What is the legal requirement for lunch coverage?

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Miss Sam
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:09 pm

What is the legal requirement for lunch coverage?

Post by Miss Sam » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:52 am

I wanted to ask the question about lunch cover, as yesterday I was by myself in a room for 30 minutes (apparently 30 minute breaks do not need to be covered- see the quality manual) with 15 children- 3 x 2 year olds- 12 x 3 year olds- 5 toilet training- 4 in nappies- 6 needed a nappy to sleep- 13 needed to go to bed and the others were sitting on a mat playing as the sleepers went to bed.
I know that the change in ratios brought additional flexibility for licensees, moving children around to be able to save on staff, filling rooms to 18 and 19, that used to be licensed for 15 as we can now work 'under the roof line' as long as we do not go over the licensed number.
But the stress is huge. It is supposed to get easier, not harder. I would rather work by myself with 11 children and have someone come to cover my break, than have 16 children with 2 staff and have no lunch coverage at all.
What is the legal requirement for lunch cover?

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Re: What is the legal requirement for lunch coverage?

Post by Lorina » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:24 pm

Here is some information regarding staffing during breaks:
The Nominated Supervisor and / or responsible person must ensure that children are being adequately supervised at all times. Maintaining educator – to – child ratios does not determine alone what adequate supervision is. Adequate supervision means that an educator is able to respond immediately, including when a child is in distress or danger, without compromising supervision of other children.

Ref: Regulations Q&A

So, basically it doesn't actually say that an educator needs to be replaced during break time as long as the educator is able to respond immediately to a child.

At centres I have worked at previously staff covering breaks were different... At one centre we all took shifts during our breaks and we all covered each other in the rooms, even though the children were sleeping. So there would be always 2 staff in each room during breaks. Then at other centres we would take our breaks in the room so we would be present to respond to the children when necessary.

I guess it depends on the centre...


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