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Yarm Gwanga Delivery and Collection of Children Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) This Guideline will provide clear directions to ensure the safe delivery and collection of children attending Yarm Gwanga.

(2) For the purposes of clause 168 (2) (f) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations this Guideline is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(3) These Guidelines satisfy the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 2 Children's Health and Safety:
    1. 2.3 Each child is protected; and
    2. 2.3.1 Children are adequately supervised at all times.
  2. Quality Area A6 Collaborative partnerships with families and communities - 6.3.2 Continuity of learning and transition for each child supported by sharing relevant information and clarifying responsibilities.

Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Guideline applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga services.

Section 3 - Guideline

(5) All management and educators will take reasonable care to protect children from forseeable risk of harm ensuring that children are only released to authorised persons. To achieve this Yarm Gwanga will ensure that:

  1. Each child's file includes their enrolment form which details Authorised Nominees. Authorised Nominee details are kept up to date and in accordance with the written information provided by the family.
  2. The child's emergency card, located in the office, is kept updated in accordance with the child's enrolment form. Every six months emergency cards will be compared to the child's enrolment form to confirm currency and yearly families will be asked to verify/confirm details.
  3. An Attendance Record is provided that meets the requirements of Regulation 158(1).
  4. The parent/guardian/Authorised Nominee complete (sign and note the time) the attendance record upon each delivery and collection of their child, and complete any other documentation (e.g. illness or accident report forms).
  5. A child is only collected by their parent/guardian or Authorised Nominee, except:
    1. with the prior written authorisation of the parent/guardian (e.g. excursion); or
    2. in the case of a medical emergency of the child; or
    3. in the case of an emergency at the service (e.g. evacuation).
  6. Where a parent/guardian or Authorised Nominee is not available to collect the child due to unforeseen circumstances, the parent/guardian must send an email to yarm@une.edu.au detailing and authorising the name, address and telephone number of the person (who must be over the age of 18 years) who will be collecting the child. In a serious and time critical circumstance a verbal statement can be provided to a Yarm Gwanga staff member, who can formally document the arrangement for the parent to sign as soon as possible. To collect the child the authorised person must provide photographic identification which matches the details in the email sent by the parent/guardian. The email authorisation will be stored in the child's file.

(6) All management and educators will provide appropriate support to children and families during the transition periods. Educators will exchange information about the child during these periods, and families are encouraged to contact the service during the day for further updates/advice if required.

(7) Families will ensure they:

  1. Have completed the Authorised Nominee section of their child's enrolment form, before the child attends the service;
  2. Have arranged for an Authorised Nominee to complete their child's Attendance Record as appropriate (which includes signing and noting the time of each delivery and collection of their child);
  3. Collect their child from, and deliver their child into the care of an educator;
  4. Deliver and collect their child between the service opening hours of 8am and 5:45pm;
  5. Provide written authorisation and complete the child's medication record form when children require medication to be administered by educators/staff;
  6. Supervise their own child before signing them into the service, and after they have signed them out of the service;
  7. Supervise other children in their care, including siblings, while attending or assisting at the service; and
  8. Pay overtime charges, in accordance with the Child Care Fees Rule, when their child is not collected before the services closure time (currently 5:45pm).

Late Collection of a Child:

(8) Yarm Gwanga recognises there may be isolated occasions when parents/guardians may be delayed through no fault of their own and when this occurs, will ensure the child is adequately supervised at all times.

(9) Yarm Gwanga will ensure that two staff members (one of whom must be a qualified educator) remain in attendance at the service until the child/ren is/are collected.

(10) When a child/ren has/have not been collected within 15 minutes after the services closure time and the service has not been contacted by the parent/guardian, Yarm Gwanga will:

  1. Attempt to contact the parents/guardians, requesting that they collect the child/ren;
  2. Attempt to contact the Authorised Nominee if the parents/guardians have not been able to be contacted, requesting that they collect the child/ren;
  3. Contact the Nominated Supervisor when the parent/guardians and Authorised Nominee is not contactable, to inform them of the uncollected child/ren; and
  4. Continue to attempt to contact the parents/guardians or Authorised Nominee.

(11) When a child/ren has/have not been collected within 60 minutes after the service's closing time, and the service has not been contacted by the parent/guardian, Yarm Gwanga will:

  1. Contact the local police;
  2. Ensure the educator/staff members wait with the child/ren until they are taken into emergency care;
  3. Provide a copy of the child's enrolment form including all medical details to the emergency carer; and
  4. Record details of the actions taken on the child's file.

(12) In accordance with the Child Care Fees Rule and its associated Schedule 1, an overtime charge will be charged for every 15 minutes or part thereof after the service's closure time (currently 5:45pm).

