Standard 2.1: Health

Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted.

How Standard 2.1 contributes to quality education and care

Children’s health and physical wellbeing contributes to their ability to concentrate, cooperate and learn (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 30; Framework for School Age Care, p. 29). Being active, healthy, well rested and free of illness assists children to participate happily and successfully in the learning environment. It is also important that children are supported to take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 32; Framework for School Age Care, p. 31).

Children’s health requirements can change over time as they grow and develop. Working together with families and, where relevant, health care professionals, the service should have effective processes to support all aspects of children’s health. This can include:

  • being aware of and meeting each child’s physical health and comfort requirements
  • encouraging physical activity
  • supporting children’s wellbeing by providing opportunities for children’s sleep, rest and relaxation
  • implementing effective hygiene practices to control the spread of infectious diseases
  • managing injuries and illnesses
  • meeting children’s nutritional needs
  • teaching children that healthy lifestyles underpin everyday routines and experiences.

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 2.1 (for all services)

Wellbeing and comfort

  • How do we find out about individual children’s routines, and ensure that all relevant staff members are informed about these?
Birth to three
  • How do we seek information from families about their children’s routine experiences, such as sleeping and toileting patterns, and support the same approaches within the service?
  • How do we encourage and support mothers who wish to breastfeed in the service?
  • How do we arrange routine times to ensure that children are able to follow their individual needs or preferences, including arrangements for children who do not need or wish to sleep or rest when other children do?
School age children
  • How do we seek information from children and families about children’s wellbeing, physical comfort or personal needs, and support children sensitively within the service?

Health practices and procedures

  • How do we keep informed of, and implement, current practices and guidelines from recognised authorities in relation to:
    • child and adult immunisation
    • allergies and anaphylaxis
    • food safety and hygiene practices
    • administration of medication
    • rest and safe sleep requirements
    • sun safe practices
  • How do we find out about individual children’s health requirements, and ensure that all relevant staff members are informed about these?
  • How do we maintain acceptable levels of hygiene while minimising the use of toxic products?
  • How do we ensure that families are informed about and follow the service’s policy and guidelines for the exclusion of ill children?
  • What arrangements do we have in place to regularly review and update our child health related policies and procedures?
  • How do we communicate with families if there is an outbreak of an infectious disease?
Birth to three
  • How do family day care educators and co-ordinators discuss and manage risks associated with working in isolation, when managing children’s illnesses and injuries?
School age children
  • What arrangements do we need to make for older children to independently administer their own medication?

Healthy lifestyle

  • How do we ensure that all educators are familiar with current guidelines about healthy eating, physical activity, rest and safe sleeping?
  • How do we ensure that all educators understand and implement correct procedures relating to food handling, transportation and storage?
  • How do we plan food and beverages to meet the preferences of each child as well as their dietary and nutrition requirements, including during excursions or other special activities?
  • How do we incorporate discussions and activities about healthy eating, physical activity and allergies into children’s everyday experiences so that each child is encouraged to make healthy food and beverage choices?
  • How do we plan the program to ensure that there is a balance between planned and spontaneous active play as well as a balance between passive and active experiences?
  • How do we set up the environment and resources to encourage and support children to engage in movement and physical play?
  • How do we plan the program to include opportunities for active play during periods of inclement weather?
  • How do we encourage children to solve problems in relation to physical challenges in the environment?
  • school age children

School age children
  • How do we encourage play and recreational experiences that are child-initiated, child-directed, and appropriate for the age and capabilities of school-aged children?