The Department Of Communities has recently published enforcement actions across early childhood services across Perth. These included a child being burnt and children being unnoticed leaving the centre by themselves.
These are all incidents that could happen at any service and the positives that came out of these enforcement actions is all services took the necessary action to put in the necessary measures to make sure that these incidents do not happen again.
Sharing these ensures that we can learn from mistakes made by services to ensure that we are following compliance across the service and to make changes if needed to ensure the safety of all children in our care.
Boy Burnt With Hot water While Making Playdough
In January 2018, a four-year-old child was severely burnt by hot water used to make play dough. An Educator had put a jug of hot water down in the middle of a table when the table was bumped and spilled onto the boy. The boy suffered burns to his legs, genitals and buttocks immediately blistered and peeled.
The centre was hit with $23,000 in penalties and legal costs relating to the incident as well as some additional breaches.
The centre had put a number of new procedures in place since the incident, including stricter first aid procedures and training more regularly than was required by law.
Autistic Child Walk Home
In February, a nine-year-old autistic child left an OOSH unnoticed and walked home, with the mother notifying the service once the boy arrived home.
The service was fined $12,000 for the breach and ordered to pay $1500 in legal costs.
Child Left On The Bus
In March, a six-year-old child was left on a bus that an OOSH provider was using to take children to their schools. The Educator transporting the children did not stop at his school.
The Educator dropped off a colleague near her home then drove the bus to his home, where he parked it before going inside. The educator went outside his house and saw the child standing in the open doorway of the bus. He was then driven to school by the educator.
A number of new procedures have been put in place since the incident, including more thorough headcounts and a walk-through of the bus.
The OOSH Service was forced to pay $10,000 in fines.
Toddler Found In The Middle Of The Road
In April, a toddler left a service unnoticed. The child climbed the fence and was found in the middle of the road three houses away from the centre.
A member of the public who was driving past stopped their car and brought the child back to the centre.
The centre was forced to pay $10,500 in penalties and costs.
The following day, the service upgraded the fence.
Toddler Walks Out The Door
In May, a toddler walked out the front door wandered the streets before being found by a member of the public. The toddler then walked up the street before being found by a member of the public 100m away.
The provider was forced to pay $3000 in penalties and $1500 in costs after the incident, in which the boy was captured on CCTV wandering around the front yard for eight minutes.
The Provider put in place a range of new measures and procedures since the incident, including an internal security gate and more thorough checks.
John, David " Chid Severely Burnt And Another With Autism Walks Home In Series Of Childcare Breaches Across Perth" Western Suburbs Weekly, 25 October 2018