Refusal to Release a Child

(13) The health and safety of children is paramount. Early childhood professionals have a duty of care not to endanger children at the service by knowingly placing them in a situation that could reasonably be expected to be dangerous, including releasing a child into the care of an Inappropriate Person.

(14) The service will refuse to release a child under the following circumstances:

  1. Where an educator believes that the parents/guardians or Authorised Nominee may be ill, affected by alcohol or drugs, or not able to safely care for the child;
  2. Where a person under the age of 18 years (such as a sibling) arrives to collect the child - even if instructed by the parent/guardian to do so; or
  3. Where authorisation is not/cannot be provided by the parent/guardian.

(15) If a staff member/educator refuses to release a child, they will undertake the following actions:

  1. Consult with the Nominated Supervisor, Responsible Person or fellow Educator;
  2. Advise the person attempting to collect the child of their concerns and suggest contacting an alternative Authorised Nominee to collect the child;
  3. Contact the Police and UNE security in the event that the staff member/educator fears for the safety of the child, themselves or any other staff member;
  4. Complete the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record and place on the child's file;
  5. Inform the Approved Provider (Director UNE Life) as soon as is practicable, and at least within 24 hours of the incident; and/or
  6. Inform the Regulatory Authority (ACECQA) within 24 hours of a serious incident occurring .

Court Orders

(16) Any parent obtaining a Court Order or injunction against the access of their spouse, ex-spouse or other adult to their child, must inform Yarm Gwanga immediately and provide a copy of that Court Order to the service. If the service has not been provided with a copy of the Court Order, then the service cannot deny the non-custodial parent/guardian access to their child.

(17) Staff will not deliver a child to a parent/guardian who has legally been denied access to the child. If a parent/guardian who has legally been denied access to the child attempts to remove the child from the service the Police will be called immediately.

(18) The Police will be responsible for the offending adult while staff reassure the child and contact the custodial parent.

Unauthorised removals

(19) Where a child has been removed from Yarm Gwanga without authorisation, or has left the service unattended by an adult, the service (the Nominated Supervisor or Responsible Person) will notify the parents of the child, UNE security, the Police and ACECQA of the contravention of the National Regulations. Notification is via the completion of Form S101 - Notification of Serious Incident (Click here for form).

Authority and Compliance

(20) The Guideline Administrator makes these Guidelines.

(21) University Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(22) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(23) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to the delivery and collection of children at the Yarm Gwanga services are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

Section 4 - Definitions

(24) ACECQA (Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority) - is the body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and works with the NSW regulatory authority (NSW Early Childhood and Education Directorate, Department of Education) to administer the NQF.

(25) Attendance Record - is kept by the service to record details of each child attending the service including name, time of arrival and departure, signature of person delivering and collecting the child or of the Nominated Supervisor or educator (Regulation 158(1)).

(26) Authorised Nominee - (in relation to this Guideline) is a person who has been given written authority by the parents/guardians of a child to collect that child from the education and care service. These details will be on the child's enrolment form. The National Law and National Regulations do not specify a minimum age limit for an authorised nominee, but this service had determined that persons must be over the age of 18 years to be able to be an Authorised Nominee.

(27) Duty of Care - is a common law concept that refers to the responsibilities of organisations to provide people with an adequate level of protection against harm and all reasonable foreseeable risk of injury.

(28) Effective Date - is the date on which this Guideline is published or on such later day as may be specified in this Guideline.

(29) Family Member - in relation to a child, means: a) a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or cousin of the child, whether of the whole blood or half-blood, and whether that relationship arises by marriage (including a de facto relationship), by adoption or otherwise, or b) a relative of the child according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander tradition, or c) a person with whom the child resides in a family-like relationship, or d) a person who is recognised in the child's community as having a familial role in respect of the child

(30) Guideline Administrator - is the Director UNE Life.

(31) Inappropriate person - is a person who may pose a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of any child attending the education and care service, or whose behaviour or state of mind make it inappropriate for him/her to be on the premises e.g. a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol (Act 171(3)).

(32) Late collection - is when a parent /guardian or authorised nominee collects their child/ren from the program after the designated time for the program to end.

(33) Transition Period - is the period of time taken for children to settle into the service, and the periods of time taken for children to move to different rooms or groups within the service throughout the day.

(34) Unauthorised person (in relation to this Guideline) - is a person who is not a parent/guardian, family member, authorised nominee, emergency services or medical personnel.

(35) University Representative - means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent) contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(36) Visitor - includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(37) Yarm Gwanga - refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool & Early Education centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.