Element 2.1.2: Health practices and procedures

Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.
National Law & Regulations

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 2.1.2

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

Regulation 77 Health, hygiene and safe food practices

Regulation 85 Incident, injury, trauma and illness policies and procedures

Regulation 86 Notification to parents of incident, injury, trauma and illness

Regulation 87 Incident, injury, trauma and illness record

Regulation 88 Infectious diseases

Regulation 89 First aid kits

Regulation 90 Medical conditions policy

Regulation 91 Medical conditions policy to be provided to parents

Regulation 92 Medication record

Regulation 93 Administration of medication

Regulation 94 Exception to authorisation requirement – anaphylaxis or asthma emergency

Regulation 95 Procedure for administration of medication

Regulation 96 Self-administration of medication

Additional state/territory and local government requirements

In addition to complying with the National Quality Framework, services must also comply with other relevant national, state/territory and local government requirements. For example, immunisation requirements that prevent enrolment of a child unless approved documentation is provided to indicate the child is fully immunised for their age, or has received an approved exemption from immunisation. For more information, contact your regulatory authority. Some services may require an Immunisation History Statement, which can be obtained from the Australian Immunisation Register.

What Element 2.1.2 aims to achieve

Illness management and hygiene practices

While it is not possible to prevent the spread of all infections and illnesses, effective illness management practices and maintaining high standards of hygiene significantly reduce the likelihood of children becoming ill. This involves reducing children’s exposure to materials, surfaces and body fluids that may cause infection or illness.

For more information, see the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) publication Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, 2013.

In helping children to take growing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing, educators model and reinforce health and personal hygiene practices with children. Educators also promote continuity of children’s personal health and hygiene by sharing ownership of routines and schedules with children, families and the community.

Injury management

Services need to consider the effectiveness of injury management processes, including risk identification and conducting risk benefit analysis and risk assessments to minimise risk. This involves considering the way educators:

  • support children in risky play
  • are organised to ensure effective supervision
  • are proactive, responsive and flexible in using professional judgments to prevent injury from occurring.

When developing effective injury management procedures, services also need to consider a range of contingencies if an injury occurs. These include:

  • administration of first aid
  • contacting emergency services or medical professionals
  • contact and communication with families including injury notification forms
  • maintaining adequate supervision
  • managing the emotional wellbeing of all children and educators
  • serious incident and any other notification requirements
  • reviewing and evaluating procedures after an incident as part of the quality improvement process.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 2.1.2 (for all services)

Hygiene practices


Assessors may observe:

  • hygiene practices that reflect current research and advice from recognised health authorities
  • safe and hygienic storage, handling, preparation and serving of all food and drinks consumed by children, including food brought from home
  • nominated supervisors, educators, co-ordinators and family day care assistants:
    • implementing the service’s health and hygiene policy and procedures
    • actively supporting children to learn hygiene practices (including hand washing, coughing, dental hygiene and ear care)
    • maintaining a hygienic environment for children
  • children consuming food and drinks in a hygienic manner
Birth to three
  • educators implementing appropriate hygiene practices in relation to hand washing, toileting, nappy changing and cleaning of equipment
  • clean toileting and nappy-changing facilities
  • fresh linen and other bedding being used for each child using a cot or a mattress
  • bedding being stored hygienically (for example, in named cloth bags and not touching other children’s bedding).

Assessors may discuss:


  • how the service accesses information from recognised authorities about current health, hygiene and safety guidelines and how this information is used to inform policies, procedures and practices
  • how often children’s bedding, dress-up clothes, cushion-covers and other washable materials are laundered
  • how cleanliness of the service is consistently maintained
Birth to three
  • how a regular regime of washing children’s toys and equipment is

Assessors may sight:

  • policies and procedures relating to health and hygiene
  • written procedures and schedules for maintaining a regular regime of washing children’s toys and equipment
  • evidence that families are provided with information and support that helps them to follow the service’s hygiene procedures
  • current nappy-changing and toileting procedures displayed in toilet and nappy-changing areas
  • information about correct hand-washing procedures displayed in relevant areas of the service, such as bathrooms, nappy change areas and food preparation areas
  • visual aids and hand-washing signs displayed where children wash their hands.

Illness and injury management


Assessors may observe:

  • groupings of children arranged to minimise the risk of illness and injuries
  • educators:
    • observing and promptly responding to signs of illness and injury in children
    • observing the symptoms of children’s illnesses and injuries and systematically recording and sharing this information with families (and medical professionals where required)
    • discussing health and safety issues with children
    • involving children in developing guidelines to keep the service environment healthy and safe for all
    • communicating with families about children’s health requirements in culturally sensitive ways
    • implementing appropriate practices when administering medication, including:
  • checking the written authorisation from the parent or guardian
  • checking that the medication does not exceed its use-by date and is supplied in its original packaging
  • checking that prescribed medication displays the child’s name
  • storing medication appropriately
  • completing records to indicate when medication is administered
Centre-based services
  • having another person check the dosage and witness the administration of medication.


Assessors may discuss:


  • how the service’s policies on dealing with infectious disease address child and staff immunisation, including exclusion periods
  • how the service’s guidelines for the exclusion of ill children and educators are implemented
  • how families are advised of cases of infectious illnesses in the service, including information about the nature of the illness, incubation and infectious periods and the service’s exclusion requirements for the illness
  • how the service implements its procedure for notifying families of injuries that affect children while in education and care
  • how the service responds to a serious accident or health-related emergency involving a child
  • how the service communicates information about a child’s individual health requirements to staff members
  • how the service conveys concerns or questions about a child’s health needs to their family
  • how information about a child’s individual health is kept confidential


School age children
  • arrangements for negotiating individual procedures for the administration of medication with families and children
  • how/if information about the child’s individual health requirements is communicated with the school.

Assessors may sight:


  • policies and procedures relating to incident, injury, trauma, illness and medical conditions
  • the service’s policy and procedures on dealing with infectious disease, including notifying families of cases of infectious illnesses in the service and exclusion of ill children, that is consistent with current information from a relevant recognised authority
  • an up-to-date first aid kit or kits readily available wherever children are (including in the service and on excursions or during transportation that is provided or arranged by the service)
  • current records of the status of children’s immunisations, including a written process for obtaining information from families about their children’s current immunisation status
  • a written process for observing, responding to and recording signs of illness and injury in children and notifying families of illness or injuries that affect children while at the service
  • information that has been provided to educators and families about child and adult immunisation recommendations
  • enrolment records containing health information and authorisations for each child enrolled at the service
  • individual medical management plans provided by the parents of children with a specific health care need, allergy or a diagnosed relevant medical condition, including but not limited to asthma, diabetes or risk of anaphylaxis
  • a written process for and records of the administration of medication for children that includes:
    • authorisation from a parent or guardian to administer the medication
    • the name of the medication being administered
    • details of the time and dosage of the medication administered
    • the signature of the person who administered the medication
Centre-based services
  • the signature of the person who witnessed the administration of medication