediate and wider environment. Educators need to be alert to and aware of the potential for accidents and injury throughout the service, not just within their immediate area.

By fostering children’s capacity to understand and respect the social and natural environment, educators create learning environments that encourage children to explore, problem solve and create and construct in challenging and safe ways.

See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 2.2.1 (for all services)

Adequate supervision

Assessors may observe:

 

  • children:
    • being supervised in all areas of the service, by being in sight and/or hearing of an educator at all times, including during toileting, sleep, rest and transition routines*
    • being unable to access unsupervised or unsafe areas in the service
    • only being taken outside the service premises by an educator, co-ordinator, nominated supervisor, parent or authorised nominee

* Red Nose Australia recognises continuous supervision, in which an educator is in sight and hearing of a sleeping child at all times, represents best practice.

  • educators:
    • ensuring all children are supervised effectively at all times
    • supervising children closely when they are in a situation that presents a higher risk of injury—for example, during water play or woodwork experiences or on an excursion or during transportation provided or arranged by the service
    • adjusting their levels of supervision depending on the area of the service and the skills, age mix, dynamics and size of the group of children they are supervising
    • talking with children about safety issues and correct use of equipment and the environment and, where appropriate, involving children in setting safety rules
    • discussing sun safety with children and implementing appropriate measures to protect children from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation such as sunburn

Birth to three

  • monitoring and adequately supervising sleeping children according to the services’ policies and procedures around sleep and rest
  • firm, flat sleep surfaces offered for all sleep and rest periods

Centre-based services

  • exchanging information about supervision with colleagues to ensure that there are no areas being accessed by children without supervision, while recognising children’s need for privacy
 
  • nominated supervisors, co-ordinators, educators and family day care educator assistants:
    • supervising every person who enters and leaves the service premises in areas where children are present
    • following the service’s procedures for releasing children and ensuring they are released only to parents or authorised nominees
  • safe sleep and rest practices (according to best practice guidance) being implemented and the service using cots and safe sleeping equipment that meet Australian standards and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requirements. Note that bassinets must not be on the education and care service premises (including centre based care and family day care) at any time that children are being educated and cared for by the service. Portacots should only be used for temporary, short-term arrangements, not for regular use for children enrolled at an education and care service*
  • equipment, furniture and activities arranged to ensure adequate supervision while also allowing children to access private and quiet spaces.

* Portacots should only be used for temporary, short-term arrangements, not for regular use for children enrolled at an education and care service. According to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission guidelines, portacots are designed for brief, temporary use and are more susceptible to wear and tear. Portacots should not be used as permanent sleeping equipment due to potential risk of harm to children.

Assessors may discuss:

 

  • how nominated supervisors, co-ordinators and educators:
    • involve educators in identifying and managing risks to maintain adequate supervision at all times
    • inform new and/or relief educators of the service’s supervision arrangements and what they are required to do in relation to supervising children
    • promote engagement in children’s play and experiences whilst maintaining supervision requirements
    • ensure that supervision arrangements are flexible to allow supervision of individuals or small groups of children, such as when children are sleeping or indoor and outdoor experiences are concurrently offered to children
    • balance supervision requirements with children’s needs for privacy and independence
  • If children are taken on excursions or transport is provided or arranged by the service, how the service plans for and undertakes excursions or transportation of children

Family day care

  • how the service ensures that children are not left alone with visitors to the family day care residence or approved family day care venue.
  • how the service plans for and manages risk associated with overnight supervision
  • how the choice of sleeping spaces supports adequate supervision

Assessors may sight:

 

  • evidence of planning for the supervision of children in outdoor and indoor areas, including supervision of nappy changing/toileting, and meal and sleep routines
  • the service’s policy and procedures on delivery and collection of children that ensures that children are released only to authorised nominees
  • records of children’s attendance, including arrivals and departures, with the signature of the person responsible for verifying the accuracy of the record and the identity of the person collecting the child
  • a written process for monitoring who enters and leaves the service premises at all times
  • evidence of detailed information provided to families regarding excursions, including the destination, means of transport, educator-to-child ratios and the number of adults in attendance, and written authorisation for children to be taken outside the service premises, including for excursions or regular outings (except during emergency situations)
  • where applicable, evidence of detailed information provided to families regarding transportation of children, including the proposed pick-up location and destination, the means of transport and the number of staff and any other adults involved in the transportation, and written authorisation for children to be taken outside the service premises, including for regular transportation

Family day care

  • evidence that a record is kept of all visitors to a family day care residence or approved family day care venue that includes the signature of the visitor and the time of the visitor’s arrival and departure.

Reasonable precautions

Assessors may observe:

 

  • nominated supervisors, educators, co-ordinators and family day care educator assistants:
    • implementing daily safety checks and monitoring the maintenance of buildings, equipment and the general environment
    • implementing the service’s policy and procedures regarding the use and storage of dangerous products
    • removing identified hazards immediately or securing the area to prevent children from accessing the hazard
    • implementing risk minimisation plans for children enrolled at the service who have a specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition

Birth to three

  • educators attending to children:
    • at all times when they are eating or drinking
    • closely when they are in situations that present a higher risk of injury—for example, on a nappy change table or in a high chair
 
  • children:
    • being unable to access potentially hazardous items, such as medications, detergents, cleaning products and garden chemicals, and that such items are clearly labelled at all times
    • being unable to access power points, double adaptors and power boards and that other electrical equipment and electrical cords are secured
  • adequate supervision of children consuming hot food and drink
  • toys and equipment made available to children only in areas where they may be used safely
  • a tobacco, drug and alcohol free environment
  • simple warning signs where potentially dangerous products are stored
  • poisonous or hazardous plants identified, explained to children and in some instances removed or not made accessible to children, or children are adequately supervised
  • that, where drinks, food and cooking utensils/appliances are used as part of the program, they do not present an unacceptable risk to children
  • secure, protective caps placed in all unused power points that are accessible to children
  • climbing equipment, swings and large pieces of furniture having stable bases and/or are securely anchored
  • climbing equipment, swings and other large pieces of equipment located over areas with soft fall surfaces that meet the requirements under the Australian Standards for Playgrounds
  • animals that may pose a risk to children kept separate and apart from areas used by children, unless involved in a specific activity that is directly supervised by educators

Birth to three

  • safe sleep practices being implemented and the service using cots, other bedding equipment and accessories that meet Australian Standards
  • hot drinks and hot food being made and consumed away from areas that are accessible to children.

Assessors may discuss:

 

  • how daily safety checks of buildings, equipment and the general environment are conducted and what action is taken as a result of the checks
  • the service’s approach to sun protection
  • how safety is maintained when children are involved in food preparation/cooking activities
  • how safety and hygiene are maintained when animals are part of the service
  • where the service transports children:
    • how the service maintains up to date with current information and laws on child restraints in vehicles
    • that the vehicle is suitable and safe for all children
    • how the service ensures car seats, restraints and booster seats are approved and fitted in accordance with Australian Standards and are in good working order

Family day care

  • if there is a firearm on the premises:
    • occasions on which the firearm may be used
    • where the firearm and ammunition are stored
    • that the firearm is not in the presence of children at any time.

Assessors may sight:

 

  • written procedures for conducting daily safety checks and identifying and undertaking the maintenance of buildings and equipment
  • completed daily safety checks of buildings, equipment and the general environment
  • records of pest/vermin inspections and/or eradications
  • in relation to excursions:
    • the service’s policy and procedures on excursions
    • evidence of planning for excursions that includes a written risk assessment undertaken prior to conducting an excursion and provided to families prior to conducting excursions, and that supervision implications were considered
    • documented evidence of detailed information provided to families regarding excursions, including the destination, means of transport, educator-to-child ratio and number of adults in attendance
    • documented authorisation for children to be taken outside the service’s premises or to alternative areas within the premises (for example an area of the building or school premises that is not approved space or that cannot be used during normal operating hours)
  • in relation to transportation provided or arranged by the service:
    • the service’s policy and procedures on transportation, including for transporting children other than as part of an excursion (if applicable)
    • evidence of planning for transporting children that includes a written risk assessment undertaken and provided to families prior to transporting a child, and that adequate supervision implications were considered
    • documented evidence of detailed information provided to families regarding transportation of children, including the proposed pick-up location and destination, the means of transport and the number of staff and any other adults involved in the transportation, and written authorisation for children to be taken outside the premises
  • in relation to sleep and rest periods:
    • the service’s policy and procedures on sleep and rest that include the prescribed matters under the National Regulations
    • evidence of planning for sleep and rest periods that includes a risk assessment undertaken considering the prescribed matters under National Regulations
    • if applicable, evidence of planning for overnight care that includes a risk assessment
    • evidence that information about the service’s approach to safe sleep is documented and shared with families

Centre-based services

  • evidence of planning for a staff member or nominated supervisor (other than the driver) to be present when children are embarking or disembarking a vehicle at the service premises for regular transportation 
  • records that include the name and signature of the person or persons who confirmed children were accounted for and how they were accounted for when they embarked and disembarked a vehicle at the education and care service premises
  • records that include the name and signature of the person or persons that confirmed the interior of the vehicle was checked after all children disembarked at the education and care services premises for regulator transportation 
 
  • the service’s medical conditions policy
  • the service’s policy on dealing with water safety, including safety during water-based activities
  • enrolment records that include authorisations and health information
  • the service’s policy and procedures on sun protection and evidence that information about the service’s approach to sun protection is shared with families

Family day care

  • if there is a firearm on the premises:
    • the firearms licence
    • the ammunition is stored in a locked container separate to the container that holds the firearm
    • the firearm is not accessible to children and located in a locked storage container as required by state and territory legislation.